Macaroons Vs Macarons: The Origin Of The Two Confections
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You must have heard about macarons and macaroons. These are two different confections that one can get confused about easily. Macarons originated in Paris, while the other one, macaroons, were made with coconuts in the humble settings of Italy.   

Several pastry chefs go to culinary schools to master how to make macarons. They are not easy to make and need an expert hand to create. Whereas macaroons are closely associated with macarons, are comparatively easy to make, and are often mistaken for French macarons.  

The Origin Of Macaroons   

Macaroons originate from Italy and in contrast to macarons, they have a dense, chewy texture owing to the shredded coconut that gives them a distinct taste and flavour.  The name macaroon was coined from the term ammaccare, which translates to "crush,” referring to almond flour, and this dessert dates back to 8th-century Italy. They were known as the priest’s belly buttons at that time.   

Apart from the coconut macaroons, an Italian macaroon also exists, which is neither like the coconut one nor like the French macarons. The Italian one is crumbly, crispy and has a sweet taste. They are often called the “mother of modern-day macarons,” which were brought to France thousands of years ago.  

The history of the original recipe for the Italian macaroon dates back to the 16th century royal court of Katarina de Medici. Some believe that the noblewoman from Florence brought the recipe with her from Italy when she married the King of France. Only almond flour, egg whites, and powdered sugar were used to make cookies during that period.     

This macaroon was only served to the guests and any nobility associated with royal men. After King Louis XIV’s visit to the Palace of Versailles, the macaroons were presented in front of the common people, that is, they were served to the guests who were not royal.   

When the empire of King Louis XIV fell towards the end of the 18th century, common people began talking about the recipes when the chefs started introducing different ingredients. Here, the almond flour was substituted with coconuts, which led to the creation of the macaroons.  

A French company was the first to add shredded coconut to the confection, which worked as a preservative for long shipments. Similarly, in the US, a baker experimented with coconuts from Cuba, shredding and mixing them into sweets like macaroons.   

The shift from almond flour to coconut flour created a signature dense, chewy texture that people often associated with the coconut macaroon across the globe. Variations like chocolate chips and dip were introduced to enhance the flavours.  

The Origin Of Macarons   

With the fall of King Louis XIV’s empire, it gave rise to another version, which is called macarons. This confection was only served to the royals. These colourful macarons are often regarded as ‘Fresh macaroons’ however, the difference is that they do not feature coconuts and are made of the original ingredients of the Italian macaroons. The French were the ones who gave rise to the macarons people enjoy today.   

Macarons are the cute, sophisticated confection that features in gourmet picnics owing to their assorted colours, flavours, and fillings. The process of making macarons is a difficult one, requiring more air, which is not required in macaroons. Macarons are known for their unique sandwich cookie structure and distinct flavour. The light and delicate texture comes from the mixture of almond flour, powdered sugar, and egg whites. Once baked, the cookies are soft, marshmallowy, and encased in a thin, crunchy, and crumbly coating.   

Differences Between Macaroons And Macarons  


Macaroons: They are made of shredded coconut, egg white and sugar. The ingredients are mixed together and then formed into small mounds before they are baked.  

Macarons: They are made of almond flour, egg whites and sugar. The ingredients are whipped into a batter and then piped into small, round shapes before they’re baked.  


Macaroons: They have a rustic appearance and a textured, coconut-filled exterior.  

Macarons: They have a smooth, flat top and are slightly domed at the bottom. They are often sandwiched together with a filling such as ganache, buttercream or jam.  


Macaroons: They have a dense, chewy texture throughout and are slightly crunchy owing to the presence of shredded coconut.  

Macarons: They have a crispy, delicate exterior and a chewy inside. The texture is often described as light and airy.  


Not everything works well with macarons owing to their complex flavour, while for macaroons, they are less tricky and less technique-driven. See what either of them can be paired with:   

Italian Macaroons:   

  • Coffee: During coffee breaks, enjoy yourself by dipping coconut macaroons into it. The chewy, coconut-filled confection complements the rich and robust notes of the coffee.   
  • Rum: Soak macaroons in rum for flavour. You can also serve them alongside dark rum. The warmth and depth of the rum enhance the richness of coconut-y taste of macaroons.  
  • Milk: Milk balances macaroons’ sweetness and brings out the best of the shredded coconut.   
  • Juicy Fruits: Slice up mango, pineapple, or kiwi with macaroons to enhance the platter. The natural tartness and juiciness of the fruits cut through the richness of the macaroons.  
  • Chocolate Desserts: Top brownies and other chocolate desserts pair well with macaroon crumbs. The rich and indulgent taste of the chocolate desserts complements the nutty taste of the macaroons.   

French Macarons   

  • Tea: Macarons were traditionally enjoyed with afternoon tea in Paris cafes. Fruity as well as herbal teas complement the flavours.   
  • Sparkling Wine: The delicate crunch of the confection is delicious with a glass of white or sparkling wine. The fruity and floral notes of the wine taste excellent with macarons.  
  • Hot Chocolate: Rich macarons pair perfectly dipped into creamy hot cocoa. The cocoa flavours complement the sweet and sometimes tangy taste of macarons. 
  • Ice cream: Top a scoop of vanilla or sorbet with crumbled macarons for a simple sundae. Macarons serve as an excellent garnish and add texture to the ice cream.