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gluten-free strawberry macaron recipe from frannycakes

Gluten-Free Strawberry Macarons

Ah, the macaron. It might just be the perfect cookie. Crunchy. Chewy. Dreamy. With just a little bit of cream filling. Seriously, who needs a boyfriend when a cookie like this exists? They totally love you back. I swear.

Wait, I can’t be in love with a cookie? If you say so. But, before we go any further, I need to make sure that you are clear on the difference between a macaron and a macaroon. Macaroons are those chewy coconut cookies with a cherry on top. Macarons are the french delight that is two merengue and almond shells with a lovely filling in the middle.

I even made a little diagram of what makes a macaron (ok, I might be a little obsessed. I am totally fine with that.)
anatomy of a macaron

I decided to make macarons again when I discovered that MammaCakes had made some home made strawberry jam. Strawberries and almonds make a great combo (last summer I made this Strawberry Frangipane Tart with this same flavor profile).

I even made french buttercream for the center of the gluten-free strawberry macarons as a way to use up all the yolks left behind from the merengue. Planning ahead, it gets you every where. And by everywhere I mean that it gets you to velvety smooth buttercream.

strawberry macarons on wire rack

Now, let’s talk about how you go about adding flavor and color to a macaron.

  • Use gel food coloring. You don’t want to change the texture of the merengue by introducing liquid. A gel will not alter the consistency as much. And remember, a little goes a long way.
  • It is easiest to flavor the filling. The brain is a magic place, colors that match the flavor of the filling send a signal to your brain that the shell is flavored too. Even if it isn’t. Also, flavor elements can change the texture of the shell, so stick to changing the type of nut or the flavor of extract you use rather than try to add a puree to the merengue.
  • Make a bulls eye. Creating a ring of buttercream around a jam will keep it from leaking out the sides.

