Ann Reardon

Nut Free Macaron Recipe | substitute almond flour

substitue almond meal macaron

This is a golden macaron. It is special because it contains no nuts. That’s right not a hint of almond meal or any other ground nuts or seeds. Many people have nut allergies and some just can not get hold of almond meal so they asked ‘ Can I substitute almond meal for wheat flour?‘ To which I would answer, ‘Almond meal is high in fat and protein and low in carbs, wheat flour is high in complex carbs, low fat and low protein so the substitution would not work’. But that got me thinking what else could we use.

I have read other recipes that use ground pumpkin seeds. I don’t grind my own almonds, I buy them as almond meal or flour so the thought of buying seeds and grinding them seemed like too much hard work. If you want to try that method, swap in equal quantities for the almond meal.

At first the only other things I could think of that were high protein and fat were also full of water, like egg yolks, which wouldn’t help. Then white chocolate came to mind – high fat, high protein and high sugar. Perhaps if I reduced the sugar in the recipe I could get the nutritional composition of the white chocolate to match the almond meal and it will work – may be!

A couple of trial runs and adjusting ingredient quantities and we have nut free macarons. Now let me warn you they look and taste great but they are not perfect they are a little hollow. If you are after perfect macarons then almond meal is the best way to go.

Nut Free Macaron Ingredients

140g (4.94 ounces) or 4 egg whites
72g (2.54 ounces) or 1/3 cup caster sugar
240g (8.47 ounces) finely grated white chocolate
120g (4.23 ounces) or 1 cup icing sugar sifted

Nut Free Macarons Directions

Whisk together your egg whites and sugar until stiff, add colour if desired and whisk through. Egg whites should be stiff enough that you can turn your bowl upside down and it will not spill out of the bowl.
Gently fold in your icing sugar and white chocolate. Once it is just combined continue to fold some more until some mixture dropped into the bowl very slowly melds down into the rest of the mixture. You do not want a runny mixture or your macarons will be flat. See the video for a visual example of what you are looking for.

Pour the mixture into a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut off and pipe circles onto non-stick baking paper.
Bake at 150C (302 degrees Fahrenheit) for approximately 20 minutes. I like to bake on the top shelf for 15 and then move down for the last 5 – 10 as needed. Leave to cool on the paper and then carefully peel off.
Pair similarly sized macrons and fill with ganache. The recipe should make about 20 macarons.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

150g (5.29 ounces) dark chocolate chopped
50g (1.76 ounces) or 31/2 tablespoons cream (35% fat)

Place chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Wait approximately 3 minutes for the chocolate to melt and then stir until smooth. Place in a ziplock bag in the fridge until firm enough to pipe – it thickens as it cools.

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My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

335 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    Thank you for this recipe, it’s brilliant!!
    My friend, Kim is allergic to all nuts and i just made a batch of this for her birthday yesterday – turned out to be super-delicious!!
    For some reason for me the chocolate pieces remained as tiny grated coconut-like bits until baking but then the macarons all puffed up and almost doubled in size, so became super-airy and light. From this recipe i got about 60 shells, so 30 macarons, much more than expected. i made 2 versions of this, one part with dark chocolate ganache, the other part with mango-cream cheese filling. Because of the light and fragile shells the cream cheese version did not quite survive the trip to my friend (must have been too wet, although the same recipe works perfectly for regular macarons), but the chocolate one tasted heavenly and kept the shape and consistency ok. Also, i spiced the shells with cardamom, truly yummm… Thank you, again:)

    • Awesome thanks for your feedback Kat, you could try with the moist filling adding just before serving.

  2. Rating: 5

    Hi, this recipe looks amazing, especially since baking goods like almond flour are almost impossible to find out here. Unfortunately so is icing sugar. Would it be ok to use caster sugar in both parts? I know it’s slightly grittier but we don’t tend to ice cakes or cookies out in Greece so you have to go far and wide to find something as simple as icing sugar. The woes of being an expat….

    • Hi Arianna, If you see the FAQ video there is a pic of meringues made using all caster sugar and they were not great. Can you blend some caster sugar in a food processor?

  3. Thanks for a great post – my son is nut allergic and was desperate to try these. My first batch looks terrible but tastes awesome, so nobody’s complaining! I’ll just have to keep making them!

    • awesome I’m glad he got to eat some

  4. Hey – love your macaron recipes, but I have a question. Here (Utah, US in general), almond meal and almond flour are different. The meal is more course, and occasionally not from blanched almonds, and the flour is extremely fine and always blanched. Can I use either one? Some recipes are awfully particular about not just meal vs flour, but even the brand of almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill, for example, is much put down for baking as it is slightly too course to properly absorb wet ingredients and the texture of the result is runny or mushy).

    Which do you use? Would either be fine, or is this an experiment and see kind of situation?


