These Coconut Dulce de Leche Macarons disappeared within moments after they were piped and ready to devour. After all - classic macaron shells surrounding coconut dulce de leche buttercream makes for the ultimate treat!
- Equipment needed for Making Macarons
- Ingredient notes
- Making Coconut Dulce de Leche
- How to make coconut dulce de leche macarons
- Coconut Dulce de Leche Buttercream
- Flavoring Buttercream
- Common Macaron shell issues
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Maturation & Storing Macarons
- Freezing Macarons
- Related Recipes
- Coconut Dulce de Leche Macarons
Equipment needed for Making Macarons
- Electric mixer with whisk attachment - If you have one, I highly recommend going the stand mixer route here; getting those elusive stiff peaks takes some time. In a pinch, a hand mixer will work, but you won’t be able to multitask as efficiently.
- Food processor - Ensuring that your ingredients are finely processed means you have a much better chance of having perfectly smooth, perfect macarons. In a pinch, you can also use your high-powered blender.
- Mesh strainer - Sifting is another step you don’t want to miss when you’re making these coconut macarons; any large chunks that were missed in the food processor will not make it through the strainer, meaning you don’t have to worry about any unsightly bumps.
- Sheet pans - If you haven’t yet, I recommend investing in some good (read: unwarped) cookie trays.
- Piping bags and tips - Part of the allure of French macarons is their appearance, and piping bags and tips ensure that they are flawless. In a pinch, use a zip top plastic bag with the corner cut off!
- Use a scale! The French baking tradition is an exacting art; proper tools will ensure perfect results every time.
- Almond flour - Blanched almond flour (not almond meal) is the traditional choice when making macarons because it gives the cookies a light and fine texture.
- Sugar - You’ll need granulated white sugar and powdered sugar to help the meringue form stiff peaks.
- Egg whites - Room temperature egg whites are essential to a smooth and sturdy meringue.
Making Coconut Dulce de Leche
To fill our macarons, we will be using dulce de leche which is ever so creamy and packed with flavor. What more could you want? The recipe for making coconut dulce de leche is incredibly simple with only two steps... here's how it's made!
- Place all ingredients into a saucepan, whisking to combine all ingredients, and heat on medium until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and stir from time to time for about 25-30 minutes. Once the mixture has reduced to ¾ cup, you know that the dulce de leche is complete. Pour into a small container and allow to cool before using in the recipe, then store the leftovers in the fridge.
How to make coconut dulce de leche macarons
Step 1: Make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until they start to foam. Increase the speed and gradually add in the granulated sugar until stiff peaks form. Add optional food coloring and whisk to incorporate.
Step 2: Sift the dry ingredients. Blend the powdered sugar and almond flour together in a food processor, and then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Set aside.
Step 3: Macoranage! Add the sifted ingredients in the bowl with the meringue and fold the two together with a spatula. The batter should be thin and slide easily off the spatula.
Step 4: Pipe the shells. Now pour the batter into your piping bag and pipe onto your prepared baking sheets. Let them rest until the tops are dry to the touch.
Step 5: Bake and cool. Bake until the shells are firm to the touch. Let them cool completely before peeling from the parchment paper.
Coconut Dulce de Leche Buttercream
When it comes to buttercream, I am a die-hard fan of using swiss meringue. I find that the texture is incredibly smooth and velvety while the flavor is not overly sweet allowing the flavoring of your choosing to shine. Let's jump into how it's made!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Process
To make dulce de leche buttercream, we start with making a basic swiss meringue buttercream. This tends to be composed of a 3-2-1 ratio of butter-sugar-egg whites.
Heating egg whites and sugar: First, add your sugar and egg whites to the bowl of your stand mixer and place it over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure that your bowl is not touching the hot water! Your goal is to simply whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved, then attach your bowl back to the standing mixer. The temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mixing and flavoring: Start whisking the mixture at a low speed and gradually increase speed until medium peaks form. Continue mixing until the meringue has cooled, then switch to using the paddle attachment and start adding your softened butter bit by bit. When you've reached the point where the buttercream is glossy and smooth, turn the mixer speed back to low. Add the coconut dulce de leche, continuing to mix until completely combined.
The flavoring for buttercream can be modified and adapted easily! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Various Alcohols or Liquors
- Brown Butter
- Citrus Zest
- Cookie Butter
- Fruit Powders
- Ground Nuts (for texture and crunch)
- Nut Butter
- Coconut Cream
- Cream Cheese
Common Macaron shell issues
There are a number of reasons why these delicate little cookies could come out less than perfect. Here are some of the most common macaron shell issues to keep in mind during this process!
HUMIDITY: It's tricky to make macarons in the midst of an incredibly humid day. High humidity prevents your shells from drying during their resting period, which is an essential part of the process. To combat this, place your shells near your oven while preheating - this has helped me during those days when it takes quite some time for the shells to dry.
NO FEET: The rest period that I mentioned above? This is going to help you create the feet that a macaron is known for. The dried tops of the shells trap in the heat at the base of your macaron and push the edges upward, creating the feet we know and love. Take the time to dry the tops of your shells otherwise, you won't get a distinguished macaron foot.
