Macarons with Lemon-Rose Water Buttercream

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S of Baking Without Fear.  She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

I’ve been meaning to make macarons since spring, when it wasn’t warm and I could still use the oven to my heart’s content without creating a heat wave. Then I had an army of excuses: I had no almond flour, no candy thermometer, no time, and just the thought of making them only to fail was exhausting.

Of course, that’s what the Daring Bakers Challenge is for: to push you to do things you do not like (haha), but we enjoy tough love anyway. I’ve been so busy with other things that the deadline for the challenge really crept up and then whacked me on the head last night. Yes, I only did my challenge last night. Oh, not just last night…LATE last night.

This is how I roll…

Macarons with Lemon-Rosewater Buttercream

My fellow Daring Bakers have talked about their failures even after numerous tries with the recipe posted by the challenge’s host, so they eventually sought someone else’s recipe. I followed suit. I was doing this last-minute that I really cannot afford to try many times just to make it work. I need it to work the first time. Tall order.

I’ve had my eyes on Jef and Eliza’s ( macaron recipe for the longest time, so I picked that. Others I know used Helen’s ( or Aran’s (Cannelle et Vanille) recipes — and hundreds of readers can attest to the reliability of their recipes, so do check them out.

Ok, so I sort of used the recipe from My Food Geek. I made a boo-boo. What else is new? To make the long story short, I could not follow baking directions for the life of me. My macarons probably have way too much sugar in them. The truth is, now that they answered my question, my macarons shouldn’t have had sugar syrup. Haha. What do I know? As long as I saw magma-like batter last night, I thought I was doing the right thing. No wonder I’m bouncing up the ceiling all night and I’m having major drawbacks from the sugar rush this afternoon.

I won’t even tell you how many mushroom-like sugary caps I’ve eaten. I even had to bite into another one for the photos. Good reason, no?

Macarons with Lemon-Rose Water Buttercream

I really am just glad that they closely resemble the real thing, except for the fact that:

  • These babies have ‘skins’ that remind me of ostrich eggs; and
  • They have prim and proper “feet”. They stay within the perimeter of the mothership, no feet sticking out to the sides. No, ma’am. You’d think my macarons went to the Miss Manners night school for misbehaved macarons!

Their skins are so smooth and almost pebble-y. I did not use blanched almonds, so you see the flecks of almonds on them. What’s more, I made penance for my tardiness with the Daring Bakers gods by not only grinding my own almond powder, but painfully sifting it. It think that paid off.

Macarons with Lemon-Rose Water Buttercream

One pivotal factor that made these macarons look like this is the drying/wait time. The first 3 trays that I put in the oven didn’t have time to sit. I mean, c’mon, I’m not a patient person at all. After 3 erupting episodes, I quickly searched on the internet and found out from a Pierre Hermé (the god of macarons) recipe that you should let them sit to brood and ponder their soon-to-be esteemed footed life for at least 45 minutes. So I did that. In the meantime, here are the remains of the magmatic macarons that certainly weren’t shy about their eruptions. [Some went totally criminal: Macawrongs!]



The 4th tray in the oven, which sat on the counter for the longest 45 minutes of my past-midnight baking shenanigan, came out with beautiful, proper hats and walking feet. As for the filling, I made buttercream and used the rose water given to my friends. That thing is strong…like, I-want-to-put-it-on -me strong. But it was delicious.

Macarons with Lemon-Rosewater Buttercream

I think I will try to make some again this week, if I don’t die from all the sugar. Hah.

I’ll post the recipe tonight! Watch out for my blank promises. LOL.

Macarons with Lemon-Rose Water Buttercream (recipe last updated 11/12/2009)

These are my first ever macarons and I completely made a mistake on the recipe I was following. Download the PDF recipe for Macarons with Lemon-Rose Water ButtercreamThis mistake, however, gave me such smooth, perfectly shaped macarons. A number of people still requested the actual recipe I ended up with for the macarons. So here it is!

This recipe makes about 30-35 sandwiched macarons.



  • 100 grams egg whites (give or take, 3 large eggs), divided
  • 100 grams confectioner’s sugar
  • 100 grams sliced or whole almonds (can be blanched or not, up to you)
  • 180 grams granulated sugar
  • 90 grams water

Macaron Filling

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 teaspoons rose water [You can use less for just a tiny hint.]
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • a drop or two of red liquid food coloring (Optional. Amount will vary depending on your color preference.)


