Hello everyone! This is my second recipe for vegan macarons on the blog: Vegan Salted Caramel Macarons!
My first vegan macaron recipe was for these delicious Avocado Vegan Macarons.
And I decided to keep trying, as they are a bit different than the regular macarons, and I haven’t quite figured out my oven with the vegan macarons just yet.
But I keep trying. My feet didn’t developed quite as well this time with these Vegan Salted Caramel Macarons, but enough to pass, at least in my humble macaron baker opinion.
I bake a lot of macarons, but they aren’t usually vegan ones. I recently started leaning towards vegan desserts, since I’ve experienced a lifestyle and diet change in my own personal life, and obviously that was going to reflect on my blog.
How to make Vegan Macarons
Vegan Macarons are made out of aquafaba, which is the chickpea water.
Here with my Vegan Salted Caramel Macarons, I am using the Italian method. (I use the Swiss method with my non-vegan macarons)
In the Italian method of making macarons, you usually make a syrup with water and sugar, and bring it to a certain temperature over a gentle boil. After that, you add this syrup to whipped aquafaba (or egg whites, in the case of non-vegan macarons).
After adding the syrup to the aquafaba, you whip this one mixture for quite a few minutes until you achieve a glossy, fluffy meringue.
Then, the meringue gets folded into a paste made by the almond flour, powdered sugar, and some aquafaba (or egg whites).
This is basically the quick guide of how to make vegan macarons using the Italian method.
Make sure to read instructions below, as they are very detailed. And as always, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me questions.
I am new to making vegan macarons, however, I am an experienced Macaron baker, since I’ve been so passionate about it for so many years.
Any help I can give someone else is also great help for me, as sharing the knowledge strengthens my own skills.
Tips on how to make Vegan Macarons
Like I said, these Vegan Salted Caramel Macarons are only my second vegan macaron recipe published on the website. However, I’ve made them more than that (yes, I failed like a bazzillion times), so I have some insight and tips to share.
- It’s best to use canned chickpea water, because if you boil your own chickpeas, the water might no be as concentrated as the one from the can, which is just perfect.
- Figure out your oven and how it works. Please don’t take this tip for granted. My oven is probably completely different than yours and will bake your macarons totally different than mine. Try to keep an eye on the macarons, to figure out best time to rotate the pans, or how long to bake for, and which rack in your oven the macarons bake better (bottom, middle, top).
- Get an oven thermometer. Probably a couple of them. So you are able to identify if your oven has hot spots, or spots that don’t heat up as much. Also, this ensures the temperature is set correctly.
- Don’t over mix your macarons during the macaronage. It’s always best to under mix the batter, test for consistency multiple times, and then fold the batter again if necessary.
- Let the filled and assembled macarons mature in the fridge overnight, or for 2 days, because this will make the shells softer, and ensure best consistency and flavor.
I decided to decorate my Vegan Salted Caramel Macarons with some salt sprinkled on top. And please, take my advice, and don’t skip the salt on top, as it makes a world of difference in the taste. Trust me, I’m a sweets specialist, since I have the biggest sweet tooth in the whole world!
The caramel filling was one of the best things I’ve ever had. It’s a vegan salted caramel buttercream. Super easy to make too.
As the buttercream sets, it crusts nicely with a crackling delicate thin skin. Which I tend to love. Just a tip in case you want to use this vegan salted caramel buttercream to decorate a cake or some cupcakes. I know I will!
If you want to check out some more vegan, and gluten-free sweets, please click here to see my Vegan Sweets (which are all gluten-free so far).
Here are some of my favorite ones:
- Matcha Vegan Oreos
- Raspberry Vegan Bars
- Vegan Brigadeiros (chocolate fudge truffles)
- Vegan Hazelnut Brownies
- Chocolate Mousse Vegan Cupcakes
- Vegan Matcha Mini Cheesecakes
- Vegan Peanut Butter Tarts
I hope you loved today’s recipe, as much as I loved making it, eating it, photographing it, and then writing about it!
My life as a food blogger is awesome, because I get to create the most amazing and interesting projects I am super interested in doing, that I would just totally do for free anyway, but I actually get to be paid and recognized to do so, and that means so much to me! It also gives me a great deal of fulfillment each time I get a message, email, dm, comment, saying how my recipes have helped someone, and how they loved making one of my recipes. I adore you all, my readers! Thank you for making this happen for me.
Vegan Salted Caramel Macarons
Vegan Macaron Shells
- 200 ml aquafaba chickpea water*
- 133 grams almond flour
- 133 grams powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder optional to give a tan color to the shells
- 133 grams white sugar
- 40 ml water
Vegan Salted Caramel Frosting
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 -1 cup powdered sugar sifted
Vegan Macaron Shells
- Place your aquafaba in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Let it reduce and thicken, while stirring from time to time to check the consistency, over medium low heat. You are looking for a gentle simmer.
