Oaxacan Cinnamon Chocolate Macarons

March 26, 2010
12 Ratings
  • Prep time 26 hours
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 40 1.5-inch cookies or 20 sandwiches
Author Notes

In the Mexican city of Oaxaca, almonds are ground into a rough paste with cacao, cinnamon, and sugar and hardened into thin fingers of chocolate. The distinctive mixture is used in the city’s famous mole sauces and melted into rich hot chocolate which the Oaxacans drink more regularly than coffee. The warm, spicy smell of toasted cacao, cinnamon and almonds fills the city, as crowded storefront grinders are endlessly turning and the mercado stalls are crowded with vendors selling secret family recipes. The Oaxacan trio of cinnamon, chocolate, and almonds is so lovely, that I was inspired to make macarons with the same flavors. Put on a Lila Downs album, and enjoy these delicious cookies with a cup of Oaxacan hot chocolate or a glass of Mezcal, the region's smoky alcohol made from roasted agave hearts. —robinbeth

Test Kitchen Notes

If Laduree had a location in Mexico, this would be their signature treat. Perfectly crisp and airy, with just the right amount of lift, robinbeth's macaroons are gently spiced with cinnamon and tinted the lightest shade of brown with just a touch of cocoa powder. The rich, sweet ganache, made of melted Mexican chocolate, butter and a dash of cream, echoes the spice of the cookies and the sugar crystals crunch pleasantly between your teeth. Intimidated by French-style macarons? This is the perfect recipe for your first attempt. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Macaroon Ingredients
  • 100 grams egg whites (about 3 eggs, left at room temperature for 24 hours)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 125 grams almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill, made from ground blanched almonds)
  • 175 grams confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons cocoa powder or raw cacao
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • Ganache Ingredients
  • 150 grams Mexican chocolate (can be found in most supermarkets, gourmet shops, or ordered online)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Measure egg whites and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours in a covered bowl. Aging the whites helps them thin and will create a better textured macaron.
  2. Line two cookie pans with parchment paper and trace 1.5 inch circles on the paper, keeping the circles about one inch apart. Preheat your oven to 300° F.
  3. Pulse the almond flour, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa in a food processor until it is a finely mixed powder. Sift into a large bowl.
  4. Put egg whites in stainless steel bowl and beat on low with a hand mixer until frothy. Add salt and cream of tartar, and slowly mix in the granulated sugar. Once the sugar is all incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium and beat until meringue forms stiff peaks. The meringue should look glossy and remain in place when the bowl is tipped on its side.
  5. Using a silicone spatula, fold the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites one-third at a time. You do not have to be gentle, instead use brisk strokes to fold the mixture together completely, this will help reduce the air in the meringue and keep the macaroons from being too puffy.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag or a ziplock. If using a zip-top bag, cut off a 1/4-inch tip from the corner. Pipe the mixture in a spiral to fill each 1.5-inch circle on the parchment paper. Allow the unbaked cookies to sit out for 30 minutes, until the cookies have a matte texture and are no longer sticky.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then peel very gently off the parchment paper.
  8. Make ganache while the cookies cool. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Whisk in heavy cream and butter and stir mixture over gently boiling water until it is smooth and shiny.
  9. When the cookies and filling are cool, spread or pipe the ganache on the flat side of one macaron and create a sandwich with a second one.
  10. Eat.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah Elizabeth
    Sarah Elizabeth
  • lajuliaficationdumonde
  • Änneken
  • Suzanne Haughwout Bonilla
    Suzanne Haughwout Bonilla
  • chava

30 Reviews

Sarah E. December 18, 2020
This was my first time making macaroons and wow! They turned out great. I made some on parchment paper and some on silicon mats. I found they came of easier in the paper. I will definitely make these a Christmas repeat! 🤤
Kathryn December 22, 2019
Did anyone else have trouble getting the Ibarra chocolate to melt completely? No matter how long I whisked it over the double boiler I was left with very coarse grainy sugar. Inedible. Thinking of just making a normal ganache and adding some spices to it.
lajuliaficationdumonde September 7, 2018
Holy moly these are delicious. I made today for a fiesta themed baby shower!

I made two batches and had some issues with the first ones cracking, so I did some research and these are some tips I did that made the second batch turn out perfectly:
1. add in dry ingredients all at once (I know it sounds counter-intuitive but it worked)
2. fold 50-60 times to incorporate and to also make the batter a little thinner
3. smack tray down on the counter to get our some air bubbles

For the ganache, next time I am going to warm up the cream and butter before adding to the ganache. Mine broke because it was too cold but I fixed it... next time, I'll be heating it up beforehand!

