Silicone Macaron Mat Review

For all the macarons I’ve churned out in the past few years, have you also noticed that there are trendy kitchen gadgets such as a silicone macaron mat in specialised baking shops? When Mum told me my cousin, Julie, made wonderful macarons for a family party (using my first book, Mad About Macarons) and that she was using a macaron mat, I thought it was about time to jump on the bandwagon, try one out myself and help you decide if it’s worth buying one or not by this silicone macaron mat review.

So I bought myself a Mastrad macaron matThis post is not referring to a silicone Silpat mat, but a special macaron mat with pre-defined circles. (Incidentally, I don’t use a plain Silpat mat as it tends to overcook macarons…)

Although it’s referred to as a “small” macaron baking sheet, it’s rather a large mat (42cm x 33cm; 17″x13″) and so the small is referring to the size of macarons, not the macaron mat itself. In America this may be an extra small size, but in France this is the normal size found in the pâtisseries in Paris. The mat produces 56 shells for 28 macarons.

Silicone macaron mat review comparison with baking parchment paper

It was great to see so many macarons condensed onto one tray. If you see the photo above left, however, you will see that my macarons are not quite round.  Why?  Well, although it may look easy I had to pipe the batter right into the middle of the raised rounds. By the time the batter spread out a little (as they normally do), I realised that some of my piping wasn’t quite directly in the middle. I’m so used to piping quickly free-hand.

Although I missed the centre on some of them, the majority turned out in perfect circles.  On the other hand, the mat was too big for my large baking sheet. The result was that the batter moved and produced some oval macarons which were not so pretty. I would, therefore, recommend that you use a baking sheet that is large enough to support the mat, such as this aluminium 18×14 baking sheet.

small macaron feet using a macaron silicone mat

Oh what little feet we have

Baking the macarons using the silicone macaron mat took an extra 4-5 minutes compared to the ones being baked just on baking parchment.

Macaron Feet using the Silicone Macaron Mat

In general, the end result was satisfactory but I really wasn’t happy that the macarons’ feet were much flatter than I normally achieve by piping directly onto good quality baking parchment/paper. I also found that the macarons tended to stick to the mat, creating a shiny surface underneath.  I would recommend oiling the mat slightly before piping to avoid this.

review of silicone macaron mat

flat-footed macarons?

Being so used to piping out macarons free hand, I find it much easier to use simple baking parchment (good quality) and pipe out rounds quickly.

perfect macaron shell feet using baking paper

We have much better feet, see? Baking parchment is all we need…

After a few batches I stopped using the silicone mat for macarons; it’s too time consuming to relearn how to pipe the batter into the centre of the silicone rounds on the mat.  So that my money doesn’t go to waste, I’ve used it for making chocolate mendiants.

how to make chocolate disks or French mendiants

I also used the macaron mat for making French chouquettes (mini choux buns topped with pearl sugar.) It was interesting to see that they turned out slightly flatter compared to ones piped out onto my Silpat silicone baking mat. Incidentally, I have a whole recipe chapter on choux buns (profiteroles) and éclair pastry treats in my new book, Teatime in Paris.

using a macaron silicone mat to make chouquettes

Left: silicone macaron mat with circles (the subject of this post); Right: Plain silicone mat

Silicone Macaron Mat Review Verdict

The mat is an extra luxury; you don’t need it, especially if you already enjoy baking and have a few practises with the piping bag. First-time users with a piping bag can find it awkward at first and, although the mat provides extra confidence in piping out uniform rounds, you still need to practise piping out the rounds directly in the middle and just enough so that the batter doesn’t go over the raised rounds. The positive side is that you can fit more macarons on to the one sheet.

If you do prefer using the mat, I would encourage you to ensure you have a baking sheet that is large enough to hold the full mat, so check your sizes first as I recommend above.

I still prefer using good quality baking parchment for the best macaron shell results with a perfect foot.

chocolate macaron shells baked on baking parchment

Have you bought a macaron mat recently?  What do you think?

Bestselling Macaron Recipe

And if you’re wanting a macaron recipe that works, you need a copy of my book, Mad About Macarons!
Update
: Even BETTER VALUE (at the price of a box of macarons) is my second recipe book, Teatime in Paris! (published 2015), including step-by-step macaron recipes; 50 recipes of French teatime favourites such as Lemon & Passion Meringue Tart, coffee éclairs, Paris-Brest (macarons too!), vanilla millefeuille, raspberry financiers, honey madeleines with rose & green tea, hot chocolate like Angelina’s, almond tuiles, speculoos ice cream …and with a DIY guide thrown in of Paris’ best patisseries, chocolate shops, macarons and tea salons.

teatime in Paris pastry recipe book

50 favourite Parisian teatime recipes


Note: This is a personal review and not sponsored by anybody: Mastrad did not contact me. As I see them in so many shops and readers ask me if they should buy it, I bought the mat myself, curious to try. All ideas and opinions are my own in the interest of my macaron-making friends. If any company wishes to contact me to convince me otherwise, however, then I am totally open to doing a new review … Links are not affiliate links on this page. 

