In early November I celebrated another trip around the sun and made this raspberry rose (ispahan) Marie Antoinette Cake to celebrate! The cake is made with macaron shells in place of sponge to commemorate my macaron anniversary since it was exactly 10 years ago on my birthday that I tried French macarons for the first time! This led me on a rewarding journey of making the delectable French pastry from scratch and the 4 shell macaron cake with a luscious raspberry rose frosting couldn’t have been more fitting for the occasion! It’s pink, elegant, filled fruit and floral flavors which capture my style and love for French macarons perfectly.
Cheers to 10 years!
Marie Antoinette Inspired Raspberry Macaron Cake
Four oversized macaron shells, topped with fresh raspberries, creamy raspberry rose frosting, then stacked to form a small 4″cake. Decorated with icing Lambeth style details, and dragees. Inspired by Ladurée. Dairy & gluten free.
How does the macaron cake taste
The flavor combination of raspberry and rose with the chewy almond and meringue macaron shells has easily become one of my favorites over the years. Often referred to as “ispahan” (Pierre Hermé Ladurée), the taste is nothing short of heavenly with light floral rose essence and tart berry flavor! Since I was much too far away for a visit to Pierre Hermé or Ladurée for one of their iconic ispahan macarons, making a homemade macaron cake variation was the next best thing. Sliced into 4-6 pieces and served with a fork, it’s the perfect way to savor the dreamy ispahan/raspberry rose flavor!
Marie Antoinette Macaron Cake inspiration
Back in November 2012 I tried macarons from a French bakery in Seattle called Le Panier. The bite sized macarons were fitting for our walk around Pike Place Market. They were delicious as much as they were gorgeous, which is where the macaron inspiration began. Once I learned how to make macarons at home (this only took a few years haha), I began experimenting with a variation of creative macarons, from cakes to cocktails. I also have been fortunate to travel to many Ladurée locations in the US, Canada and Paris as well as Pierre Hermé. I adore most everything that these upscale French bakeries make and serve! From the packaging to the design aesthetics and pastries I apply much of that inspiration to be bakes I create and share. Most recently, I was inspired by the Marie Antoinette Cakes from Ladurée and knew they would make a beautiful macaron with the exterior piping and dragees.
How to make the Marie Antoinette Macaron Cake
To make this macaron cake at home, check out my go-to macaron guide here. Once you’ve made the macaron batter, you’ll pipe it into four 4″ macarons reserving a second baking sheet for small 1″ macarons. You can use the count method, or use a 4″ circle template underneath the silicone mat for the large shells. Let the batter rest to form a skin, then transfer to the oven for baking. Bake for 13-17 minutes. Once the shells have baked and cooled, make the frosting. Combine the fresh raspberries, organic shortening, vanilla, rose and powdered sugar until well combined. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
After decorating the macaron cake with royal icing, I realized that buttercream frosting for the exterior decorations, would’ve worked even better. Although the royal icing holds well, it hardens enough that as soon as the cake is cut, the icing breaks into many small pieces. That being said, I recommend using buttercream over royal icing for the lambeth decorations.
Assembling the macaron cake
Assembling the macaron cake is the easiest part. Place the bottom shell on a cake stand or cake plate, then pipe the top of the first shell with a layer of the raspberry frosting. Top with 3-4 fresh raspberries, followed by another thin layer of frosting. Top with second shell and repeat steps for remaining. Decorate the top of the macaron cake with 1″ macarons and fresh raspberries and edible glitter.
Marie Antoinette decorations
The decorations on this macaron cake are inspired by the Ladurée Marie Antoinette cakes. To recreate this look, use a 32 size star tip, pipe a shell design along the outside of the entire bottom macaron shell. Then using a tip-less piping bag, start piping the icing in a U shape, moving from the the top macaron shell, 3/4 of the way down and then back up. Continue piping this design all the way around the macaron cake, leaving a small space in-between for the shell shaped piping. Next pipe the 2nd U shape 1/2 above the first. Continue this piping along the the entire macaron cake, then finish with the 3rd and smallest U shape to complete the 3 tier icing design. Pipe the shell shapes in the open spaces between the “U’s”, then top with dragees. Pipe additional shell shapes in the open spaces on the 2nd macaron shell from bottom. Finish with dragees. Refrigerate until serving.
Watch the quick how-to video below for a look at how the macaron cake came together.
Marie Antoinette Macaron Cake
- Prep Time: 45
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 4" 4 layer macaron cake 1x
- Category: Baking
- Method: Macarons
- Cuisine: Dessert
- Diet: Gluten Free
Four oversized macaron shells, topped with fresh raspberries, creamy raspberry rose frosting, then stacked to form a small 4″ ispahan cake. Decorated with icing Lambeth style details, and dragees. Dairy & gluten free
- 106 grams of almond meal
- 106 grams powdered sugar
- 41 and 45 grams of egg whites divided
- 115 grams of granulated sugar
- 79 grams of water
- dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
- pink gel food coloring
1 piping bag fitted with star tip.
