Christmas Candy Cane Macarons

Bright & cheerful candy cane macarons

Bright & cheerful candy cane macarons

I decided to make Christmas themed macarons this year as a pre-Christmas gift hamper for some friends. Gingerbread was an obvious choice and mulled spice with brandy buttercream was definitely a success, but then I had another idea, what about candy canes? Those bright red and white candy sticks are always a popular part of Christmas decor.

Candy Cane 05.jpg

I did a Google search and found candy cane macarons done by Adriano Zumbo. He took actual candy canes and melted them down to add to the buttercream filling, he also shaped the macarons as red and white candy canes. Very cute!

I did give the candy cane shape a try but I need to get a smaller tip, I ended up with not so cute fat candy cane looking things. lol! I'll have to give them another try :)

Candy Cane 01.jpg

Then I thought, well, why not at least have the red and white theme?

I piped normal macaron rounds with the red and white batter, which worked beautifully, then filled them with a peppermint buttercream, also red and white, alternating the colours. I think the result was a success in look and flavour!

Candy Cane 04.jpg


90g Egg Whites, aged & at room temp 

145g Confectioners/Icing Sugar

70g Granulated Sugar

115g Almond Meal/Ground Almonds

2-3tsp Red Powdered Food Colouring



  • Process the confectioners sugar and almond meal until the almond meal is fine then sift into a medium bowl to remove any large bits of nuts
  • Tip: If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioner's sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery
  • Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl until foamy
  • Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff peaks
  • Tip: If you turn the bowl upside down they should make no move to fall out
  • Fold half of the almond flour mixture and powdered colouring into the meringue, starting quite vigorously then folding more carefully
  • Add the remaining almond meal mixture and fold until just combined
  • Divide the batter in half
  • Tip: To make it easier later in the process, I find it best to divide the batter into two large jugs
  • Continue to fold the one half of batter until it reaches a magma like consistency
  • Add the red food colouring to the other half and fold until it reaches a magma like consistency
  • Tip: A good way to tell if the batter is ready is when you fold it onto itself, it should blend back into itself in about 30seconds
  • Stand a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip in a tall glass with the top folded down
  • Pour both the red and white batters into the pastry bag at the same time so you have half red and half white in the bag
  • Tip: I find it works best to let the batter run opposite sides of the pastry bag to help control the flows and stop any mixing
  • Pipe 1 1/2 inch mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  • Tip: I don't recommend using a silicon mat, I had trouble taking the macarons off each time I used it
  • Once piped, bang the sheet down on a counter top a couple times to flatten any mounds and bring up air bubbles, also to settle the almond meal to the bottom giving smooth tops
  • Leave the unbaked macarons out to dry, between 30min - 1 1/2 hours
  • Tip: If you have a fan assisted oven you can dry them in less time by just having the fan turned on with the macarons in the oven. They're ready when no longer sticky to the touch
  • While the macarons are drying, preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C Fan Assisted)
  • Once dry, bake for 15-22mins depending on their size
  • Tip: They're ready when you push them and they move very slightly on their feet
  • Cool on a rack before removing from the parchment, 15-30mins
  • Pipe with red and white peppermint buttercream, making sure to have the colours the opposite way to the macaron shell, ie. red buttercream on the white half of the shell, the white buttercream coming out in the red half of the shell, sandwich, again, making sure the shell colours are opposite to the buttercream (the two shells will be the same way)



Peppermint Buttercream


2 Egg Whites

100g Granulated Sugar

175g Unsalted Butter

1/2tsp Vanilla Extract

3-4tsp Peppermint Extract

Red Gel Food Colouring



  • Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl
  • Put the bowl over a pot of simmering water
  • Whisk over heat until all the sugar is dissolved and it resembles marshmallow fluff, about 3 mins
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl and beat until the mixture is cool and you have a glossy meringue
  • Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time, making sure it's completely mixed in before adding more
  • Tip: At some point it will look curdled, DON'T WORRY! Once you've added all of the butter, just keep beating and it will come together to form a smooth, creamy buttercream
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and peppermint extract to taste
  • Divide the buttercream into two bowls
  • Colour the one half with red gel colouring
  • Stand a pastry bag in a tall glass with the top folded down over the glass
  • Spoon the red and white buttercream into the bag on opposite sides
  • Tip: I find it easiest to scrape the buttercream on the sides of the pastry bag then once all the frosting is in, squeeze it down to the tip
  • Pipe a bit of the buttercream into a bowl or plate until the two colours are coming out
Candy Cane 02.jpg

This macaron recipe is adapted from Syrup And Tang's basic macaron recipe

Other Tips:

You'll find that most serious macaron bakers swear by using aged egg whites, and I do notice a difference with the feet between using fresh & aged. Some say 3 days is best, some say up to 5 days is best. To age your egg whites, leave them in the fridge (or if in a cool climate) on the counter covered with a paper towel to stop anything from getting inside, and allow to stand between 3-5 days. If aged in the fridge, leave out until room temperature before using.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge but sit out for an hour or two before eating

Macarons are best eaten a day or two after making them, the flavours continue to develop over this time

To add more Christmas sparkle, spray the shells with edible gold or pearl lustre

These make perfect Christmas gifts or favours, lay them in a nice box, tie a lovely bow on and give, give, give!

Posted on December 14, 2009 and filed under Sweet, baked.