Lavender and Honey Macarons
Lavender and honey macarons are full of subtle flavors. Floral notes from the dried lavender buds will transport you to the famous lavender fields of Provence. The warm sweetness of honey will make you feel the lazy summer sun, even if you’re indoors on a cloudy March afternoon. Throw in some honeycomb candy for added flavor and texture!
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I’ve made a decent number of macarons these days, but I’ve stuck to my comfort zone while I figured out this finicky cookie. Ever since my first (awful) batch of macarons, I’ve been using an Italian meringue as my meringue of choice. The meringue is what gives these cookies their lift, texture, and shape.
Macaron March is all about mastering macarons, so I figured I needed to expand my mac skills a bit. The first, and most obvious, place to start was using a classic French meringue instead. More on that later. This month, I’m also going to make a dairy free filling and use a different nut to change things up. Push those boundaries!
French Meringue vs. Italian Meringue
So, my basic macaron recipe uses an Italian meringue, which is made by pouring incredibly hot sugar into whipped egg whites while the stand mixer beats it all up. To be honest, this might sound scary, but it’s really not. The hot sugar cooks the egg whites, making it the most stable meringue variety.
In contrast, to make a French meringue, you gently add sugar a spoonful at a time to whipped egg whites and beat until you have firm peaks. This meringue is the most delicate and doesn’t involve any heating. You have to be extra gentle when working with this meringue. I decided to give this a go for my lavender and honey macarons.
Thoughts on the French Method
Honestly, French meringues scares me because I’m not the most delicate person in the world. Although my recent batches of macarons have been a smidge too stiff, I was still super worried that I would knock out too much air in my lavender and honey macarons. I was also worried about the meringue splitting from over mixing.
Luckily, these came out beautifully! My macaronage (folding macaron batter to get the right consistency) was better, though I almost over mixed. I found the tops of the macarons to be a bit crunchier and the feet were slightly underdeveloped. Still, I think I prefer the Italian method better, though I’ll give this a try every now and then.
What is Caster Sugar?
Caster sugar is a very fine granulated sugar that seems to be very common in the UK. It’s smaller size makes it the best choice for baking because the sugar dissolves much quicker. I think it is essential when making a French meringue. Regular granulated sugar will knock out more air and may not dissolve completely, which would ruin your texture.
My wonderful bro-in-law gifted me a bag he found at a local grocery store, but you can easily make it at home. Weigh out your 90g of sugar and dump it in a small food processor. Whiz it up until your sugar is nice and fine. It may not be worth it to do this for every bake, but it really is essential for a French meringue.
Related Reading: Baking with my brother-in-law
Under Developed Feet
I’m working on being kinder to myself. Ya see, I tend to see the flaws in my bakes and nothing else. So let me start out by saying, these came out great! Not a single one that went into the wonky pile. But, I do think the feet are just a tad under developed.
This is most likely because they should have rested a bit longer. The tops were dry, but they could have been drier. When I compared the first baking sheet with the second, the second had better feet because they had more rest time.
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Lavender and Honey Macarons
I didn’t plan this, but lavender and honey macarons were the perfect choice to try out the French method! Lavender and France go hand in hand. Heck, if I was bougie, I’d have used lavender honey instead of the stuff I got at Target.
Baking with lavender is insane because your kitchen is going to smell AH-mazing and you get a tasty treat out of it. I was inspired by this recipe from Indulge with Mimi mostly because I still had some lavender buds leftover from these Lavender and Lemon Cupcakes. My tip is to grind up the buds in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder first. The whole buds didn’t get ground up too much when tossed in with everything else. However, the flavor still came out great.
Another way to stuff some lavender into these macarons is by making lavender sugar. If you’re making your own caster sugar, throw a large pinch of lavender buds into the food processor. Let the sugar sit at least overnight to really infuse it. Then sift out the large chunks of lavender and use that to make your French meringue.
Easy Honey Buttercream
My favorite filling for macarons is Easy Buttercream. I’ve made this in a ton of flavors like rose, coffee, and lemon. It’s light, fluffy, and much less sweet than American buttercream. That makes it perfect for a honey frosting because you don’t want it to become too sweet. Blergh.
I only used 2 tablespoons of honey and added a splash of vanilla to help add flavor. This gave me a buttercream that had just a subtle hint of honey. Feel free to add another tablespoon or two. Keep in mind, honey is a mild flavor to begin with. Use raw honey for a stronger taste.
