Macarons have certainly earned their finicky reputation thanks to the level of precision they require. Over the years I’ve had my fair share of mac fails with less precise recipes and methods. However, after adapting the Bouchon Bakery method several years ago, it’s been mostly smooth sailing. Despite having years of successes under my belt, every time I make them I start out anxious and wary and end up being pleasantly surprised with how well this recipe turns out. Eggnog macarons have been one of my favorite flavors to make during the holiday season for many years, and I figured it was time I finally shared them with all of you.

I know eggnog can be a polarizing beverage and flavor, but if you love it and you’ve never made macarons before, this might just need to be the first recipe you try! The shells are simple plain macaron shells that I dusted with freshly grated nutmeg just before baking using my beloved duster tool. The filling is my favorite easy vanilla buttercream, with the heavy cream and vanilla simply subbed out for eggnog and a tiny splash of dark rum or bourbon if that’s your jam. 

Be sure to check out my step-by-step macaron tutorial for more information and visuals on the process. Another helpful tip to keep the sizes relatively uniform is that I like to trace rounds on my parchment using a pencil tracing around the wide end of one of my largest pastry tips and then flip the parchment over so that the pencil is on the reverse side from where I am actually piping the batter. Have fun, friends! If you make some please tag me or send photos my way. I always love seeing reader creations!

  • Prep 30 minutes
  • Cook 9-12 minutes
  • Yield about 3 dozen macarons


For the macaron shells:

  • 212 grams almond meal
  • 212 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 82 and 90 grams egg whites, divided
  • 236 grams granulated sugar, plus a pinch
  • 158 grams water
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for dusting

For the filling:

  • 367 grams (1½ cups plus 2 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 340 grams (3 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp. eggnog
  • 1-2 tsp. dark rum or bourbon (optional)


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk together to blend and break up any clumps. (You may also use an equal weight of blanched or slivered almonds and grind them in a food processor, but I much prefer the convenience of almond meal, not to mention I think it ultimately results in a better texture.) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in 82 grams of the egg whites. Blend the egg whites into the dry ingredients until evenly mixed. The mixture will be thick and paste-like.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, combine the sugar and water for the syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat with a candy thermometer clipped to the side. When the temperature is around 200˚ F, combine the 90 gram portion of egg whites with a pinch of sugar. Begin whipping on medium-low speed. Continue whipping the whites on medium speed until they form soft peaks. If soft peaks are achieved before the syrup reaches the target temperature, reduce the speed to low to keep the whites moving.

  • 03

    Once the syrup reaches 248˚ F, immediately remove it from the heat.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and pour the syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow drizzle until fully incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the meringue until stiff, glossy peaks form.

  • 04

    Add one third of the meringue mixture to the bowl with the almond mixture. Fold in gently until the mixture is smooth. A bit at a time, gently fold in the remaining meringue until the batter is smooth and runs in thick ribbons off of the spatula. You may not need all of the meringue, so add it gradually. Add the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with about a ½-inch opening. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet about ½-inch above the surface of the pan. Steadily pipe rounds about 1¼- to 1½-inches in diameter. The batter may create small peaks immediately after piping, but if it is the correct texture these will smooth themselves away after a minute or two. If the batter is too stiff, the peaks will remain and the tops of the shells may not be totally smooth. If the batter is too thin, the rounds will spread further. Lightly dust the tops of the shells with freshly grated nutmeg (I only did this to half of the shells since the others would be bottoms.)

  • 05

    Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 325˚ F. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the tops are smooth and set and “feet” have formed around the bottom. Let the shells cool just briefly on the baking sheet, maybe 5 minutes or so, and then peel away from the parchment. They should come away easily and fully intact. Transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat as needed with the remaining batter, replacing the parchment paper with each batch. (Bring the oven temperature back up to 350˚ F before baking a second sheet, and proceed as before.)

  • 06

    To make the filling, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated. Add in the salt. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Mix in the eggnog on low speed just until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes. Blend in the rum or bourbon, if using.

  • 07

    Transfer the eggnog buttercream to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip. Pipe a small amount onto the bottom halves of the macaron shells and then place a top shell over the filling, gently pressing until the filling reaches the edges.