Black Sesame Macarons


black sesame macarons-04

black sesame macarons-13

Black sesame came up in multiple conversations lately among my friends for some reason so I went searching for black sesame ice cream around the city.  I eventually found really good black sesame ice cream when I wasn’t searching…at a Japanese restaurant in Berkeley called Ippuku.  After our first bite, everyone’s eyes lit up. We knew the ice cream was likely not scooped out of a pre-packaged pint from some supermarket but home made with a good amount of black sesame.  The flavor was so intense and the smell was fragrant. We were all fighting for the last few bites, scooping the melted ice cream until the bowl was completely empty. The ice cream was so good it inspired me to make these black sesame macarons.  I had some trouble finding black sesame seeds at supermarkets though. Luckily I found them at Whole Foods where they were sold by weight for about $2/pound. Not bad right? The macarons turned out really well and were a hit!

black sesame macarons-01

The bowl on the left is filled with black sesame seeds and the bowl on the right with black sesame powder.  You will need to grind about half a cup of black sesame seeds to have enough sesame powder for the macaron shells.  I used a food processor to grind the seeds and sieved the sesame powder afterwards.  I’d imagine that coffee bean grinders would work well too.  The reason we don’t want to use any sesame seeds in our macaron shells is because biting into a seed could be unpleasant and most of the flavor is in the powder anyway.  If you don’t have a grinder and choose to use whole black sesame seeds it will work too but your shells may look less smooth.

black sesame macarons-02

I normally sieve almond flour and powdered sugar together and this time I mixed in the black sesame powder as well.  Although the black sesame powder was sieved once to separate the seeds from the powder, I sieved it again with almond flour and powdered sugar just to make sure that the powder was fine enough.  If you have a powerful food processor or grinder, you probably don’t need to sieve the black sesame powder again.

black sesame macarons-03

As you can see, black sesame is very present in the batter.  I didn’t use any food coloring because I actually like the natural grayish color from the ingredients. The total weight of almond flour and black sesame powder should equal 112 grams so you can adjust the amount of black sesame powder accordingly.  I used 20 grams of black sesame powder and 92 grams of almond flour in this batch and the macarons turned out great, with a fairly strong black sesame taste.  For a milder taste, I would recommend 97 grams of almond flour and 15 grams of black sesame powder.  I wouldn’t go lower than 10 grams of black sesame powder because you may not be able to taste the flavor. I also wouldn’t use more than 20 grams of black sesame powder because the shells may not form with too little almond flour.

black sesame macarons-06

You can get pretty creative with the buttercream for these macarons.  I would suggest going with a lighter flavor buttercream such as honey buttercream or a very light vanilla buttercream.  Anything too strong can overpower the black sesame flavor in the shells.  You could also use a plain buttercream and add a little bit of black sesame powder if you really want to accentuate the black sesame flavor.

black sesame macarons-12

I had some pistachios in my pantry so I chopped them up and poured some into the buttercream. The pistachio buttercream worked really well with black sesame.  There are endless combinations with macaron shells and fillings.  That’s why I never stop making macarons!


Black Sesame Powder

1 c black sesame seeds
food processor

  1. Depending on the size of your food processor or grinder you may want to grind the black sesame seeds in multiple batches
  2. Sieve the ground black sesame to separate the powder from the seeds.  You will only need the powder in this recipe
  3. Measure the black sesame powder on a kitchen scale (10-25 grams depending on how much you would like to use)

Black Sesame Shells

10-15 grams of black sesame powder

Follow my basic french macaron recipe and instead of using 112 grams of almond flour, add 15 grams of black sesame powder and 100 grams of almond flour.  The rest of the ingredients and directions are exactly the same.

You can adjust the amount of black sesame powder and almond flour as long as they add up to 115 grams.  I would not recommend adding more than 15 grams of black sesame powder (100 grams of almond flour). You want the majority of the macaron shell to be flour based so adding too much black sesame powder may cause the shells to crack or not form.


  1. interesting recipe!

  2. These look absolutely delicious. You are a macaron genius.


  1. […] into fine powder but if you have a machine that works then that’s great! Refer to my recipe here for more details on how to make black sesame macaron […]

Leave a Reply