How to Decorate a Cake With Macarons

Are you ready to elevate your cake decorating skills? Discover the enchanting art of adorning cakes with delicate and colorful macarons. In this article, we will explore step-by-step instructions on how to decorate a cake with macarons, from choosing the right cake to troubleshooting common issues. Whether you are a novice baker or an experienced pastry chef, mastering the art of macaron decoration will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your creations.

Macarons have come a long way from being a traditional French delicacy to becoming a popular choice for embellishing cakes. Their vibrant colors and unique textures make them an ideal choice for creating visually stunning cake designs. With careful guidance, you can learn how to expertly place and complement these dainty treats on your cakes, making them the centerpiece of any dessert table.

In the following sections, we will delve into the history of macarons, provide tips for selecting the perfect cake as a canvas for your macaron creation, discuss the importance of using the right frosting for stability, and share techniques for arranging and complementing macarons with other decorations. Additionally, we will offer advice on presenting and photographing your masterpiece, as well as troubleshooting common issues that may arise during the decorating process.

Get ready to impress your friends and family with stunning macaron-adorned masterpieces.

A Brief History of Macarons

The Origins of Macarons

Macarons have a long history, with their origins dating back to the 8th century in Venice, Italy. It wasn’t until the 16th century that they gained popularity in France, particularly in monasteries and among the French aristocracy. The macaron as we know it today, consisting of two almond meringue cookies filled with ganache or buttercream, originated in the 1830s when a pastry shop in Paris started selling them.

Macarons as Cake Decorations

In recent years, macarons have transcended their role as bite-sized delicacies and have become popular cake decorations. Their vibrant colors and delicate appearance make them perfect for adding an elegant touch to cakes for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. The smooth, shiny surface of macarons adds a visually appealing element to any cake and can elevate its overall aesthetic.

The Rise of Macaron-Decorated Cakes

With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, macaron-decorated cakes have become increasingly popular. Bakers and home cooks alike are experimenting with different ways to incorporate macarons into their cake designs, whether it’s by adorning the entire perimeter of the cake or creating elaborate shapes and patterns using macarons. This trend has given rise to a new level of creativity in cake decorating and has made macarons a staple element in modern cake design.

Choosing the Right Cake

When it comes to decorating a cake with macarons, selecting the right type of cake is crucial to ensure that your sweet creation turns out perfectly. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right cake for your macaron adornments:

  • Sturdiness: Opt for a dense and sturdy cake such as a butter cake or pound cake. These types of cakes provide a stable base for supporting the weight of the macarons without causing them to slide or shift.
  • Flavor Profile: Consider the flavor of the cake in relation to the flavors of the macarons. A complementary flavor pairing can enhance the overall taste experience, so choose a cake that will complement, rather than overpower, the delicate flavor of the macarons.
  • Size and Shape: The size and shape of your cake should also be taken into account. A flat, even surface will make it easier to arrange and showcase the macarons, while ensuring that they adhere securely.

In addition to these factors, it’s important to consider any dietary restrictions or preferences that may impact your choice of cake. Whether you opt for a classic vanilla sponge or a rich chocolate fudge, selecting the right base for your macaron decorating venture will set you up for success and ensure a stunning final result.

Next up in our series on how to decorate a cake with macarons is “Creating a Stable Base: The Perfect Frosting for Macaron Adherence.” Stay tuned.

Creating a Stable Base

One of the best options for creating a stable base for your macarons is Swiss meringue buttercream. This type of buttercream is known for its light and airy texture, making it easy to work with when it comes to adorning a cake with macarons. Its stability allows the macarons to stay in place once placed on top of the frosting, ensuring that they don’t shift or fall off.

Another great choice for frosting when decorating with macarons is ganache. This rich and decadent mixture of chocolate and cream not only provides a smooth surface for placing the macarons but also adds an extra layer of flavor that complements the sweetness of the macarons themselves. Ganache sets firm, which helps in holding the macarons securely in place while adding a touch of sophistication to your cake design.

In addition to Swiss meringue buttercream and ganache, cream cheese frosting can also be an excellent option for creating a stable base for your macarons. Its slightly tangy flavor pairs well with the sweetness of the macarons, and its thicker consistency ensures that the macarons adhere firmly without slipping or sliding on top of the cake. Choose a frosting that will complement both the flavors and aesthetics of your cake while providing a secure foundation for your beautifully decorated macarons.

Placing the Macarons

Decorating a cake with macarons can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any special occasion. Placing the macarons on the cake requires precision and creativity to achieve a visually stunning result. Here are some tips and tricks for arranging them on the cake:

  • Consider the Size: When placing macarons on a cake, it’s important to consider their size in relation to the size of the cake. For smaller cakes, using mini or small-sized macarons may be more suitable, while larger cakes can accommodate standard-sized macarons.
  • Placement Strategy: Before attaching the macarons to the cake, it’s helpful to have a placement strategy in mind. Some decorators prefer arranging them in a uniform pattern around the perimeter of the cake, while others opt for a more organic, scattered arrangement.
  • Varying Heights: To create visual interest and dimension, consider varying the heights of the macarons on the cake. Using some macarons on pedestals or propping them up with frosting can add depth to the overall design.

The key to successfully placing macarons on a cake lies in careful planning and execution. By paying attention to details such as size, placement strategy, and varying heights, you can create a visually stunning masterpiece that will impress your guests and make any celebration truly memorable.