gluten-free strawberry macaron recipe from frannycakes

Gluten-Free Strawberry Macarons
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 18
This recipe is adapted from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. It is best to use home made or small batch preserves when making these – they have a more intense fruit flavor than commercially produced jelly.
  • For the shells
  • 212 grams (1¾ cups + 2½ tablespoons) almond meal
  • 212 grams (1¾ cups + 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons) confectioners’ sugar
  • 82 (1/4 cup plus 1½ tablespoons) egg whites
  • 90 grams egg whites (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons – this is about 7-8 whites) egg whites (yes, you need both quantities, divided)
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit open
  • 236 grams granulated sugar (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons), plus a pinch (about 5 grams)
  • 158 grams (2/3 cup) water
  • Pink gel food coloring
  • 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry jam or preserves
  • 1 recipe Strawberry French Buttercream (recipe below)
Make the shells
  1. Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheets. Trace 2¼ inch circles with a fine point marker like a Sharpie approximately 1 inch apart in alternating rows of 3 & 4. Turn the parchment paper over and lay it on your sheet pans/ cookie sheets.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (convection) or 400°F (standard).
  3. Place the almond flour in a food processor and pulse to grind it as fine as possible. This is really not an optional step unless your almond meal is ultra fine. Most isn’t, and skipping this step can leave you with lumpy macarons. (Although the flavor won’t be bad)
  4. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl and whisk together. If you have more than a couple of tablespoons of almonds remaining in the sifter, re-grind the flour in the food processor. Create a mound in the bowl with the almond flour mixture, then make a 4-inch well in the center, leaving a layer of the flour at the bottom. Pour in the 82 grams | ¼ cup plus 1½ tablespoons egg whites and combine with a spatula, stirring until evenly distributed and paste-like. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl and mix until they are fairly well distributed. Set aside.
  5. Place the remaining 90 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) of the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, combine the 236 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar and the water and heat over medium-high heat until the syrup reaches 203°F/110°C, stirring only until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear.
  6. While the syrup continues to cook, add the pinch of sugar to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium speed (a 5 or 6 on my mixer), and whip to soft peaks. If the whites reach soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248°F/12o°C, reduce the speed to the lowest setting, just to keep them moving.
  7. When the syrup reaches 248°F/120°C, remove the pan from the heat. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and slowly add the syrup, pouring it between the side of the bowl and the whisk. Do not panic when the meringue deflates.
  8. Increase the speed to medium and whip for 5 minutes, or until the whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Although the bowl might still be warm to the touch, the meringue should have cooled; if not, continue to whip until it is cool.
  9. In the bowl with the almond mixture, fold in one-third of the meringue, then continue adding merengue to the almonds little at a time (you might not use them all – I used about 90% each time I have made these. You can pipe the left over plain merengue out when you are done and make little pavlova shells) until when you fold a portion of the batter over on itself, the “ribbon” slowly moves. The mixture shouldn’t be so stiff that it holds its shape without moving at all, but it shouldn’t be so loose that it dissolves into itself and does not maintain the ribbon; it is better for the mixture to be slightly stiff than too loose. So go slowly! Take your time! You want to make sure that your mixture does not have any ribbons of plain merengue, where there are no almonds or your shells could crack.
  10. Fold in a small amount of gel food coloring while you are adding your merengue. If you want a more intense color once your mixture is uniform, you can add a smidge more, but you don’t want to over mix and deflate your batter.
  11. Transfer your mixture to a pastry bag fit with a ½-inch plain tip. Hold the bag upright about a half inch above the center of one of the traced circles and pipe out enough of the mixture to fill in the circle. Lift away the pastry bag and repeat, filling the remaining circles on the first pan.
  12. Next (and this is important!) Lift up the sheet pan and firmly (but not too hard) tap the bottom of the pan to the spread the batter evenly and smooth any peaks left by the pastry bag (there will be some, and if that doesn’t make them go away, wet your fingertip and tap them down).
  13. If you are using a convection oven, which I recommend, bake the shells for 8 to 10 minutes. You want to cook them until the tops are shiny and crisp. If you are using a standard oven, place the sheet pan in the oven and then immediately lower the oven temperature to 325°F, and bake for 9 to 12 minutes, again, until the tops are shiny and crisp.
  14. Set the pan on a cooling rack, and if using a standard oven, preheat it to 350°F again.
  15. Pipe the remaining meringue mixture into the circles on the second sheet pan and bake as directed above. Let cool completely.
  16. While you are waiting for your cookies to cool, make
Assemble the macarons
  1. Pipe a circle of buttercream on half of the macaroni shells, leaving the center empty, I used a wide plain circle tip but held the bag close to the shell to keep the circle wide & flat. Pipe or dollop jam in the middle, and gently place a second shell on top.
These will get even better if you have made them ahead of time and pop them (well-wrapped) in the freezer for a day or two and then let them come to room temperature before serving.
Strawberry French Buttercream
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
This is a great way to use up the yolks left over from the macaron-making process. It is also the richest kind of buttercream, which secretly I think makes it the best. Also, make sure to use high quality jam or preserves – home made or small batch are best.
  • 38 grams (3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon) granulated sugar
  • 38 grams (3 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon) granulated sugar (You do need both quantities, and yes, they are both the same)
  • 63 grams (1/4 cup + 1/2 teaspoon) egg yolks
  • 75 grams (1/4 cup + 2 1/4 teaspoons) whole milk
  • 250 grams (8.8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves or jam
  1. Whisk 38 grams of sugar and the egg yolks together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the remaining 38 grams of sugar and the milk.
  3. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. When the milk is just below a simmer, slowly pour it into the egg yolks while whisking. Pour the combined mixture back into the pan and place over medium heat.
  5. Whisk continuously and bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for one minute. Lower the heat if necessary – you don’t want the mixture to curdle. It should be very thick.
  6. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  7. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium for 8 minutes, or until mixture is cool.
  8. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting between each new addition.
  9. When you have all the butter added, mix in the salt and the jam.


gluten free strawberry frangipane tart

Whole Grain Brunch: Gluten-free Strawberry Frangipane Tart

When I come home from work, I feel like I get pastry super powers. I get to work at being someone who gets to throw around terms like frangipane and galette and genoise. I get to put my French degree to work because I understand recipes and histories of pastries wrtitten in French (because we all know that the French invented pastry). I want to invite you to my gluten-free pastry super-power club. Today you are going to learn how to make frangipane and you are going to be astounded by the fact that it takes 3 minutes to make (after you measure out your ingredients). You are also going to be able to throw around the term frangipane in normal conversation.