CRACKED TOPS: There are a number of reasons why this could be happening. We talked about how dried shells push the heat through the bottom of the macaron - when those shells are not dry, there is no barrier to prevent the air from exploding through the tops, causing cracks. Cracked tops could also be due to over-mixing your french meringue and potentially your batter as well, so make sure to be extra gentle during the mix!
BUMPY SHELLS: Make sure that you are taking the time to properly sift and mix the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture into your meringue. If there are chunky, unsifted dry bits in your batter that have not been mixed well, the tops of your shells will be quite bumpy and uneven. Make sure to also lightly tap your just-piped shells to release any air bubbles as well as to prevent those bumps.
For more tips on making homemade foolproof macarons, check out my complete guide here!
Frequently Asked Questions
While traditional French macarons are made with almonds, you can certainly switch things up if you prefer. Pistachios are a great option, or you can use sesame seeds and ground tiger nuts if you prefer a nut-free version.
Generally speaking, simple is best. Use food coloring to brighten up the macaron shells to whatever color you like. You can also “paint” the baked macarons with some thinned-out food coloring, or use a bit of edible gold leaf if you’re into a little bling. Take a look at my Passion fruit macarons for tips on painting your macaron shells!
I’m so glad you asked! Yolks are an amazing ingredient. Use them to make custards and ice cream; add an extra yolk to your cookies for a chewier texture; use them to make lemon or passionfruit curd (which you can then use to fill other macarons)... The options are nearly endless!
Maturation & Storing Macarons
Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day.
Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try making these Coconut Dulce de Leche Macarons, please leave a review or share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - and for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Coconut Dulce de Leche Macarons
- Food Processor
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Mixer with Whisk & Paddle Attachment
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Tray
- Piping Bags & Piping Tips
- 76 g (⅓ cup + 1 teaspoon ) Granulated Sugar
- 90 ml (About 3 egg whites ) Room Temperature Egg Whites
- 80 g (¾ Cup + 1 Tbsp) Almond Flour, Blanched
- 150 g (1 ¼ Cup ) Confection’s Sugar, Powdered Sugar
Coconut Dulche de Leche
- 1 13.5 oz can (1 ⅔ Cup) Coconut Milk
- 150 g (¾ Cup) Brown Sugar, packed
- Pinch of Salt
Coconut Dulce de Leche Buttercream
- 75 g (⅓ Cup) Egg Whites
- 150 g (¾ Cup ) Granulated Sugar
- 225 g (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 100 g (½ Cup) Coconut Dulce de Leche
- Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tips for piping.
- Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.76 g Granulated Sugar, 90 ml Room Temperature Egg Whites
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.80 g Almond Flour, 150 g Confection’s Sugar
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your french meringue and folding these ingredients enough to allow for the perfect desired consistency. To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Press mixture on the side of your bowl until the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly. You should see that the batter will drip off the spatula back into the bowl, and rest on top for a moment. Then, the batter from your spatula will slowly sink back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over mixed leading to it being impossible to work with, so be careful not to overmix!
- Pour your macaron batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper. In order to get rid of any air bubbles within your piped shells and to even out your tops, tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- You will know that your macarons are ready to remove from the oven when you gently touch the upper shell, and it barely moves, while the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper. Remove from the oven to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
Coconut Dulce de Leche
- Place all ingredients into a saucepan, whisking to combine and heat on medium until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.1 13.5 oz can Coconut Milk, 150 g Brown Sugar, Pinch of Salt
- Once the mixture has been reduced to ¾ cup, you know that the dulce de leche is complete - this should take 25-30 minutes at medium high heat. Pour into a small container and allow to cool before using in the recipe, then store leftovers in the fridge.
Coconut Dulce de Leche Buttercream
- Add your sugar and egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and place over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure that your bowl is not touching the hot water! Your goal is to simply whisk the egg whites and sugar together over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then attach your bowl back to the standing mixer. The temperature of your egg whites and sugar should reach 170°F75 g Egg Whites, 150 g Granulated Sugar
- Whisk mixture starting at a low speed and gradually increase until soft peaks form and the mixture has cooled. Switch to using your paddle attachment, then start adding your butter bit by bit.225 g Unsalted Butter
- When you’ve reached the point where the buttercream is glossy and smooth, turn the mixer speed back to low.
- Add coconut dulche de leche, and mix on low until combined to complete.100 g Coconut Dulce de Leche
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell’s matching half and pipe approximately two teaspoons of buttercream to the bottom shell, topping with the matching half.
- Mise en place - Macarons are time-sensitive! Prepare your mise en place (meaning to set up your working space in preparation for an activity) before you get started so your ingredients and equipment are ready to go.
- Use a piping template - A foolproof way of making perfect macaron shells every time is to trace identical 1-inch diameter circles onto the parchment paper to use as your piping template.
- Use an oven thermometer - Baking the shells at the right temperature is important, so I highly recommend using an oven thermometer.
- Weigh the ingredients - While macarons only use 4 ingredients, if one isn’t measured correctly, your odds of macaron success are considerably lower. I highly recommend investing in a kitchen scale so everything is precise!
- Storing your macarons - Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
- Practice makes perfect - It’s no secret that making macarons can be tricky. Just keep practicing and experimenting with different macaron flavors, and you’ll be a pro in no time!