These Pumpkin Spice Macarons are perfect for fall. The macaron shell is flavored with pumpkin spice and is a beautiful orange shade, the filling is a delicious cream cheese frosting which is flavored with real pumpkin and more pumpkin spice.
Why you’ll love these macarons:
- Delicious pumpkin spice flavor
- Uses the French method making them super easy
- Uses only a few simple ingredients
- You’ll be putting the delicious pumpkin spice frosting on everything
- Perfect treat for fall
Ingredients needed for Pumpkin Macarons
- Egg whites – at room temperature
- Granulated sugar – also called caster sugar, to get the egg whites to stiff peaks
- Powdered sugar – icing sugar
- Almond flour / Almond meal – it’s best to use almond flour for smooth shells (I used almond meal), if you don’t have access to almond flour you can process the almond meal with the powdered sugar and sift a few times.
- Orange gel food coloring – you can mix red and yellow if you don’t have orange, for pretty fall color
- Pumpkin spice – a mixture of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove – use store bought or mix your own.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Filling
- Unsalted softened butter
- Softened cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Pumpkin (this is optional, the frosting tastes just as great without it. I used fresh pumpkin that I dry roasted in the oven, but pumpkin puree would work as well)
- Pumpkin Spice (if you can’t find this in stores, scroll down for a homemade recipe0
Kitchen Tools Needed
- Bowl (glass or metal)
- Stand mixer or electric hand mixer with whisk attachment
- Sifter or food processor (optional)
- Baking paper or silicone mat marked with macaron circles
- Flat baking tray
- Kitchen Scale
- Round piping tip and piping bag / pastry bag
- Rubber spatula
How to make Pumpkin Spice French Macarons
This recipe uses the French meringue method, full details and ingredient measurements for this Pumpkin Spice Macaron recipe are in the recipe card below.
1: MEASURE INGREDIENTS
Measure the egg whites, granulated sugar, almond meal and powdered sugar. Place your silicone mat or parchment paper on 2 large baking sheets.
2: SIFT WELL OR PROCESS
Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar together. For best results, place the almond meal and powdered sugar into a food processor and process until fine.
3: MAKE A MERINGUE
Whisk the egg whites on a medium speed to start in a large mixing bowl ( or bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment) until it becomes foamy. Change to a high speed and slowly add in the sugar until it is glossy and stiff peaks form. This can take a while of whisking. Once the meringue is stiff, add in the orange food coloring and whisk until the color has been incorporated.
Macronage is the step if turning the meringue and dry mixture (almond meal and powdered sugar) into the right texture batter that enables it to pipe and bake well. Sift the dry ingredients (almond meal, powdered sugar and pumpkin spice) into the meringue. Fold gently until the almond flour mixture is fully incorporated into the meringue. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the almond mixture has been incorporated. To check the macronage is at the right consistency, the mixture should flow like thick ribbons forming a figure 8 with the spatula a few times. It should flow off the spoon easily enough to make a figure 8 a few times without breaking.
5: PIPING THE MACARONS
Fill the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (approx. 1cm). If you don’t have a piping tip, cut the edge of the piping bag, however for neat circles it’s best to use a piping tip. Pipe 1 inch rounds (2.5 – 3.5cm) onto parchment (baking) paper or a silicone mat. Pipe a mound in the centre of the circle and pull up as the batter begins to touch the sides of the circle. Once piped, gently tap the tray against the table to remove any air bubbles. Scroll below for Pumpkin Shaped Macarons.
6: REST AND BAKE
Rest the macarons for 30-60 minutes until it forms a skin. To test, touch the macaron, if a skin has formed no macaron should come off on your finger. Bake for 20 minutes at 150C/300F. Oven timing and temperature can take a little practise to get right when making macarons. If your oven has hot spots, turn the macarons every 5 minutes. Remove the macarons from the oven after the time has lapsed, or when you push the macaron shells on their feet and they do not move.
How to make Pumpkin Spice Filling
The cream cheese macaron filling is made with butter, cream cheese, pumpkin spice, roasted pumpkin and powdered sugar. It’s super simple to make. For best results make sure your butter and cream cheese are both softened well or they may not incorporate when beating.
Place the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer). Beat in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer until smooth, add in the powdered sugar, pumpkin spice and pumpkin. Beat well until everything is smooth, creamy and mixed well. If the frosting is too soft, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar or place it in the fridge to firm up. Fill into a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe a little mound into the one side of each macaron shell. Place the second shell on top.
How to pipe Pumpkin Shaped Macarons
To make the pumpkin shaped macarons, first download and print the Pumpkin Macaron Template. Place this on a baking tray under a silicone mat or piece of parchment paper. Print as many as your tray can fit it this batter will make approximately 24-28 shells so you’ll need 3 or 4 template pages.
Remove 1 tablespoon of batter and color with 1 drop of brown gel coloring (this will be for the pumpkin stem). Fill the brown batter into a piping bag with a small round nozzle or cut the tip off the piping bag.
Next fill the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2cm nozzle.
Pipe 2 pumpkin segments that aren’t touching each other. Set aside to rest, you want these sections to rest and form a skin so that when you pipe the next 2 sections the batter doesn’t just flow and mix. Leaving this to rest will give more defined pumpkin segment lines.
Once rested, pipe the other 2 sections. Finish by piping the stems with the brown macaron batter.
Set aside to rest again. Gently pull the template out from under the baking paper before baking. Bake as normal. These pumpkin shaped macarons will make a few less macarons (approximately 12-14 filled or 24-28 shells).
