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These fun colorful cloud macarons are the perfect spring macarons, made with a plain macaron batter, and then decorated with edible food color paint splatter for a fun baking project!
Spring is here! The weather is warmer, and what’s more fun than a colorful baking project to welcome the warmer weather.
These cloud macarons are of course inspired by the season of spring.
Spring is a season where all of a sudden everything seems warmer and brighter! The sun is out longer, there are fresh flowers everywhere, and everyone just seems to be happier!
Adding a lot of color to cloud-shaped macarons seemed like a great way to welcome the warmer weather and the color of spring.
These colorful cloud macarons are a fun project made with any macaron batter piped into the shape of clouds, and decorated with a simple. to make, edible food paint made with gel food color!
I have a few other similar projects with macarons decorated with edible food paint:
- Paint Splatter Macarons for Valentine’s Day
- Monochrome Purple Splatter Macarons
- Hand Painted Floral Macarons
- Painted Leaf Green & Rose Gold Macarons
If you are looking for more ideas to decorate macarons, check out this post on more ideas to decorate macarons!
Tools & Ingredients
For these fun colorful cloud macarons you’ll need a few tools apart from the usual macaron making arsenal:
- Cloud macaron template – Here’s a simple heart template you could use (swap this!)
- Gel Food Color – I typically use Americolor Soft Gel food color.
- Clear extract – or a few drops of Vodka
- Food Safe Paint Brushes –Weighing scale
- Digital Kitchen Scale
- Oven Thermometer
- Piping Tip like the Wilton #12
How to make Colorful Cloud Macarons
These cloud macarons have a few steps to get to the final delicious macarons. The biggest challenge in this project is piping the macaron batter onto the template in the shape of the clouds.
Here is an overview of the steps:
- Cloud Shaped Macaron Shells
- Decorate macarons with an edible paint splatter
- Fill with your favorite filling
STEP #1: Cloud Shaped Macaron Shells
I highly recommend that the ingredients for the macaron shells are weighed to be as precise as possible. I use this scale for accuracy, but any kitchen scale will work. If you’d like more tips on macarons, check out more this post on Macaron Tips!
Combine the dry ingredients:
Start by sifting the almond flour and icing/powdered sugar together a few times to remove clumps. It helps with making sure that the final shells are as smooth as possible.
I typically sift the almond flour and icing sugar at least twice to ensure that no clumps remain. This makes for smooth macaron shells! This is the sieve that I use to make sure no clumps remain!
Make the meringue:
Next, make the meringue, by beating of egg whites, granulated sugar, and a pinch of cream of tartar.
This part can be done on a stand mixer or a hand mixer. For smaller batches of macarons, I prefer to use my Kitchenaid hand mixer.
Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, add all the dry ingredients (almond flour and icing sugar mixture), into the meringue (egg white mixture) and start the macaronage (folding process).
Stop folding when the batter flows off the spatula in a ribbon.
Pipe onto Baking Tray:
Once you’re satisfied with the batter, it’s time to pipe it on the tray.
Prepare a baking sheet with a cloud template, then lay on top of it parchment paper or silicone baking mat. I like using these silicone baking mats. But you can experiment with parchment paper as well!
Transfer your batter to a piping bag, fitted with a round tip. I prefer to use this Wilton #12 round decorating tip.
Pipe the clouds following the template. Use a toothpick or cookie scribe to adjust any of the cloud shapes.
Rest, then Bake
Rest the batter until it is no longer tacky to the touch. It takes about 30 minutes in my kitchen. Once the shells have rested, bake them.
Then bake the macarons. I used a lower baking temperature at 285ºF oven to prevent browning since they are slightly smaller shells, they are light in color.
STEP #3: Decorate, Fill, and Mature
Prepare your workspace:
Splattering edible “paint” onto these macarons is a bit of a messy project. I like to layout newspaper or parchment paper on my work surface.
Make edible paints
For edible paint, we’ll dilute the gel food color with some clear extract or vodka. Any clear extract, like vanilla or almond is great for this! You do need a “quick dry” paint so it doesn’t introduce too much moisture into the macarons.
For the food-safe paint, I mixed clear vanilla extract with gel food color. My favorite is Americolor gel food color, which is super concentrated and allows you to create the look you want.
For this cloud splatter project, 4-5 colors are ideal, so you get the visual of a rainbow splatter on the clouds.
For this project, I used Americolor Gel Food coloring in the following shades:
- Americolor Soft Gel Paste in Leaf Green
- Americolor Soft Gel Paste in Orange
- Americolor Soft Gel Paste in Deep Pink
- Americolor Soft Gel Paste in Violet
These colors are all available in the AmeriColor Gel Colour Starter Set.
Add a drop of each color to separate plates or sections of a large plate. Add a couple of drop of any clear extract or vodka to the colors to dilute the colors to create a more workable consistency.
