Pumpkin Macarons with a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling. These macarons are shaped like pumpkins and you can download and print the template.
Before you start, get all of the ingredients ready.
Line one piping bag with the tip number 3 (or 4) for the orange batter, and another piping bag with the tip number 3 for the brown batter for the stem. For the pumpkins with the three sections I used tip 8 for the pumpkin sections, and tip 3 for the stem.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat, and place the pumpkin templates underneath.
Measure out all of the ingredients.
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together. Set aside.
Place the egg whites, granulated sugar, and egg white powder in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites, the sugar, and the egg white powder until frothy and the sugar is completely melted. It will take a couple minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking mixture over the water bath.
Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.
With the whisk attachment, start whisking the mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium-low (speed 4) for one to two minutes, until mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise speed to medium (speed 6 of KitchenAid) and finish whipping for a few more 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.
Whisk until stiff peaks have formed. When you pull your whip up, the peaks should be shooting straight up, not bent down. Also you should notice soft but defined waves on the bottom of the meringue that has been collected by the whisk.
Pour the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour into stiff whites.
Start folding the batter.
Fold the dry ingredients with the meringue until just incorporated.
Once you can see no more streaks of dry ingredients in the batter, remove some of the batter and put it in a small bowl, this batter will be colored brown later and will be used to pipe the stems. The amount of batter separated to pipe the stems should be about 1/3 cup.
Work with one batch at a time, and cover the other bowl with a towel so the batter doesn’t start drying.
Let's make the orange batter for the pumpkins first. Add orange food coloring to the batter. I also added a bit of watermelon color to deepen the orange. Fold the batter until it reaches the proper consistency, flowing effortlessly off the spatula.
Read below on tips for identifying the right consistency.
Then, transfer the orange batter to a piping bag, fitted with the #3 or #4 tip. Secure the top so the batter doesn’t leak out, and set it aside.
Next, it’s time to color the remaining batter. Add brown food coloring to the small bowl with the leftover batter, and fold until the proper consistency is achieved. Transfer that batter to the piping bag fitted with the #3 tip, and set it aside.
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.
There’s another test you can do. I call it the Teaspoon test.
Grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto the parchment paper or silicon mat. Wait a minute to see how it behaves.
If the batter stays stiff, forming a point and doesn’t spread out a bit, start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.Test again.
Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy and smooth on top, on the baking sheet, transfer it to the piping bag.
You don’t want the batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to over mix. It’s always best to under mix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
The best way I can describe this stage being perfect is when you hold the spatula with batter on top of the bowl and the batter falls off the spatula slowly but effortlessly. The batter will keep flowing off the spatula non-stop, but not too quickly.
It’s time to pipe! Begin piping the pumpkins.
Pipe some batter on every other section of the pumpkin template. My pumpkin template has 5 sections. I started by piping the outside sections, and the middle section. Leaving the second and fourth sections empty for now.
After piping the first, third, and fifth sections, tap the trays against the counter lightly and use a toothpick to pop any remaining air bubbles. It's important to do that now because the batter will start to dry.
Let the trays sit for about 5 minutes, then begin piping the second and fourth sections of the pumpkin. Make sure to watch the video on YouTube, or on this page, above, to see exactly how this is done.
It's important to pipe in sections, and leave the adjacent sections empty until the batter dries slightly, so that the batters don't blend together, and you can have the pumpkin "bumps" in your shells.
It will really help if you watch my video on YouTube showing this piping technique.
After piping the whole pumpkins, again tap the trays against the counter.
Pipe the stems and use a toothpick to help spread the batter if necessary, and to pop any visible bubbles on the surface of the macarons.
Let the trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
Pre-heat the oven to 310ºF. Bake one tray at a time.
Bake for 5 minutes, rotate tray, not all bakers have to rotate the trays, but I have to otherwise my macarons will be lopsided due to uneven heat distribution in my oven. I bake each tray for about 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.
Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Cream the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
Add the pumpkin puree to the bowl and cream for one minute to combine.
Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and the pumpkin spice to the bowl with the mixer off.
Mix on low until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Then whip the mixture on high for 1 minute or so. If the frosting is too runny, add more sifted powdered sugar, as needed. If frosting is too stiff, add a bit of milk, one teaspoon at a time, mixing to check for consistency. This type of frosting is not only made of cream cheese but also with added pumpkin puree, so it tends to be a frosting on the soft side, so adjust the powdered sugar consistency as desired. The more powdered sugar you add, the stiffer it will become.
Place the Pumpkin Cream Cheese frosting in a piping bag. Pipe on the bottom shells of the macarons. Top with another pumpkin macaron shell.
Let the macarons mature for 24 hours before serving.
Store the macarons in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Template: You can find a pumpkin macaron template on the post above that you can download and print, so you can place under your shells and make the macarons.
Food coloring: Make sure to use gel or powder food coloring.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, especially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage.
Egg white powder: Egg White Powder is not the same as meringue powder, though some people use it interchangeably. 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.
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, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.
Pumpkin spice: If you don't have pumpkin spice, simply mix 1/4 tsp of cinnamon with another 1/4 tsp of either nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, or a combination of those spices.