Is the Macaron the new Cupcake?

Photo courtesy of
‘Napoleon box of 18′
courtesy of ‘yosoynuts’

That’s right, you heard me clearly, is it possible that the macaron is soon going to rule the market of portable deliciousness once dominated by the cupcake?  I have been saying it for quite sometime that this shift in power was bound to happen, but now that The Wall Street Journal even took notice today, this may be happening sooner than I had thought.

The delectable French treats, not to be confused with the ‘other’ macaroon, are meringue-based sandwich cookies which can be found in a variety of flavors ranging from the more traditional – raspberry, vanilla, and mint – to the more unusual – PB&J, candy cane, and saffron pumpkin.  Once a unique and coveted treat that often required a trip to Paris to get a hold of, now can easily be yours any day of the week between the hours of 6 AM and 10 PM via your local Starbucks (you may want to confirm those hours before leaving the house running).

I have tasted my fair share of macarons in the past few years and must say that the real thing does not even compare to what you may find in a Starbucks pack of 12.  So if you want to do it right, and can’t fly to Paris tomorrow to go to the famous Ladurée or Pierre Hermé, then you are in luck because DC has a few of our very own ‘macaron gods’ and suppliers of delightful confections.

- ACKC carries macarons from Michel Patisserie.  Owner, Michel Giaon once worked at Laduree and I must say that his macarons taste deliciously familiar to those from the French patisserie.

- Restaurant Eve’s pastry chef Ed Jiloca is known to get uber-creative with his macaron flavors.  Metrocurean even says something about a flavor that Jiloca makes called chocloate with foie gras buttercream.  Not quite sure how I feel about that though.

- Mid City Cafe has started to carry them and French Twist DC highly recommends the hazelnut flavor.

- Et Voila, the heavenly little spot, has them on the menu – but you have to call head to make sure they save you some.  I am not joking.  They go very, very quickly.

- Audor’s pastry chef, Fabrice Bendano offers baking lessons to a lucky few who want to learn how to make this treat all on their own (and it’s not as easy as it looks which is why I am signed up for his class on March 21st). But if you can’t make it to the restaurant or get into the class, they are also available now for purchase.

I am sure that there are so many more places in DC that now carry – or soon will carry – the macaron so please feel free to share them with me so I can update this list, and of course, get my self over there as soon as possible…

Samantha can often be found daydreaming by the Rothkos of the East Gallery, sketching store facades along 14th, and snapping photos with her vintage polaroid at 9:30 club concerts. Since moving to DC in 2007 to get an MFA in Interior Design, her eyes can’t seem to be peeled away from the beautiful things in this city. Send any visual art, architecture, or design related news her way via Samantha (at)

14 thoughts on “Is the Macaron the new Cupcake?

  1. I can attest that Adour’s macarons are absolutely fantastic melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness and if anyone wants to get me a box I would be eternally grateful. :)

  2. Such a cute article, Sam! And I would love if a macaroon shop opened up in DC – but I’m not quite sure they are the new cupcake. In my mind, you need something that is portable, and can be sold in singles. Macaroons aren’t exactly able to be sold in singles (unless they’re really big) and are fragile. If one were to argue for macaroons, I’d also say that crepes or specialty donuts could be the next big thing. Both are on the rise in DC, and both have the qualities it takes.

  3. You make such good points Katie – clearly, you are the foodie goddess around here. I also have been reading on the blogosphere that the macaron is in better competition with the whoopie pie, which has also been making a comeback. Not sure where they ever went though?

  4. Adour insists on calling them macaroons and it drives me carzy! I took the calss back in November. It was fun. We made white chocolate and chestnut flavoured one.
    Other good spots in DC: Praline in Bethesda and Patisserie Poupon in Georgetown.

  5. Regarding the issue of portable and single, living in a city with several competing macaron shops (and as a known macaron fan), I can report that they are in fact customarily sold individually. Certainly, a shop will pack a box of several for you on request, but usually your selected flavor is plucked out and handed over in a bit of paper for a price around $1 each.

  6. RIGHT. Whoopie pies. I forgot about those. I mean, yes, right, they could be. But I don’t see a cute shop with chandeliers and pink and trays of whoopie pies… which is another thing that makes cupcakeries so successful. Can there be a cute concept around it? That is classy and frilly and girlie? Macaro(o)ns, yes. Donuts, maybe. Whoopie pies? No, just on the name alone. ;)

  7. Leopolds in Georgetown has them. Their traditional flavors are good; the funky flavors are not weel executed. Also, Patissire Poupon in on Wisconsin

  8. You’re right. I’d rather a good but plain vanilla macaron than a bad but fancy rosewater and pistachio one. La Maison du Chocolat in NY has one of the best vanilla macaron I’ve ever hard. Simple, with a thin layer of rich chocolate in the middle. Simply delicious.

  9. Laetitia. I think you would like the book “I love Macarons” which is available on Amazon. The wait takes about 2-4 weeks for delivery because they can’t keep them in stock… Samantha

  10. Pingback: To Paris in the springtime « Aesthetics of Everywhere

  11. Locolat, by the corner of 18th and U (, has fantastic macarons. As well as fantastic everything else :)

    Puro, a cafe that just opened in Georgetown (, also has great macarons. But I don’t know if they make them there or get them from somewhere else.

    Patisserie Poupon is another one of my favorites. I didn’t really like ACKC’s. When I had them they tasted more like refrigeration than anything else.