Why Macarons have Sticky Bottom Shells

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Macarons can have sticky bottom shells due to a number of issues. Macarons will turn out under baked, but there are a few changes you can make to prevent your next batch of macarons from having sticky bottom shells.

Using stainless steel baking pans vs aluminum for macarons

Stainless steel baking pans can get hot spots over time. The uneven distribution of heat in older stainless steel pans can make macarons have sticky bottom shells, and will come out of the oven undercooked.

Aluminum is the best metal for conducting heat over other baking sheets like stainless steel.

Aluminum baking pans conduct heat evenly throughout the pan.

Aluminum is a light colored baking sheet; it doesn’t absorb heat like other metals, such as stainless steel.

With a lighter colored pan, you can bake your macarons for a shorter amount of time than if you used a stainless steel baking sheet.

Why Macarons have Sticky Bottom Shells

Using an oily baking pan for macarons

Macarons need to be baked on a baking sheet that is perfectly clean.

There can be no oily residue present on the baking sheet. If there is any presence of oil on the baking pan, the macarons will absorb the oil and will not turn out. The macarons will be sticky, under baked, or will not turn out at all.

If you’re having trouble removing the oily residue from your aluminum baking pan, pour very hot water on the pan, and this should remove the oil from the baking pan.

Using an oily silicone baking mat for macarons

If you’re using a silicone baking mat to line your baking sheet, make sure there is no oily residue left on the baking mat before piping your macarons.

Your macarons will absorb the oil, and will have sticky bottoms.

If you’re not able to get your silicone baking mat clean, try using a fresh sheet of parchment paper to line your baking sheet. Another option is having a separate silicone baking mat to only use for macarons.

Cut the parchment paper to fit to the pan. It’s much easier to pipe close to the edges of the baking pan if the parchment paper isn’t overhanging the edges.

Macarons are under baked

Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven before baking your macarons. Make adjustments as needed for your recipe.

If your first batch of macarons come out of the oven with sticky bottoms, try baking the macarons for 1-2 minutes more. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn very quickly. You can use a baking utensil to check the bottom of one of them while they are in the oven to check to see if they are done.

Meringue for macarons is mixed too long

If your egg whites are mixed too long for your meringue, your macarons can be hollow inside and have sticky bottoms. Try whipping your egg whites for less time to prevent this from happening. Your egg whites are finished when you can turn the mixing bowl upside down and the egg whites don’t move. Check periodically on them as you whip the meringue.

How Fine should Almond Flour be for Macarons

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Almond flour needs to be sifted and very fine before using it for macarons. You can see how grainy the almond flour is before it’s been sifted.

how does a sifter work with almond flour

You can see the difference in the texture of the almond flour after it has been sifted. The texture is much finer and lighter. Almond flour needs to be crumbly and easily be rubbed with your finger tips.

How Fine should Almond Flour be for Macarons

There is a difference in how fine your almond flour is depending on which one you’re using for your recipe. You can find almond flour that specifically indicates it’s superfine. It’s best to use an almond flour that is already fine to begin with. Then you don’t have to grind the almond flour any smaller using a food processor.

To remove any clumps in your almond flour before using them for macarons, sift the almond flour right before using it. It’s easier to sift almond flour using a colander with a medium mesh, over a sifter with a fine mesh.

How Fine should Almond Flour be for Macarons

A colander can remove the large clumps that form in almond flour. You don’t need to use a fine mesh sieve in order to the the almond flour thin enough. A colander works well and is much faster than using a sifter.

Why Macarons Stick to the Silicone Baking Mat

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Undercooked Macarons

Your macarons will stick to the silicone mat if they are undercooked.

Bake your macarons for 1-2 minutes longer than when using parchment paper for the macarons to be easily peeled from the silicone baking mat.

Macarons are not fully cooled

Macarons will stick to the silicone baking mat if haven’t fully cooled before trying to remove them. Let them cool for at least 20 minutes before trying to remove the macarons. Usually it’s easier to leave the macarons on the baking sheet and let the macarons cool on the silicone baking mat for at least 20 minutes. Then peel the macarons off of the silicone baking mat and fill them.

Silicone baking mat is oily

Silicone baking mats cannot have any oily residue, or particulate present on the baking mat when using them for macarons. The macarons will absorb the oil while baking, making the macarons very difficult to get off of the silicone baking mat.

To remove oily residue from the silicone baking mat, wash it with soap and water and rinse to let dry.

If the oily residue is still present, pour boiling water on the silicone baking mat and it will clean the baking mat perfectly to use for your macarons.

