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

  1. Hi I made macaroons using exact amount of ingredients stated, I have never had one before so I didn’t know what to expect but I’m sure its not what I have produced ?. They are hollow cracked and hollow more practice needed I think.

    • Hi Pauline, macarons can be finicky. Yours do look like one of the issues might have been the oven was too hot.

  2. Do you measure after you’ve sifted the almond meal and the icing sugar? Coz often you end up throwing the rough bits out and the measurements would not be right if you measured then sift, would it?

    • Hi Priscilla, You measure then sift. the amounts you may discard are usually very small.

  3. Hi ann my macaron is so thin and it spreads

  4. What part of the process or ingredient gives the macaron shell that loverly gloss ?

  5. Are there any adjustments for high altitude and low humidity? Thanks

    • Hi Marilyn. Unfortunately Ann can’t test for high altitude cooking since she is Australia. Generally speaking you need to increase cooking times and temperature for high altitude areas. Let us know what works for you and we can pass on your advice to others with similar challenges.

  6. Finally made these! They turned out so good! Couldn’t be more pleased! It’s all because of you! Thank you soooooo much!

    • Better picture!

    • Wow, they look fabulous. Well done!

  7. Thank you for all the tips! I’m wondering if I plan to make them somewhat smaller, if I should reduce the oven temperature, or just the cooking time? Thanks for any advice!

    • Just the cooking time Bronwen.

  8. First batch, why is the internal texture of the macaroons after baking is chewy even though I have managed to have a nice thin crisp on the surface?

    Second batch, the texture of the macaroons are firm, crispy and kind of hard?

    As you mentioned for fan forced oven the temperature should be 125 degree C, and what is the baking time.

  9. Hi there and thank you for this recipe and tips. I’ve tried SO MANY batches and ALWAYS get hollows. Two things I’ve noticed that perhaps MAY be the culprit.

    1. After wrapping the trays, I see bubbles come to the surface but they don’t all pop. Do I need to take a toothpick and pop every single unpopped bubble?

    2. Even though my egg whites are super stiff at the start, the batter gets to a lava-like state pretty quickly. I never get to the recommended number of “stirs” because if I did, my batter would be runny. I fold very gently, but seem to get the air out of the batter pretty quickly. How do I make that happen more slowly? Could that be the cause of my hollows?

    That’s all I can think of. I’ve tried EVERYTHING else!

    • Could be Mickey. Just check you are folding rather than stirring. If the batter is going lava like so quickly you may be overdoing it. Normally if you have a very runny mix you get very flat macarons though and hollows are not a problem. Are you using a colour in the mix? try laving that out and see if results improve. The shells can be finicky and some brands and types of colour (or the quantity) can have an unhelpful effect.

  10. Hello Ann,
    I tried making macarons yesterday. Mixed castor sugar and egg whites but they ended up being a sloppy mess. I thought my beaters might have had fat residue so kept the egg whites aside, washed the bowl and beaters and tried again. The next batch of egg whites grew to promising soft peaks but after I added the sugar again, it collapsed once again. Has it happened to you? I used 2 whites and 35 gm sugar. I’ve made pavlovas before but never had this happen. thank you for reading.

    • Hi Natasha, Firstly did you add the icing sugar as well or only the 35g of caster sugar you mentions. If you only used the caster sugar then you don’t have enough sugar in your mix. It sounds like you are aware of the problem fat or oil creates. To help prevent fat getting into the mix always using a metal or glassbowl, not plastic and if any oil residue is possible, just wiping the bowl and mixing blades with a paper towel dipped in a light vinegar soon sorts it out. The other way fat can get in is if you get any yolk in the mix. Firm peaks should form if there is no fat. These should just get firmer as you add the sugar, not collapse. Over beating will eventually result in the whites going watery again. If the eggs are old or they are the pre-packaged egg whites, they wont firm up the same way.

  11. Hi. My macarons came out of the oven cracked. I followed the steps including the exact measurements but still ended up with a cracked macarons. What could have been the problem? This is my nth attempt and getting frustrated 🙁

    • Hi Deena, they can be finicky which is frustrating. The oven I have at home (not Ann’s) is not great for cooking macarons as the thermostat is not very accurate and the oven temperature is not very even throughout. I get cracking where the oven is too hot- dropping the temp a little helps or placing an empty tray on the shelf above will usually do the trick.. Cracking can also be caused by too much liquid in the batter. If cracking is a consistent problem for you and you don’t think it is caused by the oven temperature then you could add a little more almond meal to the mix to compensate. Another problem that can arise is the shell sticking to the baking paper as it cooks. If you think this could be the issue, swap to a different brand of baking paper or try greaseproof paper instead. Hope your 10th batch is fab.

  12. Thanks Ann! I’m using these as Christmas presents this year. These are from my 3rd attempt (1st attempt was cracked, 2nd attempt looked ok, but my family ate all of them!) No cracks in this batch, but some of them were hallow.

    • Hi Christina, They look yummy regardless. Macarons can be finicky but once you get the knack, they are so quick to make and yummy to eat. Hollow shells often means they are cooking to quickly, maybe try adjusting your oven temp down a little.

  13. Hi,

    I have a microwave convection oven and followed your recipe to the T, except that the macarons were done not in 20, but 40 minutes,,,, they taste good though more like a biscuit than a melt-in-your mouth macaron & have no feet. Is this due to the temperature? or are they over-cooked. I can;t really tell! Please help!

  14. I had a few problems making the meringue macaroons so here they are:
    1.I had them done but no feet formed,what happened?
    2. Was white choc compulsory?

    • Hi Lucas, if you were using the nut free macaron recipe then YES the white chocolate is essential as it provides the base to the recipe with the appropriate proportion of fats.

  15. Hi thank you for sharing the macaron recipe, they turned out lovely but how do I achieve a non hollow Macaron?when I bake them on parchment they look great but when I use a silpat I encounter many problems like the base concave, wet spots, etc. plz advise

  16. My macarons are texturally the same and look fine accept they don’t have feet? Could it be something to do with the oven heat, we always tap and mix until it is all combined. We don’t understand we do all the things were supposed to and even a macaron expert has approved our method. What are we doing?

    • Hi Tanya, It is difficult to tell from the photo, but your macaroons seem to look a little flat and as you mention have no foot. It is always good to check your oven temperature as sometimes the thermostat can be incorrect or the temperature uneven in the oven. If the oven temperature is too low it can cause the results you describe. Try increasing the temperature by 10 degrees. Flat looking macarons can also be the result of over mixing. I have also seen similar results, when the egg whites are poor quality, a bit old or the ones you buy as pre-packaged egg whites only. If your eggs whites are fresh and good quality, make sure you keep them free of any yolk or fat .

  17. I was wondering if the powdered sugar can be replaced with more caster sugar? I want to make these for my dad who is diabetic. I have a sugar substitute that I can grind to make a super fine sugar, but it’s really expensive to get a powdered sugar substitute.

    • Hi Carin, you can if you grind it down but you may find it effects the finished product. Experimenting is the best way to go.

  18. Can,I use butter paper instead of non stick baking paper.

    • Hi Sara, Unfortunately macarons will still stick to greaseproof paper.

  19. Hi Ann,
    The first time I made these I followed everything, but they came out cracked and hollow. The second time, I rapped the tray a lot more, and they weren’t cracked or hollow, and I lowered the temp 5 degrees. But they had no foot why? The mixture was also a little thick too.

  20. Is it okay if I use un blanched almond meal(the kind with the skin still there)? Does it matter?

    • You can but it works better with the kind that has skin removed.

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