  • Food processor or grinder/chopper
  • Hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • 2 Large size bowls
  • 1 Medium size bowl
  • Small sauce pan
  • Candy thermometer
  • 2 to 3 baking sheets (we will bake double-panned, having an extra sheet will allow you to continuously bake one batch after another)
  • Silicone baking mat or Parchment paper sheets to fit cookie sheet
  • Piping/Pastry bag with plain tip (a storage bag like zip lock would work, too)
  • Spatulas


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F with the rack in the upper middle portion. You can pre-heat later on during Step #11). Place baking sheets one on top of the other (called double panning) and place the baking mat or parchment paper on the topmost sheet, and set aside.For the meringue cookies —
  2. Grind almonds and confectioner’s sugar together in a food processor for 2-3 minutes, until you get a a powdery texture. If you have a mini one, you can use half the sugar for it to fit.
  3. Sift mixture into a large bowl. If you still have big pieces left, put them back in the grinder.
  4. Stir 40 grams of egg whites (about 1 egg white) with the ground almond mixture using a spatula. Mix until you get a uniform paste. Set aside.
  5. Whisk 60 grams of egg whites (about 2 egg whites) on high speed in a large bowl until you achieve soft peaks. Set aside.
  6. Pour water and granulated sugar into a small pan and place on your stove on high heat with the candy thermometer dipped into the mixture. Allow to boil until it reaches 230°F.
  7. Resume whisking the egg whites on med-high speed in the large bowl and slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the bowl. Whisk for about 10 minutes. You will end up with a puffy and shiny meringue.
  8. Quickly fold meringue into the bowl with the almond paste for 30 seconds, then slowly to check the consistency. Do not overmix. The resulting mixture would be thick, fluffy and viscous. It will not be watery. It will almost feel and look like marshmallow fluff.
  9. Transfer meringue mixture into a pastry bag.

10. Pipe mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Create small domes about 1-½  inch in diameter, 2 inches apart from each other to allow for spreading. If you have 3 baking sheets, you can pipe on 2 sheets.

11. Leave on your kitchen counter for at least 45 minutes, to allow a film to develop on each circle.

12. Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

13. The cookies should be easy to peel off the pan. If not, put return the baking sheet into the oven for 2 more minutes.

14. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring. Bake the next pan. Don’t forget the 45-minute sitting time for the piped meringue.

15.  The baked cookies have a smooth, eggshell-like top, a soft-ish center, standing on frothy-looking “feet”.

For the buttercream –

16.  Mix butter in a medium bowl until fluffy. Pour confectioner’s sugar and mix with a spatula until most of it is incorporated. Beat for a few seconds.

17. Pour rose water, lemon juice and a drop of food color and mix with a spatula first, before using your mixer.

Assembling the macarons –

18. Spread buttercream on the flat side of the meringue cookie and top with the flat side of another meringue cookie to form a sandwich. Press lightly.

Enjoy, but watch out for the sugar rush!

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  • October 27, 2009 4:58 pm

    Wow: definitely worth the wait. They look so perfect! And I like the little paper liners.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:01 am

      Thanks, Olga! The liners are actually fabric scraps that I had that I just cut with my pinking shears. :)

  • October 27, 2009 5:18 pm

    Such perfect macarons and the flavours are so delicate too! Well done.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:02 am

      Thanks, Jo!

  • October 27, 2009 5:47 pm

    great job.
    .-= pontch´s last blog ..Macarons =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:02 am

      Thanks, Pontch!

  • October 27, 2009 5:51 pm

    Of all the macarons I’ve looked at today these are some of the most beautiful. Fantastic job Joy.

    RIP macaron center left of the ruins. :( But at least he has a cool cross.
    .-= Caleb´s last blog ..Vegan Umami Risotto =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:04 am

      Aww, thanks Caleb! I’m so humbled to hear that. If anything, the macaruins lived a good life in our bellies. Hehe.

  • October 27, 2009 5:58 pm

    OMG, you are too funny. I love the Macaruins, how funny is that! Now, down to business, what are you talking about – these rock! Look at how perfect they are and the flavor, lemon w/rose – I would like to order two dozen right before I head out to run!

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:06 am

      Hehehe. Now you see why there is some truth to Wendy’s thinking that the website name was “Gourmented”. :p Thanks — they look good on the outside, but there’s a bubble inside, which I read is not good. Hmm, I shouldn’t have confessed that. LOL. I’ll save you some, but it’s running out.

  • October 27, 2009 5:59 pm

    These are gorgeous!

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:06 am

      Thanks, Vera!

  • October 27, 2009 6:01 pm

    You did great! Wonderful.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:07 am

      Thanks, Courtney!