Why Macarons Stick to the Silicone Baking Mat

Baking pan is old

Macarons need fresh aluminum baking pans to cook well. If your baking pan is old, unfortunately the macarons will stick to silicone and even parchment paper. Macarons need the conductivity of aluminum to cook evenly and for the temperature to be evenly distributed while baking. Use a new aluminum baking pan for cooking macarons if your pans are quite well used.

Baking pan is oily

Macarons will absorb any oil that’s present on the baking pan through the silicone or parchment paper. Remove any oily residue from the pan by washing it with soap and water.

If the baking pan will not become clean after using soap and water, pour boiling water on the baking pan. The boiling water will clean the baking pan to remove any oil that is present and make it freshly clean to use for baking macarons on.

Why Macarons Stick to the Silicone Baking Mat

Painting Macarons with Food Coloring

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Painting on macarons with food coloring will give your macarons some color contrast and be more eye catching.

You can paint on macarons using either powdered food coloring or gel food coloring with a couple of drops of almond extract.

In order for you to apply the food coloring to paint your macarons, you will need to use a food safe paint brush.

Macarons have delicate shells that can be damaged if pressed too hard with a paint brush. Apply the food coloring to the macaron gently, as if you were painting a picture.

Painting Macarons with Food Coloring

When you’re making up your coloring for painting on macarons, you don’t want to use too much almond extract to make your coloring. If you pour too much, the food coloring will be more like watercolor paint. The color will not go on the macaron as strong, and it will be too runny to really show up on the macaron.

Just use a little almond extract for your coloring. The color will be strong and easily painted on the macaron. The color will not run if you only use a drop or two.

Sometimes the color will dry out in your bowl, just add another drop or two of almond extract to make it liquid again.

You can begin painting your macarons after you have filled them. They will be easier to hold onto, and you won’t have to worry about the color being disturbed if you’re kind of messy when you fill your macarons.

Lay all of the filled macarons on a plate, and pick up the macaron when you’re ready to fill it.

Hold the macaron steady and you apply paint with the other hand. If you lay the macaron on a plate to paint it, you’ll still have to hold onto the macaron because it will move away when you try to apply paint. Macarons are not heavy enough to stay in place as you paint them.

For each color you want to paint your macarons, you’ll need a new bowl. You don’t want any of your colors to mix together, so it’s best to keep the food colors separate from each other.

If you’re changing colors with your paint brush, wash it out with soap and water and rinse well. Dry the paint brush with a dark towel (just in case the color runs and ruins your towel) and then you can paint your next color on your macaron.

How to Paint on Macarons

How to Write on Macarons

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

To write on macarons, you’ll need something that’s able to write on macarons.

One writing utensil you can use is an edible marker.

An edible marker has a sharp point on the end which makes writing words and on the macarons very easy.

The harder you press the edible marker, the wider the lines created.

For writing on macarons, you don’t want to use too much force when pressing your design into the cookie. Macarons have a delicate shell and can be easily damaged if pressed too hard.

Gently touch the edible marker to the macaron to create your design.

There are many different colors you can use to write on macarons. You can create a rainbow on your macarons if you wanted to.

You can only write a couple of words on a macaron since the macaron is quite a small cookie. It’s best to write only 1 or 2 words on the macarons to make sure your guests see the writing.

When writing on your macarons, try to stick to a theme.

Things to write on macarons for a baby shower

  • “Oh Baby!”
  • “Boy!”
  • “Girl”
  • “Baby”
  • “Bundle”
  • “Little On”

Things to write on macarons for a wedding shower

  • “Love”
  • “I do”
  • “Yes!”
  • “01/01/21” (Date of Wedding)
  • “Groom”
  • “Bride”

Things to write on macarons for a birthday party

  • “Birthday”
  • “21” – (# years old)
  • “Celebrate”
  • “Happy Birthday!”
  • “Over the Hill” (40th birthday)
how to write on macarons

Using your edible marker you can write small details on macarons to create face shapes. In the above photo, you can see how we’ve used the marker to create eye lashes on a unicorn macaron.

Cool Macaron Designs

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Macarons can be one of the most special and thoughtful gifts you can give someone. They can be customized to represent a theme or special occasion.

Here are some ideas for your next macaron batch.

Heart Macarons

You can make some personalized macarons by creating heart shapes using your macaron batter. Use your piping tip made one diagonal line, then continue and make another diagonal line. Use a toothpick to manipulate the batter into the heart sharp you’re wanting. You can use the toothpick to make more of a point at the bottom of the heart, and to join the intersecting batter to mold the heart together.

cool macaron designs

Teddy Bear Macarons

To make the bear macaron design, make your initial circle the head. Be sure to have enough room above the head to create 2 smaller circles for the ears.

