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Are macarons gluten free or dairy free?

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by Anthony · Updated Jan 26, 2024 · 3 min read

These are legit questions we get a lot: Are macarons gluten free? Are macarons dairy free? To find out, I'll list the ingredients in a macaron.

Table of contents

  • What is gluten?

What is gluten? (infographic)

A quick definition to know what is gluten. According to Harvard, gluten is a natural protein that can be found in many cereals such as wheat, rye, etc.

The main purpose of gluten is structural: It maintains the shape of the grain itself.

Gluten is not harmful according to this article. But as everything, it is the excess of gluten that is dangerous.

  • Authentic macarons are gluten free (ingredients)

Are macarons gluten free

What is a macaron? I wrote an entire post on it, but to summarize it's a traditional French "cookie" composed of two shells and a filling in the middle.

Since my wife and I are both French chef from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, we learned and practiced this authentic macaron recipe for years.

Our recipe contains: 

Ingredients Gluten Free? Dairy Free?
Macaron shells - -
Almond flour
yes
yes
Powdered sugar
yes
yes
Egg white
yes
yes (eggs are not dairy)
Food coloring yes (at Pastreez) yes (at Pastreez)
Macaron filling - -
White chocolate yes no
Fruit purée
yes
yes
Egg white
yes
yes

 

In short, Yes Traditional macarons are gluten free, but not necessarily dairy free.

But beware! Even if traditional French bakeries like Pastreez stick to the authentic recipe, most bakers in the US don't.

You might be surprised with what you find in recipes sometimes.

In my quest to find the best macaron delivery services in the US, I found that some bakers add conservatives that might contain gluten.

A dairy free macaron is a specific recipe, since the filling almost always dairy. For example, our vegan macarons are gluten free, and dairy free as well.

The only way to know for sure: Ask the baker prior to buy.

  • Cross contamination and gluten

Cross contamination and gluten (infographic)

Cross contamination is the contamination of a product by another one, simply because they are handled in the same kitchen.

Even if authentic macarons are gluten free, ask yourself if the bakery process other items that contain gluten.

For example, if a bakery primarily makes cookies, cupcakes, and then macarons, you'll have cross contamination with gluten.

  • How to make sure your macarons are gluten free?

As explained earlier, authentic macarons are gluten free. You need to ask your bakery if:

    1. They make authentic and traditional macarons (most don't)
    2. Do they process other pastries (cookies, cupcakes, etc.) that contain gluten
    3. If they do, do they use the same area of their kitchen, and how often is it cleaned

At Pastreez, we sell traditional macarons and crêpes. Our macarons are gluten free, but crêpes aren't (all purpose flour used).

But we use to separate areas to process. So there is no risk of cross contamination.

We've had plenty of celiac customers during the past years, and they were always happy.

All that said, we advise you to always try carefully first to avoid any allergic reaction.


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