Learn to make my hot chocolate macarons. Macaron cookies made with hot chocolate powder, filled with creamy hot chocolate French buttercream and topped with mini marshmallows. These decadent macarons are everything you love about a hot chocolate and more.
There’s nothing more comforting on a chilly night than sitting in a warm room rugged up in a blanket sipping hot chocolate – except for doing all of the above while also enjoying one of my delicious hot cocoa macarons. Make these tasty macarons at home with my easy to follow recipe.
Macarons have a reputation for being a little tricky, so to help you nail this recipe I’ve included heaps of tips and advice in this blog post. However, if you you’re already a pro at making macarons, feel free to use the jump to recipe buttons and head straight down to the recipe.Jump to Recipe
What makes these the best macarons ever?
These macarons are choca-block full of flavor. Two things make these macarons so good.
- The macarons are made using the Swiss method and loaded hot cocoa powder.
- They’re filled with creamy smooth French Buttercream, that has been generously doused in hot chocolate powder.
The result is a macaron that is loaded with flavor, but not sickly rich. Instead these macarons taste just like a hot chocolate, and they go down just as easy too.
Right, enough of my swooning over these macarons, let me get into the nitty gritty of how you can recreate these hot cocoa macarons in your kitchen.
Macaron Cookie Ingredients:
To make these macaron cookies you’ll need:
- Hot Chocolate Powder: Use whichever brand of cocoa powder is your personal favorite. This ingredient is the key flavor in the macarons and you’ll taste the difference between different brands.
- Almond Flour: Try to find a brand with fine granules. Be aware that almond meal is not a good substitute for almond flour, as it is more course and the macarons will be lumpy.
- Icing Sugar: also known as powdered sugar.
- Eggs: We’ll be using the egg whites in the macarons, however reserve the egg yolk to use in the French Buttercream.
- Powdered Egg: This is optional, but I find it helps make a more stable merengue and gives the macaron cookies a great texture. You can find this ingredient at some supermarkets, cake supply stores or on amazon.
- Cream of Tartar: This is also optional, but using cream of tartar helps the egg whites to whip up nicely.
- Caster Sugar: Also known as fine granulated sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds another level of flavor to the macaron cookies.
- Salt: balances out the sweetness of the sugar and gives the macarons a more rounded flavour.
French Buttercream Ingredients
- Hot Chocolate Powder
- Caster Sugar
- Egg Yolks
- Unsalted Butter
Tools You’ll Need
- Stand Mixer (this is highly recommended for this recipe. If you do not have a stand mixer, please see my substitution recommendations below).
- Kitchen Scales
- Food Processor
- Fine Sieve
- Piping Bags and nozzles
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat)
- Candy Thermometer
- Macaron template (optional, but recommended)
How to make hot cocoa macarons
Prepare the dry ingredients
Measure and sift the almond flour, icing sugar and hot chocolate into a bowl. Be sure to disregard any large lumps that do not fit through your sieve as these will make the tops of your macarons lumpy (they’ll still taste delicious, but they won’t have that classic smooth finish).
Make a swiss meringue
Stir the sugar, egg white and egg powder over low heat in a double boiler until the sugar dissolves. You can test that the sugar has dissolved completely by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers – if the mixture has any grains, continue to stir over the heat.
Once the sugar has dissolved, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip the egg whites until the bowl is cool to touch and the egg whites form stiff peaks.
Add the dry ingredients to the meringue
Add half the dry ingredients to the meringue and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula. Then repeat this process with the second half of the dry ingredients. Next deflate the mixture slightly by spreading it around the sides of the bowl, then scrape it back into the middle. Continue this process until the batter becomes slightly runny. You know it is ready when you can scoop up some with your spatula and it falls off in a ribbon shape.
Getting the consistency right means that your macarons will spread just the right amount so that the shells will have a smooth finish, but will not be too thin.
Pipe your macarons and bake them
Transfer the batter to a piping bag that has been fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe the macarons onto a baking tray that has been lined with either a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Best technique to get even circles is make sure the piping bag is positioned completely straight, about a quarter of an inch above the tray. Squeeze the bag (without moving it) and push some of the batter out, it will naturally forma a circle shape. Then release the pressure and lift the bag away.
Once you’ve piped all your macaron cookies, bang the tray on the counter at least 3 times to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface. then inspect your macarons and pop any air bubbles with a tooth pick.
Allow the macarons to sit on the counter until they dry slightly. They will be ready to bake when they look mat and don’t feel sticky. This can take anywhere for 20-40 minutes, depending on the weather.
Once the macarons have dried out, remove the paper template (if using one) and bake in the oven at 270 degrees Fahrenheit (130 degrees Celsius) for 17-20 minutes.
Allow the macarons to cool completely on the baking tray before transferring them to an air tight container.
Make the hot cocoa french buttercream
- Place the egg yolks in a clean bowl of your stand mixer and whip them until they are thick and foamy. This can take a while, it took me 10 minutes at top speed.
