Mini Macaron Trifles - Parisian Ispahan Style

Macaron trifles with raspberry, rose and lychee, inspired by the flavour of Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan macarons. A Parisian touch to British trifle, making them gluten free and made with homemade raspberry jelly.

Perfect for a special dessert or afternoon tea for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or just a treat.

mini macaron raspberry trifles

Retro British Trifles with a Parisian Touch

I have been itching to show you these mini macaron trifles – Ispahan style!
As I was listening to Abba, my kids caught me using my macaron spatula as a microphone. Caught! Transported back home to Scotland in the 80s – and before you could say Super Trouper – my nostalgic mind had turned to trifle.

You see, Mum always made her best and biggest celebratory trifle for end of year parties. However, with such a huge festive spread on the buffet table, we didn’t have that much room left for dessert. How frustrating, looking at its pretty pristine layers of fruity wobbly jelly, sherry sponge, custard and cream in that big, glass bowl.

Individual Mini Trifles for Afternoon Tea

Hence my urge to make individual mini versions in shot glasses.
Better known as verrines in Parisian patisseries, so called as they’re presented in small shot glasses. Incidentally, Chef Philippe Conticini was first to come up with the idea in Paris. As a result, serving them in mini shot glasses as French verrines makes the trifles perfect for afternoon tea.

I couldn’t resist using Parisian macarons to replace the classic trifle sponge layer. As macarons are gluten free, this makes the trifles gluten free too!  They fit a verrine or shot glass perfectly. Moreover, adding a handy few homemade rose macarons left in the freezer, I whipped up these mini macaron trifles in no time. The result was that French touch of Parisian “Ispahan” inspiration.

For more on afternoon tea in Paris, see my Parisian Guide to the Best Tea Rooms.

Raspberry rose macaron trifles #rosemacarons

What Does Ispahan Mean?

‘Ispahan’ is a Damask rose named after the city Isfahan (French: Ispahan) in Iran where it was apparently discovered in one of the city’s beautiful gardens. The rose has been made famous in Paris by pastry chef, Pierre Hermé.

Pierre Hermé discovered rose in Bulgarian cuisine in 1985 and looked for ways to associate the flavour combinations. He’s originally from Alsace, the region famous for their French Gewürtzraminer wines with tones of rose and lychees. So you can see why he chose such a romantic combination with raspberries together with rose and lychee.

In 1987 he first created the Paradis rose and raspberry cake at Fauchon and, following its success with such flavours, created the Ispahan macaron, while at Ladurée. The Ispahan macaron is now a popular classic all around Paris and found in all sorts of varying forms. It’s a bright pink macaron, filled with rose cream, lychee and fresh raspberries.

For more, see my post on the Best Macarons in Paris.

method for mini macaron trifles

squeeze the gelatine of excess water and add to the heated raspberry juice

How to Make Classic Trifles Gluten Free

Macaron trifles are a great way to turn classic trifle recipes gluten free. For my best macaron recipe, use the macaron recipes in my books and pick the macaron flavours to match the trifles. Here are some ideas from my macaron recipes in my book, Teatime in Paris:

  • Mojito macarons (make a lime jelly and add a touch of mint essence in the cream)
  • Fizzy Orangina macarons (using orange jelly);
  • Raspberry, Lime & Tarragon “Maclairs”;
  • Rhubarb and Poppy macarons (great with strawberry trifle) … the list goes on so over to you!

mini shot glasses with dark rose jelly, pink macarons and topped with cream and raspberries

More Trifles to Serve with Macarons

For more trifles, see the following recipes. What about adding macarons to turn them into mini macaron trifles? This makes them gluten free.

glass shot glasses with deep pink trifles topped with pink macarons, rose petals and raspberries

mini shot glasses with dark rose jelly, pink macarons and topped with cream and raspberries

Mini Macaron Trifles - Ispahan Style

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time30 mins
Chilling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course : Dessert, Party Food
Cuisine : French, British
Keyword : mini macaron trifles, ispahan macarons, raspberry rose lychee dessert, ispahan desserts
Servings : 8 servings
Calories : 230kcal


Macaron trifles with raspberry, rose and lychee, inspired by the flavour of Pierre Hermé's Ispahan macarons. A Parisian touch to British trifle, making them gluten free made with homemade raspberry jelly.