First of all, my husband gets me. For Valentine’s Day, he got me this cookbook, Rage Baking, which combines my passions of food, books, and women’s rights all into one awesome package. Proceeds from the book go to Emily’s List, a non-profit organization that helps women running for public office.
Related Reading: Cookbook Review: The New Best Recipe
How to Make Honeycomb
One of the recipes in this cookbook is for (Don’t Call Me) Honey Cakes. And it includes a recipe for honeycomb candy. My husband and I have been dying to try this, but we’ve only ever seen it being sold across the pond. It’s so easy to make though! We used to think it was actual honeycomb that was candied. Nope.
You’re going to boil up sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water, then quickly whisk in baking soda. The baking soda reacts to the heat and gets all bubbly and foamy. Once it sets, you can easily break it up. On the inside you’ll see this gorgeous texture, like honeycomb, and it tastes amazing. The cooking process gives it a deep, toasted honey flavor.
FREE Macaron Templates
If you’re piping macarons onto parchment paper, don’t forget to grab your free macaron templates in the Bakes & Blunders Resource Library. This makes it soooo much easier to get uniform macaron shells. Plus, you can print them off and re use them as often as you want. For free. Yay!
You know what’s cheaper and quicker than flying to the lavender fields of France? Making these lavender and honey macarons! The flavors are fragrant, sophisticated, and will make your house smell like a spa. Lavender is popular in aromatherapy, so I think these macarons count as self care! And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest 😉
Lavender and Honey Macarons
Lavender Macaron Shells
- 2 tsps dried lavender
- 130 g almond flour
- 130 g powdered sugar
- 100 g aged egg whites room temperature (about 3- 4 eggs)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 90 g caster sugar
- Purple gel food color
Easy Honey Buttercream
- 2 oz pasteurized egg whites
- 8 oz powdered sugar sifted
- 8 oz unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 Tbsps honey
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Yellow food gel
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 Tbsps honey
- 2 Tbsps water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper and set aside. Prepare a piping bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip. Mise en place your ingredients. Wipe the balloon whisk and bowl with vinegar.
Lavender Macaron Shells
- Pulse lavender, almond flour, and powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. Sift the mixture into a medium bowl, discarding the large chunks. For a more intense lavender flavor, grind the buds in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder first.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk. Begin beating the whites on a medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and bump the speed up to medium- high.
- Once the whisk begins leaving tracks in the egg whites, begin adding sugar, gently, one spoonful at a time until all of the sugar has been added.
- Stop the mixer and add 1- 3 drops of purple food gel (I used 3). Beat the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.
- Fold a third of the dry ingredients into the meringue. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and gently fold until the batter reaches ribbon stage.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared piping bag and pipe your macarons onto the prepared baking sheets. Hold the bag upright and squeeze until the batter is just shy of your template.
- Firmly bang the baking sheet on the counter several times to loosen any air bubbles. Use a toothpick to remove bubbles and smooth out any bumps or peaks. Repeat with the remaining batter on your second baking sheet.
- Let the macarons rest and dry out for at least 30 minutes, but upwards of an hour. The should develop a skin that will feel dry when gently touched.
- About 20 minutes into the rest period, begin preheating the oven to 315°F. When ready, bake sheets one at a time for 12- 15 minutes, rotating half way through.
- Let the macarons cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Place the pasteurized egg whites and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk. Whip on high for 5 minutes.
- Turn the speed down to medium and add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Then bump the speed back up to medium- high and whip for 8 minutes.
- Add the honey, vanilla, salt, and food gel (I used 2 drops) and beat until combined. Scrape the bowl down and beat again.
- Line a pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water on medium- high until it reaches 290°F- 300°F on a candy thermometer.
- Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. It will foam up quite a bit. Quickly and carefully pour the mixture into your prepared pan.
- Set aside to firm up for about 30 minutes. Break the honeycomb up into chunks and store in an air tight container.
- Pipe honey buttercream onto a lavender macaron shell and dust with crumbled honeycomb. Top with a second shell.
- Store macarons in the fridge and remove about 30 minutes before serving.
