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macaron

[ mah-kuh-rohn, ‐ron ]
/ ˌmɑ kəˈroʊn, ‐ˈrɒn /
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noun

a round, colored cookie consisting of a ganache or buttercream filling between two halves made from beaten egg whites mixed with sugar and ground almonds.

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Origin of macaron

From French, dating back to 1995–2000; see origin at macaroon

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH macaron

macaron , macaroon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

MACARON VS. MACAROON

What’s the difference between a macaroon and a macaron?

A macaron is a round, colored sandwich cookie made with egg whites, sugar, and often ground almonds, with a buttercream, ganache, or jam filling. Macarons are known for coming in many different flavors and colors. A macaroon is a kind of drop cookie made with egg whites, sugar, and often coconut—and sometimes with ground almonds and maybe a little flour.

The two cookies are made with some of the same basic ingredients, including sugar and egg whites, but they have very different appearances and textures.

Macarons look like this:

Macaroons look like this:

However, the sandwich cookie properly known as a macaron is sometimes called a macaroon. (The reverse is not the case—it’s not common for the simple drop cookies usually made with coconut to be called macarons.)

Making macarons requires quite a bit of skill. They’re delicate and often expensive. Macaroons, on the other hand, are much simpler to make—you basically just mix all the ingredients together and then drop balls of the mix onto a cookie sheet. Macaroons are sometimes dipped in chocolate.

To remember the difference (and which spelling to use for each word), remember that macaroon is spelled with two O’s, as is coconut, a common ingredient in macaroons.

Here’s an example of macaron and macaroon used correctly in a sentence.

Example: I asked my mom to make macaroons for my birthday, but she misunderstood and spent all month learning how to make several different flavors and colors of fancy French macarons. 

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between macaron and macaroon.

Quiz yourself on macaron vs. macaroon!

Should macaron or macaroon be used in the following sentence?

The French bakery near me has a display case with a _____ in every color you can imagine, all filled with delicious buttercream.

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