- Once the mixture has reduced til about half, you can remove from the heat.
- The aquafaba should have kind of a slimy consistency, such as egg whites.
- Set it aside until it cools completely to room temperature.
- Measure out 100 ml of the prepared aquafaba. If you have any leftovers, store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Sift almond flour, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder together in a bowl.
- Divide the aquafaba in half. Mix 50 ml of the aquafaba with the almonds and powdered sugar. Use a spatula to mix until this becomes a thick paste. Add food coloring at this point, if using any.
- Place the other 50 ml of the aquafaba in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Start to mix on low, raising the speed gradually to medium-high.
- Whip aquafaba until it reaches stiff peaks. They won’t get as stiff as the peaks in the egg white meringue do. But you will be able to recognize it as a stiff peak, because the whisk will leave streaks in the meringue, and you’ll be able to identify some medium to stiff peaks in your meringue. The mixture will be white and fluffy.
- While the meringue whips, you want to move quickly to make the syrup.
- Mix water and white sugar in a small saucepan.
- Place a thermometer on the side of the pan.If your thermometer doesn’t reach, you might have to hold a thermometer in place while you cook the sugar syrup.
- Bring it to a boil over medium heat, until it reaches 245F. Don’t stir the mixture at all. You may rotate the pan if the heat isn’t being evenly distributed. Do it slowly. The problem with doing this is having the risk of forming sugar crystals, from the movement. Which is why it’s recommended you have a clip on thermometer to help you check the temperature of the syrup. If you have to hold the thermometer in place, make sure to move as little as possible, so you don’t form sugar crystals in your syrup. The temperature won’t take too long to get there. Once it reaches 245F remove from the heat.
- It’s best if the syrup reaches 245F at the same time as the aquafaba reaches stiff peaks. For that to happen, I always find best to start whisking the aquafaba first, and then quickly starting to make the syrup.
- Once the stiff peaks are reaches, and the syrup has cooked til 245F, you may turn the speed in the mixer to medium-low. Start to add the syrup to the aquafaba, with the mixer on. Try not to touch the sides of the pan. Try to pour it directly into the aquafaba.
- Raise speed to high once all syrup has been poured.
- Whisk on high speed for about 10 minutes.
- Once mixture looks glossy, fluffy, and has reached stiff peaks, your meringue is ready to go.
- Pour meringue over almond flour paste. Mix with a spatula, doing a J-fold, until incorporated. A J-fold is when you fold coming down through the middle of the bowl, drawing a letter J with your spatula, and just consistenly do that motion, stopping to scrape the spatula every once in a while.
- 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 to 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.
- Then, I grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper or silicon mat.
- If the batter stays stiff 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 on the parchment paper, I transfer my mixture 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.
- Once you’ve piped as many 1 1/2” 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.
- Let your trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. This vegan macaron batter takes longer to get dry than my regular French macaron, using the Swiss method. But probably around 30 min-1 hour depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready to be baked when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
- Pre-heat the oven to 210F.
- Bake one tray at a time.
- Bake for 6 minutes, rotate tray.
- Bake for 6 more minutes, check if it needs to be rotated again. You will know if it needs to be rotated again depending on how the macarons are baking. Take a look at them, if one side seems taller then the other, maybe you have to rotate the tray again.
- Bake for a total of 30 minutes. Really keep an eye out, checking to see if it’s baking evenly. Your oven might be very different than mine.
- When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet.
- Turn the oven off after the 30 minutes, and leave macarons in there for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
- Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Vegan Salted Caramel Frosting
- Place vegan margarine, brown sugar, almond milk, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, let mixture simmer for a few minutes, until gets thicker and darker in color.
- Remove from the heat to bowl, and let it cool to room temperature.
- Once caramel has come to room temperature, whip it with a mixer for a few seconds. Stop the mixer and add sifted powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined.
- Add vanilla.
- Raise speed to medium and whip frosting for a few seconds until combined.
- At first, only add 3/4 cup of powdered sugar, add more only if necessary.
- The consistency should be very thick, easy to pipe with a piping bag.
- This frosting is magical and delicious. It sets with a nice crunchy delicate crust.
- Place frosting in a piping bag.
- Pipe a bit of frosting on half of the shells. Top with the other shells. I drizzled melted chocolate on top and flakes of sea salt to decorate and give a little salty flavor. Very delicious!
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
*Best kind is aquafaba from canned chickpeas, without salt, or low sodium if without salt isn’t available.