A traditional delicate dessert with origins from Italy to France, this confection’s popularity continues to find a sweet spot in the hearts of many bakeries and patisseries in Sacramento. Yet, what’s the difference between a macaron versus a macaroon? It’s simple. A macaron is meringue-based cookie made out of almond flour, egg whites, and sugar, then filled with chocolate, preserves, or cream. The macaroon is a crunchy and delicious treat made from ground almonds, coconut, egg whites, and sugar (sometimes, even dipped in chocolate). No matter the spelling, both cookies are palate pleasing in their own ways and sweet shops throughout the region offer one or both styles by the dozen, as ice cream sandwiches, or better yet, served on its own.
Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates  
1801 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 706-1738

Ginger Elizabeth may specialize in decadent chocolate squares in varieties that include sea-salt sprinkled and filled with caramel. But, one slightly crispy and mildly sweet treat this chocolate shop does well is macarons. Each assortment of macarons are made in small batches, hand-piped, and then filled with house-made ganache, buttercream, caramel and jams. The balance between texture and flavor found in a Ginger Elizabeth macaron is one of a kind and loyal customers choose to buy these tiny bites by the dozen. The list of flavors available changes daily, but bite-sized staples found often behind the counter include: Vanilla Almond, Chocolate Ganache, and Pistachio.

Ettore’s European Bakery & Restaurant 
2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 482-0708

Almond crescents dipped in chocolate and studded with a single maraschino cherry, butter cookies filled with raspberry or apricot jam, and flaky coconut pecan triangles are just the beginning of Ettore’s European Bakery & Restaurant’s dessert menu. But, all specialty wedding cakes and lemon chiffon desserts aside, this sweet shop bakes an assortment of colorful macarons that sell out quick. Popular flavors like raspberry come light pink in color, while the vanilla variety takes on a creamy hue. Owner Ettore Ravazzolo and his wife, Meggan, participated in Sacramento Fashion Week in February where Meggan walked the runway wearing a dress decorated completely in hand-made macarons and sugar flowers.

Love And Macarons
Elk Grove, CA 95758

Fruity Pebbles, Maple Bacon, Cookies and Cream, Sea Salt Caramel, Creme Brulee, Guava Cheese, Cookie Butter and Thin Mint. The boutique company, Love and Macarons, pops up at different events throughout Sacramento. Owner Tiffany Domingo bakes her bite-sized creations from scratch and sells them every Saturday during the midtown farmers’ market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. parked right in front of Low Brau. With more than three dozen flavors, Domingo says the Sea Salt Caramel is her bestseller. Pearl pink in color and sprinkled with golden salt this tasty treat is both eye-appealing and palate pleasing. Follow this pop-up macaron boutique on Instagram @loveandmacarons and look for Domingo and her macarons at SactoMofo 9 on May 21 at Discovery Park.

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Freeport Bakery
2966 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 442-4256

When it comes to fresh-baked goodies, Freeport Bakery has its hands in more than just pies. The quaint bakery located in the heart of the Curtis Park neighborhood specializes in traditional dense challah bread baked twice a week, beautifully decorated wedding cakes, fresh fruit baskets, but its the authentic, French-style macarons that take the cake. At $3.50 a piece, choose from either pistachio or lemon-coconut. One attribute that sets Freeport’s macarons aside from other bakeries in town is these delicate treats are slightly larger in size because according to this bakery, “one or two bites just isn’t enough.”

Estelle’s Patisserie
901 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 551-1500

In Belgium and in France, the term patisserie is a title only given to a bakery that has a master pastry chef or maître pâtissier under its roof. Although the rules are more relaxed in America, at Estelle’s quality is found throughout its extensive menu. From its fresh-baked bread used to package its sandwiches to its espresso bar and even behind its dessert case, the food and sweet bites found at this Downtown eatery are sure to tantalize the eye and satisfy any craving. But, we’re here for the French-style macarons. Baked daily and typically seasonal flavors, macarons at Estelle’s come in hazelnut, pistachio, chocolate, raspberry, peanut butter and jelly and more.

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I’m Steph and I enjoy writing about every topic imaginable: hard-hitting news, fun profiles on eccentric artists, music features about the loudest band in town, food-related content that tickles the appetite, in-depth audio interviews with award-winning authors, and more. I’m an award-winning freelance journalist living in Sacramento, Calif. with my partner, David, and our one-year-old son, Elliot. Follow me on Twitter: @wordstospill; Instagram: @writeitgirl.