Macaroons from Bettys (or are they Macarons?)

Bettys Macaroons in a teacup

When it comes down to spelling differences between one country and another, is there still sometimes a definite ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – or does it all just depend on which side of the border you’re standing on?

Take the case of the ‘Macaron’, for example. Or should that be ‘Macaroon’?


What an American calls a Macaroon


As an American, I grew up knowing the macaroon as a small cookie made with coconut and sometimes dipped or drizzled in chocolate; and the macaron as that lovely French meringue delicacy. (Until now, the best macarons I have ever had were at Mariage Frères Salon de Thé in Paris, and Ladurée (at Harrods) in London.)

But here in England, I have seen the word ‘macaroon’ used to describe the French ‘macaron’ and have been told that ‘macaroon’ is simply the British spelling of ‘macaron’.


Bettys Macaroons


At the end of the day, what matters more to me than how it’s spelled, however, is how it tastes – and Bettys (whom I have written about before) recently sent me a box of their gorgeous macaroons to taste and, as expected, I was not disappointed.

Bettys macaroons are handmade weekly, using only natural ingredients and no preservatives or artificial flavourings or colour. The beautiful box of six macaroons are raspberry, pistachio, lemon, and chocolate.  I know this is going to sound cliche, but honestly – they burst with flavour! You can really tell that they are 1) fresh, and 2) made with top quality ingredients. (My favourite was the pistachio.)

If you are looking for an extra-special treat, Bettys macaroons would be perfect. They are exquisite.

Handmade macaroons from Bettys

How do you feel about the whole spelling thing? Is it wrong to refer to the French ‘macaron’ as a ‘macaroon’ ?




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  1. Ooh, hoorary for Bettys!
    Yes, I too grew up (in England) knowing macaroons as twirly things made mostly from coconut. And indeed, I’ve noticed pastel-coloured macarons become hugely popular in the last couple of years. I think it might be easier to stick to those two spellings… ?

  2. It’s a lot like peony, hydrangea, potato and tomato! You sure gave us some good information!

  3. In my humble, but strong opinion I have felt all along that the coconut cookie is a macaroon and the French little sweets are macaron. I think that is the only way to keep it straight, but still confuses some people because they are pronounced the same. Wish I had a couple of those from Betty’s right now. They do look delicious no matter how it is spelled.

    • I agree with you, Marilyn – it can create confusion. I’m not particularly keen on coconut ‘macaroons’ – but LOVE French ‘macarons’ !!

  4. Hello dear Denise! Ooohhh, I must say that the French macarons are MUCH prettier than what I grew up with and call “macaroons.” My mom made the best macaroons, but no chocolate drizzled on top. I like that idea. Betty’s Macarons look quite yummy! My Betty Crocker Cookbook has a recipe in there for cream wafers….I wonder if it’s similar to Betty’s Macarons? Have a wonderful day. Rainy, cold and dreary here! xo

    • Hi Karen, bet your mom’s macaroons were yummy. I hope you’ll have a chance to try a Betty’s macaroon someday! Oh, and guess what? Rainy, cold and dreary here, too! lol xxx

  5. I call the coconut cookies macaroons and the other, macarons. And I’ve yet to taste one that I like! But if there is one out there, it would surely be Bettys – I love their stuff! How do they get those bright colors?

  6. I personally used to call them both macaroons. It actually wasn’t until a few months ago that I was told that they are two separate things.

    I didn’t know “macaroon” was the British spelling of “macaron”.

    Betty’s Macarons looks delicious! I love the vibrant colours. It’s impressive that they are so nicely coloured without artificial colouring.

    I do feel that macarons are now getting pretty popular, as there are now shops that are exclusively selling macarons in my area. I can understand why, because they’re delicious.

    I hope to come across some Betty’s macaroons in the store someday so I can give them a try.

    • Hi Elle and welcome to Tea in England. The nice folks at Betty’s told me that ‘macaroon’ is the British spelling of ‘macaron’ – I never knew it, either!

  7. I concur with the general opinion that macaroons = coconutty cake things and macarons = dayglo meringue things. Typing the names just now I realised I pronounce the first one in my head in a terrible Scottish accent and the second one in a terrible French accent so I really can’t use the two interchangeably. It’d be anarchy.

    Not that I’ve ever had a macaron to be honest. I like meringue but the macaron is so brightly coloured and *tidy* looking that I find it a bit off-putting.

  8. Personally I prefer coconut macaroons. The other macarons/macaroons are very trendy though 🙂

  9. As a child in England during WWII, macaroons were a great treat, made with whites of eggs and sugar only. We sandwiched them together with whipped cream. The textures were amazing!

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