Dainty, floral, and deeply delicious, my Lavender Macarons with Lavender White Chocolate Ganache are my favorite new iteration of the famous French cookie. With a crisp exterior and a lovely chewy texture, these naturally gluten-free treats are worth every moment of effort to make.
About This Recipe
As promised, April showers have brought out all the May flowers, and I couldn’t be happier. These lavender macarons are my homage to all the gorgeous buds and blooms that are punctuating our Southern California landscape!
If you’ve yet to try your hand at making French macarons, this is a great time to start. My instructional guide will walk you through all the painstaking processes needed to make perfectly smooth and shiny cookies that would look right at home in a patisserie window.
Make sure you give yourself ample time to make these lavender macarons — as with most good things, they’re not something you can rush. That said, the shells can be made up to a month in advance, and the lavender white chocolate ganache will keep in the fridge for upwards of 10 days.
While I usually opt to use a plain, unflavored meringue shell and let my macaron fillings do all the heavy flavor lifting, I couldn’t help but go all-in with these lavender-scented beauties. I added dried lavender buds to both the macaron shells AND the white chocolate ganache! This resulted in a flavor that is akin to a garden party for your tastebuds.
Make these gorgeous treats for your next weekend baking project. You can stock the freezer with some seriously impressive treats for any upcoming spring events like Mother’s Day or a ladies brunch.
Ingredients & Substitutions
You don’t need many ingredients to make lavender macarons or white chocolate ganache, but it is important that you get the right ones. Here are some notes to keep in mind:
- Granulated Sugar - Don’t try swapping in brown sugar here; the moisture content is too high and can result in macaron shells that don’t have a foot.
- Room Temperature Egg Whites - It’s best if your eggs are at room temperature in order to fully whip to stiff peaks. Also, be sure that you don’t let any egg yolks get into the whites - the added fat will prevent them from achieving stiff peaks.
- Blanched Almond Flour - It may seem fussy, but I usually reach for blanched almond flour; this means the skins of the almonds have been removed prior to processing, which results in a smoother, even colored macaron.
- Powdered Sugar - While some French macaron recipes call for a stabilizer known as cream of tartar, I find that using powdered sugar does just as well because of the addition of cornstarch. Powdered sugar is just granulated sugar plus cornstarch, so if you need to, you can make your own at home.
- Dried Lavender Buds - For this lavender macaron recipe, we’ll be adding dried lavender to both the macaron shells AND the white chocolate ganache to really double down on the gorgeously botanic flavor. Be sure to get food-grade flowers or purchase some plain lavender tea to ensure they’re ready for consumption.
- Gel Food Coloring - If you want to add some flair to your macaron shells, I recommend using gel food coloring instead of regular liquid food coloring. Gel has greater pigmentation and will add less moisture to the mix, meaning you’re more likely to have macaron-making success!
Lavender White Chocolate Ganache
- Heavy Cream - Using full-fat cream will result in a much more luscious consistency for your ganache. I strongly suggest using a minimum of 36% milkfat here.
- Whole Milk - After steeping the cream, you may need to add a splash of milk to get the proper weight.
- Honey - While you can certainly swap in glucose syrup or corn syrup here, I find the flavor of honey is a magnificent pairing for floral lavender and creamy white chocolate.
- White Chocolate - Make sure to get real white chocolate here, not “white baking morsels.” The first ingredient should be cocoa butter! When in doubt, I suggest looking through the bar chocolate in the candy aisle rather than the bagged chips in the baking aisle.
- Unsalted Butter - Look for organic, grass-fed, and/or cultured butter for the best flavor.
French macarons are somewhat fussy, but they’re totally worth the effort. Here are the tools you’ll need to gather:
- 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.
- Mesh strainer - Sifting is another step you don’t want to miss when you’re making these lavender 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 blemishes.
