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Painted Macarons: A Watercolor Macaron Tutorial

A couple years ago, we threw Brilee a Beauty & the Beast birthday party. After browsing Pinterest a couple weeks before the party, Brilee decided she wanted to have painted macarons with roses on them, just like the enchanted rose from the movie. So we gave it a try, and the macarons turned out great!

Painted macarons for a Beauty and the Beast party

Painting the macarons was fairly easy and pretty similar to playing with actual watercolor paints. Anyone can create their own painted macarons, just like in the beautiful patisserie shops. The key is to have the right tools.


You just need a few things to paint your own macarons:

  • Macarons Lighter colors are easier to see the paintings on. If you’ve got the time and want to make your own macarons, you certainly could. For homemade macarons, I use this recipe from Martha Stewart and they turn out amazing. This time, I used frozen macarons and they worked just as well as homemade. Plus, there is no wasted time while I wait for the macarons to cool from the oven and then set. Another great thing about frozen macarons is you can paint them, then pop them back in the freezer once they are dry. I did this a few days ahead of time for Brilee’s birthday party.
  • Paintbrush You will need a tiny, fine detail paint brush, like the small one in this set. You could use the rest of the brushes in the set for painting on top of royal icing, or paint a cake like these over on Pizzazzerie. Such a great idea! It’s important to make sure whatever brush you choose is food safe, as well.
  • Food coloring In my experience, gel food color works the best because it is highly pigmented and can be thinned to the right consistency without losing color.
  • Edible Gold Luster Dust This one is completely optional, but it’s how I created the shimmery effect on the macarons. A tiny bit goes a long way with this.

You’ll also need a dish of some kind to act as you paint pallet, as well as a cup of water for rinsing your brush.

To start, squeeze just a drop of food coloring into a dish. Begin to thin out the color with just a few drops of water at a time until you have the consistency of water color paint. It really won’t take much water at all, but if you accidentally add too much water, just add another drop of food coloring and mix it in to get the right consistency.

Now you’re ready to begin painting. Start out by dipping your brush and then tapping lightly to shake the excess off the brush. Make sure to use a little coloring at a time to avoid over saturating the macarons and making them soggy. You can always add a little more to your brush and go back over a spot if you need to.

Painted macarons

Beyond that, it’s fairly straightforward. The kids jumped in and painted their own macarons as well. We painted some with simple designs, like stripes and dots, and then others with tiny flower bouquets.

Painted macarons

Painted macarons

It really is so much easier than it seems! If you’re saving these for later, just let them dry before storing them so they won’t smudge.

Painted macarons

If you paint your own macarons, I’d love to see them! You can share them on Instagram and tag me so that I see the post! Happy painting!

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