Ann Reardon

Macaron Recipe Troubleshooting FAQ Cracked, Flat, Lumpy,


1. Macaron Cracked

fix macaron cracked

Try rapping the trays on the bench harder or more times before cooking.

2. Macarons Flat or Lumpy

See the pictures below which show the results of under-mixed and over-mixed macaroon mixture.

undermixed good overmixed
fix macaron problems undermixed french macaron smooth macaron
overmixed french macaron

2. Hollow macarons

Macarons should not be hollow. This is most often caused by the oven being opened before they are cooked through or the macarons being taken out of the oven too early. The under-cooked middle drops to the base.


More questions see the video below:

The video answers the following frequently asked questions:
0:15 Can I have the recipe? …yes… macaron recipe
0:31 Do macarons taste better if you fill them and leave them overnight?
0:58 Do you have a nut free recipe? … yes… nut free macarons
1:38 Can I have the chocolate ganache recipe? …yes… plain ganache, ginger ganache, orange ganache
1:59 Is greaseproof paper the same as non-stick baking paper?
2:18 Do you have a chocolate macaron recipe? …yes… chocolate macaron recipe
2:26 My macarons have a skirt rather than a foot, why?
2:45 What does rapped on the bench mean?
2:54 Can I use liquid colour for macaroons?
3:13 My macarons turned out lumpy, why?
3:50 I can’t get caster sugar can I use powdered sugar for the whole recipe?
4:12 Can I use icing mixture or does it have to be pure icing sugar?
4:18 How do I flavour the macaron recipe?
4:36 Do I have to leave them on the bench before I bake them?
4:56 What is almond meal?
5:04 I don’t have a piping bag 🙁 what can I use?
5:21 I need to make 100 of these perfectly HELP! (how to tell if you have folded enough times)
5:52 Can I put two trays in the oven at once?
6:14 Does your recipe use customary or imperial units?
6:29 Can I use less sugar?
6:36 My egg whites won’t whip, why?
7:00 Can I use wheat flour?
7:03 Do I have to use a stand mixer?
7:10 Can you replace the egg whites with something else?


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Salted Caramel Macarons

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334 Comments View Comments




    THANK YOU !!!

    • hi Hyrto I can only answer questions on this recipe as it is the one I have tested extensively. I suggest that you try this recipe, check you oven temp is accurate, try a quarter batch to save ingredients while you are practicing and do not use any coloring so you know if that is what is causing a problem.

  2. Hi Ann,

    I’ve been attempting these for a few weeks. I have two questions. Your recipe is very similar to most of the available versions, but everyone else requires a rest period to form the skin. You are the only one I’ve seen who says this is not needed. I can’t see a difference in your ingredients. What is different?

    Second, every single batch I have made have exploded. I deliberately under and over folded with no different at all. My oven temperature is perfect, I am a very firm rapper even dropping the pan on the counter. In each case the tops crack within about two minutes of going in the oven. A few actually cracked at the side where the foot should be and shot their inside out! (it was impressive) I was resting them (because I was following different instructions) and I’m starting to wonder if I was resting them too long. The resting versions say to rest until you can touch them without leaving a mark, but I wonder if it was so long they formed too thick of a skin so had no choice but to explode. Again I return to wondering why yours do not need to be rested?


    • Hi Beth, sounds impressive, I have not known them to do that but I like the theory of too thick a skin. The reason I don’t leave them is because when i tested leaving them and not it made no difference to the end result.

  3. Hi Ann, I was wondering why my macarons did not get that hard shell when you leave them to dry for an hour. Is it because there is too much moisture?

    • Hi vanessa, you do not need to leave them out with this recipe just put straight in the oven

  4. PS here is a pic

  5. My mixture today looked perfect, using your pics of mixed and under/overmixed to compare but they did turn out cracked (first attempt) so I am pretty sure that they weren’t rapped on the bench enough, and too full of air, considering the second tray was not so bad. BUT they browned on top!! And really quickly. Within 10 minutes probably, and when I took them out they sank (the cracked areas) and were a bit too chewy inside, definitely not cooked enough, as some didn’t lift off the baking paper easily. Our oven is not state-of-the-art in any sense and very basic, I’m wondering if it could be too hot?? Have you got any advice? I’d really love to get them right for my daughter’s birthday. Thank you, your site is wonderful.

    • hi jeni, yes if they are browning after only 10 minutes the oven sounds too hot, I suggest getting an oven thermometer so you can check the temperature. Macarons need the exact oven temp and if that is not right it doesn’t matter what else you do they will struggle. Other than that i would say they look slightly under-folded. If you re-watch the video and stop it at the bit where it shows under-folded through to over-folded they look like the first ones.

  6. Just made my first batch. Some were o.k. but most were not. the worst problem I had was the greasproof paper sticking to the bottom of the macarons. I could not remove the paper no matter what I tried. Any ideas?? Thanks

  7. Hello! (not sure if you’ll reply since this is an old recipe)
    But how long can you leave the macarons in circle form like is more than an hour ok?

    • Hi Yuki, I put them straight into the oven, if the tray is already piped and rapped on the bench then they can sit for up to an hour with no effect.

  8. hi, anne. i just tried my first attempt yesterday, and i was wondering why are my macarons hollow inside?? please help me before i try another batch… thank you so much! 🙂

    • Hi Elise, hollow macarons are often because of 1. over mixing the meringue mixture mix until bowl can be turned upside down and 2 minutes more only or 2. taking out of the oven or opening the oven before they are done causing a drop in temp and the uncooked insides fall to the base. Try not to open the oven until you can smell macaron.

      • thank you very much for your advise. i’ll be trying it soon.

