Hello friends! Today we will talk about my favorite macaron tools and products I use to make my macarons!
I get these questions on a daily basis, either in comments on instagram, YouTube, on the blog, via dm, etc:
- What’s the best almond flour for macarons?
- What kind of macaron mat do you use?
- What is egg white powder? What brand should I buy?
- What size tip do you use to pipe macarons?
- What kind of piping bags do you use?
- What is the best baking pan for macarons?
Between many others.
Do you want to achieve the best results and make the most gorgeous macarons?
Understandably, having great tools does help with achieving better results.
And, although the technique and recipe you are using matter the most, the equipment can really impact how your macarons come out. For example, if using a dark baking tray, your macarons can often come out cracked, because dark baking trays retain a lot of heat, and will impact the final results regardless of how great your technique was.
So let’s get right into it. Here are the best macaron tools in my opinion.
I’ve tried dozens of different mats and baking surfaces for baking macarons. When I first started making macarons I used parchment paper.
However, parchment paper makes the bottoms of the shells wrinkly, as you can see below.
It doesn’t matter what brand of parchment paper that I’ve tried, my macarons always came out with wrinkly bottoms, and slightly misshapen.
That’s when I first started baking with silicone mats. The mats below were my first ones I ever used, and some of my favorites. Unfortunately, they have both been discontinued.
The good news is that I have found great macaron mats I love and have been using, and they work great!
Silpats work great. They are thick and durable. And a little more expensive than most mats you’ll find around.
And the next mat I recommend is Aprince. Aprince is a nice durable mat, less sturdy than Silpat, but most people prefer it this way, because Silpats can be too thick in some bakers’ opinions. And Aprince is half of the price of Silpats. Totally worth it checking it out on Amazon.
For the smaller quarter sheet trays that I use with my countertop oven, I use the following silicone mats.
I have also experimented with Teflon Sheets. And while they aren’t my favorite, it’s probably because I haven’t found my groove with them. They require lower baking temperature, but are known to produce full shells, and beautiful feet once you figure out the proper temperature.
I have the following Teflon Sheets, they are food grade and FDA approved. If you are an avid macaron baker, do try them out, you might love them like many bakers do.
Probably the second question I get the most. What is the best almond flour brand for macarons?
What I look for in the almond flour when using it to make macarons?
- It needs to be dry. Oily or wet almond flour will yield wrinkly or cracked macarons.
- The almond flour needs to be finely sifted. If the almond flour is too coarse, the macarons will be bumpy, or you won’t be able to use all the flour, because when you sift it, a lot will be left behind in the sifter.
- It also needs to be fresh. Old almond flour will begin to release oils.
More tips about almond flour: store it in a cool dry place, preferably in an air tight container, in the cupboard. Don’t store the almond flour in the fridge, because it will become moist.
Egg White Powder
Recently I started to use Egg White Powder in my recipes. Egg white powder is totally optional, and not mandatory in order to make beautiful macarons.
However, it does help with making a stable and strong meringue, which is the foundation for successful macarons.
Egg white powder is simply egg whites that have been dehydrated and ground into a powder. So they are basically just protein. Egg white powder will strengthen the meringue because it’s like adding a boost of protein to it, making it more stable due to the stronger protein structure.
I add 4 grams of egg white powder to 100 grams of egg whites in the recipe for plain macaron shells. As far as my chocolate and matcha shells, I add a bit less. For the chocolate shells I add 2 grams for each 100 grams, and for the matcha I add 3 grams.
Experiment with your recipe and play around with the ratios to find out which works best.
Another important thing to notice is that egg white powder is not the same as meringue powder. Though I’ve seen people say they successfully use meringue powder in their recipes, please have in mind that meringue powder has other ingredients added to it such as additives, cornstarch, and sugar, and may affect the shells even further, so be mindful and experiment with it if you wish to do so.
Next up on our Macaron Tools Guide is: what is the best piping bag for macarons?
Recently I began using silicone reusable piping bags. I don’t always use them for the buttercream fillings, but I always use them for the macaron batter.
If you buy reusable silicone bags it’s very important that you DO NOT use the same bags for macaron batter and for buttercream and other greasy batters and frostings. This is extremely important. Because frostings and such will leave traces of grease in the equipment, which can affect your macaron batter. Grease and macaron batter are not friends, do not go along together.
Make sure to keep the bags separate if you choose to use reusable bags for all your baking needs.
Here is the brand of reusable bags I use: Weetiee D Silicone Pastry Bags
And I also keep some disposable bags at hand, but try to use them as little as possible. Actually now that I have a big collection of silicone pastry bags, I hardly ever use the disposable ones. I use the disposable bags from the same brand, I’ve been using them for a long time, and they never broke or tore.
I go between two different piping tips to pipe my macarons for the most part.
For regular round macarons, with 1.5 to 2″ size, I use a 0.25″ or 0.5″ piping tips.
I use Wilton number 12 for the 0.25″ tip.
And for the 0.5″ tip, I use the Wilton 2A piping tip.
I don’t really see difference in the final batter between the two different tips. When I am assembling my materials to bake macarons I just grab the first one I see in my drawer, often times I just use a coupler, which has the same diameter as the 0.5″ tip. So I recommend you experiment with both and choose which one you like more.
The smaller tips will be used for small details such as the stems and leaves, and the others for the apples, the pumpkin sections, and such.
I recommend having an array of round tips to choose from depending on the design you are trying to make.
And Ateco has some great couplers to attach your smaller tips.
The baking sheets you choose to bake your macarons are one of the most important macaron tools you can pick.