Adding Final Touches

Choosing the Right Additional Decorations

When it comes to adding final touches to a cake decorated with macarons, it’s important to choose additional decorations that will complement the delicate and colorful macarons. Fresh flowers, edible gold leaf, chocolate shavings, or even piped buttercream roses are all popular options for enhancing the overall aesthetic of a macaron-adorned cake.

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It’s essential to select decorations that will not only pair well with the flavors of the macarons but also harmonize with the theme and color scheme of the occasion.

Placement and Balance

Once you’ve chosen your additional decorations, it’s crucial to consider their placement on the cake. The key is to achieve balance and avoid overcrowding. For example, if you’re using fresh flowers, consider placing them strategically around the base of the cake or cascading down one side for an elegant effect. When using chocolate shavings or sprinkles, sprinkle them lightly over the exposed frosting areas of the cake for a subtle yet visually appealing touch.

Adding Texture and Dimension

Incorporating different textures and dimensions can elevate the visual appeal of a cake adorned with macarons. Consider adding depth by incorporating elements such as wafer paper butterflies, edible lace, or even small meringue kisses. These added details can create visual interest and make your macaron-decorated cake truly stand out as a work of art.

Additionally, utilizing varying heights through cake stands or tiered arrangements can add an extra layer of sophistication to the presentation of your masterpiece. By carefully selecting and thoughtfully placing these additional decorations, you can elevate your macaron-adorned cake from beautiful to breathtaking.

Showcasing Your Creation

Once you have carefully decorated your cake with macarons, it’s important to showcase your creation in the best way possible. Whether you’re planning to display the cake at an event or simply want to capture its beauty in photographs, presentation and photography tips can make a big difference in how your cake is perceived.

When presenting your macaron-adorned cake, consider the overall theme or occasion. If it’s for a birthday, use colorful and vibrant decorations around the cake to enhance the festive mood. For a more elegant event, such as a wedding or anniversary, opt for subtle and sophisticated accents that complement the macarons without overshadowing them.

Photography plays a crucial role in capturing the essence of your decorated cake. Consider using natural light whenever possible, as it can produce stunning results and highlight the colors and details of the macarons. Experiment with different angles to find the most flattering perspective for your cake, ensuring that all the intricate details are captured effectively. Additionally, using a neutral background can help draw attention to the cake itself and create a clean, professional look for your photos.

PresentationConsider the overall theme or occasion when presenting your macaron-adorned cake
PhotographyUse natural light and experiment with different angles to capture the essence of your decorated cake effectively


When decorating a cake with macarons, it is important to be prepared for some common issues that may arise during the process. One of the most frequent problems is that the macarons may slide or fall off the cake due to an unstable base.

To prevent this, make sure to use a stable and thick frosting that will hold the macarons in place. Additionally, chilling the frosted cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before adding the macarons can also help them adhere better.

Another issue that you might encounter is mismatched sizes or shapes of macarons, which can make your cake look uneven or unbalanced. To avoid this problem, carefully select and arrange macarons of similar sizes and shapes on your cake. You can also use smaller macarons to fill in any gaps between larger ones, creating a more cohesive and visually appealing design.

Cracked or blemished macarons can also be a source of frustration when decorating a cake. If you come across damaged macarons, don’t worry. You can strategically place them on the lower layers of your cake where they will be less visible, reserving the flawless ones for the top. Alternatively, you can use buttercream or frosting to cover up any imperfections before arranging them on the cake.

Troubleshooting TipsHow to Fix Them
Macarons sliding offUse stable frosting and chill the cake before adding macarons
Mismatched sizes/shapesSelect similar macarons and fill in gaps with smaller ones
Cracked or blemished macaronsPlace damaged ones on lower layers or cover imperfections with frosting


In conclusion, decorating a cake with macarons can elevate the overall aesthetic and appeal of your sweet creation. The colorful and delicate nature of macarons adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any cake, making it a popular choice for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a stunning macaron-adorned cake that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

As we have learned, the key to successfully decorating a cake with macarons lies in choosing the right cake base, creating a stable frosting for macaron adherence, and carefully placing the macarons onto the cake. Additionally, adding final touches such as fresh flowers, edible glitter, or other decorations can further enhance the visual impact of your creation. By paying attention to presentation and photography tips, you can showcase your macaron-adorned cake in the best possible light.

While decorating with macarons may present some challenges, such as potential cracking or sliding of the delicate cookies, troubleshooting tips provided in this guide can help you address these issues effectively. With practice and patience, you can overcome any obstacles and create a beautiful, Instagram-worthy masterpiece that will surely impress your friends and family. So go ahead and celebrate your successful macaron-adorned cake – you deserve it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Stick Macarons to a Cake?

To stick macarons to a cake, it’s important to use a small amount of buttercream or ganache as an adhesive. Simply spread a small dollop of the buttercream on the bottom of the macaron and gently press it onto the cake. This will help secure the macaron in place without causing any damage.

How Do You Get Sprinkles to Stick to Macarons?

Getting sprinkles to stick to macarons involves dipping the edges of the macarons in a thin layer of frosting or ganache and then rolling them in a bowl of sprinkles. The frosting acts as glue, allowing the sprinkles to adhere to the surface of the macaron.

This adds an extra decorative touch and can be customized with different colored sprinkles for various occasions.

How to Decorate Macaroons?

Decorating macarons can be done using various methods such as painting them with food coloring, drizzling them with melted chocolate, or piping on additional frosting or ganache designs. Another popular way to decorate macarons is by sandwiching them together with flavored fillings like fruit preserves, caramel, or flavored buttercream.

These decorative techniques not only enhance appearance but also add flavor and texture to the overall experience of enjoying a macaron.

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