    • hi Amberoni13, Use the blanched one and the finer the better

  5. Rating: 5

    Hiya I am so glad I found this recipe. I have just recently got a severe nut allergy and never tried macarons and they look amazing can you use gel food colouring an any flavourings

    • Hi charlotte yes you can use a small amount of gel food colorings. To flavour make different fillings rather than changing the shell

  6. Can you make macaroons with just plain flour? It’s impossible to find almond flour where i live and I don’t like white chocolate… I also don’t have a food processor to grind my own almonds or other seeds…

    • Hi verniceb, sorry no, plain flour is high carbs & low fat, almond meal is high protien, high fat & low carbs, they are not a suitable swap.

  7. I’m so glad to see a recipe that is nut free!! Sadly the road doesn’t end for me here, I’m also allergic to egg and coconut (which is the main substitute). Does this mean I’ll never be able to make my macaroons? Can I not use an egg replacer or any other substitute in place of the egg?

    • Hi Gabrielle, sorry I don’t think you can make macarons without eggs 🙁

  8. u must really like macarons

  9. Hi I just looked at the video again and I realised you didn’t use liquid food colouring. Is that important or can you still use it?

    • hi khulan, if you use too much of any liquid in macarons it kills them they turn out with a weird bumpy texture and no foot. You can use a small amount of liquid colour though.

  10. can i use chocolate?

    • yes you can

  11. Hi Ann, I just made them yesterday, but mine turned out flat and didn’t have feet and also soft, is that because I placed them on the middle rack in my oven or because it was undercook? And what can I do to make it less sweet? Thanks.

    • Hi sheila, possibly undercooked, and to make less sweet you usually add a little salt rather than decreasing the sugar in the shells.

  12. What did i do wrong if it didn’t leave that crusty bit at the bottom, and it is hollow inside? Min collapsed while in the oven? Is it the temp of over/under baking. I saw that was a problem that the contestants on Masterchef also had.

    • Hi Lene, the nut free ones will be slightly hollow as explained at the start of the video they will not make perfect macarons you will need to use the almond meal for that.

  13. I seem to have erred …
    My macaroons melted in the oven..all the macaroons merged together into a Thin paste ..can you please tell me where I went wrong.exactly yet this happened ..pI followed the whole recpie

  14. Hi, I was just wondering if u could use dark chocolate because I’m making
    them in class for school and it meant to be healthy.
    I was also wondering how long the overall recipe takes to make, cool, fill etc.
    Thank you it was very smart of you to realise you could use chocolate, never would have come to my mind!

    • hi khulan yes you can use dark chocolate but that still will not make them healthy 😀

  15. Rating: 5

    hi Ann, thrilled to be able to make nutfree macarons soon! Just to make sure I don’t overbeat the eggs, will the meringue mixture turn out glossy like they would do in normal macarons if I use icing sugar for both halves? Do I need to sift the icing sugar for both parts as well? Also, if I don’t add any coloring, will my macaron turn brown in the oven or will they stay white? Thank you for taking the time to reply us, Ann!

    • they will go slightly brown not white, yes sift the icing sugar

  16. I just made these and though i didn’t get the feet, they tasted really good!
    I let them stand for about 20 minutes before i baked them and i filled them with some left over whipped cream.
    Will defitnitely make these again.
    tip – Chilling them makes them taste sooooo much better! :p

    Question : Why didn’t i get the feet?

    • Hi Ann, try putting them straight int he oven, this recipe does not require them to sit on the bench.

      • ok i will! 🙂
        Thank you!

      • My first batch (which did not sit on the bench) did not get the feet, neither the second batch. but they do taste great. I have great difficulty lifting them from the paper and I did spray it

  17. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann! I’ve used this recipe twice and I love it!

    However, whenever I make colored macarons of this recipe, the white chocolate is noticeable on the cookies and leaves small traces of tiny white/ivory spots on my macarons after they are baked. The batter is lumpy as well. I freeze my white chocolate chips and run it through the food processor until very fine (white chocolate bars are almost impossible to find where I live !).

    Any tips to fix the white traces of white chocolate on my macarons?

    • Hi anna, check the ingredients on you chocolate chips does it contain vegetable oil or cocoa butter? If it is vegetable oil it has a higher melting point than the cocoa butter so it is more likely to hold its shape when baking.

  18. Rating: 4

    Hi ann I was just wondering wat type of cream it was? Please help is pouring cream, cream cheese, thickened cream, whipped cream or is there bottle that just says cream. Sorry this probably sounds stupid but great recipe though! !

    • Hi Shania, it is a common question which is why I asked in my latest post for people to tell me what it was called where they lived, and it has sooooo many names all over the world. pouring cream or thickened cream (which is pouring cream with a tiny bit of gelatin) are both fine. If the cream has around 30% fat it is the right thing.

  19. hey ann! i was just watching your video i was kind of confused as to when to put in the caster sugar in the mixture as you only mentioned the icing sugar in the video? looks like an amazing recipe and cant wait to try it out x

    • Hi aaliyah, the caster sugar is in with the egg whites right at the beginning 🙂

  20. Hi Ann! I’ve been looking for nut free macaroon recipe for a while and finally found. Thank you so much. I want to make raspberry nut free macaroon and can I just add raspberry to this recipe?

    • Hi Mari, instead of flavouring the shells you usually flavour the fillings so make a raspberry ganache (see the truffles post for info on making flavoured ganche)

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