Candy Cane Macarons (Vegan)
These vegan candy cane macarons are perfect for Christmas! Filled with peppermint buttercream and decorated with crushed candy cane pieces, these are a delicious allergy-friendly dessert that can be enjoyed by all.
I have been LOVING Christmas baking this year!
My baking skills have improved a lot since last year so I’m having lots of fun redoing some old recipes and making them better.
I recently updated my French macarons recipe and decided to make some Christmas themed ones too!
So here we are.
These are filled with peppermint flavoured buttercream and have some crushed candy cane pieces around the edges for decoration.
Technically they are vegan peppermint macarons but I think candy cane macarons sound much cuter and more festive!
Want more vegan Christmas recipes? Try these:
How to make candy cane macarons
I would highly recommend using a scale for this recipe as it’s very important that everything is measured accurately.
This recipe also requires a bit of preparation. You will need to reduce your aqua faba the night before you want to make the macarons.
In case you don’t know, aqua faba is the liquid that comes from canned chickpeas.
Drain the chickpeas from 2 400g tins of supermarket chickpeas and weigh out the liquid. It should be roughly 250g. Whatever the starting weight is, you want to reduce it by half.
Place the aqua faba into a small saucepan and put it over a high heat. Weigh it periodically until it reaches half of your starting weight (this should be around 125g).
Leave the liquid to cool then place it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. After chilling, it will be gelatinous a bit like egg whites.
Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F. If you’re using a fan or convection oven, the temperature needs to be at 130°C/275°F instead.
Measure out 100g of the cooled aqua faba and place it into a very clean bowl with 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to mix it up until it becomes pale and frothy.
Measure out 100g of caster (superfine) sugar.
Start whisking the mixture again and add the sugar to the bowl, a little bit at a time.
It will eventually become thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks the same as a meringue mixture. You’ll know you’re done when you can tip the bowl upside down without the mixture moving.
Note that this takes a bit longer to whip up than egg whites but be patient and keep whisking because it will come together eventually.
Sift 100g of icing (powdered) sugar and 100g of ground almonds into the bowl. Use the back of your spoon to push through any stubborn pieces of almond.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold this into the meringue mixture until smooth. You’ll know the mixture is ready when you can draw a figure of 8 without it breaking.
Another useful way to test the batter is by spooning a small amount onto a piece of baking paper. It should spread out smoothly without any bumps sticking up. If it has a point at the top, it needs to be mixed a bit more.
Please be careful not to overmix the batter as it is very difficult to fix once you get to this point. Test it often until you have the consistency mentioned above.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 2-inch circles onto a dark, non-stick cookie sheet.
It’s very important that you use a dark, non stick, flat sheet tray as you will get very different results otherwise. I recommend this baking sheet by Dunelm.
Slam the tray on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for around 20-30 minutes, or long enough so that you can touch them without the mixture rubbing off onto your fingers.
Once the macarons have rested and don’t stick to your fingers, pop them in the oven and bake for 18 minutes.
To test if they are ready, try to move the top of one around with your finger. It should be quite firm and not move too much. If it wobbles, put them back in for another few minutes.
Once baked, let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the tray. Pair them up with similar sized and shaped macaron halves.
Prepare your buttercream filling by mixing together 70g of vegan butter, 350g of icing sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of peppermint extract.
Once smooth, give it a whisk with an electric whisk or stand mixer until it becomes pale and fluffy.
Pipe a swirl of buttercream into the centre of one macaron and use a twisting motion to sandwich it together with another.
Crush two candy canes into small pieces. I used the end of a rolling pin to do this. I used Asda’s brand as I know they are vegan-friendly.
Use your fingers to gently press the candy cane pieces around the edges of the macarons, so that they stick to the buttercream.
If the macarons have risen with feet but stick to the tray, it’s likely that they are slightly under baked.
Preheat your oven again and pop them back in for another few minutes. This works even if the macarons have cooled.
I have not tested this recipe with food colouring in so cannot guarantee it will work. However, I recommend gel colouring over liquid every time. The colour turns out more vibrant and is less likely to affect the consistency of the final product.
These macarons can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Candy Cane Macarons
Aqua faba peppermint macarons with candy cane pieces.
- 100 g Reduced aqua faba (see post above for how to reduce)
- ¼ Teaspoon Cream of tartar
- 100 g Caster sugar
- 100 g Ground almonds
- 100 g Icing/powdered sugar
For the filling:
- 70 g Vegan butter
- 350 g Icing sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Plant-based milk
- ½ Teaspoon Peppermint extract (use ¼ if you don't want a strong flavour)
- 2 Candy canes, crushed into small pieces
Please read the notes before attempting this recipe. It's a difficult one to get right first time so I recommend following the instructions to a tee.
Place the aqua faba and cream of tartar into a bowl. Whisk it using an electric whisk or stand mixer until it becomes pale and frothy.
Slowly add in the caster sugar, a little bit at a time. Keep whisking until it becomes white and glossy like meringue and holds stiff peaks. When it's ready, you will be able to tip the bowl upside down without the mixture moving. Please note that this does take a bit longer than it would with egg whites so be patient and keep whisking! It will come together eventually.
Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into the bowl. Use the back of a spoon to push any stubborn pieces through the sieve.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the sugar and almonds into the meringue mixture until soft and smooth. Be careful not to overmix. When you can draw a figure of 8 using your spatula without the mixture breaking, it's ready. You can also test by spooning a small amount onto some baking paper. If it still has a point or bumps on top after 10 seconds, it needs to be mixed more. It should spread out very slowly and be smooth on top.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 2-inch macarons onto your baking sheet.
Slam the tray on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and let them sit at room temperature until you can touch them without the mixture sticking to your fingers. This usually takes around 20-30 minutes but may take longer.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F. (130°C/275°F if you're using a fan or convection oven)
Once rested, bake the macarons for 18 minutes. You can test if they're ready by trying to wobble the top of one with your fingers. When they're done, they will be firm on top without much movement.
Let the macarons sit on the tray until they are completely cool.
For the buttercream:
Whisk the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar bit by bit until smooth, adding the plant-based milk to loosen it.
Add the peppermint extract and whisk again until the buttercream is light and airy.
Pipe a swirl of buttercream onto half of the macarons and use a twisting motion to sandwich them together with another macaron half.
Use your fingers to place the candy cane pieces around the edges, making sure they stick to the buttercream.
- Measure ingredients with a scale in grams (rather than converting to cups).
- Make sure your bowl and mixers are very clean and free from grease.
- Use an oven thermometer for accuracy. A small change in temperature can cause the macarons to fail.
- Bake them on dark, non-stick, flat cookie sheets without rims such as this one from Dunelm. Do not use baking or wax paper or a silicone mat/tray. Results will vary greatly if you use a different type of tray.