Hello friends! Today we are making Salted Caramel Macarons. These are some of my most popular macarons on the blog, and now there’s a video you can watch and see how I made them!
Watch the video on YouTube, or below on this page.
These Salted Caramel Macarons are filled with Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Salted Caramel Sauce in the middle.
If you’ve made this recipe before, you will notice I’ve changed it. It used to be just the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream filling, and now I am actually adding the Salted Caramel Sauce in the middle as well, because it’s just so much more delicious!
Let’s begin by talking about the Salted Caramel Sauce!
This is a quick easy salted caramel sauce, no thermometer needed.
But there’s a trick to it. You will cook this caramel sauce way less than you would a regular caramel sauce.
That’s because we are not making a water/sugar syrup when making the sauce.
Adding water to the syrup makes the caramel more stable in a way, and it takes a bit longer to make the sauce. However I find it that the chances of the caramel crystallizing, or even burning are higher. First because you can’t stir the water/sugar syrup, so it’s a bit more out of your control.
Anyway, trust me on this sauce. I’ve made it a thousand times, and it works every single time!
Just make sure not to overcook the sauce, so it doesn’t harden up after it cools down.
Tips for making the perfect Salted Caramel Sauce
- Begin by melting the sugar in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Stir the sugar at all times so it melts evenly.
- As soon as the sugar has melted, add the heavy cream. Don’t wait another second for the sugar to cook. That will make your sauce hard and bitter.
- Be careful when adding the heavy cream as the mixture will bubble up.
- When you add the heavy cream the sauce will crystallize, and THAT’S OK! Just keep stirring over medium-low heat, until the crystallized sugar melts again.
- Add the salt and butter, and stir the sauce over medium-low heat JUST until the butter melts. As soon as the butter melts remove from the heat. Don’t keep cooking the sauce. That will make the sauce hard when it cools down.
- If there are bits of crystallized sugar in the sauce, pour the sauce through a strainer after you take it out of the oven. But if you follow all instructions right, that shouldn’t happen. Though I understand sometimes we get distracted and don’t stir enough, or forget to lower the heat. It happens. And that’s a good way of fixing it.
- Use a heavy bottom saucepan. This is very important so that the sugar doesn’t burn and become bitter and crystallizes.
- Don’t use a whisk. Use a silicone spatula always! The metal whisk will crystallize the sugar.
If you make this Salted Caramel Sauce and it hardens up, you can be sure it’s because you’ve overcooked it at some point.
But that factor aside, this is an extremely easy and reliable way of making caramel sauce and it’s my go-to!
Can I make the Salted Caramel Sauce ahead?
Yes, you can! You can make the Salted Caramel sauce ahead and then fill the Salted Caramel Macarons on the next day.
Keep the sauce in the fridge until then. And then microwave it for a few seconds at a time, stirring in between, to bring the sauce to room temperature. Don’t overheat it, as you don’t want to use hot/warm caramel sauce for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but you also don’t want it cold.
Always make sure the sauce is at room temperature before adding it to the frosting, and before filling the macarons.
Alright, now we’ve covered the Salted Caramel Sauce. Let’s talk about the Salted Caramel Sauce Swiss Meringue Buttercream we used to fill our Salted Caramel Macarons!
This is one of the best frostings ever, one of my favorites!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream frostings is a great option for people who don’t like American Buttercream. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is lighter and less sweet than American Buttercream.
It takes a bit longer to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream as opposed to American Buttercream. But it’s SO worth it!
Tips for making the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream (and troubleshooting)
- Make sure the Salted Caramel Sauce has come to room temperature before adding it to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- The butter has to be at room temperature. It can’t be too soft, and it can’t be cold. Remove it from the fridge 1 to 2 hours before starting to make the frosting, depending on how hot the kitchen is.
- If the butter is too soft, the buttercream will be too soupy and runny, and won’t come together. If that happens, insert the bowl with the frosting in the fridge for about 10 minutes, and then try whipping it again to see if it comes together and becomes thick, creamy, and fluffy.
- And if the butter is too cold, there will be lumps of butter in the buttercream, and it will be like biting into chunks of butter when you are eating the macarons.
- Make absolute sure to whip the meringue to stiff peaks. Failing to do so will result in soupy buttercream that won’t firm up or come together.
Can I make the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream ahead?
Yes, you most certainly can. This frosting will keep beautifully in the fridge and even in the freezer for a while. In the fridge for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for up to 1 or 2 months, making sure it’s well packaged.
Let it come to room temperature before using, and whip it until creamy and fluffy.
If you enjoy making macarons, I have a lot of posts and videos on YouTube that can help you!
And here are some more recipes you may enjoy:
- Tiramisu Macarons
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Macarons
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Macarons
- S’mores Macarons
- Chocolate Caramel Macarons
- Coconut Macarons
- Chai Macarons
- Caramelized White Chocolate Macarons
- Pecan Turtle Macarons
- Nutella Macarons
- Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Chocolate Macarons
- Toffee Macarons
- Samoa Macarons
- Dulce de Leche Pecan Macarons
For the complete list of flavors and ideas, visit this page.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Thanks for reading! Tag me on instagram if you make my recipes, and also leave a comment below, it’s very helpful to me and all the other readers and bakers in this amazing macaron community!
Salted Caramel Macarons
These Salted Caramel Macarons are filled with Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Salted Caramel Sauce. Topped with a drizzle of chocolate, caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of coarse salt.