Decorate the clouds:
Lay out all the cooled macarons onto a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
Dip a food safe paint brush into the first color and splatter it on to the macarons.
Repeat with each color.
One way to “splatter” the paint on your macarons is to hold the brush between your thumb and middle finger and tapping the brush with your second finger. You can vary the vigor of your taps to create differently sized splatters.
Another way: The messy, but in my opinion better approach was to rustle the bristles with paint onto the macarons. This gets the paint all over your hands, but it creates finer sprays, which look more delicate.
Let the shells dry for a couple of hours before handling again.
Once the macaron shells are completely dry, pair them together so you have similar shaped cookies.
Fill the macarons
Pipe preferred frosting onto half the cookies, and sandwich them together.
These macarons can be filled with any of your favorite fillings. Here are some ideas for macaron fillings:
- Hot Chocolate Macarons
- Masala Chai Macarons / Tea Latte Macarons
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons
- Candy Cane Macarons: White Chocolate & Peppermint
- Nutella Macarons
- The coffee frosting from these Mocha Cupcakes with Coffee Frosting
Macarons taste best when they’ve had some time to rest and mature in the fridge. So these macarons can easily be made ahead of time!
Tips and FAQ
- If using a different macaron recipe, then make sure to lower the temperature a little, and bake for 2-3 minutes less than usual to prevent browning.
- If you use my cloud template this recipe will make 30 macarons, the clouds are slightly smaller than regular macarons.
- Make sure to use both pages of the macaron template above, as the cloud as not perfectly symmetrical.
- When piping the clouds, use a scribe or toothpick to help the batter settle in the shape of the clouds.
- For the edible paint, mix any clear extract or vodka into food coloring. I recommend using gel food color to avoid introducing excess moisture to the macarons.
- Make sure to cover your workspace and the walls around you, as the process of splattering on the macarons can get messy and out of control. However, the food coloring comes off most surfaces quite easily.
If you use this tutorial, tag me in your creations and follow me on Instagram @sprinklesandscribbles for more dessert inspiration!
Colorful Paint Splatter Cloud Macarons
- Measuring scale
- Oven thermometer
- Stand mixer or Hand mixer
- Pastry bag
- #12 round tip (optional)
- 2 aluminum baking sheets with silicone mats or Silpat
- Food safe paintbrushes
- 135 grams almond flour
- 125 grams icing sugar
- 100 grams egg whites About 3 large egg whites
- 88 grams granulated sugar
- pinch cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 tbsp clear extract or vodka
- 1 drop gel food color in 4 colors pink, teal, orange and green
- Pre-heat oven to 285°F.
- Separate the eggs from the egg whites (if using fresh eggs). Measure out 100 g (about 3 large eggs).
- In a separate bowl, sift the icing sugar and almond flour together
- Repeat the sifting process to ensure there are no clumps. If there are any clumps, discard them.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and a pinch cream of tartar. Beat on high until foamy.
- Once the egg whites are foamy, turn the mixer down to the lowest setting possible, and slowly add in the granulated sugar. Be sure to incorporate all the sugar into the egg whites.
- Turn up the mixer again on high, and keep beating egg whites until peaks form. DO NOT OVER BEAT.
- Once done, pour all the almond flour and icing sugar mixture into the egg whites.
- With a rubber spatula, fold the dry mixture into the egg whites, until the paste flows like a ribbon.
- Prepare a baking sheet with the cloud template, then lay on top of it parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Fit a pastry bag with a #12 round tip, if using, and trim the bottom as appropriate.
- Pour batter into the bag.
- Pipe clouds onto the prepared baking sheet. You should get about 50-60 clouds in total
- Once piped, rap the sheet on the counter to release all the air bubbles.
- Remove the template from under the parchment or silicone mat.
- Rest for 30 minutes, until the shells have formed a skin, and are no longer tacky to the touch.
- Bake in the oven, at 300°F for 11-12 minutes.
- Check for doneness, by wiggling the shell. Shells are done when they don’t move from the feet. If it wiggles from the feet, then bake for another minute, and check again.
- Cool the shells in the tray.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. This step will get messy so make sure to lay newspaper in your work area.
- Once the shells have cooled, place shells face down on baking sheet
- Mix one drop of gel food color with 1/2 teaspoon of vodka or clear extract. Repeat for each color.
- Dip a paintbrush in on color and gently splatter the paint on the macarons. To create a unique look, splash some paint from a close distance, and some paint from a little farther away.
- Repeat with each color until desired look is achieved.
- Let dry for about an hour, until the alcohol has dried off, and the “paint” is no longer wet.
- Once dry, remove macaron shells from the baking tray and pair similar sized shells together to form the cookie sandwiches.
- Add in about a teaspoon of vanilla filling
- Carefully sandwich the cookie with its pair.
- Repeat to assemble all the cookies
- Once all the cookies are assembled, store the macarons in the fridge for at least 24 hours to mature.
- Enjoy your hard work!