Nut-free Macarons

While I often vary the nuts I use for my macarons, I had never made a macaron that was totally nut-free. As I was to give my students a baking lesson in macarons, being a nut-free school this could have posed something of a challenge…but I thrive on a culinary challenge!

After some experimentation with nut alternatives, I settled upon pumpkin seeds.

Trying not to “make do”!

Now I do hate making substitutes for ingredients only to end up with something that pitifully whimpers “making do”, but using pumpkin seeds in place of almonds works well in this case, although you don’t get quite the smoothness or the feet that you get if using nuts.

Any filling of choice

I filled these with a white chocolate and passion fruit ganache. I also added a generous sprinkling of dried raspberry pieces to the ganache.

To make this ganache filling heat 100g double cream until it just simmers. Leave to cool a little and pour over 150g chopped white chocolate.  Stir until smooth and beat in the juice of 1 passionfruit. Leave until it is cool and has slightly set before using.

Making the macarons

To make these macarons, simply replace the almonds with the same amount of pumpkin seeds and omit the fruit powder from my basic macaron recipe. I found that these cook in about 12 minutes. They are also a bit more fragile, so handle delicately.



  1. what an interesting idea! I


    1. It was an eye-opener that it worked so well without nuts


  2. Very creative idea of substituting almonds with pumpkin seeds! I will definitely try that some time. Thanks for sharing!


    1. A pleasure.I hope you enjoy them


  3. oh wow. Thank you for this recipe. I can’t eat nuts so I tried these out and they worked like a dream. And one of the girls in my office who is a real macaron aficionado couldn’t get enough of them.


    1. You’re welcome and I am glad you liked them. They are a great substitute for almonds and the last few batches I have done used the pumpkins seeds. It is nice when substitutions do not compromise on flavour!


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