What is the best baking pan for macarons?
- Aluminum pans. Aluminum is a great heat conductor that also cools relatively fast.
- Light colored pans. Dark pans retain a lot of heat and may crack your macarons, or cause the feet to spread out. I prefer the silver pans.
- Pans that aren’t warped. It’s good to change your baking sheets every so often, as you notice they aren’t straight anymore. Warped pans can cause misshapen macarons, uneven baking.
- Also pans that don’t have tall rims, I like the pans that have a 1″ rim. Anything taller than that will cause uneven heat distribution, lopsided or cracked macarons.
One of my favorite brands is Nordic Ware.
I also really like this pan, which is rimless.
And lately I’ve also been using this airbake tray, recommendation from Teyanna from Whisk ATX.
With the airbake trays you don’t have to rest the macarons, you can pop them in the oven and bake them right after piping.
And for the countertop oven (small) I use a quarter baking sheet turned upside down, so this way the rims won’t affect the heat distribution.
Do you need a KitchenAid to make macarons?
Absolutely not. But does it make your life easier? Yes, absolutely!
Whipping the meringue can take a while. Specially when making vegan macarons. Aquafaba whips slower than egg whites.
So having a KitchenAid will for sure make your life easier and your macaron making experience better. But it’s not necessary, which is why in many of my videos I use a hand mixer instead of the KitchenAid, to show that you don’t need it to make macarons.
Plus, the hand mixer can be convenient when making a smaller batch of macarons. If you use a stand mixer when making a smaller batch, or halving a recipe, the whisk might not reach the egg whites and whip the meringue properly, which will cause issues with your macarons.
This is a picture from my Chocolate Macarons video on YouTube, where I use a hand mixer.
This is a Oster Hand Mixer.
And the KitchenAid I use is a 4.5 qt one. On the right you can see my Vegan Meringue whipped to stiff peaks.
I’ve had people ask me if they can use a blender to make macarons, or make it by hand. The answers are: no, don’t use a blender to make macarons, I honestly don’t see how that is going to work. And making the macaron by hand, I can’t even imagine trying to whip the meringue stiff enough by hand, if sometimes it takes up to 20 minutes to whip the meringue on medium speed, it would take a long time to do it by hand, and you probably would get too tired before reaching stiff peaks, or it would take so long that the meringue would deflate.
Another really important and essential macaron tool is the scale. You should probably use a kitchen scale for most of your baking endeavors. But for macarons, it is absolutely necessary to use a scale to weigh the ingredients.
I don’t even provide the recipe in cups anymore, like I used to. This is because making macarons is already tricky, there are so many variables that come into play, so you have to take advantage of the variables that you actually can control, such as the ingredients measurement, to minimize the chances of things going wrong.
This is the scale I use. I’ve had it for so many years, it’s super reliable, my absolute favorite.
Having an oven thermometer is paramount when making macarons. I go through the reasons why right here on this post: Understanding Your Oven. Regardless if you already have an oven thermometer or not, go read this post, as it’s going to be super informative and enlightening as far as the baking portion of making macarons goes.
I’ve used several different brands of thermometers over the years. Here is the one I am currently using: Rubbermaid. It’s great quality and durable.
When it comes to macaron tools, here is one that is often overlooked: bag ties. I really recommend getting some Piping Bag Twist Ties. They are super important to have around, specially when making several colors, they can help you secure the top of the bags closed, so the batter doesn’t dry, or scape through the top.
They are fairly inexpensive and super useful.
For the longest time I used those crank sifters like this one:
But they have a large mesh, I prefer the finer ones. The crank sifters usually let larger pieces of almond flour go through, while a finer mesh sieve wouldn’t.
I recently got this amazing sifter I absolutely love.
It is super awesome, its mesh is not to small and not too large, the flour comes out super fine! I recommend it 100%!
I will do a whole post about storing macarons soon. In the meantime, here are the containers I use to store my macarons in the fridge or freezer.
You can freeze the unfilled shells for up to 2 months, or keep them in the fridge for up to 1 week.
And you can keep filled macarons typically for up to 4 or 5 days in the fridge or up to 1 month in the freezer. This will depend a lot of the type of filling you use. Wet fillings such as jam, curd, might not be ideal for freezing and might make the shells soggy. In that case, you can brush a layer of melted chocolate on the bottom of the shells and let the chocolate dry before filling them, or simply bake the shells slightly longer to make them sturdier and crispier, and they will soften up as they sit with the filling.
Other Macaron Tools
Here are some other macaron tools I suggest, such as bowls, spatulas, and whisks.
I recommend a nice set of glass bowls for mixing different color batters, sifting the dry ingredients into, etc.
It’s important to have sturdy spatulas to mix the batter. I absolutely love this one by Di Oro.
Love my KitchenAid whisk. It’s sturdy and awesome!
I recently moved to Florida, and the oven in my new house is less than reliable. Because of that, I have bought a countertop oven, after lurking around the macaron facebook group and seeing what everyone was using.
After extensive research and review reading, I went for the Ninja Foodi 10-in-1.
Here is the link for the product on Amazon if you’d like to check it out. There are going to be two different ovens, a $299 one and a $360 something one (prices may and will vary), I got the cheaper one, just for your reference.
I hope this extensive post about my Macaron Tools was helpful to everyone! Let me know if there are any other tools you’d like to hear about! I also get a lot of questions about food coloring, but I will write a separate post for that, since there is so much to cover when it comes to food coloring!
Thanks for reading!
Have a lovely day!