Are macarons gluten free? Find out how to tell if a macaron is gluten free and whether it’s safe for you to eat if you’re gluten free.
Are Macarons Gluten Free?
The ingredients in a traditional macaron cookie are naturally gluten free: almond flour, powdered sugar, egg whites, granulated sugar. The food coloring used to color macarons is typically gluten free as well. The filling, which is often some type of cream, ganache, or jam, is usually gluten free also.
So why wouldn’t a macaron be gluten free? There are two reasons why a macaron would not be gluten free.
The first reason is because bakers may update, innovate, or otherwise change the traditional macaron recipe. For example, I’ve seen macarons that would have been GF but for the addition of Oreo cookie crumbs as a garnish. Or the macaron filling in a “birthday cake” flavored macaron includes actual pieces of birthday cake.
The second reason a macaron would not be gluten free is the classic problem with a large number of “gluten free” baked goods: cross-contamination. Yes, the ingredients for the macaron are gluten free… but they’re baked in the same kitchen as pastries that use regular flour, packed by the same hands that handle those pastries, and stored in, under, or near those pastries for shipping, storage, and display. Yikes!
Does that mean that all macarons are not safe? Nope. It just means that you need to read the package carefully, and/or have a chat with the chef or manager. Even gluten free pastries that are prepared in shared kitchens can be safe if proper precautions are used. That’s why it’s important to ask questions and never, ever assume anything.
As someone who is required to be gluten free, and who is very sensitive to even the smallest amount of gluten, I have enjoyed macarons from Laduree, Le Macaron, and Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie without any issues. Even still, I always double-check before I place my order to make sure that the procedures and ingredients haven’t changed.
And now you know that macarons can definitely be gluten free. Just make sure to verify it before you take a bite of a deliciously perfect macaron cookie.
By the way, if you like cookies, be sure to try my gluten free shortbread cookies!