- While the eggs are whipping, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 degrees Celsius). The sugar will completely dissolve and the mixture will become translucent. Use a candy thermometer to make sure your sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature.
- Turn your stand mixer down to a medium/low and slowly and steadily drizzle the hot sugar syrup into your egg whites. Then turn the mixer up to high and whip the mixture until the bowl is completely cool and the egg yolks look pale and have increased in volume.
- Add your room temperature butter, one tablespoon at a time, then add the salt and vanilla and hot cocoa powder.
Assemble your macarons
Organize your macarons into evenly shaped/sized pairs. If you would like to decorate your macarons, I recommend doing so before they’re assembled. These macarons have been decorated with a little drizzle of chocolate and had a mini marshmallow placed on top. Make sure the decorations have completely set before you begin assembling the macarons, as you don’t want to risk smudging your beautiful work.
When you are ready to assemble the macarons, transfer the hot chocolate buttercream to a piping bag, flip one of the macarons over and pipe a dollop of buttercream onto the underside of that macaron. Then place it’s matching pair on top (underside also facing the buttercream).
To achieve this petty rippled effect with the buttercream, experiment with using different types of piping nozzles. Today I have used an open star tip.
Store your macarons in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s time to serve. For best results keep them in the fridge for 24 hours to ripen. This will allow the macaron cookies to absorb some of the moisture from the buttercream, and they’ll become deliciously soft and chewy.
Macarons can be tricky, here’s a couple of tips to help you nail this recipe.
- If you are having difficulty sifting your dry ingredients, pop them in a food processor and pulse for 2-3 minutes. This will break up any large pieces of almond flour, which will make it easier to sift.
- Best practice when making a meringue is to make sure your bowl (and anything that comes in contact with the egg whites) is completely clean and free from grease or water. To be 100% sure you can wipe your equipment down with a paper towel that has a dash of vinegar on it.
- When piping the macaron shells be mindful to hold the piping bag straight up and down, and use a printed template as a guide. This will ensure your macarons are a fairly even size and shape – which will make it easier to find matching sized pairs later on.
- If you’re using a printed template, make sure you carefully remove this from the tray before you bake the macarons.
- For best results when baking your macarons, bake each tray separately.
- All ovens are different and you may find you’ll need to bake your macarons at a slightly lower or higher temperature. You can also experiment with having your tray at different heights in the oven (just make sure you only have one level of macarons in at a time (see note above).
- When making French buttercream, best practice is to use yolks from pasteurized eggs. Alternatively you can pasteurize the eggs yourself. In theory the sugar syrup should heat the eggs to a temperature that they would be pasteurized, personally I feel more comfortable pasteurizing them as well.
- Make sure your stand mixer is set to a low speed when adding the sugar syrup to the egg yolks so that you don’t splatter hot sugar syrup everywhere. If you need a bit more mixing action to make sure the yolks and sugar syrup combine, stop drizzling the syrup and then briefly turn the speed up. Then return the mixer to a low speed and add more syrup.
- Make sure the egg yolk/sugar mixture is completely cool before adding the butter. If you add the butter to a hot mixture, it will melt and you’ll have soupy/runny buttercream.
Store these macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
What do I do if I don’t have a stand mixer?
If you do not have a stand mixer, my recommendation is to adapt this recipe to the French method of making macarons. Simply whip the egg whites using an electric mixer and gradually add the caster sugar. Continue whipping until the egg whites form stiff peaks and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Other Filling Ideas
If you’re not keen on French buttercream, here’s a couple of ideas you can replace it with:
- Chocolate ganache made with 3 parts chocolate & 1 part cream.
- Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting: Try this recipe by Jo-Anna at A Pretty Life
- A 50/50 mix of Chocolate Ganache & Marshmallow Frosting
Hope you enjoy eating my hot chocolate macarons as much as I do. If you loved this recipe for hot chocolate macarons, then make sure you check out some of the other macaron recipes on my site
Happy baking x
Hot Chocolate Macarons
- Stand Mixer
- Kitchen Scales
- Fine Mesh Sieve
- Piping Bags & Nozzles
- Saucepan & Stovetop
- Baking Tray
- Parchment paper or Silicone Baking Mat
- Candy Thermometer
- Macaron template
Hot Chocolate Macaron Cookies
- 100 grams Powdered Sugar (icing sugar)
- 125 grams Almond Flour
- 80 grams Caster Sugar (Fine Granulated Sugar)
- 90 grams Egg White
- 2 grams Egg White Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 20 grams Hot Chocolate Powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
Hot Chocolate French Buttercream
- 60 grams Caster Sugar (Fine Granulated Sugar)
- 3 Egg Yolks (approximately 45 grams)
- 140 grams Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Hot Chocolate Powder
Make Macaron Cookies
- Measure and sift the almond flour, icing sugar and hot chocolate into a bowl. Set this bowl of dry ingredients aside.
- Place your macaron template (if using one) on your baking tray and cover it with a layer of baking paper (or silicone mat). Set this aside also.
