This is a macaron recipe without almond flour. You can use sunflower seed flour to make delicious and beautiful macarons! This is the perfect way to make nut free macarons.
Macarons are an almond flour based cookie, but for many different reasons, someone might want to make macarons without almond flour. The reasons could be an allergy to almonds, not having easy access to them, or just to try out different things.
Finding recipes for macarons without almond flour is not always easy, but here on my blog I offer some alternatives, like these All-purpose Flour Macarons. However, if you still want gluten-free macarons without almond flour, there are other options.
And today I will be showing you how to make nut-free macarons without almond flour, using sunflower seed flour instead.
With the use of sunflower seed flour, you can still create delectable macarons that are just as irresistible as their almond flour counterparts. In this blog post, we will guide you through the making of sunflower seed flour macarons step-by-step.
What can I use to make macarons instead of almond flour?
You can use all-purpose flour, oat flour, sunflower seed flour, peanut flour. There are many options.
However, beware you may have to make changes to the recipes or to the method when making macarons with almond flour substitutes.
Can I use sunflower seed flour to make macaron recipe without almond flour?
Sunflower seed flour is an exceptional substitute for almond flour in macaron recipes. It has a similar consistency, making it an excellent alternative for those with nut allergies or nut-free preferences. Sunflower seed flour is also a more affordable alternative to almond flour. Additionally, since sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and minerals, these macarons can be considered nutritionally sound.
Plus, macarons made from sunflower seed flour taste absolutely delicious!
Where to get sunflower seed flour?
I get my sunflower seed flour on amazon. However, you can try making your own.
You can make your sunflower seed flour at home by grinding shelled sunflower seeds into fine meal using a high-quality food processor or blender. Be careful not to turn it into a paste. It’s best to process the seeds a few times, sift the mixture, so you can sift out whatever is already fine enough, then return what was left in the sifter to the processor, and continue doing this until it’s all finely ground.
How to make macaron recipe without almond flour using Sunflower Seed Flour
The process for making macarons without almond flour using sunflower seed flour is basically the same as the process for making my Swiss Macaron Recipe.
There are just a few differences to observe between the regular almond flour macaron recipe and the sunflower seed flour macaron recipe.
The first one would be the sifting part.
When you sift together the sunflower seed flour and the powdered sugar, you may notice there will be a lot of remaining flour in the sifter that won’t go through, because sunflower seed flour isn’t as finely ground as almond flour.
My recommendation is to weigh the sunflower seed flour after sifting it. Sift the flour, whatever doesn’t go through the sifter, set it aside. Use the leftover sunflower seed flour that was too thick to go through the sifter in a different recipe that doesn’t require the flour to be as finely sifted.
Macarons do require the flour to be finely sifted, so you definitely want to keep that in mind.
The sunflower seed flour will already alter the smoothness of the macarons when compared to almond flour macarons. As you can see the shells aren’t as smooth looking, and there’s a bit of a gap in between the top and the feet, caused by the use of the sunflower seed flour.
Sunflower Seed Flour Macaron Batter
The other important difference between sunflower seed flour macarons and macarons made with almond flour would be the batter consistency. The batter will take way less folding when using sunflower seed flour.
Usually, when making macarons with almond flour, the batter will have a flowing consistency when ready. It will be flowing off the spatula slowly but effortlessly without breaking up too much.
However, in this macaron recipe without almond flour, using sunflower seed flour instead, the batter will be dripping off the spatula into chunks, and you won’t really achieve that flowing consistency.
Pay attention to how the batter that falls off the spatula incorporates back with the batter that’s already in the bowl. It should be incorporating easily with the batter that’s in the bowl. Stop folding at this point.
If you are unsure if the batter is ready or not, perform the Teaspoon test. Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves. If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out, fold a little bit more, about 2 folds. Test again, until the batter that you plop onto the tray is spreading out nicely and smoothing out.
Once you identify that the batter is ready, transfer the batter to the piping bag and begin piping.
Rest or no-rest
I have successfully baked these sunflower seed flour macarons without resting them in my counter top oven. The feet were considerably smaller comparing to the macarons that did rest.