  • October 27, 2009 6:13 pm

    Love your flavor combination! I was wondering when the DB-ers would do macarons! Looks great!~
    .-= Shari´s last blog ..Beef Dip =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:08 am

      Thanks, Shari! The rosewater was begging to be used. I’ve never tried it before, and then I found out that its flavor tend to get magnified in the food with time. My brother said, “It’s like eating a flower.” Haha.

  • October 27, 2009 6:22 pm

    I can’t believe you literally waited until the last, last minute to try these. Nothing like a little pressure to make it fun, eh? And I love the “macaruins” title. That is just perfect. All of them look like porcelain, very fine and dainty! (Mine had big clunky ol’ feet.)

    I found this to be a fun challenge, but not after my first failed attempt. However, learning is good for me (sometimes) too, and I’ll definitely be making these again. (I’ll be watching for your recipe!)


    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:10 am

      I know! Trust me, Casey, if I knew what an ordeal this would be I would have planned better. LOL. They do look like porcelain and dainty…crazy. I disciplined that batch well. LOL. Oh man, I’m hesitant to post the recipe because I basically botched it.

  • October 27, 2009 6:31 pm

    You are such an OVERACHIEVER, joy! You posted twice for the macaron challenge! I am impressed by your dedication.

    Also, these are by far the most beautiful macarons I have seen and I’ve been checking foodgawker all day. Congrats, bb, on a perfectly executed (regardless of the late timing haha).
    .-= Carter @ The Kitchenette´s last blog ..Vanilla and Chocolate Ganache Macarons =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:11 am

      Carter…no, not at all. The previous one was just for kicks. I was laughing my arse off so I thought I’d share them with you guys. Thank you so much — I appreciate it. :)

  • October 27, 2009 6:35 pm
    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:11 am

      Thank you, Asha!

  • October 27, 2009 7:20 pm

    I like the macaruins. :p Your macarons look great. I think I let mine rest for almost 3 hours. I was mowing the lawn, vacuuming, getting the house ready for my party. That’s what you need to do…
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..{db} Macarons! I got the feets! =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:13 am

      Thanks, Wendy! Omg…3 hours? I’ll try that next time. But the more I think about, the more I’m leaning towards not making this sometime soon. The sugar content is simply too dangerous.

  • October 28, 2009 12:51 am

    I can’t get over the Macaruins! Too funny! But the final tray look perfect! And I love the faintly speckled coloring. I’ll bet they taste as good as they look!
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..FRENCH KISS =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:14 am

      Hahaha…glad you liked it. Thanks a lot! I had those ruins because I didn’t let the mixture rest at all. Serves me right for not reading directions. :) They taste good, which is so bad for me right now. I think I overdosed on macarons.

  • October 28, 2009 3:00 am

    Your macarons look so perfect, from the shape to the beautiful shell to the perfectly formed feet. Fantastic baking and lovely photos :)

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:17 am

      Thanks, Mandy!

  • October 28, 2009 3:48 am

    these look so delicate and pure!
    .-= Meeta´s last blog ..Daring Bakers: Saffron Macarons with Cardamom White Chocolate Ganache =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:18 am

      Thanks, Meetah! Yours look SO DARN GOOD! I’ll order from your bakery. :D

  • Wendy R
    October 28, 2009 4:25 am

    you are too hilarious. I yelped and cackled at the little toothpick cross, and my (black) cat looked at me like I was insane. And…well…

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:28 am

      Haha…glad to bring some fun in the household. :) My cat does that to me, too. She’ll glare at me when she’s sleeping.

  • October 28, 2009 4:56 am

    They’re beautiful Joy! Love the color too. This is something I don’t think I will ever try – ever.
    .-= Amy J in SC´s last blog ..The This-Was-Supposed-To-Be-Something-Else Cheese Spread =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:29 am

      Amy, never say never! You need to try it…I can’t wait for the photos you come up with it. :)

  • October 28, 2009 5:59 am

    Gorgeous! Love the flavor of the buttercream.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..#GreatHallowTweet ‚Äì Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:30 am

      Thanks, Tracy! It was a nice experiment until my brother said it’s like eating a flower. LOL.

  • October 28, 2009 6:33 am

    You’re being too hard on yourself- the feet look perfect to me! Very elegant from the looks of things! :)
    .-= Manggy´s last blog ..Tartine’s Goug√®res =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:30 am

      Thanks, Manggy! You know me — such a perfectionist. I beat myself hard on most things. lol.

