Hello friends! Today let’s make super delicious Vanilla Bean Macarons. These vanilla macarons are filled with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream, and Vanilla Bean Buttercream. Don’t have vanilla beans around? No problem, I also offer options to make these with vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract!
A reader requested Vanilla Bean Macarons a while ago, and I added to my list of macarons to make, obviously. I keep a long list of flavors, and then I pick them according to what’s in season, and what I am in the mood for.
It didn’t take long after this reader’s request for me to make these Vanilla Bean Macarons. I just had to wait for my vanilla beans to arrive from Amazon.
Click on the image below to be directed to the vanilla beans I purchased on Amazon.
You have to be careful when purchasing vanilla beans, make sure they are at least grade A, and when you receive them, it’s always best when they are in a vacuum sealed package. And at home, you want to keep them in an air tight container, or glass jar with a lid, so they don’t dry out.
To make these Vanilla Bean Macarons, I added vanilla beans straight to the shells. It gave the shells a cute speckled look, and a delicious fragrance.
If you don’t have vanilla beans, I don’t recommend adding vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to the shells. I usually don’t add anything to my shells unless it’s a dry powder, or something like the vanilla bean seeds.
Extracts will add water content to the shells, and can ruin their structure. Same thing with flavorings, they may contain oils, which will affect the meringue, and your shells will have issues.
Also, as you can see, I’ve made several colors of shells out of one batch. The way I do this can be shown in a video included in my M&M’s Macarons post. Please visit the M&M’s Macarons post for instructions and to watch the video.
If you are a beginner, I don’t recommend making several colors out of one batch, and I also recommend experimenting a few batches without food coloring perhaps, before diving in.
Here is the food coloring I use. Click on the image below to see the product on Amazon.
Regardless of which brand you choose to use, go for gel based food coloring, and not water based. This is important! Again, because adding water will mess up your batter.
The amount of food coloring you will use depends on the vibrancy you desire to achieve, and on the brand you are using. Always have in mind that the color will fade and get duller as the shells bake.
Another trick to protect the shell color, specially when making white macarons, is to place a piece of foil on top of the macarons after the first 5 minutes baking.
Also, when trying to achieve white macarons, add a smidge (I mean less than half of a drop) of purple food coloring to the batter. And when I say a smidge, I mean, grab a toothpick and dab it in the purple food coloring, and that’s how much you want to add to your batter.
I actually want to make a video showing how I made these Vanilla Bean Macarons. When I was making them, I actually recorded the shells being made, but I missed the footage for some important steps, so I will have to record it again.
However, I have lots of videos showing how to make macarons on my Youtube Channel.
Please visit my Youtube Channel to see some of my videos!
To fill these gorgeous Vanilla Bean Macarons, I made a Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream, and a Vanilla Bean Buttercream.
In case you don’t have, or don’t want to use actually vanilla bean seeds, feel free to use vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract in the pastry cream and in the buttercream. Just add an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste/extract to the recipes.
Check out those yummy speckles!!! So good!
I do have a few other vanilla macaron recipes.
Click on the links below to check them out:
- French Vanilla Macarons (filled with French Vanilla Buttercream, which is made with yolks)
- Multi-colored Macaron shells (the shells are multi-colored, and the filling is a simple plain vanilla buttercream)
- Vegan Vanilla Macarons (which is dairy-free, and egg free)
I have over 70 macaron recipes on my blog, so far, maybe even more by the time you read this, so make sure to check them out by visiting the Macaron Category page. Besides that, here are some ideas that might interest you:
- Oreo Macarons
- Strawberry Rhubarb Macarons
- Chai Macarons
- White Chocolate Macadamia Macarons
- Cookie Dough Macarons
- Neapolitan Macarons
- Caramelized White Chocolate Macarons
If you make these Vanilla Bean Macarons, make sure to tag me on instagram, I love to see your creations! And also, I am usually pretty good about replying to messages with troubleshooting questions, so send me your question via dm or email, and I will try my best to get back to you.
Thanks for reading my blog! Have a beautiful day!
Vanilla Bean Macarons
vanilla bean pod
- Food coloring if using
Vanilla Bean Custard
vanilla bean split and seeded
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- 1 1/2
confectioners’ sugar sifted
unsalted butter softened
vanilla bean pod
- Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round 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. You can make your own or print it from the internet, and just place it under silicone mat, or parchment paper. I recommend using a silicone mat.
- Measure out all of your ingredients.
- Sift powdered sugar, almond flour, and cornstarch together.
