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Pumpkin Caramel Macaron Cake topped with pumpkin candy corns on top of a cake stand.

Pumpkin Caramel Macaron Cake

This Pumpkin Caramel Macaron Cake is the perfect fall dessert. It’s filled with Pumpkin Caramel Buttercream and Pumpkin Caramel Sauce. Absolutely delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Keyword cake, caramel, macarons, pumpkin
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 slices
Calories 300 kcal
Author camila

Ingredients

Macaron Shells

  • 4 grams egg white powder optional read notes
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 100 grams egg whites
  • 105 grams almond flour
  • 105 grams powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • Food coloring I used orange

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 30 grams heavy cream
  • 40 grams unsalted butter
  • 30 grams pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste

Pumpkin Caramel Buttercream

  • 85 grams unsalted butter
  • 28 grams cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Macaron Shells

  1. Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready. Prepare one large piping bag, fitted with a round tip, I use a 1/2” diameter tip. Set aside.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Place the template with the large circles underneath it. My circles were 4.5”, and I was able to obtain 4 circles.
  3. Measure out all of the ingredients.
  4. Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together, add the pumpkin spice and mix. Set it aside.
  5. Whisk the sugar and the egg white powder (if using) in a bowl, and place it over a pan with barely simmering water. Add the egg whites to the sugar and whisk the mixture until frothy and the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple of minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking the mixture over the water bath.
  6. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water because you don’t want the whites to cook.
  7. Also, don’t overheat the sugar syrup, this may cause issues down the line, such as wrinkly macarons.
  8. Transfer the syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer.
  9. With the whisk attachment, start whisking mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium for one to two minutes, until the mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise the speed to high, or medium-high and whisk for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
  10. Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peak should be stiff and shooting straight up, with possibly a slight bend at the top, but not bending down to the side.
  11. Pour the sifted powdered sugar, almond flour, and pumpkin spice into the stiff meringue.
  12. Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
  13. Add the food coloring if using any. I added orange powder food coloring.
  14. Fold until the batter achieves the perfect consistency.
  15. How to know when to stop folding the batter: It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this.
  16. First, pick up some batter with the spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
  17. There’s another test you can do. I call it the Teaspoon test.
  18. Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves.
  19. If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out, fold a little bit more, about 3 folds.
  20. Test again.
  21. Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the parchment paper, it’s ready.
  22. You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
  23. When you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly the batter is ready. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
  24. Transfer the batter to the piping bag.
  25. Place the piping bag directly 90 degrees over the center of a circle template. Apply gentle pressure and carefully pipe while keeping the bag in that vertical position. I piped each macaron about 3.5”, because they spread out considerably after piping, and then they reached a 4.5” diameter after I banged the tray against the counter.
  26. Once you’ve piped the circles, bang the tray against the counter a few times. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
  27. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles in the surface of the shells. Let the trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out. I had to leave mine for almost 1 hour, time resting and drying will depend on how humid the day is, on the consistency of the batter, and other factors such as added food coloring, etc. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry. With the larger macarons it’s harder to tell, because they may form a thin dry surface but still not be dry enough to be baked. If your fingers are sinking in too much, or if the batter still feels quite wet and soft, even if it’s not sticking to your finger, let it rest a bit longer.
  28. Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
  29. Bake one tray at a time.
  30. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the tray.
  31. Then continue to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet. If you try to move a macaron, it shouldn’t feel jiggly. If the macaron is still jiggly, keep baking.
  32. Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

  1. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, over medium heat.
  2. Stir the sugar the whole time, while it melts. The sugar will begin to form a brown syrup, and you have to stir the whole entire time, to make sure it melts evenly. Otherwise, some parts of the sugar will burn, while others won't get a chance to melt.
  3. As soon as the last bit of sugar melts, immediately lower the heat to medium-low, and add the heavy cream.
  4. It's very important to not let the sugar cook too much or burn. If the sugar cooks too much at this point, the caramel will be hard once it cools down, or it will taste bitter.
  5. So as soon as you see no more bits of solid sugar, be quick and add the heavy cream.
  6. Be very careful when adding the heavy cream as it will bubble up and you don't want to get burned.
  7. As soon as you add the heavy cream, some of the sugar will crystallize, and that's ok. Continue to stir the heavy cream for 30 over medium-low heat.
  8. Add the butter and stir to combine.
  9. Once the butter has almost completely melted, add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and salt to the pan.
  10. Stir to combine over the heat, for about 30 seconds.
  11. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the pumpkin puree has fully incorporated with the sauce.
  12. Pour into a heat proof container and let it cool down completely.
  13. If there are bits of crystallized sugar in the sauce, pour the sauce through a strainer after you take it out of the oven. But if you follow all instructions right, that shouldn't happen. Though I understand sometimes we get distracted and don't stir enough, or forget to lower the heat. It happens. And that's a good way of fixing it.

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Caramel Buttercream

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer for about 2 minutes until fluffy and creamy.
  2. Add 2 tbsp of Pumpkin Caramel Sauce and pumpkin puree to the butter and cream cheese. Make sure the caramel is at room temperature, not cold, and also not warm.
  3. Mix briefly to incorporate.
  4. Add the powdered sugar and begin stirring on low until combined.
  5. Raise the speed to medium high and cream until fluffy, for another minute or two.
  6. If the buttercream seems too runny, add more powdered sugar to make it firmer.

To assemble

  1. Place one macaron shell on top of a cake stand or plate.
  2. Pipe some frosting around the edges of the macaron shell. Spoon some room temperature pumpkin caramel sauce in the middle.
  3. Top with another shell. Repeat the filling process until you reach the last shell.
  4. If desired, pipe some frosting on top of the macaron cake, and then decorate the top. I used pumpkin candy corn to decorate the cake.
  5. Let the macaron cake mature for 24 to 48 hours before serving.

Storage

  1. Store the macaron cake in the fridge, in an air tight container for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for about 1 month.

Recipe Notes

Egg white powder: Egg White Powder is not the same as meringue powder. Egg White Powder is made of only egg whites. They help with getting fuller shells, and specially when adding a lot of food coloring to the batter, because they make the shells dry faster. I recommend experimenting with it if you can find it. I use 4 grams for each 100 grams of egg whites.

Food coloring: Make sure to use gel or powder food coloring, not liquid. If you are a beginner macaron baker, I recommend going easy on the food coloring, as it can alter your batter a lot, and it can take extra mixing time, specially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage. I used the orange powder food coloring by SugarArt for these macarons.

Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.

Macaron amount: it will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.

Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray.

Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.

Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven every 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.

Pumpkin puree: Use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is 100% pure pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin puree tends to be more watery than store-bought puree, so that might affect the sauce consistency.

Pumpkin spice: You can take it or leave it. I like the taste, so I use it. If you can't find pumpkin spice around you, just use any combination of all or some of the following spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and/or ginger.

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Caramel Macaron Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 300
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.