Salted Caramel Macarons
white granulated sugar
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
pre-made or recipe follows bellow
Salted Caramel Sauce
dark or semi-sweet chocolate
chopped finely, or chocolate chips
coarse sea salt
Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip, I use a 1/2” diameter tip. Set aside.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
I use a baking mat with the macaron template already in it.
Measure out all of the ingredients.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together. Set it aside.
Place the egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler.
Over a pan of barely simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and 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 feel any sugar granules just keep whisking the mixture over the water bath.
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, this may cause issues down the line, such as wrinkly macarons.Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer.
With the whisk attachment, start whisking mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium for one to two minutes, until the mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise the speed to high for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
- You don’t want to overbeat the mixture at this point, because you don’t want to add too much air to it. Just whisk until stiff peaks have formed.
Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending to the side.
Pour the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour into the stiff meringue.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
Add the food coloring at this point, if using.
How to know when to stop folding the batter: It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this.
First, pick up some batter with the spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
There’s another test you can do. I call it 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 3 folds.
You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to over mix. It’s always best to under mix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
When you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly the batter is ready. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper, it's ready.
Transfer the batter to 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 seconds, and then quickly pull the bag up twisting slightly.
Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the surface of the shells.
Let the trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
Bake one tray at a time.
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the tray.
Bake for 5 more minutes. Rotate again.
I bake each tray for about 15 to 20 minutes.
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.
Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Remove the butter from the fridge 1 to 2 hours before making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The butter needs to be softened, but not too soft. And it also shouldn't be cold. If the butter is too soft, the buttercream won't form, it will be too soupy and runny. And if the butter is too cold, it will form lumps in the buttercream that won't incorporate with the frosting, and then you will be biting into chunks of butter while eating.
Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler with barely simmering water.
Whisk the whites and sugar until they temp 140F. Basically you are looking to melt the sugar granules, and also make it so the egg whites are in a safe temperature to be consumed.
Once you achieve that temperature, remove from the double boiler, and begin to whip the syrup with an electric mixer on low speed.
Gradually increase the speed to medium-high, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. This can take a while because first the meringue will have to cool down to start forming the peaks.
Make absolute sure to achieve stiff peaks with the meringue. If you don't achieve stiff peaks, the meringue might not form.
Cut the butter into very small pats.
Once the meringue has reached stiff peaks, begin to add one pat of butter at a time, whisking it completely into the meringue before adding the next slab of butter.
This whole process could take about 15 minutes.
Once you are done adding the butter, the buttercream should already be firming up, and getting thick and creamy. If at this point the buttercream isn't doing any of those things, you can be sure it's because the butter was too soft, or the meringue wasn't whipped enough.
One way to troubleshoot it is to place the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes, and then try to whip it again.
Anyway, once the whole butter has been incorporated, and the buttercream is thick and fluffy, add the Salted Caramel sauce, the vanilla, and the salt to the bowl.
Whisk until completely incorporated.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Place the sugar in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, over medium heat.
Stir the sugar the whole time, while it melts. The sugar will begin to form a brown syrup, and you have to stir the whole entire time, to make sure it melts evenly. Otherwise, some parts of the sugar will burn, while others won't get a chance to melt.
As soon as the last bit of sugar melts, immediately lower the heat to medium-low, and add the heavy cream.
It's very important to not let the sugar cook too much or burn. If the sugar cooks too much at this point, the caramel will be hard once it cools down, or it will taste bitter.
So as soon as you see no more bits of solid sugar, be quick and add the heavy cream.
Be very careful when adding the heavy cream as it will bubble up and you don't want to get burned.
As soon as you add the heavy cream, some of the sugar will crystallize, and that's ok. Continue to stir the heavy cream for 30 to 60 seconds, while the sugar re-melts, over medium-low heat.
Once the sugar has re-melted, add the salt and the butter, and stir the mixture until the butter melts with the caramel
As soon as you don't see any pieces of butter in the caramel sauce, remove from the heat.
Pour into a heat proof container and let it cool down completely.
If there are bits of crystallized sugar in the sauce, pour the sauce through a strainer after you take it out of the oven. But if you follow all instructions right, that shouldn't happen. Though I understand sometimes we get distracted and don't stir enough, or forget to lower the heat. It happens. And that's a good way of fixing it.
Melt the chocolate by microwaving it for 15 second intervals until melted and smooth.
Place the chocolate in a piping bag and snip the end. Drizzle some chocolate over the top shells of the macarons. You could also use a spoon to do this.
Do the same with some of the Salted Caramel Sauce. Place it in a piping bag and drizzle over the macarons. Then sprinkle some coarse salt on top.
Put the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream in a piping bag. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of each bottom shell.
Pipe a bit of the Salted Caramel Sauce in the middle of each buttercream ring.
Place the top shell over the filling.
Macarons are always best when consumed the day after they are made. Let the mature overnight.
STORAGE: Store the macarons in a closed container, in the fridge, for 4-5 days. In the freezer, in an air tight container, for 1-2 months.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel food coloring. 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.
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.
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.
Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven every 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.
Storage: This is the Storage Container I use to store my macarons.
Caramel Sauce: Don’t overcook the caramel sauce. Don’t overcook the sugar, and don’t overcook once the butter has been added. Just cook the sugar until it melts, then immediately add the heavy cream, and once the sugar re-melts, immediately add the butter. And once the butter melts, turn it off. Overcooking the caramel will make it harden up once it cools down.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Not too soft, and not cold. Soft butter will make the buttercream runny, and cold butter will make the buttercream lumpy. Also make sure to reach stiff peaks with the meringue before adding the butter.