What I did find is that the batter didn’t look too dry, even after letting it sit for nearly one hour, so I just baked it anyway. They all worked out fine, none cracked, but like I said, the macarons that sat and dried for a while had taller feet.
Once the macarons are cooled, pair up similar-sized macaron shells, then fill them with your preferred filling, such as ganache or buttercream. Assemble the macarons by sandwiching the two halves together.
Some great ideas for flavor pairing with sunflower seed shells are:
- Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache
- Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Brown Sugar Buttercream (two recipes are included here, Brown Sugar American Buttercream and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
- White Chocolate Buttercream
- Cinnamon Cream Cheese
- Pretzel Buttercream
- Nutella Buttercream
- Chocolate Buttercream or Chocolate Ganache
Tips for making macaron recipe without almond flour using sunflower seed flour instead
- Sift the sunflower seed flour well.
- Make sure to weigh the sunflower seed flour after you sift it.
- Macaronage will take considerably less time than when making macarons with almond flour.
- The batter won’t be flowing off the spatula, but dripping off into chunks instead.
- Resting time can help the macarons have taller feet.
Creating nut-free macarons using sunflower seed flour is a great way to experiment with different macaron texture and flavors.
It is important to note that the macarons will have a slightly different taste compared to a traditional almond flour recipe, but the sunflower seed flour creates a similar texture and a very pleasant taste. With the step-by-step guide here, you can easily create your sunflower seed flour macarons with success.
Remember, making macarons may be intimidating, but with patience, practice, research, and the right tools, you too can become a macaron-making expert. Happy baking!
Macaron Recipe without Almond Flour – Sunflower Seed Flour Macarons
white granulated sugar
egg white powder
sunflower seed flour
- Food coloring if desired
Prep the ingredients and tools
Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready.
Prepare a large piping pastry bag, fitted with a large round tip, I use a 1/4” diameter tip, or a Wilton 12.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Wipe the tools such as bowls, spatulas, and silicone mats with vinegar if desired, this helps getting rid of any grease particles that might be in the tools.
Measure out all of the ingredients.
Sift the powdered sugar and sunflower seed flour together. The sunflower seed might be a bit grainier and harder to sift. It’s best to weigh the sunflower seed after sifting it, and whatever didn’t make through the sifter, you can use for another recipe that doesn’t require the flour to be super fine.
Set it aside.
Start pre-heating the oven. See the baking lesson to figure out the best temperature for you. In the course I was recording at a different location than my house, and the oven was convection, so I was baking the macarons at 275ºF. At home, on a regular electric oven, I bake them at 300 or 305ºF. On my counter top oven I typically bake at 280 to 290ºF.
Making the Swiss Meringue
Place a bowl over a pan with barely simmering water.
Add the sugar and egg white powder to the bowl if using. If you’re not using egg white powder simply skip it, nothing needs to be changed in the recipe.
Whisk the sugar and egg white powder so the egg white powder doesn’t clump up.
Add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk until the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple of minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you don’t feel any sugar granules, you can remove it from the heat.
Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water because you don’t want the whites to cook.
Also, don’t overheat the sugar syrup, you are just looking to melt the sugar, no need to bring it to a certain temperature. Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a mixer. Before transferring the syrup, wipe the bottom of the bowl with a towel so the water doesn’t fall into the mixer bowl.
With the whisk attachment, start by whisking the syrup on low (speed 2 of the KitchenAid) for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium (speed 4) for one to two minutes, until the mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise the speed to medium or medium-high (speed 6) and whip for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
It takes me about 13 to 15 minutes to whip the meringue, but you shouldn’t go by time, go by what the meringue is supposed to look like because a lot of things can affect whipping time, such as the quality and freshness of the eggs, the weather, how powerful your mixer is, and more.
Once the meringue gets glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, and the meringue raising (balling up) in the center of the whisk, it’s time to start checking.
Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull the whip up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, measuring about 3 inches, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending to the side.