- Parchment or Silpat - I personally like to make myself a little template when I’m making macarons to ensure that they end up round and of the same size. I draw on a piece of parchment paper using a small 1” lid or biscuit cutter as my guide. If you prefer to have something ready to go, Silpat makes a macaron mat that has handy guides printed right on it.
- 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 or make a piping bag out of parchment paper!
- Mixing bowls - Having a sturdy set of mixing bowls (with tiny ones for your mise en place!) is a godsend in a baker’s kitchen. Opt for metal or pyrex; plastic is porous and can hold onto grease that will kill your meringues.
- Immersion Blender - While you don’t technically need an immersion blender to make ganache, I find that using one means I always have a perfectly silky mixture at the end. When I’ve used a whisk in the past, there have been times when a few shards of chocolate end up not fully emulsifying into the mixture.
How To Make Lavender Macarons
I’m not going to lie here - this is a moderately difficult and somewhat lengthy recipe. Don’t lose faith, though! Simply follow along with the steps below and you’ll end up with a gorgeous plate of lavender-flavored French macarons.
Make Macaron Shells
As with many baking recipes, you’ll have both wet and dry ingredients to work with. Don’t try to rush or combine any of these steps.
First, prep your materials. 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 tip for piping.
Prepare Egg Whites and Dry Ingredients
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.
While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your lavender buds, 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.
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 - the trick is to fold it well enough without overmixing.
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. Your mixing is done when the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly.
You should see the batter that has dripped back into the bowl rest on top for a moment before slowly sinking back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over-mixed (which makes it impossible to work with), so be careful not to overmix!
Pipe and Rest
Pour your macaron batter into the prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper.
Tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface to remove air bubbles and ensure a smooth top. 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 - this is non-negotiable. You want a sort of skin to form on the surface of the macarons; 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.
When you gently touch the upper shell and it barely moves, and the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper, the macarons are done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
Make Ahead Tip: Macaron shells that have been baked, fully cooled and filled can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to a month with no discernible change in quality! Simply allow them to defrost for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before eating.
Make Lavender White Chocolate Ganache
Step 1: Infuse cream. Add cream and lavender buds to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover and allow to infuse for one hour. Strain the infused cream through a cheesecloth, squeezing the leftover lavender in order to extract all the infused cream. Weigh the cream again to make sure you still have a total of 100g. If not, add a touch of milk until you reach 100g.
Step 2: Heat cream. Add infused cream & honey to a saucepan and bring to a slight boil.
Step 3: Melt chocolate. Remove from heat and pour over the white chocolate. Stir to combine as the warm cream starts to melt the chocolate.
Step 4: Add butter & mix. Add the butter into your warm chocolate mixture and, using an immersion blender, blend ganache until the butter has fully incorporated and your mixture is smooth.
Step 5: Cool. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool to room temperature before assembly.
Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell’s matching half and pipe approximately two teaspoons of lavender white chocolate ganache to the bottom shell before adding a macaron shell on top.
Technically speaking, the filled macarons will taste the best after being allowed to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Macarons should remain refrigerated until ready to eat, and should be consumed within three days of filling.
Expert Tips For Perfect Macaron Shells
I’m not going to sugarcoat it (LOL) — making French macarons takes patience and practice. Here are my best tips to ensure your success:
- Don’t overmix. Getting the whites to stiff peaks takes a lot of time; don’t ruin all of that amazing levity by overmixing! Be sure to fold - not stir - and stop when the batter runs off your spatula slowly, with the drips resting atop the rest of the batter for a few moments before sinking in.
- Use a guide for piping evenly sized macarons. If you want your lavender macarons to look like French patisserie, you need them to be evenly sized. This is Great British Baking Show 101! Don’t freehand here; using a guide will ensure that your end product *could* win Paul Hollywood’s handshake.
- Wipe your whisk attachment. To be EXTRA cautious, you can take a cotton ball dipped in some lemon juice to wipe the whisk down and remove any lingering oils prior to making your meringue.
