How to airbrush macaron shells

Hello friends, today I am going to show you how to airbrush macaron shells. Airbrushing macaron shells can be an easy way to make your macarons beautiful! I love using airbrushing as a way of decorating macarons.

I am providing below the recipe for the buttercream and instructions for airbrushing. You can find detailed instructions on how to make the shells on my Swiss Macarons step by step post here.

Also make sure to watch the video on this page or on YouTube, showing you the ins and outs of how to airbrush macaron shells.

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airbrushed macaron shells.

Airbrushing macaron shells is an easy way to give them an impressive and beautiful decoration.

Below, I will give you some tips on the things to do, and also not to do in to learn how to airbrush macaron shells.

First, there’s a chamber in the airbrush machine, which is where you place the food coloring.

picture showing the chamber of the airbrushing machine.

Airbrush Machine for macarons

I use the Snefe Airbrushing machine, which is handheld, and also wireless. This means no wires in the way while you are trying to airbrush your shells.

Before I got this machine, I had one by Cake Boss, that has since been discontinued. And it works fabulous, but you had to be by an outlet to use it, and also, had wires, which means the wires would always get in the way. So I specifically looked for a wireless, rechargeable, handheld one so I wouldn’t have those issues anymore.

airbrushed macaron shells.

Food coloring for airbrush machine

Make sure to always use food coloring that is proper for airbrush machine. I like to use Americolor. Other types of food coloring will not work, so definitely work with a food coloring that says: airbrushing food coloring, regardless of the brand. There are tons of other brands out there, but Americolor happens to be the one I like the most.

The color of the shells

Make sure the shells you are airbrushing are white, or a very pastel faint color. Otherwise the airbrush effect won’t show too much, as you can see below.

airbrushing a pink macaron shell.

The white macaron shells will show the color of the airbrush much better.

airbrushed macaron shells.

How to airbrush macaron shells

Once you add the food coloring to the chamber, turn the machine on, and then press the valve to release the color, as you move the machine side to side in a controlled motion to make sure the food coloring is being evenly spread on top of the shells.

airbrushing macarons with blue food coloring.

If you linger on one spot too long, the shell will look like this.

So it’s important to keep moving the airbrush machine in a regular stable move side to side, in order to achieve the best results.

airbrushing a green macaron shell.

Distance from the shells

Make sure to keep a certain distance from the shells, you certainly don’t want to get too close.

That’s also going to depend on the machine you are using. Some machines dispense more food coloring than others, while some machines do a better job at keeping the flow mild. And depending on the machine you have, you can even control if you want it to be at a higher or lower power.

Clean the airbrush machine

Make sure to clean the airbrush machine between colors. Put water through the chamber and make sure to run the machine until the previous color is completely gone before adding the next color.

Check below what will happen if you don’t clean out the machine properly.

airbrushing macaron shell with food coloring.

And always remember to let the shell dry before moving it and filling it.

I hope these tips have helped you. Airbrushing macarons is not rocket science, very easy, and you will figure it out as you do it, and as you learn your machine.

airbrushed macaron shells.

You can also make different designs when airbrushing your macaron shells.

If you use a stencil, that can give your macarons a wonderful decoration as well. You can buy the stencil online or make your own, as I did with my All-purpose Flour Macarons. I cut out a heart on a piece of paper as used it as a stencil for the shells.

And for the Pride Macarons, I’ve used a rainbow design for the shells on top by airbrushing one strip of color below the other.

I hope you enjoyed today’s technique of how to airbrush macaron shells! Thanks for reading.

airbrushed macaron shells.

How to Airbrush Macaron Shells

Camila Hurst
Find below the recipe for the buttercream to fill macarons, along with instructions on how to make the different colors. Also find instructions on how to airbrush the shells.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 22 macarons
Calories 80 kcal


Airbrushing food coloring (I used periwinkle, yellow, green, pink, and purple)
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 113 grams
    • 1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 125 to 187 grams
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp milk if needed
    • food coloring I used periwinkle, egg yellow, green moss, pink, purple


    To airbrush the shells
    • Place a few drops of airbrush food coloring in the chamber of your airbrush machine. Turn the machine on and press the button to release food coloring over the shell while moving the machine side to side in a regular motion, in order to dispense an even amount of food coloring through the entire surface of the shell.
    • Don’t linger over one spot, and don’t keep the machine too close to the shell, because that will soak the shell, and make it disintegrate, or make the color uneven.
    • In between colors, make sure to clean the food coloring chamber with water and run it until the previous color is completely out before adding a different color.
    • Let the macarons dry before moving them around. It shouldn’t take too long to dry.
    • Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium high speed until smooth, for a few minutes.
    • Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla, mix on low to combine, and then raise the speed to medium high and beat for another minute or two. If the frosting is too dry add some of the milk, and if it’s too soft, add more powdered sugar.
    • Divide the buttercream between 5 different bowls, or however many different colors you want to make.
    • To each bowl add a different food coloring. I used simply gel food coloring for the frosting. Mix each batch of frosting until incorporated and transfer it to a piping bag fitted with the tip of choice, I used a round tip to pipe the buttercream.
    • Make sure to keep the buttercream covered at all times because it can start to dry and form a crust.


    Here is the recipe for making the macaron shells. Make sure the shells are white, or a very light color, or the airbrushing effect won’t look so nice, or evident.
    Keyword macarons

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    1. Hello there. I’m having some trouble with my airbrushed macarons and the internet doesn’t seem to help. I figured who else to help me out then the queen of all macarons and techniques? 😀
      So, here it is: After i airbrush them, they become sticky, even after they dry out, I place them in the fridge for maturations and the shells are again, sticky and hand-staining whn removed from the fridge… How do you prevent that? How do you stop the color from coming off the shells and onto your hands&mouth&teeth?
      Thank you so much, for your answer, AND FOR ALLLLL THE AMAZING THINGS YOU SHARE WITH US ONLINE! <3

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