Cute, easy duck macarons with a lemon cheesecake filling! This design is very easy for beginner character macaron bakers since only one colored batter is made. Plus, each duck is pretty much one big blob, so you don’t have to pipe on numerous layers of macaron batter per cookie. Post-bake, the duckie macarons are decorated with dyed white chocolate and edible markers!
*If this is your first time making macarons, check out my more in-depth post on how to make macarons. You can find more pictures, GIFS, and macaron templates on that page! I also recommend reading Mimi’s macaron post.
*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.
About these duckies
I recently bought this ADORABLE duck plate, which was 10000% the inspiration for these macarons!
Like many of my recipes, I tried to make these as cute & easy as possible. So, only one colored batter is needed to make these duckies. The rest of the details are added on using dyed white chocolate and a black edible marker.
I find that decorating this way is much easier for beginners, in comparison to splitting up the macaron batter into multiple colors and piping bags. The decorating process for these ducks make baking character macarons more approachable, especially if it is your first time making a design! BUT, if this is your first time making macarons shells EVER, I recommend checking out my more in-depth post on how to make macarons. You can find more pictures, GIFS, and macaron templates on that page! I also recommend reading Mimi’s macaron post for troubleshooting.
After baking and decorating the duckies, the shells are sandwiched with a smooth, creamy, not-too-sweet cheesecake filling with a lemon curd center. And don’t worry, the lemon curd is super easy to make and comes together in just a few minutes!
So, let’s get to baking, friends!
Duck Macaron TemplateDuckie-Macaron-Template
Tips for baking and decorating
Use a kitchen scale
Macarons are incredibly finicky. A kitchen scale allows you to measure all the ingredients correctly and helps you create consistent, full, sturdy shells. AND, if you use a cute kitchen scale like this heart-shaped one, it’ll increase your overall happiness by at least 10%.
Decorating with melted chocolate
You can use a piping bag, cookie scribe, or toothpick to add on the details. I used a piping bag for these guys.
For the white chocolate, you’ll want to use oil-based food coloring or the chocolate will seize up and become lumpy. However, if you don’t have oil-based food coloring, you can try mixing in a tsp of neutral oil (canola, vegetable) at a time! The chocolate should come back together. Maaagic.
Storing the macarons
Store the macarons in an airtight container. They can last in the fridge for up to 3 days, otherwise, they’ll get pretty soggy. I highly recommend freezing them instead (for up to one month), and eating them at room temperature.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make these cute duckie cookies, I’d love to see them. You can tag me at #bitesbybianca / @bitesbybianca on Instagram. Enjoy!
Duck Macarons with Lemon Cheesecake Filling (French Method)
For the French macaron shells:
- 50 g egg whites, room temperature
- 40 g granulated sugar
- 60 g almond flour, sifted
- 50 g powdered sugar, sifted
- gel or powdered food coloring (purple)
For the lemon curd:
- juice and zest of one small lemon
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 66 g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, cubed
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 32 g powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the decorations:
- 1 tbsp white chocolate, melted
- oil-based food coloring (yellow), see steps
- edible marker (black)
- Put printed macaron template on baking trays. Place silicone baking mats or parchment paper on top of templates.
- Set up one large piping bag. You don't need a piping tip, you can just snip the end of the bag later.
For the French macaron shells:
- In a medium bowl, mix the sifted almond flour and powdered sugar. Instead of sifting, you can also put the ingredients in a food processor and blend for <10 seconds until you get a fine powder.
- In a small bowl, add the granulated sugar.
- Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Set up a stopwatch to time how long to whip the meringue. (These times are listed to help beginner macaron makers. With practice, you can go by eye.)0:00 – 4:00 minutes: Mix on medium-low for 4 minutes (Kitchenaid speed 4). 4:00 – 9:30 minutes: Turn the mixer to medium speed (Kitchenaid speed 6). Add a third of the granulated sugar. After 30 seconds, add another third. After another 30 seconds, add the last of the granulated sugar. Keep mixing at medium speed until you have reached a total of 9:30 minutes. The meringue should be balled up onto the whisk, very thick, glossy, and have stiff peaks. If not, keep mixing at 30-second intervals at Kitchenaid speed 8 until it is.
- Add all of the powdered sugar, almond flour, and a VERY small amount of purple food coloring. The purple will offset the yellow color of the almond flour, yielding white batter.Using a rubber spatula, fold until the batter ribbons off of the spatula. To test if it is ready, allow the batter to flow off the spatula and into the batter. If the ribbons do not melt into the rest of the batter after 30 seconds, continue folding. Be careful not to over mix or the macarons will not bake well. When it passes this test, transfer it to your piping bag.
- Snip off a medium-large tip using scissors.Using the duck macaron template as a guide, pipe macarons onto your silicone mats/parchment paper. Make sure not to pipe all the way to the edges, since the batter will begin to settle and spread out just a bit.Tip: I like to pipe one pair of shells at a time, then go in with a toothpick cookie scribe to move the batter along to my liking and pop any air bubbles.
- Remove the templates from underneath the macarons. Allow the macarons to sit out at room temperature to dry for at least 1 hour. They will be ready to bake once the surface of the macaron is matte and dry to the touch. If it is a really humid day, it can sometimes take 2+ hours for them to dry. While waiting, you can skip ahead and make the lemon curd at this time, since the curd will need to cool in the fridge to set.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Place an empty baking sheet upside-down on the middle rack.
- Place the baking sheet with the macarons on top of the upside-down baking sheet. Bake one tray at a time for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. If they begin to brown halfway through, you can drop the temperature to 300°F to avoid them darkening too much.To test if they are done baking, gently push the side of one shell. If it wiggles on the sheet, they need to be baked longer.
- Remove the macarons and place them on a wire rack. Bake any remaining macaron shells.
- Allow macarons to fully cool before peeling them off the parchment paper or silicone mats, about 15 minutes.
For the lemon curd:
- In saucepan on low-medium heat, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, egg, egg yolk, and granulated sugar until smooth.
- Add in all of the cubed butter. Continue to whisk while it cooks, until the curd coats the back of a spoon.
- Transfer the curd to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool in fridge. It will thicken once cooled.
For the cream cheese filling:
- In a mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth using a whisk, handmixer, or paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
- Transfer filling to a piping bag. *You don’t have to fit the piping bag with a tip, but I chose to fit mine with an open star tip.
- Match the macaron shells, lining up each pair on your work surface.
- Dye white chocolate yellow using oil-based food coloring.*When dying white chocolate, you’ll want to use oil-based food coloring or the chocolate will seize up and become lumpy. However, if you don’t have oil-based food coloring, you can try mixing in a tsp of neutral oil (canola, vegetable) at a time! The chocolate should come back together. Maaagic.
- Transfer the yellow chocolate to a small piping bag. Snip a small tip, then pipe on the ducks’ beaks. Alternatively, you can use a cookie scribe or toothpick.
- Draw on the eyes and wing with a black edible marker.
- Pipe a ring of cream cheese frosting on the bottom shell, then fill the middle with lemon curd. Add the other shell on top.
- Leave macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours before eating. This allows them to mature, making them softer, chewier, and more flavorful. Eat at room temperature. *Maturation time is usually overnight, but cheesecake fillings are very moist and mature the shells quickly. I recommend storing them in the freezer vs fridge so they don't get too soft over time.