Troubleshooting Macaron Mistakes

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

What Went Wrong?

Did your macarons turn out not as expected? Don't worry! Making macarons it tricky business, and these finicky cookies need perfect conditions to be made. It might have been your technique or something as simple as the oven temperature being off, so don't despair!


Below you'll find a list of trouble-shooting reasons of what might have gone wrong.

Note: Stick with the same recipe and tweak it. Don't despair and try a completely different recipe, or else you won't be able to trouble shoot the problem. I used to have an over than, unbeknownst to me, ran 15 degrees hot and kept ruining my cookies, and all I had to do was adjust the temperature! As long as you stick to the recipe, you should be able to troubleshoot your macarons easily.


Why Did My Macarons Burst?

There's nothing worse than exploded macarons. There can be a few reasons why this happened:

  • Macaron did not rest long enough

FIX: be sure your macarons have plenty of time to rest before baking. We recommend at least 30 minutes. To aid in this you can also turn on range-hood fan while letting macarons dry and turn on a dehumidifier.


Why Did My Macarons Brown?

Depending on what part of your macaron browned, there can be a number of reasons:

  • Macaron bottoms browned because of silicone mat

FIX: we recommend using parchment paper for baking, as silicon mats conduct heat well and can cause brown macaron bottoms. We found that if you use a silicon tracing mat to pipe perfect macarons, set parchment over it. Once the macarons dry you can slide the mat out from under the parchment easily.

  • Macaron browned on top because tray is too close to top of oven

FIX: be sure your tray is in the center of the oven when you bake to optimize circulation.

  • Temperature too high

FIX: we recommend setting your oven to 150C (300F) to start with, and adjusting from there. A lot of recipes recommend macarons bake at 160C but for us that was too hot, but it depends on the oven you use.



Why Didn’t My Macarons Develop Feet?

"Feet" on macarons is the little bubble rim at the bottom of the macaron- you want it there, but you don't want too much of it.

Reasons your macarons didn't develop feet might be:

  • Macaron shell is too “wet” due to humidity or ingredients themselves had too much moisture

FIX: be sure your macarons have plenty of time to rest before baking. We recommend at least 30 minutes. To aid in this you can also turn on range-hood fan while letting macarons dry and turn on a dehumidifier. We also recommend avoiding the use of liquid coloring- use gel coloring instead.

  • Baking temperature is too low

FIX: increase temperature to allow shell to develop properly

  • Poorly beaten meringue

FIX: add cream of tartar to stabilize meringue. Make sure your meringue achieves stiff peaks before adding dry ingredients.


Why are My Macaron Shells Bumpy?

Reasons why you have bumps on your macarons rather than a smooth shell:

  • Not sifting dry ingredients will cause bumps

FIX: a sifter is very important, it'll get all the clumps out of your dry ingredients and ensure a smooth top

  • Did not pop bubbles before baking

FIX: once you have rapped the tray on the table after pipping, go through with a toothpick and burst as many of the obvious bubbles you can- this will release them so they won't bake trapped and bumpy.


Why Do My Macarons Have Nipples or Points?

Pulling up after pipping instead of swirling will cause a little whip at the center of the cookie, and might cause a point or nipple. Wet your finger with some water and gently press them down. This usually fixes it. Another reason:

  • under-mixed batter

FIX: add a few more folds next time. Be sure to check with the figure-8 method! For now, rap the tray on the table firmly a few times.


Why Are My Macarons So Flat?

Reasons why macarons are flat:

  • over-folded batter

FIX: there's no saving over-mixed batter. You've deflated all the bubbles. You can still bake them and they will be edible, but maybe save them for yourself to enjoy.


Why Did My Macaron Feet Spread Outwards?

This is a common problem for first-time macron making, so don't despair! Feet spreading happens if the batter is over-mixed.

  • Over-mixed batter

FIX: mix batter slowly and check to make sure you can draw a figure-8 with batter. When you can, stop mixing batter IMMEDIATELY.


Why Did the Feet Get So Tall?

Reasons the feet of your macaron got too tall can be:

  • Over-whipped eggs

FIX: stop whipping egg whites once it reaches stiff peaks in the French method. Stop whipping egg whites once it returns to returns to room temperature in the Italian method


Why Are My Macarons Hollow?

Reasons why your macarons are hollow:

  • Over-beating meringue

FIX: be sure to whip your meringue at a slow, stead speed, building it up in increments. Whipping your meringue on high will create large pockets that, when bakes, will cause hollowness in your cookie shell.



Why Are My Macarons Lopsided?

Your macarons can come out crooked. Reason why:

  • Pipped sideways/ at an angle

FIX: be sure you hold your pipping back completely vertically as you pipe your batter to ensure they come out perfectly round and even.


Why Did My Macaron Bottoms Stick?

Sometimes when you try to pick your macarons off the tray you will accidentally separate the bottoms- oops! What to do to prevent this:

  • Be sure macarons bake the right time

FIX: we recommend baking macarons at 150C (300F) for 15-16 minutes. If you need to let them say a minute longer that's okay!

  • Leave them to cool completely on tray

FIX: don't be too eager to take cookies off tray. Let them cool completely for about 15 minutes before removing them.


Why are My Macaron Shells Hard and Dry?

This is normal! When your macarons come out of the over, you can try them and they can be soft and perfect, and you can find that they harden quickly. Or, they come out hard, maybe even a little brown. Don't worry!

  • Baking too long

  • Using silicon mat

  • oven too hot

FIX: adding filling and letting macarons mature 24 hours in the fridge will fix this as the cookies absorb the moisture of the filling and soften up.


Why are My Macaron Shells Wrinkly and Blotchy?

Reasons why your shell looks darker in the middle, breaks easily in the center, and looks wrinkly and blotchy:

  • Temperature is too low

FIX: we recommend setting your oven to 150C (300F) to start with, and adjusting from there. Experiment with going up to 320, adjusting time as needed.

  • Under-cooked

FIX: leave macarons in an extra 1-2 minutes

  • Oily ingredients

FIX: don't blend your almond flour in a food processor. Doing this tends to release oil, causing an oily batter and baking issues.


#macarons

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