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. Hi Ann,

    Is it possible to use cocoa instead of grated white chocolate?

    • Hi Aarushi, No cocoa is not a suitable replacement.

  2. I am going to try to make some and see how they try out
    never made them before

  3. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann! I live in the US and my over is set at Fahrenheit and not Celsius so what do you suggest I put my over temperature at?

    • I meant oven by the way.

    • Hi Ellie, That is around 300F.

  4. Rating: 5

    Thank you for this recipe! We just returned from a trip from Paris. Our oldest wanted to try macarons (amazing little treat). However, it was really hard to tell our 9 year old he can’t have any due to his life threatening nut allergy. He understands, but it breaks our hearts. So, I will get the ingredients and try this today as his special treat.

  5. Hi i did this recipe three times already and i have failed. I don’t understand why and my macarons take forever to bake! Can i use a different temperature on my oven?

    • Hi Eliza, something must be wrong as they won’t take that long to bake. You could increase the temperature in your oven or better still test the temperature of your oven as maybe it is reading as being the correct temperature but is actually a bit too low.

  6. I wish you sold these as I’m a really rubbish cook 🙁

  7. Hi, I only have white chocolate chips so can I chop that really finely? Also, would granulated sugar work instead of caster?

    • Hi Melissa, You will need to use caster sugar. Granulated sugar is not fine enough. You can grate the white choc chips, though the smaller they are the harder that will be to do.

      • Would granulated sugar be okay if I sift it first?

        • Hi Melissa, Not really. You would need to put it through a blender or something that will chop it into finer crystals that will dissolve more easily.

  8. Hi, I would like to asked how many serving is for this???

    • Hi Rubby, Usually the recipe will make about 40 shells or 20 filled macarons, however it will depend on how large you make your shells when piping.

  9. Hi! I was doing the first step and saw that it took an extremely long time to mix. I’ve been mixing for 20 minutes now and it is just very soupy and I can’t get it to firm. Have I missed something? I mixed 4 egg whites and 1/3 of sugar.

    • Hi Lillie, something has definitely gone wrong. It is likely that you got some egg yolk or fat/oil in with your egg white or you are using a packaged form of egg white that has been heat treated. Sorry, but you will need to start again. Egg whites will begin to turn white and stiffen even without the sugar.

  10. Rating: 5

    Hi Anne! I have recently gotten a kitchen aid mixer since I love baking, and have recently found an interest in trying to make macarons. However, I was born with severe, life-threatening food allergies to all milk/dairy products and all nuts. Because of this I was immediately intrigued by the nut free macaron recipe, since all the recipes for macarons I have seen use almond meal. However, since I have a milk allergy white chocolate is obviously out of the question. What do you recommend I use to replace the milk chocolate? Thanks! -Sydney 13

  11. What happens if u don’t use caster sugar

    • The sugar won’t mix in well and you will get a very grainy result.

  12. when i made these they came out burnt on the outside and chewy on the inside. they were flat and tasted like boiled eggs. what happened wrong?

    • Hi Josie, Sounds like your oven was too hot. Use can use an oven thermometer to check your oven temperature. Try reducing the oven temperature by 10 degrees and place an empty baking tray on the oven shelf above your macaroons. Also check out Ann’s troubleshooting tutorial here:

  13. Rating: 5

    I love macarons

    • Me too Eshma!

  14. Whenever I make these, the underside of the macaroons turn out to be raw but the top is always cooked. I tried putting it back in the oven, but it was still undercooked. Please help!

    • Hi Victoria, Have you checked out Ann’s trouble shooting tutorial? You can find it here: It sounds like there could be a problem with your oven. Maybe it isn’t heating evenly. If you don’t have a fan -forced oven you can try putting an empty baking tray on the oven shelf above your macarons. This will reduce the direct heat to the top of macarons. Cook them a few minutes longer to see if you get a better result.

  15. Rating: 5

    very interesting and creative alternative… thinking about trying this but would like to know how long these can keep…storage etc.,

    • i have heard that macarons can be frozen (but they always get eaten quickly in our house 🙂

  16. Hello Aleesha! How long do you leave the egg white at room temperature? Thanks

    • You shouldn’t have to leave them at room temperature. They can be refrigerated or room temperature.

  17. Can I Use Raspberry’s For The Macaroon Shells And If I Could How Many Grams?

    • Hi Aleesha, you could use fresh rasberries as part of your filling for the macaroons but for the shells it is best to use the recipe as is.

  18. Rating: 5

    thank you for having this recipe because is the nut free one was not here i would not be able to make the macaroons for my class, for a thing that im doing <3

  19. Hi, is it fine to substitute grated milk chocolate or oreo crumbles for the macarons? Thanks.

    • Hi Olivia, you could use milk chocolate instead of white chocolate though it will change the colour and flavour. For the recipe to work there needs to be a balance of fat, protein and low carbs similar to the composition of almond meal. Normal wheat flour based products have the wrong composition. It is unlikely therefore that crushed oreo’s would work. However Ann hasn’t tried it so let us know if you experiment.

  20. Rating: 5

    Made these and they came out perfectly! I’ve never made macarons before- in fact have never even tasted one due to allergies. This is a great alternative recipe. I wasn’t very strict with the measurements. I also did slightly less white chocolate than called for. Next time I will will try less sugar overall- they are very sweet. Really awesome recipe and videos- thank you!

    • That is great to hear Rachel.

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