  • October 28, 2009 7:25 am

    They look perfect absolutely perfect and love the Macaruins photo. I think you are too harsh on yourself the texture look good to me. Cheers from Audax in Australia.
    .-= Audax Artifex´s last blog ..Daring Bakers’ Macarons =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:31 am

      Audax, thank you! I need to find a way so that the meringue cookies aren’t hollow. Mine are. But it’s a good first try, for sure. I’m excited to make more and perfect it. :)

  • October 28, 2009 10:25 am

    Your macarons turned out lovely! I had to sit this chanllenge out for a few reasons but after seeing all of the lovely results wish I would’ve made some time. Great job!

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:33 am

      Thanks, Deseree! You can still try making macarons. I can’t vouche for the DB recipe, though.

  • October 28, 2009 10:42 am

    How absolutely beautiful! Your macarons are an incredible color. They look perfect to me.
    .-= Irene´s last blog ..Amazing Spiced Pumpkin Bread =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:34 am

      Thanks, Irene! :)

  • October 28, 2009 2:31 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I admire your persistence. I think I’d have given up after the first batch. It looks like it was worth it!
    .-= Tea´s last blog ..Tea Stains =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:36 am

      Thanks, Tea! Oh god, I was desperate for it to work. I kept wishing tray after tray that went in the oven. Good think I did some research while waiting for tray #3. Haha.

  • October 28, 2009 3:35 pm

    Love the “macaruins”!! They’re so cute =D. All of your macs are stunning, and the photos are simply gorgeous.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Daring Bakers: Macarons =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:37 am

      Thanks, Lauren! I try to just laugh out my kitchen mistakes. :)

  • October 28, 2009 3:54 pm

    Well, they look gorgeous! Or at least hte ones you picked do!

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:38 am

      Thanks, Kate! Haha…the 4th and 5th trays turned out decent. The previous ones that weren’t allowed to rest were macarooned on the island of despair. Hehe.

  • October 28, 2009 5:24 pm

    I’m so glad I met you because I can almost hear you narrating this post. So funny and sweet! I think your finished product is gorgeous beyond belief so bravo!

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 1:57 am

      Thanks, Dana! I hope you didn’t hear me narrating inebriated. ;-)

  • October 28, 2009 10:52 pm

    Beautiful macarons! The flavor combination sounds delicious, they look very elegant. Great job.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 2:03 am

      Thanks, Lisa! Your macarons look amazing!

  • October 29, 2009 1:21 am

    Joy, dare I inform you that I am the only person in my house who likes macs? Therefore…well, you get the picture (and it’s not pretty!).
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..FRENCH KISS =-.

    • joy
      October 29, 2009 2:04 am

      Jamie, that is dangerous…so utterly… Well, I think if I don’t hear from you, I’m going to call the macaron-911 number for overdosed consumers. :)

  • October 29, 2009 1:59 am

    Try looking at the link below for problems and solutions to common macaron dilemmas.

    My macarons have a big empty space under the shell. Solution: Cook them at a higher temperature.
    .-= Audax Artifex´s last blog ..Daring Bakers’ Macarons =-.

    • joy
      October 30, 2009 10:45 am

      THANK YOU for that link! Can’t wait to experiment more with these death-by-sugar things. :)

  • October 29, 2009 6:10 pm

    These are so lovely!

    • joy
      October 30, 2009 10:46 am

      Thank you!

  • October 29, 2009 8:07 pm

    Love the macawrong/macaruins but I love your macaright. You did a phenomenal job!

  • October 30, 2009 12:33 am

    What a great site you’ve got – I love it. Do you have experience in web site development? I badly need help with mine – or if you could recommend someone.

    Also, I love your macaruins – so funny… at least yours was just a plate – when I started out – mine was a whole football field probably!

  • October 31, 2009 8:40 am

    You took my breath away Joy. They are perefct & pretty as can be. Even the macruins are beautiful!FABULOUS!!!
    .-= deeba´s last blog ..CUTE SPOOKS FOR GREAT HALLOWTWEET…Meringue Ghosts =-.

  • October 31, 2009 3:17 pm

    Nice work on the macarons, I think you may have come up with a new recipe for everyone to try out and a new Christmas gag gift, macaruins!
    .-= Jef´s last blog ..Macarons, The Daring Bakers, and Me =-.

  • November 15, 2009 8:32 am

    Wow, those certainly are some of the nicest looking macarons i’ve seen yet. I’ve been working on mine for a while now and can’t seem to get it right. I get wonderful tops and nice feet that stay within bounds; however, they are undercooked inside and tend to fall and make a void. I tried hotter temps but that didn’t work. Now, i’m wondering if the corn starch in my icing sugar is holding moisture inside the macaron. Did you use icing sugar with or without a starch additive?

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    .-= Adam´s last blog ..Green Racer =-.

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