These pumpkin spice macarons are lightly spiced pumpkin spice macaron shells filled with a creamy cream cheese frosting flavored with pumpkin purée, warm fall spices and espresso powder. Perfectly spiced, and perfectly delicious.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Soft and chewy macaron shells are lightly spiced with pumpkin spice, with flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
- The smooth and creamy pumpkin cream cheese filling is filled with pumpkin purée, spices and with a hint of espresso powder.
- These macarons are light and delicate with all the flavors of pumpkin spice. They are sure to become a seasonal favorite.
- Easy to follow recipe with step-by-step instructions and photos.
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 - store bought blend, can also be labeled as pumpkin pie spice
Confectioners' Sugar (powdered sugar)
Cream cheese - room temperature
Unsalted butter - room temperature
The process of making macarons moves quickly. Prepare the ingredients before starting the recipe. Leave the egg whites out to sit at room temperature in the bowl of a stand mixer for 30 minutes.
- Sift together sugar, salt and cream of tartar in a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard any large granules of sugar left in the sieve.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process the almond flour, pumpkin spice and confectioner’s sugar. Sift the mixture into bowl, discarding any large pieces left.
- Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until the eggs are foamy.
- 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 orange gel food coloring.
- Remove the bowl from the 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 60-75 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 (Wilton 1A or 2A). 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 macaron sit at room temperature for 30- 60 minutes to set. They’re ready to bake 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 cool completely before removing them from the parchment. Fully baked, they will be easy to remove.
- Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin purée, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and espresso powder until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (Wilton #12A).
- Turn half of the cooled 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 cookie sandwich. Press down on the cookie until the filling is *just* pushed to the edges of the cookie. Sprinkle the tops with a little bit of pumpkin spice.
- 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 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.
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.
Macaron feet are the ruffle-like bottom of the baked macaron shell. 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 for 30 minutes before baking. Keep the macarons shells in a cool, dry area.
- Broken meringue. Only beat until stiff and glossy peaks. If it starts to be lumpy, or curdled, it’s over beaten.
- Too low oven temperature. Keeping a oven thermometer in your oven will give you the most accurate temperature.
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. Once the batter can make a figure 8 without breaking, it is ready. Do not fold anymore beyond that.
The reasons macarons can crack on top when baking is:
- The oven is too hot.
- Not getting rid of the air bubbles. Be sure to tap the pan, firmly, 2-3 times to release any air in the batter before leaving them to rest for 30 minutes.
- Over mixing the meringue and/or under mixing the batter.
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.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Try
Pumpkin Spice Macarons
Pumpkin Spice Macaron Shells
- 3 large 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 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.3 large egg whites
- Meanwhile, in medium size bowl, sift together the sugar, cream of tartar and salt. Discard any large pieces of sugar left. Set bowl aside.60 grams granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In the bowl of a food processor, process together the pumpkin spice, powdered sugar, and almond flour. Sift the mixture into a large bowl.⅛ teaspoon pumpkin spice, 150 grams powdered sugar, 120 grams almond flour, finely ground
- 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.2-3 drops orange gel food coloring
- 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", when it falls off the spatula 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 60-75 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 ½" 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.3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, 3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
- Beat in the pumpkin and powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl often to make sure everything is well combined.2 tablespoons pumpkin purée, 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- Beat in the vanilla, pumpkin spice, salt and espresso powder.½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt, ½ teaspoon 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.