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gluten free strawberry blueberry salsa

Food Matters: Strawberry Blueberry Salsa

This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration from a wide range of food bloggers. Each week, I will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us! My posts for this project can be found here. This month’s host is Alissa who posted the original recipe and you can see all the other brilliant salsas on this week’s roundup (check the comments).

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gluten free strawberry chocolate cupcake

Strawberries and chocolate, part 3

gluten free strawberry chocolate cupcake with pan

Blondie and I went to Williams Sonoma on Sunday to take my mom for coffee on her break and to look around for a wedding gift. And I might need some help on figuring out what exactly we should buy. I hate buying strictly from a registry. In fact, for close friends I skip the registry and just buy a nice gift. I like to think that I am good at gift-giving.

Anyways, we were wandering through the store and we walked by the pizza stones. I stopped, picked up a small one and told Blondie that I thought that I needed to get one.

He asked me what the point was.

I guess this shouldn’t suprise me. This is the same boy who said that all you really need is a 1/4 cup measuring cup. (I think this is because he has melted or snapped the handles off of the 99¢ set that he got when he moved into his first apartment).

I explained the science behind it to him, and a woman who was working right there said I sounded just like my mother.

Apparently, I am that age. You know, the age where you turn into your mother. You realize you say the same kind of things and you share hobbies and that for the first time in your life you aren’t fighting the inevitable.

I think it also was the first time in forever that I walked out of that store without a new pan or spice blend for my kitchen in ages. Or a gift. We ended up not buying the gift just yet.

Oh well.

I decided that I wanted vanilla cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting last night. And then I remembered that this month’s Ratio Rally is white or yellow cake. And if I baked those, I would have to wait a whole week to share them. And I couldn’t leave you hanging that long.

So last night,  I invented these cupcakes. The method is similar to the way I made my gluten free chai cupcakes and results in the perfect cake texture.

I swear I have more imagination than this. But I really love strawberries and chocolate. Together.

Strawberry Cupcakes with Ganache
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 90 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
Serves: 24
These are very possible the best strawberry cupcakes ever.
  • 110 grams (1 cup) tapioca starch
  • 140 grams (1 cup) sweet white sorghum flour
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
  • 20 grams (3 tablespoons) flax meal
  • pinch of salt
  • 350 grams (1 3/4 cups) sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry liqueur
  • pink food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 75 grams (3/4 cup) cocoa
  • 85 grams (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 stick soft butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry liqueur
  • 200 grams (1 3/4 cup) powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. Add eggs, one at a time. Add the strawberry liqueur and jam to a small bowl with the milk and whisk together.
  3. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. At this point you can add some pink food coloring if you want. Otherwise the cake will be just slightly pink.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop for even cupcakes, divide batter among liners, filling about two-thirds full.
  5. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  6. While cupcakes are cooling, make the ganache. Sift together the cocoa and the 3/4 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, fit with the whisk attachment. Bring milk to a simmer and add it to the bowl of the mixer. Beat together until smooth. Scrape down the sides and beat until incorporated. Let cool to room temperature. Cube the butter & whisk it in. Add the strawberry liqueur and jam, mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it has reached the desired consistency.

If you prefer more of a frosting, double everything in the ganache except for the 2nd powdered sugar. You will need to triple or quadruple it.This way you can top your cupcakes with a fluffy dome of frosting.

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Strawberry Chocolate Brownies

Strawberry Brownies

Strawberry Chocolate BrowniesI have been dreaming of this recipe all day. My birthday was Sunday and 2 coworkers had birthdays (and days off) today. And I promised a treat.  This morning, I had a thought: chocolate and strawberries. Ooey, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. These are some darn good brownies. The are one bite and you are sold on being my friend forever in hopes of getting these brownies again good.

