Dirty Chai Macarons

12 macarons
1 Hours 12 Minutes

After making my chai sugar cookies, I was on a bit of a chai spice kick! Chai lattes with a shot of espresso are one of my favorite fall drinks, so I transformed them into dirty chai macarons! The shells are like a chai tea macaron and they’re filled with espresso buttercream.

The first time I made macarons, I had absolutely no background information about how to make them, what ingredients they used, or anything else, really. I had tried maybe two macarons in my life before I made them on my own. The only thing I really knew about them was that they were difficult to make, and I wanted a baking challenge! It took me at least 3 attempts before I made macarons that didn’t all crack or have a big empty bubble inside. One of my big problems was that I didn’t know what stiff peaks were! I made them twice before thinking “hmm, I should probably look up exactly what stiff peaks are.” And boy, was I wayyy off!

For more tips and details, including a photo tutorial showing how to make these dirty chai macarons, check out my blog post!

Dirty Chai Macarons

Recipe details

  • 12 macarons
  • Prep time: 60 Minutes|Cook time: 12 Minutes|Total time: 1 Hours 12 Minutes


Chai Macaron Shells

Espresso Buttercream


Macaron Shells

Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar, then transfer to a food chopper and puree for 15 seconds in 5 second intervals. Sift them again, discard any clumps, and mix in the chai spice.
In a separate large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar using an electric mixer until they reach soft peaks. Add 1/3 of the sugar, whisk, and repeat until all of the sugar is mixed in. Add the vanilla and continue to whisk until you have stiff peaks.
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a spatula. The perfect consistency will appear shiny and when you lift a spatula-full to the height of the bowl, the batter will drizzle down in a smooth and steady manner.
Transfer the batter into a piping bag with a medium sized round tip. Pipe even circles onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (if using parchment, put a few spots of batter in the corners under the paper so that it's secured to the sheet).
Lift your baking sheet about 8" and drop it onto the counter. Repeat 4 more times. (This is to help release any bubbles) Then, using a toothpick, smooth out any bubble holes or peaks in the batter.
Let the macarons sit in a dry environment for 30-60 minutes. They're ready to bake when they're no longer sticky to the touch. Preheat oven to 300°F while the macarons set.
Bake for 12-15 minutes and then let them cool completely before removing from the sheet.

Espresso Buttercream

Cream the butter, then add powdered sugar, espresso, and optional food coloring. Mix until well combined. If the buttercream is too thick, add a tiny bit of milk, cream, or water.

Assemble the Macarons

Pair the macaron shells up and pipe buttercream onto one shell of each pair. Then, place the shells together.
Optional: drizzle with a sauce like caramel, dulce de leche, or chocolate.


  • *To make your own chai spice, combine: 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp allspice, 2 tsp cinnamon, 3 tsp ginger

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