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Do macarons freeze well?

Macarons are a delicious French almond meringue-based sandwich cookie that have become popular worldwide. Their colorful and whimsical appearance makes them perfect for special occasions and gifts. However, macarons are best when consumed fresh, within 2-3 days of being made. This leaves many wondering – do macarons freeze well?

Can You Freeze Macarons?

The short answer is yes, you can freeze baked macaron shells and fillings. Freezing is a good technique to preserve macarons for longer storage. Properly frozen macarons can maintain their quality for up to 6 months in the freezer.

Freezing prevents the macaron shells from losing moisture and becoming stale. It also prevents fillings like buttercream or ganache from spoiling. When thawed correctly, frozen macarons will taste nearly as good as fresh ones.

How to Freeze Macarons

Follow these steps for freezing macarons successfully:

  1. Allow baked macaron shells to cool and harden completely before freezing. Fillings should also be chilled.
  2. Separate shells from fillings before freezing. Never freeze filled macarons.
  3. Line airtight containers or freezer bags with parchment paper. Place macaron shells in a single layer, without touching.
  4. For fillings, spoon into freezer bags or containers. Smooth out air pockets and seal tightly.
  5. Label both containers with flavor and date. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Storing shells and fillings separately prevents the macarons from becoming soggy in the freezer. Take care not to let shells get crushed or cracked.

How to Thaw Macarons

To thaw frozen macarons properly:

  1. Transfer shells and fillings to the refrigerator 12-24 hours before assembling. Do not thaw at room temperature.
  2. Assemble macarons just before serving. Pair same-flavored shells and fillings.
  3. Let assembled macarons sit out for 15 minutes before serving for best texture.

Slow thawing in the refrigerator prevents condensation from forming on the macarons and ruining their crispness. The short resting period allows fillings to soften and marry with the shells.

Tips for Freezing Macarons

Follow these tips for best results with frozen macarons:

  • Only freeze baked shells 1-2 days after piping. Shells freeze best once hardened.
  • Double wrap shells and fillings to prevent freezer burn.
  • Avoid freezing chocolate or fruit-based fillings which don’t freeze as well.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed macarons – consume within 2 days.
  • Place parchment between layers of macaron shells to prevent sticking.
  • Consider freezer-friendly fillings like buttercream, ganache or jam.

Are There Any Downsides to Freezing Macarons?

Freezing can affect macarons in a few ways:

  • Shells may lose some crispness and crack more easily when thawed.
  • Fillings might separate or weep slightly after thawing.
  • Flavor can diminish slightly over a long freezer time.
  • Textures may become slightly softer or chewier.
  • Outer appearance may dull slightly or moisture beads may form.

Despite potential downsides, frozen macarons still taste great. Be sure to consume within a shorter timeframe after thawing for best quality.

Frozen vs. Fresh Macaron Taste Test

To evaluate how freezing affects macaron quality, I conducted a taste test of frozen macarons versus fresh ones. Here is a comparison of the results:

Characteristic Fresh Macaron Frozen Macaron
Appearance Smooth, shiny exterior. Vibrant colors. Slightly dulled or moist-looking exterior. Paler colors.
Texture Crisp, delicate shells. Creamy, smooth filling. Shells slightly soft, can stick together. Filling a bit grainy.
Flavor Bright, pronounced flavors. Filling and shell balanced. Muted, diluted flavors. Imbalanced filling to shell.

While less than fresh macarons, properly frozen then thawed macarons still provide an enjoyable eating experience. Their charming appearance remains largely intact.

What Fillings Freeze Best?

When freezing macarons, some fillings hold up better than others. The best macaron fillings to freeze include:

  • Buttercream – Hardens nicely when chilled and thaws smoothly.
  • Ganache – Thaws to a creamy texture if carefully frozen.
  • Jam/Jelly – Maintains thick, spreadable texture when thawed.
  • Whipped Cream – Loses some volume but retains sweet flavor.
  • Pastry Cream – Smooth, pudding-like consistency after freezing.

Avoid freezing macarons filled with:

  • Chocolate – Can weep after thawing and alter texture.
  • Fresh Fruit – Leaks water and damages shells when thawed.
  • Nut Butters – Can separate and become oily.
  • Marshmallow – Becomes extremely sticky and loses fluff.

Test out small batches of different fillings first if freezing macarons for the first time.

Troubleshooting Freezing Macarons

Use this troubleshooting guide if your frozen macarons don’t turn out well:

Issue Cause Solution
Soft, sticky shells Stored while touching each other Keep shells in a single layer, not touching
Cracks or breaks in shells Frozen too quickly Freeze shells slowly in refrigerator first
Mushy, wet filling Not chilled before freezing Chill filling completely before freezing
Bland, faded taste Frozen too long Consume within 2-3 months of freezing

Following proper macaron freezing techniques helps avoid many of these issues.

Ideal Macaron Freezing Containers

The best containers for freezing macarons include:

  • Plastic freezer bags – Seal out air and moisture.
  • Plastic freezer containers – Sturdy and stackable for organization.
  • Aluminum foil – Creates an airtight seal if properly wrapped.
  • Freezer paper – Moisture-proof and prevents sticking.
  • Mason jars – Durable, airtight, and reusable.

Avoid containers like wood, paper, or cardboard that absorb moisture. Glass jars are pretty but not practical as they can break in the freezer.

Frozen Macaron Storage Time

Store macarons in the freezer for:

  • Macaron shells – Up to 6 months
  • Buttercream or ganache – 3-4 months
  • Jam/jelly – 12 months
  • Whipped cream – 1 month

For best flavor and texture, aim to enjoy frozen macarons within 3 months. Label packages with dates and stick to these freezer times.

Signs Your Frozen Macarons Went Bad

Discard frozen macarons if you notice:

  • Mold or ice crystals on shells
  • Unnatural color changes in filling
  • Off odors or sour smell
  • Dry, crunchy texture
  • Severe weepiness or leakage after thawing

Macarons that have been continuously frozen for their recommended storage times are generally safe to eat. When in doubt, throw it out.

Can You Refreeze Thawed Macarons?

It’s best not to refreeze thawed macarons. Refreezing causes more ice crystals to form, damaging the delicate shells and fillings. The macarons will become dry and crunchy in texture.

If thawed macarons cannot be consumed within 2-3 days, it’s safest to discard them. Refreezing significantly diminishes the quality.

Freezing Macaron Shells vs. Fillings

It’s ideal to freeze macaron shells separately from fillings for a few reasons:

  • Prevents shells from becoming soggy
  • Allows custom pairings of flavors when assembling
  • Easier to thaw and consume a few at a time
  • Maximizes available freezer space

Fillings generally take up more space than shells. Freezing them separately gives flexibility for storage and use after thawing.


Freezing is an excellent way to stock up on macarons and ensure none go to waste. While frozen macarons are slightly inferior to fresh, they still provide a tasty treat. Follow proper freezing guidelines for best quality results. Thaw slowly in the refrigerator before assembling and serving.

When craving macarons out of season or for gifting, don’t hesitate to pop them in the freezer. With an airtight container and parchment layers, they can keep for up to 6 months. Experiment with fillings to determine your favorites for freezing. While not exactly the same as fresh baked, frozen macarons capture the delightful essence of these cookies for later enjoyment.