- Place the sugar, egg powder and egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Fill a saucepan with about an inch of boiling water and put it on low heat on the stovetop.
- Place the bowl of your stand mixer on top of the saucepan to make a makeshift double boiler. Use a whisk to stir the egg whites and sugar over low heat with a whisk until the sugar completely dissolves.
- Remove the stand mixer bowl from the heat, and fix it to the mixer. Fix the whisk attachment to your stand mixer. Add the Cream of Tartar to the egg whites and whip the mixture until it forms stiff peaks. The bowl of your stand mixer should feel cool to touch.
- Add the salt and vanilla extract, and whip for a further 30 seconds until its all stirred through.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the meringue and gently fold it in using a rubber spatula. Then repeat this process with the second half of the dry ingredients.
- Next deflate the mixture slightly by spreading it around the sides of the bowl, then scrape it back into the middle. Continue this process until the batter becomes slightly runny. You know it is ready when you can scoop up some with your spatula and it falls off in a ribbon shape. See my blog post for a photo that demonstrates what this looks like.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag that has been fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe the macarons onto a baking tray that has been lined with either a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Once you've piped your macarons, bang the tray on the counter at least 3 times to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface. Then inspect the macarons closely and use a tooth pick to pop any air bubbles you can see.
- Allow the macarons to sit on the counter until they dry slightly. They will be ready to bake when they look mat and don't feel sticky. This can take anywhere for 20-40 minutes, depending on the weather.
- If you have used a printed template as a guide, make sure you remove this from the tray before you bake you bake your macarons.
- Bake in the oven at 270 degrees Fahrenheit (130 degrees Celsius) for 17-20 minutes. See notes for how to check if macarons are cooked.
- Allow the macarons to cool completely on the baking tray before transferring them to an air tight container.
Hot Chocolate French Buttercream
- Place the egg yolks in a clean bowl of your stand mixer and whip them until they are thick and foamy. This can take a while (at least 10 minutes at top speed).
- While the eggs are whipping, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 degrees Celsius). Use a candy thermometer to make sure your sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature.
- Turn your stand mixer down to a medium/low and slowly and steadily drizzle the hot sugar syrup into your egg yolks. Then turn the mixer up to high and whip the mixture until the bowl is completely cool and the egg yolks look pale and have increased in volume.
- Adjust the mixer speed back to medium and add your room temperature butter, adding one tablespoon at a time and allowing each piece of butter to be incorporated before adding the next.
- Add the salt, vanilla extract and hot cocoa powder and whip for a further 30 seconds until the final ingredients have been incorporated.
Assemble your macarons
- Organize your macaron cookies into equal size/shaped pairs.
- Fill a piping bag with your buttercream, flip one of the macarons over and pipe a dollop of buttercream onto the underside of that macaron. Then place it's matching pair on top (underside also facing the buttercream).
- Store your macarons in an airtight container in the fridge until it's time to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are 3 main methods for making macarons. The Swiss method, the French method, the Italian method. All 3 methods involve making a meringue and folding in a mixture of almond flour and powdered sugar. How they differ is the method which the meringue is made.
Macarons that are made using the swiss method involve heating egg white and sugar in a double boiler until the sugar dissolves. This is then whipped using an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer) until the mixture forms stiff peaks. You then fold in the almond flour and powdered sugar and mix until the batter becomes the ideal consistency.
Macarons that are made with the French method use a meringue that has been made by gradually adding granulated sugar while whipping egg whites with an electric mixer. While the Italian method uses a meringue that has been made by gradually pouring sugar syrup into the egg whites while they are being whipped.
I’ve made dozens of macarons over the past few years, and have shared many of my favorite macaron recipes over time on this blog. But all of the recipes I’ve posted so far have used the French method. This is one of the first batches of macarons that I’ve made using the Swiss Method. I have to tell you, these are hands down the best macarons I’ve made in months. The cookies have incredible body, perfect feet, no hollow shells at all and are less sweet than French macarons. The French method is great if you do not have a stand mixer, as a hand held mixer is easily up to the job of making a French meringue. That said, if you do have a stand mixer, I highly recommend you give Swiss meringues a go. I was inspired by Camila, from Pies and Tacos to give the Swiss Macarons a try, and I am absolutely hooked.
This is also my first attempt at making French buttercream, and I am obsessed with this buttercream. It’s rich, creamy, smooth but not overly sweet. This makes it a wonderful pairing for macarons (which are sweet in nature due to the inclusion of both powdered sugar and caster sugar).
Personally, I find macarons that are filled with American Buttercream or even Swiss Meringue Buttercream to be much too sweet. I like to eat a lot of macarons in one go, but if they’re filled with American Buttercream, I can’t stomach more than one or two. As a result most of my recipes include details to fill macarons with Ermine frosting, Citrus Curd or Ganache.
That said this French Buttercream is easily far better than any filling I’ve made so far. They genuinely taste authentically like the real deal and remind me of the macarons I used to buy at the local markets in Grenoble, France.
Expect to find more macarons on my blog filled with French Buttercream, because I am officially addicted.