- To age egg whites, separate the cold eggs. Place 100g of egg whites in a jar and cover with cling wrap. Poke a few holes in the top and place the egg whites in the fridge over night. Remove about 30 minutes before beginning the recipe.
- If you don't have caster sugar, pulse 90g of granulated sugar in a mini food processor. Read post to find out why and how to add more lavender in this step.
- Must use gel food color. Water or oil based food colors can ruin the recipe.
My Favorite Products for this Recipe
Hi there! I’m Colleen, a novice baker with a passion for learning and improving my bakes… and blunders. On Bakes and Blunders, you can find all sorts of tasty recipes that range in difficulty, but most importantly, I’ll try to explain the reason behind important steps. If you know why a recipe works, you can tweak and adapt it to suit your unique tastes, and you’ll be able to reliably produce some very delicious treats. If you love baking and want to expand and grow your skills, or if you are a casual baker and just need some pointers, my blog is right up your alley! Join me on my baking journey and we’ll learn how to make more impressive recipes together.
good macroon recipe but way to much lavender if you mortal and pestle it also butter cream didn’t work for me but i might have done something wrong lol
Using a mortar and pestle to crush the lavender will release much more of the lavender oil and create a significantly stronger flavor. Pulsing it in the food processor with the dry ingredients adds just enough flavor without being overpowering. With this style of buttercream, there are several ways it can go wrong, but it can be fixed. If it was too soupy, it probably got too warm. Chill the buttercream a bit, then rewhip. Most other texture issues can be fixed by whipping the buttercream for several minutes.
Isabelle Sum-Yue Lay
How many ‘completed’ macarons does this recipe yield?
It can depend on the size of your shells, but it makes roughly 25 completed macarons, or 50 shells. Give or take.
Fantastic recipe, thank you so much! The person rating you low must not realize how finicky macs are. They are super tricky. I got busy and forgot the honeycomb, so I’m trying to figure out how to do it after the fact. Lol thanks again!! Hope the link to my pic works.
Yours came out beautifully! You could always roll the sides in crushed up honeycomb 😀
– Okay so first this is only my third time making macarons (past times have suceeded) but I found no flaws in this recipe. My foot was EXCELLENT and had no cracks. In the past my macarons took a very long time to form a film but this one formed in no time! I also was worried because the batter was slightly thicker than what I’ve worked with, but wasn’t a problem.
– I grinded the 1.5 tsp lavender (I was afraid 2 tsp was too much) with a mortar and pestle and I could have used a little more so the lavender amount in the recipe was on point!
– I would also recommend using all three drops of purple gel food coloring because the color lightens when it bakes and you risk having slightly brown cookies. That brings me to my final point.
– My PERSONAL opinion: I would pipe smaller cookies. Not only will you have SO MANY MORE, they are super cute, and they are easier to eat. The normal sizes are fine too with this recipe though. (I did both sizes)
– Also the honeycomb recipe was excellent and now you’ll have both a macaron recipe AND a honeycomb toffee recipe
I also gave these to four other families because they looked SO BEAUTIFUL and all of them came back with positive feedback! (might have been being nice though LOL)
Thank you so much for this recipe! This is going to be my guideline recipe for future macarons! Have fun baking everyone! (also I have no idea what happened with the other person’s macarons in the other comment. XD) (I’m also only 14 so I believe you don’t need to be a pro to bake these!)
If there is a way I could post a picture to show how accurate my words are I would love to! I really want others to trust this AWESOME recipe!
Kaitlyn, thank you so much for your kind words! I am so happy that this recipe was such a hit with you and the other families 😀 You can always post a picture of your beautiful macs (loved the one you sent me!) on Instagram or Facebook and tag @bakesandblunders. I can’t wait to see what macarons you make next!
This recipe is terrible it jacked up and it took hours of my time. Iv tried multiple recipe and this one is just not it. I would rate this 0/0 but I cant☹️
I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you! Macarons are very tricky and the secret is in the meringue. This recipe uses a French meringue, but I usually use an Italian meringue. The Italian method is much more stable. Maybe this recipe isn’t right for you, but don’t let it get you down. Macarons are tricky cookies and one batch usually takes me about 4 hours. But that can depend on your local weather conditions, so it could be more or less time for you. I’m truly sorry you didn’t have luck with this one, but I wish you all the best with your baking! And if you ever have any baking questions, don’t hesitate to reach out 😀