I found out that brownies were invented in Chicago in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition. They had apricot glaze and walnuts. The grocery store had strawberries on sale. Strawberries + chocolate = bliss. (You think I like those together?)

I couldn’t just chop up strawberries and toss them in my mom’s brownie recipe. She would probably be pretty mad at me if she knew that I even had that thought. Her recipe is top secret, and I like to share.

I had to come up with something different. I had to come up with something better. Sorry mom. I win this one.

Let this be the end to brownies from a box. The strawberry jam that you make melts into the chocolate and creates an intense chocolate and strawberry flavor. It is like warm, baked fudge. You can’t get this kind of flavor from a box. I know gluten free baking is scary, but you can do it. And, brownies are forgiving – chocolate, butter and sugar make anything delicious.

Strawberry Brownies
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 16
This brownie recipe is based on a recipe that appeared in Baked Explorations for Salted Caramel Brownies, but these are gluten free and strawberry filled. And thus, they are better.
  • 250 grams (1 quart) strawberries, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup strawberry liquor (or 1 t vanilla plus a scant 1/4 cup water)
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 310 grams (11 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 230 grams (8 ounces/ 2 sticks) butter, chopped in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 grams ground flax meal
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 20 grams brown rice flour
  • 20 grams white rice flour
  • 30 grams tapioca starch
  • 30 grams sweet white rice flour
  • 10 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  1. Combine strawberries, sugar, water & strawberry liquor in a medium size sauce pan. Heat over meadium – high heat, stirring frequently until the jam starts to thicken, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, and then grease the parchment paper. On a low burner, melt together chocolate & butter. While chocolate is melting, whisk together flours, cocoa and salt.
  3. Once chocolate & butter have melted, turn off the burner but leave the pot in place. Stir in both the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Remove pot from burner and stir in 3 eggs. DO NOT BEAT. Once eggs are combined, add in remaining eggs, stirring until just combined. Sprinkle flour over the bowl and stir in slowly. Make sure most lumps are out – but it is ok if there are still a few, they should disappear when baking.
  4. Pour half of batter into prepared pan & smooth with a spatula. Spread in the warm jam, being careful to keep it away from the edges so that it does not burn. Pour the remaining batter on top to cover the jam.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes.

If you prefer to bake by volume, use 1 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (such as Jules Nearly Normal Flour).

If you don’t want to make your own strawberry jam, warm up 1 cup of good quality strawberry jam or jelly so that it has the consistency of thick syrup after the batter is ready.

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip Loaf

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Loaf

Strawberry Chocolate Chip LoafStrawberries were on sale at the grocery store on Saturday and it was easy to see why – they were so ripe they were about to turn bad. That meant that they were perfect for baking with.

Frankly, I feel that there is almost no combination as perfect as strawberries and chocolate. (Although, next time I have an idea that involves chocolate, I will probably say the same thing). I rummaged around my cabinets and was quite pleased to discover that I did indeed have some chocolate chips laying around. I would have had an entirely different post had there not been any in the cabinet. Most likely about what a good idea I had and how I just had to eat the strawberries plain (or how I made them into this salad).

I was originally going to make muffins, but I have this loaf pan that I got for Christmas that I really wanted to use. So, thanks for the loaf pan mom! I finally made a bread!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Quick Bread
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 80 mins
Total time: 1 hour 35 mins
Serves: 12
An easy, summery quick bread without xantham gum
  • 2 cups GF all-purpose flour blend (I used Cheatin’ Wheat Gluten Free flour)
  • 2 T flax meal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk (I only had So Delicious coconut milk on hand…use whatever milk you have)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 500°F.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the liquid ingredients together — milk, oil and eggs — until they are light.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just blended. It is ok if it is a little lumpy.
  5. Add in the strawberries and chocolate chips and give it a quick stir.
  6. Pour into a standard sized, greased loaf pan and place in the oven.
  7. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
  8. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes.
  9. You could also make this into muffins by using a muffin tin and baking at 400 for 15-20 minutes.
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