Also when you swirl the whisk around in the bowl to collect the meringue, you should feel some resistance from the meringue, it shouldn’t feel too easy, but also shouldn’t feel super hard. And when you look on the bottom of the whisk the meringue collected should be forming soft but defined waves.
Pour the sifted powdered sugar and sunflower seed flour into the stiff meringue.
Add the food coloring at this point, if using. If you were using powder food coloring, you could add it during the final or beginning stages of whipping the meringue.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
It will only take a bit of folding until you reach the right consistency for piping.
If you are used to almond flour macarons, note that this will take way less time to macaronage.
The batter won’t be flowing off the spatula effortlessly and on a stream as an almond flour batter would. Instead, it will drip in chunks off the spatula.
Observe how the batter drips off the spatula, and how it quickly incorporates with the batter that’s already in the bowl.
The batter in the bowl will seem very liquidy and runny.
Stop stirring when it gets to that point.
Transfer the batter to the piping bag. I also like to seal the top with a bag tie, so the batter doesn’t dry out and it gives you more control while piping because there’s no risk of the batter escaping through the top of the piping bag.
Place the piping bag directly 90 degrees over the center of each macaron template. Apply gentle pressure and carefully pipe for about 3 to 5 seconds, and then quickly pull the bag up twisting slightly at the top.
Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter or against the palm of your hand a few times each.
Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the surface of the shells.
Resting or not resting the shells
You can let the shells dry for about 20 to 40 minutes before baking. What I did find is that the batter didn't look too dry, even after letting it sit for nearly one hour, so I just baked it anyway.
To do the no-rest method, you can bake the trays immediately.
Being able to bake macarons without resting will depend on your oven and baking sheets you are using.
The macarons that I baked without resting had considerably smaller feet, but didn't crack.
Bake one tray at a time.
I bake each tray for about 15 to 20 minutes. If your macarons tend to come out lopsided, rotate the tray after the first 5 minutes baking.
When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. If you try to move a macaron, it shouldn’t feel jiggly. If the macaron is still jiggly, keep baking. Also touch the top of a macaron and it shouldn’t feel soft, if it’s still soft, keep baking.
Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Store the unfilled shells in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.
Sunflower Seed Flour: I get mine on Amazon.
You can make your sunflower seed flour at home by grinding shelled sunflower seeds into fine meal using a high-quality food processor or blender. Be careful not to turn it into a paste. It’s best to process the seeds a few times, sift the mixture, so you can sift out whatever is already fine enough, then return what was left in the sifter to the processor, and continue doing this until it’s all finely ground.. You can make your sunflower seed flour at home by grinding shelled sunflower seeds into fine meal using a high-quality food processor or blender. Be careful not to turn it into a paste. It’s best to process the seeds a few times, sift the mixture, so you can sift out whatever is already fine enough, then return what was left in the sifter to the processor, and continue doing this until it’s all finely ground.
Vinegar: Before starting make sure to wipe down the bowls, whisks, silicone mats and everything you are going to use with vinegar, to avoid any grease particles of coming into contact with the meringue and batter.
Egg white powder: Egg white powder is not the same as meringue powder, but some people use meringue powder in the place of egg white powder. Egg white powder is made of only egg whites. They help with getting fuller shells, and specially when adding a lot of food coloring to the batter, because they make the shells dry faster and add a layer of protein to the meringue. I recommend experimenting with it if you can find it. I use 4 grams for each 100 grams of egg whites. You can read more about Egg White Powder here.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel or powder food coloring, not liquid. If you are a beginner macaron baker, I recommend going easy on the food coloring, as it can alter your batter a lot, and it can take extra mixing time, specially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage. Read more about food coloring here.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Macaron amount: it will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.
Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray. Read more about oven here.
Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.
Macaron School: Check out Macaron School for many articles such as macaron troubleshooting, the science behind macarons, the tools I use, tips, frequently asked questions, and much more!
Silvie | Citronelle and Cardamome
These delightful macaroons without almond flour are simply perfect for your next teatime gathering. The absence of almond flour must for sure provide a unique twist on the traditional macaroon, while still maintaining the same irresistible texture and flavor. Have a lovely weekend. Silvie