I've been working pretty hard on my macaron game lately and have wanted to make a savory biscuit/shell, however I can't think of what I may be able to replace powdered and granulated sugar with, or if something of the sort even exists.

I imagine that the sugar helps with the texture and structure of the shell as much as it is for the sweetness, but I'm not aware of anything that would fit that bill. Is there anything in existence that I could use a savory replacement for powdered- and granulated sugar in my macaron shells?

  • 1
    There are lots of recipes on the web for savory macarons but they all still use powdered sugar... I think they use less sugar and up the salty/umami profile rather than omitting the sugar entirely...
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 19:48
  • @Catija I had noticed that about the recipes I'd found as well, but was curious if anyone had found a neat trick for this. Thank you! Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 21:11
  • I'm not saying they haven't! There's not a lot out there about it, so there may be something. I read one thing that said you can't make a meringue without sugar, so you can't omit it entirely and I did see a couple of recipes that just use egg whites rather than a true meringue but they're not pretty... they look more like macaroons than macaron. cookerandalooker.com/savoury-macarons
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 22:24
  • Use cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. Perhaps use powdered broth as a flavoring? Perhaps guar gum or corn starch could substitute for sugar?
    – Chloe
    Commented May 15, 2020 at 23:54

3 Answers 3


You could try sugars with a lower sweetness value. I have used glucose, for example, to cut the sweetness of my granola recipe. It's about 75% as sweet as sucrose, while retaining most of the other chemical properties of sugar (so it still makes clusters).

The lowest I've seen is lactose, at 20%, though plenty of people are lactose intolerant so that might not be a great idea. Maltose and galactose are also pretty low.

This might help you get started: http://owlsoft.com/pdf_docs/WhitePaper/Rel_Sweet.pdf

  • Very nice idea, a different kind didn't occur to me. I wonder how they each behave Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 23:09
  • 2
    Will these sugars still react with the egg whites as they should? One of the issues is that some sugars don't dissolve or they melt at different temperatures... this could be a problem for your texture or if you're doing the Italian method, which relies on a sugar syrup.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 16:09
  • Good question. It's almost certainly different; the question will be how different. Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 16:25

While I haven't found a substitute for powdered sugar, there are powdered vegetables and other flavors that one can use to cut the sweetness and add flavor. Salt is also an important part, as well as having savory fillings and garnishes.

Another thing that may help is using the French method rather than the Italian, since the Italian method uses more sugar for the syrup that's needed

  • Yes, my understanding is that the French method is less sweet. :)
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 16:08

try replacing half of the flour with rice flour. I don't think you will be able to get away with a full replacement as the sugar helps with the structure of the cookie, not just sweetness.


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