How to make Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin spice is a spice mixture that is used to make pumpkin pies, it is sometimes referred to as pumpkin pie spice. The flavored gained popularity after being used in lattes and other drinks at Starbucks in the USA. Pumpkin spice is freely available in America but if you’re like me and live elsewhere you can mix up your own using the recipe below. This makes just over 2 teaspoons of spice, you only need 1 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe. Feel free to use the other half teaspoon in other recipes, it is delicious. To make pumpkin spice, mix the ground spices below.
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SUCCESSFUL MACARONS
MACARON EGG WHITES
When making macarons, it is best to use room temperature egg whites. This ensures the egg white will whip well when turning it into meringue. If the eggs are cold, place them in a bowl of hot tap water for 10-15 minutes to allow them to come up to room temperature quickly. If time permits age egg whites for best results. Break egg whites into a bowl and cover lightly with plastic wrap, place in the fridge for 1-2 days before using.
MEASURE THE INGREDIENTS FOR MACARONS FIRST
Since macarons can be temperamental it’s important that the ingredients used are measured correctly. Using a digital scale is the best way to achieve accurate measurements for the ingredients used in macarons. Measure the ingredients before you start as the macaron making process if fairly quick and having everything ready to go makes it a lot easier.
BEST BOWL TO USE FOR MACARONS
Macarons are reliant on the whipping of the meringue, a meringue cannot form if there is any fat present. Make sure you don’t get any egg yolks in your whites. It’s also important that the bowl you use is clean and free from any fat, the best way to prepare the bowl is to give it a wipe down with some vinegar. Use a glass or metal bowl as fat is cleaned off the surface more easily. Plastic bowls can hold onto fat and are not as easily cleaned.
MATS FOR MACARONS
I like to use silicone baking mats for Macarons. I do find them easy to use and macarons are lifted off easily, however before I had purchased these I used parchment/baking paper with no issues.
FOLDING MACARONS / MACARONAGE
The art of folding macarons is referred to as macaronage. This is where a lot can go wrong, it is best to mix your almond meal and confectioners/icing sugar in a gentle folding motion, until the batter flows like lava off the spoon and can form a figure 8 a few times before breaking.
Rest the macarons after piping. This is an important step in the macaron making process. The resting helps form a skin which then allows the macarons to rise, form feet and have a crisp shell. Depending on the temperature and weather where you are, the macarons may require different lengths of time to rest. Between 15-45 minutes. You can test if the macarons have rested by touching a macaron with the tip of your finger, if some of the macaron mixture sticks, they’ll require a longer time, if nothing sticks then they are well rested.
TEST THE OVEN FOR MACARONS
Macarons can be finicky about temperatures, yes, it’s almost like they have a mind of their own. You may have to test a few times to see what works best with your oven. I’ve found macarons can be baked between 120c – 150c with great results, you just have to extend the cooking time when baking at lower temperatures. For my oven I bake my macarons at 150c/300F for 20 minutes. It’s also a good idea to flip your tray at 5-10 minute intervals if your oven has hot spots.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How to store macarons?
Macarons can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a week or in the freezer for 3 months. In fact it is best to store filled macarons in the fridge for 1-2 days before eating as this matures the macarons, allowing the filling and shells to meld together to create a deliciously perfect morsel.
Why are my macarons hollow?
There can be many reasons for this, it’s hard to say. Macarons can be over/under beaten in the macaronage stage. They can be baked too high or too low. It can be a tricky thing to fix, and requires further testing.
Why are my macarons cracked?
This commonly happens if the macarons have not had enough time to rest or the oven temperature is too high. The best way to tell if the macarons have rested enough is to touch it with your finger, if nothing comes off onto your finger, they are rested.
Why are my macarons hard or crunchy?
It’s quite normal for macarons to be hard or crunchy, this sometimes happens if the macarons have been over-baked. There is an easy fix for this one, fill your macarons and let them mature in the fridge for 24 or more hours. This process allows the filling to soften the macaron creating the perfect crumbly melt in your mouth texture.
More Macaron Recipes
- Donut Macarons – another deliciously cute shaped macaron
- Peanut Butter Macarons
- Passionfruit Macarons
- Pistachio Macarons
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies – from SugarYum
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts – Good Things Baking Co
Pumpkin Spice Macarons
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment
- Food processor or sifter
- Sheet tray
- Kitchen scale
- Piping bags and 1cm piping tip
- 70 g Egg white egg whites from 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 55 g Caster sugar
- 90 g Almond meal
- 100 g Powdered (icing) sugar
- 8 drops orange gel colouring
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice optional
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Filling
- 60 g cream cheese
- 40 g unsalted softened butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tbsp pumpkin puree optional
- Measure all ingredients. Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar.
- Place egg whites in a bowl, whisk the egg whites on a medium speed until foamy.
- Slowly add in the caster sugar.
- Continue to beat until the egg whites are glossy and have stiff peaks. This may take a while.
- Add in the orange colouring and whisk until the colour is incorporated.
- Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar into the egg white.
- Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the meringue, until the batter flows of the spatula like lava and can form a figure 8 a few times without breaking.
- Fill into a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe 1.5 inch (3.5cm) rounds onto baking paper or silicone mat.
- Set aside to rest for 15-60 minutes, until a skin has formed on the macarons. Test by touching them with your finger, no batter should stick.
- Heat oven to 150c/300F.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes. If the oven has hot spots, it is best to flip the pan every 5 minutes while baking.
- Remove the macarons if they no longer move when pushed on their feet.
- Set aside to cool completely.
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Filling
- Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add in the pumpkin (if using) and beat until incorporated.
- Add in the powdered sugar and pumpkin spice and beat until thick and creamy.
- Fill the into a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- Match each macaron shell with another shell of a similar size and shape.
- Pipe a mound of cream cheese filling into the centre of once side of each macaron shell. Top with the other shell.