Rainbow Color Pink: Strawberry Macarons with no Food Coloring

strawberry macarons with no artificial food coloring

Has it ever happened to you that you were checking strawberry macaron recipes and you thought that the bright colors they came in were actually real? How disappointed was I when I learned that about 90% of all the color is actually from food coloring! That’s why today I am going to give you the real deal. These strawberry macarons really taste like strawberry because, well the buttercream IS full of strawberries. I didn’t color the macaron shells red, well, because I am hosting a blog event, in which I ask you not to use artifical food coloring when presenting a recipe in mainly one rainbow color and because this would be fake.

strawberry macarons with no artificial food coloringCheck out macaron recipes, you will be surprised to see how many claim that the shells actually have some kind of flavor when in fact all their “flavor” comes from a few drops of food coloring. No, thank you.

These macaron shells are plain, because plain is wonderful. If combined with a super flavorful strawberry buttercream. Trust me. And the buttercream! Ever heard of Ermine frosting? It is frosting based on flour. Yes, you read right. You first create a base with flour and milk and that serves as the thickener for the butter. Because then you don’t need as much sugar to get a pipable consistency. Oh, and of course you add reduced strawberries to it because we want the real deal.

strawberry macarons with no artificial food coloringPeople, let’s create some pink color with these strawberry macarons with no additional food coloring!

Credit: Frosting adapted from The tough cookie

Strawberry Macarons with no Artifical Food Coloring

Serves: About 14-16 macarons, depending on size
Cooking Time: 1hr preparation + 16min of baking


  • Strawberry Buttercream
  • 250 grams of either fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 35 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 120 grams of regular sugar
  • 240 grams/milliliters of milk
  • 220 grams of butter at room temperature

  • Macarons
  • 90 grams of eggs whites (about three eggs) at room temperature
  • 110 grams of blanched almonds
  • 160 grams of icing sugar
  • 30 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt



For the buttercream wash, slice and puree fresh strawberries. If using frozen ones, heat up first and then puree.


Let simmer for about 20min and liquid has reduced substantially. The consistency should be close to jam. Set aside.


Now whisk flour, sugar, and milk in a pan and heat up at medium heat while stirring. It should thicken within a minute or so. Cover in plastic wrap until further use.


(Note: this step can also be taken when macaron shells are done): Beat the butter for about five minutes, then add the flour mix, one tablespoon at a time. Once combined, add three tablespoons of reduced strawberries and beat until you have a pipable cream. If too runny, place in the fridge for the butter to harden a bit.


For the macarons if you forgot to take out the eggs on time, leave them in warm water for a few minutes, then separate them. Choose a metal or glas bowl for the egg whites and make sure it is clean and free of any grease.


Put the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process for a minute.


Sift into a bowl. Don't skip this step. If you have larger almond chunks, put them back into the food processor, process and sieve again.


Weigh the regular sugar and put aside.


Now start beating the egg whites with a mixer on low for two minutes. Add the salt once they look foamy. Switch to medium speed for three minutes. Once you have soft peaks, add the sugar. Change to high speed for another three minutes. Your meringue should look glossy and form very stiff peaks.


Add the almond/sugar mix to the meringue all at once and start folding with a spatula delicately.


Most important part, the creation of the batter (macronage) This is really important, read carefully! If you undermix the batter, you will not have proper macarons at the end, but this holds also true if you overmix. Finding the right constistency is key for the macarons to turn out beautifully. The first important thing to keep in mind is to only fold the whole mix. First it will look like the almonds and the meringue don't like each other. This is normal. Simply continue folding slowly. Continue doing so until the batter starts moving back slowly if you take out the spatula. Your final batter should have the constistency of honey. It is liquid, yes, but it will move very slowly. If you have pancake batter, you went too far. The best vido for knowing the right constistency is this one in my opinion.


Once you are happy with your macronage, prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and circles the size of a 2-Euro coin onto each. You should be able to fill both baking sheets with macarons.


Once you are done, rap and bang the baking sheets to get out any air bubbles. If the macronage has the right consistency, for example any "swirls" will move back into place.


Let the macarons sits between 15-20 minutes. This will help them dry and also help to create a shell so they rise properly. If you happen to live in a humid place (I have had problems here in Hamburg), turn on your oven to 120 degrees Celsius, turn off the oven and place both baking sheets in the turned off oven instead. If you touch the macarons with your dry finger, they should feel dry. Take out both baking sheets.


Preheat oven to 145 degrees Celsius meanwhile.


Place first baking sheet in the middle and bake between 15-17 minutes. Repeat with the second batch.


Let cool completely before filling with strawberry buttercream.


No idea what to do with the leftover egg yolks? Check out see this blog post including how to freeze them properly. Prepared macarons are kept best in an airtight container in the fridge. They will get soft after about 2 days. Macarons also freeze beautifully. I like to freeze the macaron shells. Take them out 20 minutes before serving.

strawberry macaronsstrawberry macarons with no artificial food coloring

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  • Reply
    Sunday June 10th, 2018 at 01:44 PM

    Yum, that looks perfect!

    • Reply
      Sunday June 10th, 2018 at 01:51 PM

      Thank you, Laura! They taste just like strawberry!

  • Reply
    Simone von zimtkringel
    Sunday June 17th, 2018 at 03:12 PM

    Hi Jenny, das #sonntagsglück hat mich zu dir geführt und ich bin gleich mal fasziniert: Deine Macarons sehen wunderschön aus! Ich finde die zarten Farben dabei gerade schön. Die brauchen sicher keine künstliche Farbe!
    Liebe Grüße aus dem Süden

    • Reply
      Sunday June 17th, 2018 at 03:31 PM

      Liebe Simone, das freut mich zu hören! Melde dich gerne, wenn du sie nachbackst!

  • Reply
    Kristen Greer
    Monday May 3rd, 2021 at 02:02 PM

    Hi Jenny, where did you buy the boxes that are shown holding your macarons? I have been looking for some like that. Also, I look forward to trying this recipe, particularly the buttercream! Thank you.

    • Reply
      Monday May 3rd, 2021 at 02:08 PM

      Hi Kristen, I usually keep the boxes when I buy macarons, that one is from France as far as I remember, but try to google macaron box, I am sure you can buy them online. Good luck and I hope you like them!

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