Hello friends, today I am going to show you how to make this Giant Macaron, filled with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Vanilla Pastry Cream and also strawberries. The shells measure 4″ inches, and they are super huge! You can find a template below to print and place under your mat to pipe the large shells.
Make sure to watch the video on this page or on YouTube to see how to make the large macaron shells.
I’ve gotten this question quite a few times: How do I make a big macaron?
Big macaron shells are not hard to make, but there are a few adjustments to take into consideration in order to make the giant macaron shell.
First, let’s get to the template. The shells measured 4″ as I’ve said before, and here is the template for the large macaron shell.
With one batch of my regular Swiss macaron recipe you will be able to make 4 giant macaron shells, and maybe a few mini ones if you’d like, and if you have leftover batter.
For the giant macaron I am showing you today I used the batter from my Vanilla Macarons, which are just like my regular basic Swiss recipe, but with vanilla beans added to the meringue during its final whipping stage. You don’t have to add the vanilla beans, by all means.
And you can also make giant macarons with any of my macaron recipes. I’ve made chocolate flavored giant macarons, coffee flavored giant macarons, and pumpkin spice flavored giant macarons, which I turned into cake, but this time I decided to turn it into a big giant macaron sandwich.
Tips for making giant macaron shells
- When piping the large macaron shells, make sure to do so slowly, and in a controlled manner, so the batter doesn’t go everywhere and ends up misshapen. If you are piping too fast, or pressing the bag too hard, the batter will kind of go all over the place and you will end up with wonky looking shells.
- Pipe the shells up to 0.5″ from the outline of the circle template, because it will spread out considerably in the next few minutes after it’s been piped, it’s gravity.
- Let them rest extra time, since there’s more batter, it takes longer to dry. Make sure when you touch the top of the shell, not only it’s dry to the touch, but also doesn’t feel too soft underneath the skin that has formed.
- They will most certainly require extra baking time than regular sized shells. I baked mine for 30 minutes or so, depending on your oven or baking temperature you might need to bake them longer or for less time.
- When the shells have baked fully, they will be firm. If you try to move a shell, it shouldn’t feel jiggly, and the top shouldn’t feel soft, it should feel firm.
- If you feel like the shells are browning too much, add a piece of foil over the shells during the last 5 minutes baking.
Those are pretty much the main adjustments you’ll have to make. Large macaron shells are fun to make and you can make giant macaron sandwiches, or macaron cakes with them.
Now let’s talk about the filling. To fill my Giant Macaron Sandwiches, I went with a vanilla flavor, because the shells were vanilla, and because I made them for my sister’s birthday, and she loves anything vanilla.
She also loves strawberries so I added those in.
To fill the shells we are using a Vanilla Pastry Cream, which is like the best vanilla pudding you’ve ever had, and even better that we use leftover egg yolks to make it!
And we are also using a Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream to fill the shells.
The combination of the pastry cream and the Swiss meringue buttercream is perfect, neither are overly sweet, they’re both creamy, soft, and silky. The strawberries did add a nice little punch of tartness to the mixture, and combined with the soft and chewy texture of the macaron shells, I believe that’s a recipe for success.
I really don’t recommend using American Buttercream here, unless you enjoy the extra sweetness, just because of the strawberries, we had to use a lot of buttercream to fill these, to make the filling tall enough to be the same height of the strawberries. If you were using a smaller fruit like raspberries, where you wouldn’t need so much buttercream, then I think the American Buttercream could work nicely without being overpowering and overly sweet.
I hope you enjoyed this post and my tips for making Giant Macaron shells! If you make your own giant macarons, tag me on instagram so I can see them, I love seeing what you create!
Giant Macaron filled with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeded
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch 15 grams
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 1 large egg white
- 66 grams granulated sugar
- 85 grams unsalted butter at precisely 72ºF
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract *read notes
- Make the batter as instructed in detail on the Vanilla Macaron recipe post. You can use any of my macaron recipes actually. Here let's focus on the instructions on how to pipe, bake, and assemble the large shells. The process of making the batter stays the same as explained on any of my other macaron recipes.
To pipe the shells
- Place the piping bag full of batter directly over the center of each circle template. Carefully and in a controlled manner, apply pressure to dispense batter. Don’t press it too hard, or too much batter will come out at once and it will make the shells misshapen because the batter will go everywhere, it’s important to go slow and steady.