85 replies
  1. Michelle Duong
    Michelle Duong says:

    Jill, my macarons always stick so much whenever I use this mat! But whenever I try to bake them longer, they brown and are too hard. I can’t freehand because whenever I bang the tray on the table, the shapes become a mess! What can I do?

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Hi Michelle,
      Are you using my recipe? I ask since recipes can change the outcome and it helps me to help! Sounds like your batter is too runny – and I don’t encourage readers to bang the tray on the table with this recipe. Let me know more so I can help.

      Reply
  2. Jay
    Jay says:

    I really love this product. I have use it in my home country in Cambodia. It is easy to use and perfect for family.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Vera
    Vera says:

    Hi Jill, thank you for your article, I am about to buy Mastrad Mat just to experiment. I always make macarons using parchment paper and turn out good, though occasionally turned oval. So now I won’t experiment with mat after reading your article. I am interested to buy your book, where and how, I am in Australia. Thanks

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Hi Vera, Sorry for the late response but have been on holiday and away from le blog. You can find both books on the Book Depository. For Australia, I’m not too sure…

      Reply
  4. David Chau
    David Chau says:

    Hi Jill,

    My macarons are round during drying time and before baking, but turned oval shapes when baked. What do you think I did wrong?

    Regards,

    David

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi David,

      It sounds like your batter is slightly on the liquid side. For this, there are a number of reasons:
      over-beating the batter; not whipping up the whites enough into stiff peaks; not good quality eggs; incorrect measurement of ingredients (you need to follow the recipe to the letter).
      Or, as you mention, your baking parchment isn’t great quality. I have asked my Canadian baking friends and will be back in touch!
      Jill

      Reply
  5. David Chau
    David Chau says:

    Hi Jill,

    What is the brand name of the “high quality” parchment paper that you use for your macarons? I am from Canada and the one I use is called “Culinary Parchment”. Before the macarons are baked, they are perfectly rounded. But after baking, most of them take on an oval shapes. Other than that, they are great.

    Regards,

    David

    Reply
  6. najma
    najma says:

    i have just brought macarons decorating set before using i need your advise is it ok to use and pls forward your receipe do i have to put tray underneath the silocone sheet pls reply

    thanks

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Najma,
      As I say here, I prefer NOT to use a silicone mat for macarons. I’m sorry but my publisher does not allow me to put up the recipe here, as they prefer readers buy the book (and at a small price, it’s value for money for the same as a box of macarons in Paris.) To answer your question, though, if you are wishing to use a silicone mat then yes, you would put the baking tray underneath it. All the best, J.

      Reply
  7. Praveen
    Praveen says:

    Hi Jill, i use silicone mat and bake macaron at 140 C in convection oven for around 25 mins. How do I test if they are done? They don’t move easily and stick to the mat. Even after cooling the base of shell is not clean. pls help.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Praveen, first off 140°C sounds too low an oven temperature to me and for too long – but perhaps you’re using a different recipe. Are you following all the instructions from ‘Mad About Macarons’? It’s all in the book for guidance on this – and, as I say in the post, I don’t like using a silicone mat but rather good quality parchment/baking paper. In the book, I bake at 160°C fan although, depending on your oven, this can be lowered to 155° or 150°C (I don’t recommend any lower).

      Reply
      • Praveen
        Praveen says:

        Thanks for the prompt response Jill. How long to bake at 160 °C ? currently, i get a neat shell and foot as well but the base of the shell is not clean. May be once i adjust the temp to 160 °C would i get clean base?

        Reply
        • Jill
          Jill says:

          It all depends, Praveen. If you’re using my recipe, it’s easier to say how it will go but if you’re doing it from another version, I can’t guarantee it will work. My recipe is at 160°C fan for only 8-10 minutes and after they come out with a clean base. All the instructions are given in the basic recipe. Cheers!