  9. Hi.. I tried your recipe and it turned out so good… But it still a little bit sweet to me… Are there anyway to make it less sweet? Or can I just skip to put the granulated sugar in the egg white?
    Love Macarons

    • Hi rainee, usually to make it less sweet bakers add more salt rather than decreasing the sugar.

  10. How far in advance can you make the shell and then fill them if you are cooking for an event.

    • Hi LIsa, you can make the shells a week ahead and store in an airtight container with greaseproof paper between layers.

  11. Hi Ann, my first batch of macarons turned out not too bad. The half macarons piped on the right of the tray were great, they had feet and smooth surfaces. But the other half piped on the left of the tray didn’t have feet and had lumpy, cracked surfaces. What am i doing wrong here?

    • Hi Thoa, a couple of suggestions 1. Does the oven have uneven heat, do you notice other things bake unevenly like a tray of biscuits does one side overcook? 2. Was the batter mixed evenly, is it possible that you piped one side second and it had a streak of under-mixed batter in it causing them to crack?

  12. Hi! I’m onto my third batch using the chocolate recipe, and despite the fact that they never quite turn out right I’m really enjoying using your recipe as its not too hard or time consuming, but also a good challenge! It was good to see the video as it showed me what I might be doing wrong, and what I need to work towards to get the perfect macaroon.
    The ladies at work would also like to pass on their thanks as they have enjoyed being taste testers.

    • Hi mixalot, I am sure the ladies at work must love you!

  13. How do you know when they’re done without opening the oven?

    • hi jenne, set your timer for 20 minutes and you should start to smell when they are done, if you are not sure quickly open the oven a little and press down on the top of one if they are pushed down or squish at the base they are not done.

  14. My macaroons turned out nicely. They have lost colour though! They’re supposed to be purple, but turned out grey-ish. Is it the food colouring I’m using or the temperature?

    • Hi Monickka, all macarons ‘fade’ in the oven so you need to make the batter a stronger colour than you are after.

  15. Hi! I’ve made macarons for a couple months and through trial and error I have finally made some pretty looking ones! The only downside was how hollow they were…I’ve tried less beating and no peaking but they still don’t seem to catch the memo…I’m at my wits end and beginning to doubt if I can ever achieve that perfect macaron in my fanatasy

    • Hi Jennifer hollow is usually over beating the meringue or a drop in temperature while cooking – due to taking them out before they are done or opening the oven to check on them, the middles that are not yet ready drop to the bottom of the inside of the macaron.

  16. hi Ann,
    i already tried your recipe and I had some difficulties here.
    my macaroons had smooth skin but no foot at all also some cracks.. can you help me to solve these?
    i already tapped it so many times to make sure it wouldn’t cracks.. but cracks still occurred.
    I used powdered color but the result was some brown color at the bottom of my macaroons.. T.T is it because of the temp? or?

    also i want to ask about egg whites and caster sugar mixing.. what i sthe results if i mixed it too long? i think i mixed it too long in my trial..

    I am looking forward for your answers..
    thank you.. 🙂

    • Hi yesica, if you mix the egg whites and caster sugar too long you can get hollow macaroons. Oven temp is very important so if you are not sure of your oven buy an oven thermometer and check that it is correct. Cracks can also occur if under-mixed (see the video where it shows under mixed to over-mixed and you’ll see the under-mixed ones are cracked) and if you have a streak of under-mixed batter in the mix, make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl and scrape off the spatula several times during the folding process. Hope that helps 🙂

  17. Hi Ann,

    My macaron came out looking rough on top, in which step do I did wrong.

    Thank you

    • Hi Salina, what colouring did you use? They look bright which means a lot of colour so possibly that could be your problem, try powdered colour if you want bright colours. Macarons do not like liquid.

  18. Hi Ann,

    My macarons came out looking good, nice smooth egg shell feel and with feet but the inside is hollow. What am I doing wrong?

    Also, with the ganache, I find it are not stiff enough and even thought I take it out of the fridge and piped them onto the macarons, they slide off them. What consistency should the ganache be and also, when is the best time to pipe them onto the macarons?


    • Hi Annie, if your macarons are hollow here is a couple of possibilities: 1. opening the oven before they are ready causing the oven temp and the insides to drop 2.over mixing the egg whites and sugar – mix until stiff enough tot turn upside down and 2 min extra only.

  19. Hi Ann, I read and re-read your instructions. And decided to make these for the very first time. Not able to buy the powder I decided I’d try 1 drop of red liquid color.
    Did everything as required. ( after thought that maybe i over beat the egg white) but it looked fine. Turned bowl upside down and they passed The test.
    Counted my folding ( 32 folds) it looked good. Feeling pretty happy bout it so far.
    Placed mix into piping bag and spread mix onto baking paper on tray ( found that they wanted to peak. And not quite sure as to the correct amount ( thought I might have mixture too high. ( I made about 30 from your recipe)
    Any way. Looking good on the tray. Placed them into my fan forced oven ( pre heated 150c. Turned it down to between 130-140c.
    After 20 mins I checked them. They were a bit flat, no feet, and just slightly brown tinge. ( I think my oven temp was still too high)

    As first attempt macaroons my on says I flopped. 🙂
    As meringues, they tasted awesome and my grand kids devoured them in no time at all.

    Your advice is more than welcome.

    • Hi Karen, I would get an oven thermometer and check the oven temp, make sure the tray is in the middle of the oven, make 40 instead of 30, if they are forming peaks they sound possibly a little under mixed still, did they smooth out when you rapped the tray on the bench? Try not to open the oven at all until they are done or it changes the oven temp.

  20. Hi Ann… really appreciate your tips… Thank you very much for sharing.


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