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the back of a knife to scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds to the powdered sugar/almond mixture.
- Set it aside.
- Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking mixture over the water bath.
- Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
- Also, don’t overheat the sugar syrup, this may cause issues down the line, such as wrinkly macarons.
- Transfer mixture 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 mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise 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.
- Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peak should form a bird’s beak shape, but shouldn’t be falling to the side, the peak should be stiff, forming a slightly curved shape at the top.
- Pour sifted powdered sugar, almond flour, and cornstarch into stiff whites.
- 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, and you might have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
- First, I pick up some batter with my 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 a bit, I start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
- Test again.
- Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper, transfer it to the piping bag.
- You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
- This is the most important part about making macarons in my opinion. The best way I can describe this stage being perfect is when you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
- Transfer the batter to the piping bag.
- Place the piping bag containing both batters directly 90 degrees over the center of each macaron template. Apply equal 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 your 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 320F.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- Bake for 5 minutes, rotate tray.
- Bake for 5 more minutes. Rotate again.
- I bake each tray for about 18 minutes 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.
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the back of a knife to scrape the seeds off.
- Whisk the milk and the vanilla bean seeds (and you can add the pod in there too to help infuse the milk).
- Bring mixture almost to a boil. Turn the heat off. Let it infuse for about 15 minutes, this is optional, but helps with the delicious vanilla flavor.
- If you let your milk mixture infuse, you want to quickly re-heat it for just a little bit before proceeding.
- Whisk egg yolk, plus the sugar, and the cornstarch in a bowl.
- Whisk until mixture is very lightened in color, and a bit runny.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk to egg yolks, while whisking non-stop.
- Add another couple of tablespoons. Keep doing this while you whisk the mixture. You are tempering the eggs, and avoiding them to cook, by slowly raising the temperature.
- At the end you can just pour the rest of the milk in.
- Pour the mixture back in the pot where you heated the milk, through a fine mesh sieve to catch any bits of eggs that may have cooked.
- Then, use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir your custard over medium-low heat. Don’t stop stirring, don’t look away, you don’t want it to overcook, or let the custard stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Keep cooking and stirring until it starts to get kind of grainy, and then it will start to get really thick and smooth. When the whole mixture is creamy, smooth, and thick, you can turn the heat off.
- Transfer the custard to a heat-proof bowl, add the vanilla extract.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream. Place it in the fridge until completely cooled down.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
- Start by sifting the powdered sugar, set it aside.
- Now, cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the back of a knife to scrape the seeds into the creamed butter.
- Now, add the powdered sugar to the bowl.
- Turn the mixer on low to incorporate the powdered sugar with the butter.
- Once you see no streaks of dry powdered sugar, cream mixture on medium high for one minute.
- Add vanilla extract and milk. Mix to combine.
- If the buttercream is too runny, add a bit more sifted powdered sugar in. If the buttercream is too stiff, add a bit more milk, by the teaspoon, until you achieve the desired consistency, which should be firm, but not stiff, and should also be creamy and smooth.
- This frosting will store well in the fridge for up to 5 days, covered.
- Make sure to always leave your frosting covered. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, because otherwise, the surface will dry out and get hard.
Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- To assemble the macarons, pipe a ring of Vanilla Bean Buttercream around the edges of a bottom shell. Fill it with a bit of the Vanilla Bean Custard, you can do this with a spoon, or by placing the Vanilla Bean Custard in a piping bag and snipping the end off. Top it with another shell.
- Store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing these macarons, as the custard filling might make the shells soggy if they sit for too long.
- You can freeze the shells by themselves for up to 2 months.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Cornstarch: the cornstarch is optional. You don’t have to use it. I like to add it often times because it does help with obtaining fuller shells. Make sure not to add too much, or might make the shells too soft, and fragile. If your shells are becoming too soft, consider not using cornstarch anymore.
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.
Vanilla bean pods: the vanilla bean pods can be used to make homemade vanilla extract, or you can simply add the dry pod to your sugar bowl, it will give your sugar a fragrant delicious smell.
Vanilla Bean: in case you don’t have, or don’t want to use vanilla bean seeds, use vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract, except for the shells, don’t add any extract or paste to the shells. Add another 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste or extract for each the Pastry Cream and the Buttercream if substituting.
Buttercream: You can use milk or water to make the buttercream.
Shell color: I made several colors out of one batch of shells. Learn how to do that by visiting this page which contains my M&M’s Macarons, and shows exactly how to accomplish that. Visit the page containing the instructions and video showing how to make the different color shells.