          Reply
  8. Tina
    Tina says:

    How important is the feet on the macaron shells?
    I just baked two batches for the very time but using parchment paper on insulated cookie sheets. No feet. They didn’t have smooth tops because maybe the batter was too thick. But tasted very good. Slight crisp with slight soft chewiness in the middle. Still wondering if we I should buy the lekue silicon mat and batter dispenser.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Tina,
      Sorry – been away, still away and only have a quick connection time here. A macaron without feet is, well really, not a macaron. As I say in my book. Are you using my recipe from Mad About Macarons and sticking to the instructions? It’s all in the book – including just using a piping bag. All these gadgets are not really necessary…

      Reply
  9. Emma-Jane
    Emma-Jane says:

    Wish I thought to google ‘macaron mat’ before I piped them out! They appear to be quite round and even, but I have yet to cook them! I am despairing of how I will get them off once cooked, as my macarons almost always stick!

    Reply
    • Emma-Jane
      Emma-Jane says:

      Update! Well, that was a waste of time! There is plenty of rise, but on one side only, and not the same side one each macaron, interestingly. And, they are not cooked, despite adding an additional 2 minutes to the cooking time. Back to the mixmaster!

      Reply
  10. Terry
    Terry says:

    I just finished a 3 hour Macaron class. I’m so glad that I did it. I made some amazing cookies and amazing fillings. I feel very comfortable and confident that I can make amazing homemade Macarons. We made Hazelnut with Dark Chocolate Ganache, Pumpkin with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Spiced with Apple Cider Buttercream.

    Reply
  11. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    Thanks for the information about the mats. I’ve been using a Silpat since I started making macarons and I wondered why it was taking them longer to cook than the recipe calls for. When I was in France earlier this week I noticed in a store a macaron mat that had little round “pockets” for macarons and I wondered how it worked. I’d actually come online today to see if I could buy one in the US, and having read your blog I’ve decided to try parchment paper instead. Thanks for the helpful tips!

    Reply
  12. Mia D
    Mia D says:

    I have the Silicone Macaron macaroon Baking Sheet. Use them couple times fine. Today all of them were sticky (Why?). The same time i did with the baking parchment. The ones baked in the silicone were much nicer looking color from the same batch. Next time i will try one silicone with oil, one with water to see if is any difference.I was told that if you run little water on the silicone and drain, it may work….

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Interesting experiment, Mia. As I say in the post, out of all my trials with the mat compared with good quality (that’s important) baking parchment, the parchment came up with the best all-around performance – especially with better feet than the mat. I mention to use an oil to help on the mat – I went no further so if you want to experiment with the water, please do let us all know here! Have fun!

      Reply
  13. Judi
    Judi says:

    Thanks for all the info – tried making macaroons only once so far and not very successfully. We used an insulated baking sheet under a silicone mat and under parchment paper. Is it better to use an regular non-insulated cookie sheet.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Judy,
      As I say here, I don’t recommend using a silicone mat to make macarons. I just used a regular baking tray/cookie sheet with a good quality baking/parchment paper. Don’t worry about it – it’s only your first time. Try again, keep it simple and just stick to what I say in the book and you’ll have fun!

      Reply
      • Judi
        Judi says:

        Thanks for the reply – it was a metal insulated cookie sheet not a silicone mat. There is a layer of air between two metal sheets – they are called AirBake. We use them for cookies so they don’t burn on the bottom but I wondered if it was not suitable for macarons. We’ll try using a regular cookie sheet next time. We still ate them and they tasted good just didn’t look like they should.

        Reply
        • Jill
          Jill says:

          Sounds a super duper cookie sheet, Judi. No, don’t know of it, just use regular sheets and it works great. Enjoy making the next batch – taste was good for the first? That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

          Reply
  14. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I have made macarons with parchment paper a few times and they came out good. Used sillpad under same condition and the shell burst on top.no feet Can you tell me why? Thanks

    Reply
  15. jeanell
    jeanell says:

    You are gonns think Im crazy but used a small round cookie cutter as a mold for awhile til I perfected the round one. Once you tapped the trays to released air bubbles you would never tell.

    Reply
  16. Jules
    Jules says:

    Hi Jill,

    Do you have any techniques for hand piping very round macarons? I’m considering a mat because the ones I pipe aren’t very round. Is there maybe some other tool that can be used? It sounds like the silicone mat makes the feet smaller which is less desirable.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jules
      Jules says:

      Oh and to be clear, I’m using a round template, but it’s my technique that makes them not perfectly round, and that bugs me 🙂

      Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Jules, I honestly don’t think a mat is really beneficial to round macarons and, as I’ve said here, you not only get smaller macaron feet but it’s almost as tricky piping onto the exact mat’s circles than piping free hand! I’d suggest you follow all of my tips and recommendations thoroughly in the book. It sounds like your batter is perhaps a bit runny and so more difficult to control. Once you have a batter that’s manageable, then it will be easy to pipe out using a plain tip right onto the baking paper.

