These sparkling macarons feature a creamy white chocolate ganache paired with a bright cranberry filling. This flavor combo is honestly super high on my list of favorites!
The most detailed step of creating these White Chocolate Cranberry Macarons, is making the shells. For a closer look at the process, jump over to my Basic French Macaron recipe and take special notice of the photos featuring the meringue stiffness and batter consistency.
This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
Make sure to add the sanding sugar shortly after piping so your shells will still be tacky enough for the sprinkles to stick. The sparkle of the sanding sugar on the white shells gives these macarons a snowy winter wonderland look. It also gives them a nice little crunch which adds another layer of texture.
Both components of the filling will need adequate time to cool, so be sure to prep them far enough in advance to allow time for chilling.
Just a little note about the white chocolate ganache, when I was making it I did notice a bit of splitting. I was able to save it and bring it back to my desired consistency, but in the process I had to do some research to find out how to avoid splitting, and also how to rescue it if that does happen. I found a GOLD MINE of ganache information over at Philosophy of Yum. Check out this post below if split ganache is a common problem for you, or if you want to prevent the problem before it even begins! (Choose the latter option. It will help you avoid the “how the heck did something with so few ingredients go wrong” moment).
To balance out the sweetness, I added a pinch of salt to my ganache. I guess technically it was one shake from my salt shaker, but that’s not quite as technical of a term now is it? Has anyone ever measured a standard “pinch”? Are we talking index and thumb only? Are the middle and ring finger apart of this team executing the pinch? I need answers people. Fill me in if you know.
This cranberry filling is easy peasy to whip up and is the perfect POW of flavor in the middle. No other berry quite says Christmas like a cranberry, and the tartness is the perfect duet to the sweet white chocolate.
With most fruit, curd, or custard type fillings, I use a border of buttercream or ganache to prevent the softer filling on the inside from seeping out.
This flavor combo freezes really well, so make a big batch for all of your holiday get togethers and then take them out as needed! Allow 20-30 minutes to come to room temp before eating for the best texture experience.
I hope you love these White Chocolate Cranberry Macarons as much as I do! Let me know what you think if you try out this recipe!
Looking for more holiday recipes? Check these out!
White Chocolate Cranberry Macarons
- 130 grams Egg Whites Approximately 4 Large Eggs
- 120 grams Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 200 grams Almond Flour
- 200 grams Confectioner’s Sugar
- 15 Drops White Gel Food Coloring optional
- 2-3 TBS Clear Sanding Sugar
White Chocolate Ganache
- 6 oz White Chocolate Chips
- 2 oz Heavy Cream
- 1 Pinch of Salt
- 1 Cup Cranberries
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 3 TBS Water
- 1 TBS Orange Juice
- 1 Small Pinch of Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Corn Starch
- 1 tsp Water
- The white chocolate ganache takes about 2 hours to set, and the cranberry filling can take a bit to cool as well. Take this in to consideration when prepping so you can allow adequate time for fillings to set and cool before assembly.
- Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat (circle template optional but recommended).
- Place a medium round piping tip (Like a Wilton #2A or #12) in a large piping bag. Twist the bag right behind the tip and add a clip to seal off the opening. Place the bag tip down into either a clean tall cup with the edges folded over the rim to keep the bag open, or clip it into a bag holder.
- Using a kitchen scale, carefully weigh out and sift the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk well to fully blend the two together.
- Place egg whites, granulated sugar, and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl, and begin beating with a whisk attachment using either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer for 3 minutes on a medium low speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 4).
- Turn up the mixer to a medium speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 6) and beat for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add white gel food coloring (optional)
- Turn mixer up to medium high speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 8) and beat for 3 more minutes, or until peaks are very stiff and the meringue clumps up in a ball in the center of the whisk. Test stiffness by removing whisk and pointing it upward. (See photos in basic french macarons post) Once the peaks can hold their shape flipped upright, your meringue is ready.
- Pour half of your almond flour/confectioner’s sugar mixture into the bowl with your meringue, and fold 15 times. One fold is scraping all the way around the edge of your batter in your bowl, and then dragging your spatula through the middle. Be sure to scoop around the bottom of the bowl as well so you don’t miss any dry ingredients.
- Pour in the remaining powdered sugar and almond flour, and continue folding (approximately 30 more folds) until dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not overfold. Start checking your batter’s readiness every 5 folds or so at this point by scraping all batter down to the bottom of your bowl, and then wiggling your bowl back and forth several times. If the batter levels out with very few peaks and lines remaining, it should be ready. This is a thicker macaron batter than most and should not be folded to the point where you can do the figure 8 test or it flows in ribbons off your spatula.
- Pour batter into prepared piping bag, and twist the opening off. Hold your bag at the twist between your thumb and pointer finger. Remove the clip.
- Holding the piping bag straight up and down, apply pressure to begin piping your batter in the center of your circle templates, releasing pressure once you are a few millimeters short of your desired size. After you release pressure, use a small quick circular flick to release your tip from the piped macaron.
- Once you’ve piped a full tray, firmly bang the tray on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles and smooth out shells. Pop any remaining large bubbles with a toothpick. Repeat with the second tray.
- Sprinkle sanding sugar on the top of the shells for decoration.
- Begin preheating your oven to 295 degrees, using an oven thermometer if possible to ensure accurate temperature readings.
- Set aside shells to dry until they form a skin and are no longer tacky to the touch. Once you can gently run a finger over your shells, they are ready to bake. Use a fan to speed up the process, rotating the tray every few minutes to ensure even drying. This usually takes at least 16-20 minutes for me even with a fan.
- Once shells are dry, and the oven has fully preheated to 295, place one tray in the center of the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 18 minutes.
- Quickly open door to check the shell’s doneness by gently pressing on the side just above the feet to see if it’s firm. If it moves at all, bake for another 2 minutes.
- Check shells by performing the same test, pressing on the side. If they are still unstable, bake for one more minute, and check again. Repeat until shells are firm and do not budge.
- Allow shells to cool completely, and the carefully remove from silicone mat or parchment paper by gently peeling them off.
White Chocolate Ganache
- In a medium size microwave safe bowl, stir together the white chocolate, heavy cream, and salt.
- Microwave for 20 seconds, and stir.
- Continue microwaving in 10 second intervals, stirring well each time until smooth.
- Cover ganache with plastic wrap and set ganache aside to cool until set. This can take hours, so make the ganache far enough in advance to allow time for it to set.
- Combine cranberries, sugar, water, orange juice, and cinnamon in a small sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until the berries have begun to burst.
- Turn the stove down to medium heat, and use a wooden spoon to mash the berries while they simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and remaining water, and then pour in to the sauce pan with the filling while stirring. Cook until the filling has thickened.
- Cool in fridge until chilled.
- Match each shell with a partner shell of equal size.
- Wait to fill macarons until both the white chocolate ganache and the cranberry filling are no longer warm and have set. Using a piping bag with a round piping tip (Wilton #12 or #10 size), pipe a border of white chocolate ganache on one shell in each pair.
- Fill the center of the white chocolate ganache border with the cranberry filling. A quick way to do this is to place the filling in a ziploc bag, and then cut off a corner of the bag and use it to pipe the filling.
- Gently sandwich the matched shell on top to complete your macaron.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to allow the macarons to “mature” and fully develop their flavor and texture. Eat within 3-4 days. Enjoy!