Next, put another circle below the head for the body. Add 2 more smaller circles beside it for the arms.

Add the feet by adding 2 more circles on the bottom of the body circle. Remove the air bubbles from the macaron.

Let the bear dry for 15 minutes. Add the final nose circle. Only add a small amount of batter for the nose. A little goes a long way.

Bake the macarons and let them come to room temperature.

To create the bear design, make 2 small circles for the eyes using an edible marker.

Add an upside down triangle onto the nose piece. Make 2 lines of opposing fish hooks underneath that.

This creates a cool macaron design of a teddy bear. You can use this design for kids or birthday celebrations.

cool macaron designs

Honey Bee Bear Macaron

To make the bear design, add 2 small circles onto your regular circular macaron.

Once the macaron has baked and cooled, you’re ready to add the 2 circles for the eyes. Above the circles add 2 semi circles for eye brows.

Add 1 nose circle a bit below the eyes in the center of the macaron.

You can continue the design by adding a sideways teardrop on its face. Add 2 smaller teardrops for wings.

Add a couple of lines on the body and a circle for the eye of the bee.

Finally, add small lines for the path of the bee.

Bee Macaron

To make the large bee macaron, make the macaron a teardrop shape.

Then add the wings of the bee overtop of the body.

Using a toothpick, make a point at the end of the bee macaron for a stinger.

Bake the macarons and let them cool.

Spread melted white chocolate over the wings in a sweeping motion. This creates the wings center that pushes the white chocolate into the center of the wing making it more eye catching.

Add 2 antennae to the bee macaron by adding 2 semi circles side by side. Add 2 circles on the end of the semicircles on the top.

Write 1 circle for the eye close to the edge of the macaron.

Add 2-3 stipes. One black stripe should be at the end of the macaron for the stinger.

How to Make Character Macarons

Truck Macaron

Begin by making a box shape with your macaron batter. Add a small rectangle on top for the cab of the truck macaron.

Add 2 circles on top of the bottle rectangle for the wheels.

Sprinkle a bit of cookie crumbs on the edge of the larger rectangle. This gives the look of carrying dirt in the truck bed.

Bake the truck macarons and let them cool.

Add the final designs of the truck by coloring wheels, tracing the outside of the macaron, and making a window.

This unique macaron design is sure to impress your guests.

How to Begin Decorating Macarons

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Macarons can be decorated in countless ways by:

  • painting
  • drawing
  • buttercream frosting
  • caramel drizzle
  • chocolate drizzle
  • sprinkles
  • coffee granules
  • cookie crumbs

How to decorate macarons with sprinkles

Macarons can be decorated with sprinkles right after piping the batter and removing the air bubbles.

Since the batter is sticky while it’s awaiting drying, the sprinkles will adhere to the macaron batter.

Only put a few sprinkles on the macaron, and they should be quite small. Large sprinkles have the risk of melting in the oven and ruining the macaron shells.

How to decorate macarons with sprinkles

How to decorate macarons with coffee or cookie crumbs

You can decorate macarons with coffee or cookie crumbs by sprinkling a couple of granules on the macaron as soon as they are done piping and have had the air bubbles removed. The cookie crumbs and coffee will stick well to the macaron batter.

You can also put 1 tbsp of coffee or cookie crumbs directly into the dry ingredients when making macaron batter. This will give the macaron shells a hint of flavor.

How to decorate macarons with coffee or cookie crumbs

How to decorate macarons with paint

To decorate macarons with paint, you can use:

Once you have selected the type of coloring you want to decorate your macarons with, add only a couple of drops of almond extract.

Adding the almond extract thins out the coloring to be able to use it to paint on the macaron.

You’ll also need a food grade paint brush to paint the coloring on the macaron.

Dip the bristles into the paint and then gently put the paint on the macaron. The shells are prone to damaging easily, so don’t use too much force to put the pain on the macaron.

You can use a couple of colors to really decorate the macaron beautifully.

How to decorate macarons with paint

How to decorate macarons with a marker

To decorate macarons with a marker, you’ll want to use a marker that is food grade.

Use an edible marker to create cool macaron designs to really enhance the look of your macarons.

You can use different colors of markers to color coordinate a theme to your macarons. You can also use markers for color contrast against the color of your macaron.

Another way to draw on macarons is by writing special words on your macarons. You can write anything from “Happy Birthday” to “Baby” to give them a bit of a special look to them.

How to decorate macarons with buttercream or royal icing

To decorate your macarons with buttercream or royal icing, you’ll want to make sure your icing is fairly stiff. You want the icing to be able to hold its shape on the macaron.