      Reply
  17. Aleli (lily)
    Aleli (lily) says:

    Hello! I wonder what parchment paper brand would be good to use? And how do you make your macaron rounds even and with almost no batter tips?

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Lily, Depends where you live but as I live in France I can only suggest Monoprix own brand which I particularly prefer. I’ve just asked my readers on the FB page. In the meantime, the answer is far too long to your 2nd question. It’s all in the book!

      Reply
    • Tammy
      Tammy says:

      I recently made some macarons and i even when out and bought some fairly good parchment paper, but of course they still stuck so i went to my last resort and used some that i got from Costco (I am from the US) and they worked AMAZINGLY for some reason the parchment paper from Costco is price very good and works even better!

      Reply
      • Jill
        Jill says:

        Thanks for this, Tammy – it’s very useful for our USA friends. I noticed a few people mentioning this on our FB page. OK, so let’s stick to Costco parchment paper for macarons! Merci beaucoup.

        Reply
  18. Paul
    Paul says:

    I have two mats and get about 25% of the shells peeling off well. The others come off with a butter knife and a slow hand and a repair job. I love the idea of the mats and will try some oil spray next time. I accidentally left the last batch in 10 minutes longer than usual and they turned out better than other times. I’ll give baking parchment a go and see what happens. If only I could make them last a little longer.

    Reply
  19. Rollerscrapper
    Rollerscrapper says:

    Aha! I purchased some adorably shaped ones that have a bear, heart and star. After about 3 failed batches I was blaming my macaron making hiatus, but probably it’s the mat. I had finally gotten perfect Macs on parchment but moved to silicone and then took a break during which I bought a Mat like this and had do much failure. Perhaps I should just go back to parchment! Thanks for the review!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Glad to be of help, Rollerscrapper. Don’t let the fancy gadgets put you off. You’re right, stick to good parchment! Enjoy macaron making. You’re a star, you don’t need fancy shapes 😉

      Reply
        • Jill
          Jill says:

          Never impossible! GLad to hear about the perfect round macs; let’s face it, that’s what matters most for a typical, classic Parisian macaron – and the taste. Enjoy macaroning. J xo

          Reply
  20. Chanel
    Chanel says:

    Hey Jill! I have a silicone mat and I enjoy it a lot. To be honest I’m sort of afraid to just go completely with parchment. I always find my macarons not as rich as yours in the image and not as stiff/sticky/sticking to the mat. Is there anyway I can fix that? Also is spraying a mat with Pam or some sort of non stick spray worth trying? Sorry for all these questions! xo

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Chanel, As I say in this post, I much prefer just using baking parchment. I find that these mats make macarons stick a lot – not so great. So yes, spray with a non-stick spray beforehand. Just good quality baking parchment makes the foot bigger and no sticking. Just go for it!

      Reply
  21. Mia
    Mia says:

    thank you for this review! i saw it online and wanted to run to macys to buy it but i think i’ll stick with the parchment paper. 🙂

    Reply
  22. Dee
    Dee says:

    I bought the mats, had to find baking sheets that they fit on, used them for one tray and piped the rest onto parchment and now the mats are just taking up space.

    Reply
  23. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Hi Jill

    Thanks for the review. Do you recommend the silpat for making macarons? Are the results comparable between the parchment paper and the silpat?

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Amanda, I prefer using parchment paper for making macarons since the result is always consistent. Silpat is fine but I’ve found that the macarons spread a bit too much and don’t produce as perfect feet by just using parchment.

      Reply
  24. jehanen@thecookingdoctor
    jehanen@thecookingdoctor says:

    I agree with you, JIll that this mat is probably an unnecesary luxury. I got mine ( Lekue) at half price from the generous retailer for me to try,it is similar as your mastrad, most of the mac feet are stuck on the indented circles, so only used the mat once…and went back to the ever so reliable free hand -or with drawn circles underneath the baking paper for those special occasions. I am happy that a mac expert like u came to the same conclusion, so it wasnt just me being silly with the mat then:-)

    Reply
  25. Paula
    Paula says:

    You are wonderful to have posted this and to have done all the work to do so. I’ve only made macs once and never had a problem getting them round. I’m a big fan of using parchment paper, for macs and all my other baking. Often look at the baking mats but always talk myself out of purchasing them.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      What can I say, Paula? Here’s to good old parchment paper and free-piping easily these round macarons without any expensive gadgets! Thanks for your sweet words.