  • 200 ml (7fl oz /¾ cup) Raspberry juice
  • 2 Gelatine leaves @ 2g each
  • 8 rose or raspberry macarons
  • 240 ml (8.5fl oz / 1 cup) Whipping cream (30% fat), chilled
  • 2 tbsp rose syrup (I use Monin)* see NOTES
  • 24 raspberries (3 per shot glass)
  • 8 lychees


  • Place a large glass bowl in the fridge for the Chantilly cream later.
  • Make the jelly: Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes. Heat the raspberry juice in a saucepan (don't boil), squeeze out excess water from the gelatine and dissolve into the warm juice.  Add 1 tbsp rose syrup.
  • Drop in a couple of raspberries in each shot glass and top with the jelly, filling up to a third of the way up.
  • Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, whip up the cold cream in the chilled bowl and add 1 tbsp rose syrup (or 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp rose water) until whipped firmly.
  • Once the jellies are set 2 hours later, top with a macaron then the Chantilly cream and decorate with a lychee and raspberry.


Pressed for time? Make raspberry jelly using half a packet mix and follow instructions.
Either buy rose macarons or make them yourself using the recipes in my books! Don't forget homemade macarons freeze well and are gluten free.
*If you don't have rose syrup, add 2 tsp sugar & 1 tsp rose water (concentration of 3% rose essence to water - otherwise if more powerful just a couple of drops!)
If serving with wine, serve with a late harvest Gewurtzraminer or pink Champagne.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 230 Calories per serving (serves 8); 3g proteins; 13g lipids.

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From the kitchen

14 responses to “Mini Macaron Trifles – Parisian Ispahan Style”

  1. Elegant and delicious, can’t wait to try these little beauties. Thanks for sharing.

    • Great pleasure, Bea. They’re so different to the classic British trifle – the flavours together are a surprising taste but it’s still a trifle with a bit of Parisian fun!

  2. It looks so beautiful!! A great dessert idea for me. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  3. This is something Mark and I will love! I can’t wait to try it, Jill, and am always looking for something to serve after a Persian meal. As an aside, we just got a macaron store here and they are the worst I have ever had. Thick, and dense, and artificially flavored. Yuck. There ought to be laws… I do have another resource for better ones, but this was so disappointing.

    • Thanks so much, David. How exotic on your persian meal – bet it’s full of delicious spices. This would be a lovely finish, what a great idea!
      As for the macaron store on artificial flavours, I understand you. There is one that recently opened in Paris too but I couldn’t even mention it on le blog since they were just so overly flavoured. Even the packaging weeks later smells of them!
      You’ll just have to make your own 😉

  4. Long time since I made trifle Jill. Your version is so much more sophisticated. No macarons in the 80s but there was music. So in true ABBA style, Thank you for the Music.

    • Mum, you are just so cute! Was trying to do it macaron style but you’re really still trying to get me to sing that Abba at your party soon. I know…I did it on Mother’s Day once for you. I need wine for the courage to do it again but it’s the sort of thing you can’t drink a drop to pull it through. I’m losing confidence! I’ll see what I can do …

  5. Thank you so much for sharing! Pinned/stumbled and yummed! xo

    • You’re too kind Cynthia – thank you! I loved your Christmas trifle and talk of your British memories for such a deliciously nostalgic dessert.

  6. I’m so happy to see how beautifully these turned out with the macarons, Jill! Just perfect! I can imagine just how wonderful the flavors are together, too! So many of my favorites!

    Thank you for including my patriotic trifles as they are not just patriotic for the US, but the UK, France and Australia! 🙂 Now I’m dying to make mini-trifles!

    • Raspberry, rose and lychee are just wonderful – but add some pink Champagne to that and it’s a serious groaning experience. Roll on the next party to serve them!
      I agree – I should have mentioned your red, white and blue trifles are great for many countries too! Thanks Christina x

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