Perfect, delicious and wonderful!
Sandy May 16, 2017
Where can we get Mexican chocolate or what would be a good substitute?? We made them this weekend for Mother's Day with dark chocolate and I think we added a little cinnamon.
Also, when whipping egg whites, they did not form peaks after 15 minutes??
They were still great but we are going to try them again with your suggestions
Änneken November 14, 2016
I made them last night and, oh boy, their flavor is outrageous! Cannot wait to make these again.
Barbara B. October 7, 2015
What can be sustituted instead of almond flour - nut allergies in our family?
Suzanne H. October 22, 2014
Thought the correct spelling was macarons.
Lauren W. December 12, 2013
I just made these this morning and they came out perfectly. A few things, though:

1. Having never made macaroons, I was really surprised at the texture of the macaroon batter. It was almost like marshmallow — really sticky, although they piped without a problem. I assume this was correct, because they came out looking just like the photo, but a word or two about what to expect would have been, if nothing else, reassuring.

2. After running the food processor, I still wound up with some thicker particles from the almond flour that wouldn't sift in. I didn't know whether to just mix this into the finer sifted mixture or discard and add back finer flour. I ended up mixing it in, but advice would be appreciated.

3. While I liked the flavor, I prefer things on the less-sweet side. Is there anything I can do to reduce the sweetness of the macaroons without affecting the consistency?

4. In terms of the template, what worked for me was to draw out 1-1/2" circles on the computer and create a grid that fit my baking sheets. I laid these under my parchment (which I could see through) and when I'd finished piping a set, I just shifted the parchment off and slid it onto a baking sheet after drying for 30 minutes. Then I could just lay another piece of parchment over my template and keep piping, without having to redraw circles for every sheet. Granted, I'm a graphic designer, so this was a no-brainer for me, but I suspect it wouldn't be that hard to do something similar by hand.

5. This is more of a general comment/suggestion: I'm wondering if there could be a separate section for questions/advice actually related to following the recipe versus comments like, "This looks delicious!" or "I really want to try this!" While the enthusiasm is great, I'd rather not wade through them to find practical information.
chava December 7, 2011
A year late to the party, but I just tried the recipe. First and most important, these are delicious. But the consistency of the batter was nothing like something that could be "piped": it was quite crumbly. (I did use sa standing mixer - could that have been it?) I added a couple of teaspoons of water, and was able to spoon it onto the baking sheets. Rough and a little rugged looking, but quite delicious.
stuvwyz November 22, 2011
A very well-written recipe. Can't wait to try it!
Brenna April 2, 2010
These and some Mezcal? Yes, please.
Ilafox April 2, 2010
ARGH! ... Another thing to be ADDICTED TO! These are different, delicious and the chocolate. well there are no words except "MORE!"
You have my vote!
Kelsey B. April 1, 2010
Another great recipe! Love the chocolate spice combo!
CarynCooks April 1, 2010
Question from a novice baker - what do you use to trace the circles? Not a lead pencil I hope... Pen? Marker?
robinbeth April 1, 2010
You can use an indelible marker on the underside of your parchment paper and it will show through on the right side but not get on the batter.
Lois A. January 14, 2022
You can use a food marker. Or you can trace the circles lightly with a pencil & then flip the paper over. You will still be able to see the circles.
gabrielaskitchen April 1, 2010
I may just put on Lila's La Cantina alum and bake these this weekend!
robinbeth April 1, 2010
That's exactly the album I was listening to when I made these! La Cumbia del Mole! Ah, reminds me of being in Oaxaca.
hilarydavidson April 1, 2010
Thanks for this delicious-sounding recipe. I especially love that it's gluten-free! I've put a link to it up on the Gluten-Free Guidebook's Facebook group, and I'll definitely mention it on the site, too.
robinbeth April 1, 2010
Thanks so much! I try to be gluten-free as much as I can so I was excited to discover a new flourless treat!
Loves F. April 1, 2010
BTW, if people are having trouble finding Bob's Redmill (or don't want to pay the high prices for it that I've seen here in Seattle), Trader Joes has pretty inexpensive almond flour/meal, and I've found it in bulk at natural markets (Whole Foods, and I think Central Market and maybe PCC in Seattle)!
AntoniaJames April 1, 2010
You might want to double check that Trader Joe's almond meal, as it seems to be made from almonds that have not been blanched. The food52 editors say in the slideshow that you should use blanched almonds . . . . ;o)
dymnyno April 1, 2010
BOTH finalists have such great recipes...Amanda and Merrill, Can we have a tie??
Loves F. April 1, 2010
Merrill S. April 1, 2010
This is when the hard work of making a choice really has an impact, folks!
NakedBeet March 26, 2010
Loves F. March 26, 2010
O.M.G. These look fantastic!