      Reply
  26. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    That was a fun product review Jill! I liked how you figured out other usages for the mat! 😀 You have been baking without one and I think it’s great that we don’t have to spend extra money to make a nice outcome. When I hear bloggers loving those silmats, I was excited to buy one (um, even though I only occasionally bake), but my oven size is a bit smaller kind that the mat didn’t fit sideways to the oven! I returned it..and wished that they come in a smaller size. Anyway, thank you for the review and you were the perfect person to test it out! 😉

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Well I’m glad you thought it was fun, Nami. I’m kicking myself for finding something in my cupboard that I don’t need and expensive to boot! Never mind. All in the art of testing for my friends here, eh?

      Reply
  27. Scott_D
    Scott_D says:

    I love the mat. It really helps me get all my macarons the same size. I’ve never had trouble free hand getting them round, but I would end up with all different sizes. Sometimes matching them up was a little trouble. Always ended up with one cookie with a big side and a small side. As for browning and feet, I thought it did great. I do spray mine with a very light spray of canola oil before using. I think that helps browning. The first time I didn’t and had some stick,,

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Glad to hear it works for you – interesting to hear. Yes, marrying up the pairs are easier but I personally love the one or two odd couples that I can use as as excuse just to ‘test’ the filling 😉

      Reply
  28. Debra
    Debra says:

    Hi Jill,
    I’ve been making macarons, mostly with the general recipes from your book, which I love! I’ve been piping directly onto parchment paper, without any template. Most of the time, I get the sizes and round almost perfect; but I was wondering if you’ve found a template online or did you create your own template to put underneath the parchment?
    Thanks!
    PS: I purchased the same silicone mat in France, but have not yet used it. I went to a class at L’Atelier des Chefs, and learned there that the parchment and the baking sheets was much better to allow air to filter into the shells.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hi Debra,
      I’ll be honest – I have never used a template. Never needed one – it’s so easy to just pipe out rounds with a plain tip on to the paper. You can get the hang of it so quickly.
      You got a macaron mat (with circles) or a normal silicone mat?

      Reply
  29. Katie
    Katie says:

    I think it’s important to note the difference between one of these mats with circles and a regular Silpat. I find that I achieve the same results with parchment and with a Silpat, and I don’t really have a preference other than that parchment is a pain when it rolls up on you constantly, so more often I use my Silpats. I was all giddy when I found the macaron mat with circles, even though I thought it may be fairly gimmicky. Similar to your experiences, I was fairly disenchanted. I noticed that they didn’t peel off very well and left residue on the mat (exactly the same as in your picture) and holes in the shells. Not a very pretty product. I will probably give them another chance just because, but in the long run stick with regular Silpats or parchment. I appreciate the review!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Katie, agreed. Here I am talking about the silicone macaron mat (with the circles.) Interesting to here you have the same experiences!

      Reply
  30. All That I'm Eating
    All That I'm Eating says:

    How interesting. I’m glad I read this. I love piping and so would probably stick to that. I’m also one of those people who would buy a mat too big for the tray! I’m glad it didn’t go to waste though!

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Hehe – like you, I don’t go around the shops with a tape-measure in my handbag, even although my husband thinks I carry already too much in it!

      Reply
  31. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite says:

    Thanks for testing this out so I don’t have to 😉 I have never had an issue with macarons not being round (that is in fact the least of my concerns!) so I have never understood the concept of a special mat just for that… For mendiants, however…… 😉

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Now you see why I needed to post something, Mardi? It’s so easy to pipe out rounds free-hand so no need for an expensive mat. As for the mendiants, it’s the same thing: you still get a good round just by using the back of a spoon!

      Reply
  32. Vicki Bensinger
    Vicki Bensinger says:

    Everyone I know loves Silpat mats and to this day I haven’t purchased one. Although I may have purchased this one for the circles had you not shared this review. To date I’ve used a sheet that I printed off online to place under my parchment as I piped, with circles, until I got the hang of making circles the same size. Once you do get the hang of it, you develop a type of rythum that makes piping quick and easy. You must be so speedy at it by now!

    Nice review. Thanks for sharing that.

    Reply
    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Vicki, I do love the Silpat mats for choux buns, eclairs and cookies – it’s great for these. I’ve seen the circle idea but as you say, once you get the hang of it there’s no need for that either. You’re probably quicker than myself by now!

      Reply
  33. Beckie
    Beckie says:

    Hi Jill,

    Read this with interest!! I thought I was being very clever in buying the silicone mats ( I even tried 2 different ones!) but have to say I get much better results on baking parchment too!!! And cleaning them is a nightmare!!!!

    x

    Reply

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