Making my way through pumpkin season with these over the top delicious pumpkin spice macarons. These macarons are lightly spiced pumpkin spice macaron shells filled with a creamy cream cheese frosting flavored with pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice and espresso powder. Perfectly spiced, and perfectly delicious.
Macaron Shell Ingredients
Egg whites – room temperature
Sugar – granulated, superfine or castor sugar
Cream of tartar – helps in creating a stable meringue
Fine sea salt – for flavor
Almond flour – finely ground
Pumpkin Spice Macaron components
Pumpkin Spice macaron shells – almond macaron shells with a lightly flavored and balanced with pumpkin spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
Pumpkin cream cheese filling – cream cheese frosting filling with pumpkin purée, pumpkin spice and espresso powder
How to Make Macaron Shells
The process of making macarons moves quickly. Prepare the ingredients before beginning.
- Leave the egg whites out to sit at room temperature in the bowl of a stand mixer for 30 minutes.
- Place the granulated sugar, salt and cream of tartar in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Sift and discard any large granules of sugar.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the almond flour, pumpkin spice and confectioner’s sugar. Discard the large pieces. You can also process the larges pieces in a food processor then sift into the bowl.
- Beat with the whisk attachment until the eggs are foamy, then whisk in the sugar, salt and cream of tartar.
- Whip until stiff peaks form. This means that the egg whites will stick straight up when you pull the whisk out of the whites. They will be thick and glossy.
- Beat in 2-3 drops of the orange food color.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the almond flour mixture. The egg whites will deflate a bit and that is ok. The batter is ready when it “ribbons”, which means it falls off the batter in a stream. You should be able to make a “8” with the batter falling off the spatula. This means the batter is ready. You’re looking for about 55-75 folds. Check for the ribboning after every 15-20 seconds. Don’t over mix.
- Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip. Pipe rounds onto parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Firmly tap the pans 2-3 times on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Let the macs sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to set. They’re ready to baked when the tops are slightly tacky and you can touch them without batter sticking to your fingers.
- Bake for 20 minutes. The macs will be set, risen and have little ruffly feet around the bottom. Let the macs dry before removing them from the parchment. Fully baked, they will be easy to remove from the parchment or silicone mat.
How to make Pumpkin Cream Cheese filling
- Beat together the room temperature butter and cream cheese.
- Beat in the pumpkin purée and powdered sugar.
- Beat in the vanilla, pumpkin spice, salt and espresso powder.
- Scrape down the bowl, then beat again for a minute to fully incorporate.
- Spoon the filling into a piping fitted with a Wilton 12 piping tip.
Assembling the Macarons
- Turn half of the macarons flat side up.
- Pipe a mound of filling in the center of the flipped up macaron shells.
- Place the other half of the macaron shells on top to create a sandwich. Press down on the cookie until the filling is *just* pushed to the edges of the cookie.
Baking Tips for Perfect Macarons
- Using a scale will give you the best results. I haven’t written this recipe in cups for a good reason. Using a scale creates consistency, and exact measurements every time.
- Egg whites should be beaten until stiff and glossy which means you should be able to slowly pull the beater out of the meringue and the meringue will have a stiff peak, or be stand straight up without falling over.
- Finished macaron batter should flow smooth and slow off of the spatula. This is why we test that consistency with the figure 8 method. When you can make a figure 8 with the batter running off the spatula and it doesn’t break, the batter is ready.
- Use either gel color or powdered food color to color macarons. Liquid color can change the batter consistency.
- Templates are good to use when piping macarons. You can buy the silicone mats with the shapes printed on them, or you can find templates online and print them off. Slide them under parchment paper so you can see the template outline.
Storage and Freezing
Macarons can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They can be frozen for up to one month. Defrost the macarons and store in the refrigerator.
Unfilled macaron shells can be made up to 4-5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The shells can be frozen for up to one month. Defrost the shells in the refrigerator.
Can I make these macarons in advance?
Yes! The macaron shells can be made 4-5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Filled macarons can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Why did my macarons bake up with no feet?
This could be due to a couple issues:
- The batter is too wet. Avoid using liquid color. Be sure to weigh the egg whites.
- Be sure to let the piped macarons dry before baking.
- Broken meringue. Only beat until stiff and glossy peaks.
- Too low oven temperature.
Why is my batter so runny?
The main reason for runny batter is over mixing, or over folding during the macaronage step (folding in the almond flour and powdered sugar). Be sure to check for ribboning every so often, and once the batter can make a figure 8 without breaking, it is ready. Do not fold anymore beyond that.
Can any substitutions be made?
Cinnamon OR apple spice can be substituted for the pumpkin spice.
Additional butter OR mascarpone cheese can be substituted for the cream cheese.
Pumpkin pie filling can be used in place of pumpkin purée. Omit the pumpkin spice.
If you make these pumpkin spice macarons, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
For more macaron recipes, check out these posts:
Pumpkin Spice Macarons
Pumpkin Spice Macaron Shells
- 3 large (90g) egg whites
- 60 grams granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 150 grams powdered sugar
- 120 grams almond flour, finely ground
- 2-3 drops orange gel food coloring
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
- 1 ¼ cups (142g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
Pumpkin Spice Shells
- Place the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in medium size bowl, sift together the sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Discard any large pieces of sugar left. Set bowl aside.
- In a separate large bowl, sift together the pumpkin spice, powdered sugar, and almond flour. Process the remaining large pieces in a food processor to pulverize them, then sift. Set the bowl aside.
- Line half baking sheets with parchment paper, or macaron guide silicone mats. Or place templates under the parchment, if using.
- Beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
- Beat in the granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt mixture.
- Whip the egg white mixture until stiff peaks form. The meringue will stand up straight when the whisk is removed. The egg white mixture will be thick and glossy.
- Add 2-3 drops of orange food color, and beat until well combined.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and folding in the almond flour mixture. The egg whites will deflate a bit and that is ok. The batter is ready when it "ribbons", which means it falls off the batter in a stream. You should be able to make a "8" with the batter falling off the spatula. This means the batter is ready. You're looking for about 65-75 folds. Check for the ribboning after every 15-20 seconds.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton 1A or 2A) and pipe 1 1/2" rounds on the parchment paper.
- Firmly tap the pans on the counter 2-3 times to remove air bubbles. Let the macarons sit until just slightly tacky, but no batter comes off on your fingers, about 30-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 300F. Bake the macarons for 20 minutes. Cool completely.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
- In the bowl of stand mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Beat in the pumpkin and powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl often to make sure everything is well combined.
- Beat in the vanilla, pumpkin spice, salt and espresso powder.
- Give the bottom and sides of the bowl a scrape. Beat again for one more minute.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton #12) with the filling.
- Flip half of the macaron shells over, flat side up. Pipe a mound of the filling in the centers of the flipped shells.
- Place the remaining macaron shells on top of the cookies with filling and squeeze gently, until the filling just reaches the edges.