1 piping bag fitted with round tip (Wilton 12)
1 pint fresh raspberries rinsed and patted dry, edible gold glitter, silver dragees and pre made royal icing for garnish.
Raspberry Rose Frosting:
- 1 cup organic shortening or vegan butter (you can also use regular butter)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1/8 tsp rose water
- pinch of salt
- handful of fresh raspberries (about 6) rinsed.
- Use remaining frosting to decorate the exterior of the cake, or you can make royal icing below.
- 2 tbsp meringue powder
- 1/4 cup warm water
- dash of pink food coloring
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Star piping tip 32
- Tipless piping bag
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly.
- Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
- Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 12.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silpat.
- Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix together to break up clumps.
- Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 41 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Fold together until blended then add a dash of pink gel food coloring and mix well until fully incorporated. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
- For the sugar syrup:
- To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
- Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 45 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
- Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking.
- If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
- Watch the sugar syrup closely!
- As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
- Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
- THEN increase the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled. (The meringue should keep its form.)
- Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
- Continue to fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula.
- **Be careful not to over-mix**
- You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
- Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s).
- Pipe 4 4″ inch rounds about 4 inches apart on the silpat lined baking sheet (s).
- Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds. For this size of macaron. You can either use a 4 inch circle template to pipe the rounds of batter, or the count method. Counting to about 15 seconds for each 4″ round.
- Reserve the second baking sheet for smaller macarons to use the leftover batter.
- *Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
- *Pop any air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface, using a scribe or even a toothpick!
- Before placing the macs in the oven, allow them to rest until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. For the large shells I recommend 25-30 minutes total, depending on humidity. Test by touching the center of the piped macs with a clean finger. They should be dry to touch with no batter coming off on fingers.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
- Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes.
- You can open the oven after the first 15 minutes to test the shells. Wiggle gently from side to side to see if they need more time. A fully baked macaron should be sturdy when tested.
- Once fully baked, remove from oven and allow 20 minutes to cool before attempting to remove the shells from the silpat.
- Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
- Repeat same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter. You can fill up the second baking sheet with smaller macaron shells or make extra 4″ shells for a second cake.
- Once completely cooled, they’re ready to assemble
Raspberry Rose Frosting:
- Wash the mixing bowl, then mix shortening/butter, powdered sugar, fresh berries, rose water, salt and vanilla in a stand mixer until incorporated.
- Transfer filling to piping bag with round of choice set aside until ready to decorate.
Royal Icing (optional)
- Combine water and meringue powder in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Beat on high for about 3-4 minutes.
- The meringue mixture will be light and fluffy.
- Switch to paddle attachment and mix in powdered sugar.
- The icing will be very thick. Add a dash of pink gel coloring to the mixture, then a few drops of warm water at time for until outline consistency (toothpaste like) is achieved.
- Transfer to tipless piping bag and seal.
Macaron Cake Assembly:
- Place the bottom shell on a cake stand or cake plate, then pipe the top of the first shell with a layer of the raspberry frosting.
- Top with 3-4 fresh raspberries, followed by another thin layer of frosting.
- Top with second shell and repeat steps for remaining macarons until the 4 layer cake is formed.
- Decorate the top of the macaron cake with 1″ macarons and fresh raspberries and edible glitter.
Marie Antoinette icing/frosting decorations:
- Using a 32 size star tip, pipe a shell design along the outside of the entire bottom macaron cake.
- Then using a tipless piping bag, pipe the icing/frosting in a U shape starting on the top macaron shell, down to the bottom macaron shell then back up.
- Continue this design all the way around the macaron cake, leaving a small space in-between each “U” for the shell shaped piping.
- Next pipe the 2nd U shape 1/2″ above the first U shape.
- Continue this design around the entire macaron cake.
- Finish the 3 tier U design with the 3rd and smallest U shape 1/2″ above the 2nd U.
- Next, pipe the shell design in the open spaces between the U’s, all around the macaron cake.
- Then top with silver dragees.
- Pipe additional shell designs in the open spaces on the 2nd macaron shell from bottom going around the macaron cake. Then add additional dragees.
- Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours for maturation
- Carefully slice with a sharp knife while still chilled and serve on small dessert or canapé plates.
Keywords: Laduree inspired macarons, laduree macaron cake, ispahan macarons, raspberry rose macarons, Marie Antoinette cake, raspberry rose cake, gluten free cake, lambeth macarons
If you have a celebration or birthday coming up, be sure to save this recipe and give it a try! With the delicate flavors of raspberry, rose and almond and the icing decorations it is truly an elegant choice and treat for any special occasion!
I’ve always felt that no matter how many years go by, macarons will forever be a timeless and elevated dessert!
Below I’ve highlighted some of my favorite macaron moments over the years, with so many more to come! Click on the images for links to the posts/recipes.
Be sure to check out the macaron section of the blog for over fifty macarons recipes you can try at home!
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