- Tap for smooth exteriors. Tapping the baking sheet firmly on a flat surface will knock any excess bubbles out of the macarons. You can also just hold the pan a few inches above your work surface and drop it flatly. Any remaining bubbles can be popped using a toothpick.
- Rest the batter. Once the macarons are piped onto your baking tray, it is absolutely imperative that you rest the batter. While the shells are resting, they develop a skin over the top; this means that any air that is forced out while cooking must go through the bottom, creating the signature “foot” on a French macaron.
- Use an oven thermometer. Baking is always a scientific endeavor, and nothing could be more true of making French macarons. After living in a multitude of rented apartments, I can tell you one thing with certainty - most ovens are FINICKY. Get yourself a $7 oven thermometer so you can take the guesswork out of it.
- Use a scale! Read item #12. The French baking tradition is an exacting art; proper tools will ensure perfect results every time.
Expert Tips For Perfect Ganache
Any flavor of chocolate ganache is a real delight. (Did you know that’s what truffles are made from??) Here’s how to make sure your ganache comes out silky smooth every time:
- Chop That Chocolate - taking a few moments to roughly chop your chocolate into small pieces will allow for the hot cream to easily melt your chocolate. This leads to a lovely ganache texture and mouthfeel.
- Quality Is Key - Since there are so few ingredients in ganache, I'd highly recommend using quality chocolate as the flavors and textures will shine through!
- Heat The Cream Thoroughly - The cream's temperature needs to be hot enough to gently melt our chocolate. Your cream is ready to pour over chocolate when it comes to a slight boil!
- Soften Your Butter - Ensuring that the butter is at room temperature will help during the immersion process. If your butter has not been softened, it will be quite challenging to incorporate it into the chocolate & cream mixture.
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) or bavarian cream donuts... The options are nearly endless!
More Garden Party Recipes
If you’re loving all things floral, try my:
- Rose Raspberry Pistacho Cake
- Honeyed Hibiscus & Rose Milk Tea
- Brioche Donuts with Vanilla Rose Pastry Cream
- Violet & Elderflower Spritz
- Lavender Lemon Sandwich Cookies
- Lemon Lavender Gin Sour
- Blackberry & Lilac Gin Gimlet
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try making these Lavender Macarons with Lavender White Chocolate Ganache, please leave a review or share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest - and for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Lavender Macarons with Lavender White Chocolate Ganache
- Food Processor
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Mixer with Whisk Attachment
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Tray
- Piping Bags & Piping Tips
- Immersion Blender (optional)
- 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
- 1 Tablespoon Lavender buds
- Gel Food Coloring, optional
Lavender White Chocolate Ganache
- 100 g (⅓ Cup + 1.5 Tbsp) Heavy Cream
- 10 g Lavender Buds
- Whole Milk , As Needed
- 32 g (1.5 tablespoon) Honey, or corn syrup
- 175 g (1 Cup) White chocolate, Roughly Chopped
- 25 g (2 tablespoon) Room Temperature unsalted butter
- 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, 1 Tablespoon Lavender buds
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks - add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,Gel Food Coloring
- 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.
Hibiscus White Chocolate Ganache
- Add cream and hibiscus leaves to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, cover and allow to infuse for one hour.100 g Heavy Cream, 10 g Lavender Buds
- Strain the infused cream through a cheesecloth, squeezing the leftover hibiscus in order to extract all the infused cream.
- Weigh the cream again to make sure you still have a total of 100g. If not, add a touch of milk until you reach 100g.Whole Milk
- Add infused cream & glucose to a saucepan and bring to a slight boil.32 g Honey
- Remove from heat and pour over the white chocolate. Stir to combine as the warm cream starts to melt the chocolate.175 g White chocolate
- Add the butter into your warm chocolate mixture and, using an immersion blender, blend ganache until the butter has fully incorporated and your mixture is smooth. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool completely before assembly.25 g Room Temperature unsalted butter
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell's matching half and pipe a circle of ganache into the middle. Finally, top with the matching half and add dried hibiscus powder on top for garnish.
- 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!