Select the piping tip you want to use. If you want to do some writing or thin lines, you’ll want to select tip #2.

You can pipe the icing directly on the macaron. For buttercream icing, you’ll want to keep the macarons separated from each other. The icing will not harden like royal icing will.

You can pipe designs such as flowers, leaves, trees, etc. to add decoration to your macarons.

How to add caramel or chocolate drizzle to macarons

To add caramel or chocolate drizzle, place your macarons on a large plate. Put the caramel or chocolate into a piping bag, fitted with #2 piping tip. The flow will come fast, you won’t even need to squish the bag for the flow to come out. Make one line on 1 half of the macaron. Continue making 2 more lines that criss cross a little to have an elastic band look to it.

You can add nuts or sprinkles to the drizzle to make it a little more special.

How to Draw on Macarons

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

To draw on macarons, you can use an edible marker to make designs on macarons.

How to draw on macarons

Edible markers come in various colors, not just black.

Black is the most versatile color, that can be used on any bright colored macarons.

Darker macarons are more difficult to draw on, even if you have a light colored marker. I would recommend painting macarons instead of drawing on macarons for dark colored macarons.

You need to be quite gentle when drawing on macarons, because you do not want to pierce the shell.

You can draw a ton of different designs on macarons including writing words to customize the theme of your macarons.

You can make characters with your macarons first, and then add the details by drawing with your edible marker after.

You’ll want to make the shells, fill the macarons, and then draw on the macaron shells. Usually you would only want to draw on one side of the macaron. Have the drawn side up when displaying for your guests.

How to draw on macarons

How to Paint on Macarons

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

You can paint on macarons using either powdered food coloring or gel food coloring with a couple of drops of almond extract.

How to Paint on Macarons

Using a food safe paint brush gently paint on your macaron. You don’t want to use too much almond extract. If you pour too much, the color will be more like watercolor paint.

If you just use a little almond extract, the color will be strong and easily painted on the macaron. The color will not run.

For any other further designs, you can draw on your macarons using edible markers.

When painting on macarons, make sure you have let the shells fully cool, then fill the macarons.

After you’ve filled all of your macarons, you’re ready to paint on your designs.

How to Make Designs on Macarons

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Macarons are one of the most difficult, finicky, delicate desserts to master at home. When you get the hang of making your own macarons, you can move on to making designs on top of your macarons to take them to the next level.

cool macaron designs with characters
Macarons by Crackle Creme

How to make designs on macarons

How to Draw on Macarons

One of the easiest ways to make designs on macarons is by simply drawing your design onto your macaron using an edible marker. You can write names, draw pictures, anything you want that will make your macaron very customizable. Be careful when you’re pressing the pen onto the macaron. The macaron shell is very delicate, so you will want to press lightly when you’re drawing your design onto your macarons. Typically people only draw on one side of the macarons. You can draw on your macarons after you have filled them to give them that final touch of beauty.

how to draw on macarons

How to Brush Color onto Macarons

To brush color onto macarons you can use powdered food coloring and a bit of almond extract. Mix the two together in a small bowl. Paint the color onto the macaron using a food grade paint brush. You can use anything from a small tipped paint brush for fine details, or a large paint brush to give them a gold shimmer. To get that glittery gold look onto your macarons you can brush the macarons with gold dust with a bit of almond extract.

how to paint on macarons

Another way to paint on macarons is by using melted chocolate. You don’t need much melted chocolate, it usually goes a long way when painting. When you have your melted chocolate, dip your food grade paint brush and make small brush strokes onto your macaron. Since chocolate is quite thick, it will give a bit of a ridge to the chocolate when it dries – giving the macaron a textured look. It looks quite beautiful when you paint chocolate into a flower with the petals having a bit of texture to them.

How to make Multicolored Macarons

Create you macaron batter with your colors and get ready to pipe. Pipe your initial color onto your macaron mat. This will be the circle portion, or if you’re making a different shape of macaron, this will be the base. Pipe your first color onto your template. Next, add your smaller detailed colors. This could be the ears of an animal – pipe small circles so they touch the round macaron to create the ears. You could be making a truck macaron – pipe the small circles to create the tires. If you’re wanting a layered macaron – could be a bears nose – pipe the color directly onto your circle macaron that you initially piped. You’ll want to pipe it ~15 min after you’ve piped the first color. This allows the first color to dry a bit, and can hold the next color adequately so it sits on top of the initial colored macaron. Let it dry for another 15 min until it forms a skin on it. Bake the macarons as you normal. Let the shells cool, and then fill them. Now you’re to draw on any extra decoration you want for your macarons.

how to make character macarons at home
Macarons by Crackle Creme