Nuts are a hot topic in today’s cooking environment. Not only are schools becoming more cautious about nuts (some even ban all nut and peanut products), but more and more people are being diagnosed with a nut allergy, even as adults!
So what’s a person with a nut allergy to do when a delicious confectionery treat’s main ingredient is almond flour? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Yep, you heard me. Nut-free macarons. The same melt-in-your-mouth, sugary goodness without all those troublesome nuts.
Now, you naysayers are probably already up in arms about a nut-free macaron. I mean, is it really a macaron if it doesn’t have the staple ingredient?
YES! Y’know the saying, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it must be a duck”?
Quack. Quack. Waddle.
These three macaron recipes fit the tasty bill on this one. You don’t need those pesky allergens to make this yummy, sweet treat. Get that mouth salivating and those taste buds ready.
So what do you need to make macarons without almond flour?
*Quick note – as pointed out in the comments below, almonds and peanuts are not in the same family. Almonds are considered a tree nut, while peanuts are a legume. An allergy to one doesn’t necessarily mean an allergy to the other. We’ll keep both out of the recipes below.
Below you will find three different recipes for peanut and tree nut free macarons. One uses sunflower seeds, one uses pumpkin seeds, and one even uses white chocolate.
Don’t have an oven to bake your macarons? Check out my article showing you how to make them without one!
1 – Sunflower Seed Macarons
Easy French Nut-Free Macarons
- 2/3 cup of raw sunflower seeds [71 grams]
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar [117 grams]
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar [53 grams]
- Jam or other filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place sunflower seeds in a food processor (see my recommendations) along with confectioners’ sugar.
- Process until combined, about 1 minute.
- Pass seed/sugar mixture through a sieve.
- Transfer bits that did not go through the sieve back to the food processor; sift again, pressing down on clumps.
- Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids are left.
- Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine first.
- Then whip on medium speed and increase the speed every 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
*This should take between 6-10 minutes.*
- If you are adding color, add it now and then whip on high for 30 seconds.
- Add dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula.
- Repeat just until batter flows like lava.
- Pipe small circles onto parchment paper or on a macaron sheet.
*Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles.*
- Bake until risen and just set, 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Pipe or spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies; top with remaining half.
- Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
It is best to refrigerate overnight and then let them come back to room temperature before eating.
Recipe by Sister DIY – Easy French Macaron (nut-free) Recipe
2 – Pumpkin Seed Nut Free Macarons
In case you were concerned, pumpkin seed allergies are rare. They are not in families closely related to tree nuts, and do not usually produce life-threatening reactions.
As always, take care when consuming them if you are not completely sure you are not allergic.
Malted Pumpkin Seed Macarons with Malted Vanilla Buttercream
- 4 ounces (115g) toasted pumpkin seeds
- 8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
- ¾-ounce (21g) malt powder
- ¼-ounce (7 g) cocoa powder
- 5 ounces egg whites (144g)
- 2½ ounces (72g) sugar
- The scrapings of 1 vanilla bean
- ½ tsp (2g) salt
- 8 ounces (230g) of your favorite vanilla buttercream
- 1-ounce (28g) barley malt syrup
- Preheat the oven to 300° F (148° C).
- Fit a large pastry bag with a plain tip, set aside.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside as well.
*If your oven has a strong bottom level heating element, consider double panning.*
- In the bowl of a food processor, grind the pumpkin seeds, powdered sugar, malt powder and cocoa for one minute.
- Sift this mixture, reserving whatever bits do not pass through.
- Repeat processing and sifting until all of the mixture passes through a sieve, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla bean and salt. Turn the mixer to medium and whip for 3 minutes. Don’t have a stand mixer? In a previous article I wrote, you can find out if you really need one.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and whip another 3 minutes.
- Increase the speed to high for another 3 minutes.
- Whip for a final minute on the highest speed.
*At the end of this minute, you should have an exceedingly stiff, dry Meringue.*
- Now, dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula
*mix until a cake batter-esque consistency is achieved.*
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
- After piping the macarons, rap the sheet pan firmly against the counter two or three times.
- Bake for about 18 minutes or until you can cleanly peel the macarons away from the parchment paper.
*This may take longer than 18 minutes depending on your oven.*
- Cool thoroughly before removing them from the parchment.
- Whip the buttercream and barley malt syrup together and use as a filling for the cookies; sandwiching
*Approximately ½-Tablespoon buttercream between every cookie pair.*
- Store the macarons (see my recommended storage methods), refrigerated, overnight before consuming.
Recipe by Honest Cooking – Macarons: Not as Nutty as You Thought
3 – White Chocolate Nut Free Macarons
- 4 egg whites [140g (4.94 ounces)]
- 1/3 cup caster sugar [72g (2.54 ounces)]
- 8.47 ounces white chocolate, finely grated [240g]
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted [120g (4.23 ounces)]
- Whisk your egg whites and sugar together until firm, add color if desired & whisk thoroughly.
*Egg whites should be stiff enough that you can turn your bowl upside down and it will not spill out of the bowl.*
- Gently fold in your white chocolate and icing sugar.
- Once it is just combined, continue to fold while some more mixture is dropped into the bowl very slowly & melds down into the rest of the mixture.
*You do not want a runny mixture or your macarons will be flat.*
- Pour the mixture into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off and pipe circles onto non-stick baking paper. Piping with a Ziploc bag is just one one the ways I cover in this article about piping without needing a tip.
- Bake at 150°C (302 degrees Fahrenheit) for approximately 20 minutes.
- Leave to cool on the paper and then carefully peel off.
- Pair similarly sized macrons and fill them with ganache.
The recipe should make about 20 macarons.
Recipe by How to Cook That – Nut Free Macaron Recipe
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.