- Also, don’t pipe all the way to the outline of the shell. Stop at about half an inch from the outlines, because the batter will certainly spread out considerably in the next minute or so.
- After piping the shells, tap the trays against the palm of your hands to release any air bubbles. Do so gently, otherwise the batter may spread out unevenly, and you don’t want to lose the perfect circle shape.
- Also use a toothpick to poke any air bubbles from the surface.
- Let the shells rest until completely dry. Also make sure the shells aren’t too soft even if the surface seems dry.
Baking giant macaron shells
- I baked my shells for nearly 30 minutes at a 310 Fahrenheit. Remove them from the oven when the shells are firm, and you try to move a shell and it doesn’t feel jiggly. Baking time may vary depending on your oven, and even on the type of pan you are using.
- To prevent browning of the shells, you can always cover the shells with foil in the last 5 to 10 minutes baking.
- Let the shells cool down completely before filling.
- Now let’s make the custard for the filling. We are making a simple pastry cream with vanilla bean seeds. If you don’t have vanilla pods, it’s fine, just skip them, and add extra vanilla extract at the end.
- Slice the vanilla beans in half. Add the milk to a small pan and scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the pan.
- Add the pods of vanilla in if you want to give even more flavor to the milk.
- Bring the milk to almost a boil. When the milk starts bubbling up, remove the vanilla bean pods from the pan, and turn the heat off.
- In a heat proof bowl, add the yolks, the sugar, and cornstarch, and whisk until ribbon stage, it can take a couple of minutes of whisking. The mixture will become light in color, and fluffy, and it will fall off the whisk into a thick ribbon consistency.
- Now let’s temper the eggs, add a bit of milk at a time to the bowl, while whisking the mixture non-stop. This prevents the eggs from cooking.
- Continue to slowly add the milk as you whisk.
- Once all the milk has been added, pour it back into the pan you used to heat the milk, through a strainer to catch any bits of yolk that might have cooked.
- Turn the heat to medium low, and cook the custard, while stirring the mixture with a spatula at all times.
- Don’t stop stirring or it will stick and curdle the egg.
- Cook the custard until it becomes lumpy, once it becomes lumpy, don’t worry, continue to stir because it will smooth back up.
- The custard will become smooth, creamy, and thick. Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract. If you didn’t add the vanilla seeds in the beginning, double the amount of vanilla extract at this point.
- Pour the custard in a bowl, cover it with plastic directly on the surface of the custard so it doesn’t form a skin, and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours at least. The custard will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Once chilled through, you can place it in a piping bag, and snip the end with scissors so we have it ready to fill our giant macaron later.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Make sure the butter is at 72ºF for the recipe to work, if the butter is cold, it will form lumps in the frosting and not incorporate well, and if it’s too soft, the buttercream won’t firm up.
- Put the whites and the sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Place the bowl on top of a small pot with simmering water.
- Whisk the whites and sugar until they temp 140 Fahrenheit. Basically you are looking to melt the sugar granules, and also make it so the egg white is in a safe temperature to be consumed.
- Once you achieve that temperature, transfer the syrup to your mixer bowl.
- Whip with the whisk attachment for about 2 minutes at medium speed, until the mixture looks white, and thicker. At this point, raise speed to high and continue to whip until fluffy and doubled in size. The meringue should have stiff peaks. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to obtain stiff peaks. The peaks won’t be as stiff as the peaks of the meringue we made for the macarons, but they should be firm.
- Cut the butter into very thin pats. Starts adding one by one to the meringue with the mixer running on medium-high.
- Wait for one butter pat to be incorporated before adding the next one.
- By the end, the butter should have incorporated with the buttercream, which will be creamy and fluffy. Add vanilla beans and the vanilla extract and mix to combine. If not using vanilla beans, up the quantity of vanilla extract to 2 tsp.
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with the tip of choice. I used a 2D by Wilton.
- To assemble the giant macaron, we are going to pipe a ring of Swiss meringue buttercream on the bottom shell.
- Fill the center with the vanilla pastry cream.
- Then let’s pipe a few decorative ruffles on the outside. And alternate the piping with some halved strawberries.
- Pipe some more buttercream on top, and place the other shell over it.
- To decorate the macaron, I piped some Swiss meringue buttercream on top, and decorated with strawberries, mini macarons, and also Callebaut crispearls.