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Créme brûlée macarons recipe inspired by trendy crème brûlée donuts, complete with a creamy vanilla custard center and a crisp caramelized sugar dipped shell. A dairy free and gluten free macaron recipe. Enjoy with tea, coffee, or champagne!

Crème Brûlée Macarons

  • Author: Posh Little Designs
  • Prep Time: 50
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Creme Brûlée Macarons
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Creme brûlée french macarons filled with vanilla bean frosting and a custard center, with caramelized coated sugar shell. A dairy free gluten free dessert.




Macaron Shells:

  • 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
  • ¼ tsp brown gel food coloring

Vanilla Frosting (dairy free):

  • 3/4 cup organic shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp Almond milk (or alternative)Instructions

Vanilla Custard (Dairy Free)

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or alternative)
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (or alternative)

Caramelized Brûlée Sugar:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Edible gold leaf


Italian macarons:

  1. 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.
  2. Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
  3. Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 12.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with silpat (or parchment).
  5. 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.
  6. 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 gel food coloring and mix well until fully incorporated. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
  7. For the sugar syrup:
  8. 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**.
  9. 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.
  10. Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking to soft peaks.
  11. 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.
  12. Watch the sugar syrup closely.
  13. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
  14. Quickly increase mixer speed to medium-hi and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
  15. Iincrease the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and medium peaks form and the meringue has cooled down.
  16. Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar egg mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
  17. Start the macaronage process by folding 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.
  18. **Be careful not to over-mix**
  19. You’ll 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.
  20. Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s).
  21. Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds about one inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
  22. Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds holding the bag steadily. Continue to pipe until you’ve filled an entire baking sheet.
  23. Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
  24. Pop air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface, using a scribe or even a toothpick.
  25. Before placing the macarons in the oven, let them to rest until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 15 -20 minutes. Test by touching the piped rounds to make sure they’re dry to touch and that no batter comes off on fingers.
  26. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  27. Once the piped batter is dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
  28. Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
  29. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  30. Remove from oven and let cool completely (15-20 minutes) before removing the shells from the silpat/parchment paper.
  31. Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
  32. Repeat the same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter.

Vanilla Frosting (dairy free)

  1. Mix shortening/vegan butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla bean into the bowl of a mixer and mix until well combined. Stir in milk until thick frosting consistency is achieved.
  2. Transfer frosting to piping bag fitted with round tip and set aside.

Vanilla Custard (dairy free)

  1. Bring milk and vanilla seeds to a slow boil over medium heat. 
  2. Once boiling, turn temperature to simmer. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until they lightens and expands. 
  4. Pour the cornstarch and salt into the egg and sugar and whisk together until incorporated. 
  5. Once incorporated, pour hot milk into the egg mixture in thirds, with mixer on medium speed. 
  6. Mix on medium until fully incorporated, then pour back into the pot on medium, to thicken. 
  7. Whisk mixture constantly until it thickens (about 1 minute). 
  8. Once thickened, mix in tablespoon of vegan butter. 
  9. When pastry cream has cooled, transfer to a piping bag.

Macaron Assembly:

  1. Place one macaron shell feet side up and pipe vanilla frosting along the outside edge of the shell.
  2. Place another dollop of frosting in the center of the shell, then fill center with vanilla custard.
  3. Top with second shell, feet side down.
  4. Repeat steps for all macarons, then transfer to fridge to chill for an hour.

Caramelized Sugar:

  1. First mix lemon juice and sugar together. The acid in the lemon juice will help prevent sugar from crystalizing.
  2. Then pour sugar and water into a pot over medium with a candy thermometer attached to the side.
  3. Bring sugar and water to a slow boil/simmer and continue simmering over medium until mixture reaches about 330 degrees F. At about 300 degrees F you’ll notice the sugar beginning to caramelize.
  4. Continue simmering on medium until the sugar becomes a caramel like/amber color.
  5. Remove from heat at 335 degrees F.
  6. The sugar mixture will continue cooking and darkening off the heat.
  7. Set caramelized sugar onto a solid surface with the trivet or pot holder underneath.

Dipping the macarons:

  1. I highly recommend wearing protective nitrile gloves when dipping the macarons into the caramelized sugar. This will ensure that your hands are protected from the high temperatures of the caramel. You could also use tongs for dipping, but I would still recommend wearing gloves.
  2. Flip the top side of the macaron down into the caramelized sugar for no more than 2 seconds, then quickly lift and swirl the macaron to remove any excess caramel.
  3. Flip the macaron over (brulee’d top up) and place on a piece of parchment to set.
  4. Repeat steps for all macarons and top with gold leaf.
  5. Transfer to the fridge to mature, leaving space between each macaron so they do not stick together.
  6. Let macarons mature for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  7. When serving let the macarons come to room temp for about 20 – 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!!



This recipe calls for dairy free milk and butter, but regular dairy milk and butter can be used as an alternate.

Use caution and protect your hands when working with the hot sugar.

Chilled macarons will be easier to dip and caramelize.

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