Is there anything more suited to beautiful, delicate, sparkly designs than a snowflake? I’m always drawn to them when I’m searching for winter design inspiration. This post is dedicated to 3 snowflake macaron designs, each at a different level of difficulty. All of the techniques will be shown in timelapse video form at the end of the post, but read through for all of the tips and tricks throughout the process!
Beginner Snowflake Macaron
First up, a beginner level design that only takes a few minutes to put together. For the drizzle, you can use either melted white chocolate, candy melts, or even royal icing. If using chocolate or candy melts, take note of these tips to melt it down. The microwave method is less hands on and quicker, but can be trickier not not to burn the chocolate. The stovetop method takes a bit more time, but provides a slow even melt.
- In a microwave safe cup or bowl, heat small chunks of white chocolate or candy melts for 30 seconds, and then stir.
- Repeat until chocolate is partially melted, and then shorten time intervals to 10 seconds. Do not overheat or the chocolate will burn. Stir well after each heating in the microwave.
- Once only small lumps of chocolate remain, stir well until smooth as residual heat melts the remaining chocolate. If the chocolate feels too thick, add a small amount of shortening or vegetable oil to help thin it out.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Place a heat safe bowl on top that is large enough to cover the opening of the pot.
- Place chocolate or candy melts in the bowl, and stir over the heat from the simmering water until melted.
If using royal icing, use a thinner consistency so your lines will be thinner and easier to drizzle. An easy way to create a makeshift “piping bag” for this drizzle is to put your melted chocolate or royal icing in a small Ziploc bag, and then cut off a SMALL corner. Piping with even pressure across your macaron in a quick motion will give you the most even lines.
Add on sprinkles while chocolate or icing is still wet. I recommend adding on large sprinkles (like the snowflake) AFTER baking your macarons. Even sprinkles as large as the pearls in the photo can break through or off your macaron shell leaving a hole if you place them on before you bake them.
You can create your own sprinkle mixes by purchasing varying texture/size/color sprinkles and blending them together! The Wilton pearls and Great Value Non Pareil sprinkles are available year round at Walmart. The Wilton Snowflakes I used were in stock during the Christmas season.
If you want to go the extra mile, once your drizzle is dry you can break off the excess down the sides of your macarons for a cleaner look. Just a few simple steps, and you’ve got a gorgeous snowflake macaron!
Intermediate Snowflake Macaron
Next up, we have an intermediate skill level snowflake macaron. For this one, you’ll need to pipe your shells in a snowflake shape. I’ve included a template to simplify the process. Download the image, and enlarge it so it fills an entire 8.5″ by 11″ piece of printing paper. Print two copies, and place them side by side on your baking tray under a silicone mat or parchment paper.
For greater detail/shape control, slightly under fold your batter. Also, use a round piping tip that is slightly smaller than your desired thickness for each “branch” to account for the tiny amount of settling your batter will do.
Start at the outer edge of each snowflake “branch” and pipe towards the center. This will help you avoid a pileup of excess batter. Once you are finished piping, sprinkle on clear sanding sugar.
These small snowflakes will bake faster than regular circle shells, so keep an eye out for browning.
Once your shells are ready to decorate, you can whip up a batch of medium/stiff royal icing to decorate them with. See photos for design ideas. Another option to decorate would be white chocolate, but fair warning that it is a bit trickier to get cleaner designs that way.
Advanced Snowflake Macaron
Finally, lets go over the Advanced Snowflake Macaron! This big bubba mac was about the size of my hand. For this macaron, we’ll pull in techniques that include batter piping designs, isomalt, detailed hand placed sprinkles, and royal icing.
First, here is another template for the large size snowflake. Like the previous template, download the image, and enlarge it so it fills an entire 8.5″ by 11″ piece of printing paper. Print two copies, and place them side by side on your baking tray under a silicone mat or parchment paper. (Forgive me if the template isn’t perfect. Thank you for your patience as I learn how to make my own!)
To help with piping precision, slightly under fold your macaron batter. As you pipe, use a toothpick or scribe tool to pull batter into a point at the edges of your branches as shown in the video.
I baked this at my usual 295 degrees, but I did experience some browning and my macaron sticking just a pinch to the mat. For a more even bake, I would recommend lowering your temp maybe 5 degrees lower than normal and keeping a close eye on them to make sure you pull them out right when they’re done. (I haven’t tested that theory, but that’s usually how it works with oven temp troubleshooting)
Be SUPER careful as you peel the snowflakes off the mat! Make sure they are COMPLETELY cooled, and support the macaron as you peel to avoid excess pressure that can crack the branches.
Next, let’s move along to the isomalt! Isomalt is a user friendly way to get into sugar art. I have limited experience with it, but still found it fairly easy to work with. I’ve linked the brand I used below.
Pour 2 ounces of isomalt pearls and 1 gram of water into a small glass measuring cup with a pour spout, and stir. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each time until isomalt pearls are mostly dissolved. Once it gets close to being fully dissolved, shorten intervals to 10 seconds until remaining pearls are gone.
Make sure to stir gently to avoid adding air bubbles. I found that tapping my measuring cup on the counter once it was fully melted helped pop most of the remaining bubbles. The sugar will harden quickly, so work fast from this point.
With your snowflake macarons on a silicone mat, carefully pour isomalt into each open window of the snowflake, stopping just before you reach the top. You may need to reheat the isomalt in short bursts if it hardens before you’ve finished. Pour isomalt windows on both snowflakes. Once isomalt has fully set, you can remove the snowflakes from the mat again.
For the piped decorations, you’ll need to whip up a batch of “piping” or “stiff” consistency royal icing. You want it to be stiff enough to hold its shape to create dimension on your snowflake. Using a small round piping tip, start with piping around the edges where the pearl border will be. See photos for reference. Depending on how stiff your royal icing is, you may need to pipe a few lines, and add pearls as you go as opposed to piping all the way around and potentially having your icing be too dry for the pearls to stick once you start applying them.
The pearls are the same ones mentioned previously from Wilton and can be found at places like Walmart. If you find it difficult to place the pearls with your fingers, you can try using tweezers.
Using the same small round tip, pipe around your isomalt windows. Then, do a basic line across your branches. My final step was adding the details on the branches using a medium sized round tip and a star tip, and finishing off with a few more pearls. See video for reference. Fill your macaron with the filling of your choosing, and carefully sandwich the decorated snowflake shell on top to complete your assembly.
Sorry some of the angles in the video are a little wonky! Most of the footage was originally formatted for Instagram in a portrait orientation.
This snowflake is a labor of love, but really stands out with the different components creating varying dimension and textures. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I’d love to hear any feedback you have if you made it through the post!