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. Is it possible to use rice flour??

    • Hi Bella, Macarons are made with a nutmeal that is comprised of protein and fat. Rice flour is starchy and doesn’t contain the same things. The recipe therefore would not work well using rice flour.

    • Hi Bella, Rice flour has starch and doesn’t have a similar make up to almond meal. It wont work for macarons.

  2. i tried this and it did not work i live in Denver and is there something to do different because of altitude????????

    • Hi Sydney, Higher altitude cooking usually requires longer cooking times and sometimes adjustment in quantities. Unfortunately we don’t live in Denver and can’t test it for you. If you experiment and find what works, then please let us know.

    • Hi Sydney, altitude can have a big impact on baking. Let us know if you find out what variation works for you.

  3. could i use a mixture of both??

    • white and milk

    • Yes you can.

  4. Hi, is it possible to not use the finely grated white chocolate because I don’t have any. Is there a substitute I could use?

  5. Hi Ann,
    I’ve tried making this recipe a couple of times now but they just don’t seem to be rising and baking with the “foot”. My egg whites and sugar have been thoroughly whipped and are very firm, but for some reason my batter is always very soft after all the ingredients are just mixed through (approx 15 stirs). With the chocolate measurement, is it 240g of chocolate, which is then grated, or is 240g the grated weight? It seemed as though the amount of white chocolate was making the batter loose very quickly. If you have any ideas as to how I could remedy this would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Joanne, Can I check that you are using fresh egg whites? If they are the packaged kind or the eggs are old, you may have issues. The chocolate will be 240g whether whole or grated. You could try using a little less white chocolate if you wish as perhaps that brand has a higher fat content than others. The other thing you could do is check your oven temperature using an oven thermometer. Check here for more tips:

      • Hi,

        Yes I was using fresh egg whites (I specifically made sure they were very fresh! :P)
        Thanks for those tips, I’ll give them a go 🙂


  6. could i use regular chocolate not white

    • Hi Sydney, yes you could use milk chocolate though the colour and taste would vary.

      • ok thx

  7. Do I need to add the white chocolate? Are there any substitutes instead of the white chocolate?

    • Hi Jen, white chocolate is used here to provide the oil/fat content and replace the usually almond meal for people who can’t have nuts. There isn’t another easy replacement that can be used in tis recipe.

  8. Am I missing something? I am whisking the 1/3 sugar and 4 eggs whites but it is not getting to the consistency that it won’t pour out if upside diwn?

    • Hi Kayleigh, Did you use fresh egg whites? If you use the packaged egg whites or old eggs, this won’t work. If you get any fat or egg yolk in ith the whites, it also won’t work. You have to beat the egg whites and sugar together for a while. If you are hand whisking it will be a slow process.

  9. Hi Ann,
    I’m a bit confused with the word grated white chocolate, because all the chocolate i have is not powdered or anything..


    • Hi Tata, That means you have to grate your chocolate to get the right consistency. Either use a manual grater or if you have a food processor you can use that to get the right consistency, but be careful not to over do it.

  10. 120g is equal to half a cup, not a whole cup. Which is correct to use in this recipe?

  11. Rating: 4.5

    I ve made macarons with pastry flower, i abbed a bit of oil due to fact of it wouldnt have any fat. It had abit more bubles inside the macaron ,but it was fine in taste and i added artifitial almond flavour from wilton. Its not the same but its close enough.

  12. How do you make Chocolate Ganache

    • Hi Macaron, You will find the ingredients and method on the blog page above, just below the macaron instructions.

    • You just make itQ

  13. It should work, though Ann hasn’t tested it. White chocolate has a higher sugar content so the results may differ with the milk or dark chocolate. Be prepared for a different colour and flavour.

  14. Hi Ann, if I don’t want white chocolate can I change to icing sugar? And same almount?

    • Hi Peggy, You can’t replace the chocolate with sugar. It just wont work. You would get something more like a meringue not a macaron.

  15. Rating: 4

    Hi Anne, We have a grandchild who has both nut and tree nut allergy How can I make these for him since almond flour cococnut flour are out, What flour can I use is ap flour ok ? please help ?

    • Hi Linda, All purpose flour wont work for this recipe. It is based on a nut meal/flour which is usually almond flour which is usually acceptable to most people with peanut allergies. If your grandson can have a different kind of nut, such as pecans or hazelnut, you could make or buy that meal/flour and use it as a replacment.

  16. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,

    Great recipe! My partner has a nut allergy so I’ll definitely be making this for him! I was just wondering what type of chocolate you used – real or fake? Does it matter which one is used? Is there a particular brand you like to use?


    • Hi Joanne, Ann usually prefers real chcolate to fake as it tastes better! She doesn’t have a brand preference.

      • Thanks for that! I’ve since made these however they didn’t turn out as if hoped! They had cracked on top (I’d tapped them on the bench numerous time so don’t think this was the issue) and were quite flat. I think my mixture may have been slightly too runny which would explain this, but I’m still not sure why they cracked and also were sticking to the baking paper a bit (it seemed to be the chocolate melting out and caramelising??)


  17. Rating: 5

    hi ann i tried these and they worked perfectly thanks

    • Hi Sophia123, That is great to hear!

  18. just wondering how many macarons this recipe makes

    • Hi Ann,
      I would just like to know how long you put your nut free Macarons in the oven for and at what temperature?

      • Hi livbryan, Ann prefers not to give exact cooking times as ovens vary greatly however this recipe states 150c for about 20 minutes. Ann likes to bake on the top shelf for 15 and then move down for the last 5 – 10 as needed.

      • Hi livbryan, This info is available in the post- 150C for about 20 minutes.

    • This recipe makes about 20 macarons.

      • Do the macarons have to dry like almond flour macaron recipes? or can they go straight into the oven without the drying process?

        • Hi Satoko, Many recipes recommend letting the piped macarons sit and dry before going in the oven. Ann has tested this and found it makes no difference whether you let them sit or put them straight in the oven. So Ann recommends putting them straight into the oven.

        • Hi Satoko, Ann has tested the macaron recipe with and with out the standing or drying time and found it makes no difference.

    • Hi Tegan it makes about 20 finished macarons.

  19. Hi Ann, I was wondering, since this is a nut free recipe, can i also use coconut flour as a replacement to the almond flour or will that not work? Thank you

    • Hi Amy, You could replace the almond meal in the standard recipe with the coconut meal.

  20. Hi Ann! In the recipe above it says 13 cup caster sugar, that is supposed to be 1/3 cup right?

    • thanks Alex, good spotting, corrected in the recipe

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