This simple recipe shows you how to make pumpkin spice macarons, taking the guesswork out of preparing the cookie batter. The cookie shells bake beautifully, taste delicious, and make a sweet fall treat!
Easier Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Macarons
Pumpkin spice macarons are a sweet way to start fall before all the heavy eating begins with the holiday season. Although macarons have a reputation for being difficult to make, this recipe takes the guesswork out with a different approach to macaron making. You do not have to stir the batter for a certain amount of time or use a stopwatch to time how long the batter takes to flow back together after spooning it. I will show you a new way to create perfect macarons every time.
Macarons depend on whipped egg whites for their structure. The whites need to be free of any yolk when you beat them, so they beat up to a stiff consistency called “glossy” or stiff peaks. How can you tell if the egg whites are at stiff peaks? Beat them until they are shiny. Remove the beater and turn it upside down. If the attached egg white stands stiff and doesn’t droop, it is considered a stiff peak. If the whipped egg droops, it needs beating longer.
Secret Technique for Pumpkin Spice Macarons
The secret technique that makes this macaron recipe different from many other recipes is the addition of 1/2 egg white. Yes, the secret is that simple! Divide one egg white in half (as best you can), whisk it until it is foamy, and then add it at the appropriate time listed in the recipe. This half an egg white makes this recipe so easy and different from many other recipes that tell you to time the flow of the stirred batter.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin pie spice gives this recipe its spicy flavor. The recipe lists two teaspoons, but add up to a tablespoon (but no more) if you want enhanced flavor. For less flavor, reduce the amount to one teaspoon. You can also omit the pumpkin spice and make plain macarons. This is a versatile recipe!
The Key to Successful Macarons
Improve your chances of making perfect macarons by using a scale to weigh the ingredients. There is nothing else that matters as much as accurate measuring. I always use a scale because all measuring cups are not created equal. It is also easy to overpack or under-pack ingredients in a measuring cup. In the past, when I didn’t use a scale, my macarons baked up poorly. Some were chewy, and some were hard as rocks! If you purchase a scale, buy one that weighs in ounces and grams, so it will be versatile for different recipes.
I include cup measurements in the recipe, but they are to give you a sense of how much of each ingredient you will use. If you are an experienced macaron baker, feel free to use the cup amounts listed.
Almond Flour for Pumpkin Spice Macarons
Macarons are best eaten one or two at a time because they are rich! The main ingredient in macarons is almond flour or meal (finely ground almonds). (Here is a link in case you are not familiar with it.) I have used different brands of almond flour and have had good results with all of them.
Macarons also have a filling sandwiched in between two cookie shells; in this recipe, it is pumpkin spice buttercream.
Macarons do not have a long shelf life; it is usually just a few short days. However, it is easy to extend their freshness by placing them in the freezer in an air-tight container. Then you can enjoy them throughout the entire season. Just thaw them before you want to serve them. They are even delicious in a half-frozen state! I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Other Pumpkin Recipes
Here are some other pumpkin recipes you might like. Click on each name to link to it:
Pumpkin Spice Macaron Recipe
- 1 no. 10 round piping tip
- 1 16-inch pastry bag
- silicone mats or parchment paper
- small pastry bag
- 1 medium-sized star or round tip
- 2 ¾ cups (275 g) almond flour
- 2 cups + 1 tablespoon (250 g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (for less intense taste, use 1 teaspoon, for more intense 1 tablespoon)
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (210 g) granulated sugar
- orange gel food coloring (optional)
- ½ large egg white, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pinch granulated salt
- 1 tablespoon cream (or milk)
- Place nonstick silicone baking mats or parchment paper sheets on several baking sheets. This recipe makes 100+ cookie shells, so you need several baking sheets. (See notes below.)
- Weight the almond flour and powdered sugar with a food scale.
- Place the almond flour, powdered sugar, and pumpkin pie spice into a food processor. Process on high speed until the mixture is fine.
- Sift the flour mixture into a large bowl, discarding any large almond pieces, if necessary. Set this sifted mixture aside.
- Using a mixing bowl and the whisk attachment, beat 6 egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat to dissolve it. Then add 1/3 of the granulated sugar and beat for a minute until the sugar dissolves. Add half of the remaining sugar and beat for an additional minute. Then add the rest of the sugar and beat until firm, glossy peaks form, a couple of minutes or more.
- Add a little orange food coloring (if using). Beat on medium speed to mix. Add more coloring if desired to reach the desired orange color. Beat between each addition. Do not overbeat.
- Gently fold the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites. Fold with round circles around the bowl, scraping the bowl’s bottom. Mix well in a folding motion. The batter will be thick.
- Use a whisk or fork to beat the 1/2 egg white until frothy. Stir this egg into the batter to soften and moisten it.
- Set up a pastry bag with a round tip. Then place it in a tall cup and fold the bag sides over the cup sides. (This will hold the pastry bag while you fill it with batter.) Add about half of the batter to the bag.
- Pipe the batter onto a macaron mat. Hold the bag perpendicular to the mat and squeeze out a circle of batter about 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Space the cookie shells far enough apart so they can spread later.
- As soon as the pan is full of cookies, tap the baking sheet firmly on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. This will spread out the batter a little. Do not wait too long to tap the baking sheet to prevent a skin from forming on the cookies before you are ready. Repeat until all the macarons are piped onto baking sheets.
- Let the macarons dry out for 60 minutes to form a skin on top. Test by touching. If no batter sticks to your finger, they are ready to bake. If not, let them sit a little longer and test again.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes on the middle rack. Keep a check and do not let them brown, or they will lose their color and overcook.
- Cool completely to prevent sticking. Then carefully remove the cookie shells from the mat.
- In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar, cream, pumpkin spice, salt, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. If the frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
- Place the tip and frosting into a pastry bag; then pipe the frosting onto the inside of half of the cookie shells. Then top with an unfrosted cookie to make a sandwich. Macarons have a short shelf life and should be eaten within a few days. Freeze them in an airtight container to keep them fresh for months.
How to Make Uniform-Sized Cookie Shells
- One way to keep the macaron shells the same size is to use a macaron mat with indentations. They come with round indents and other shapes like hearts. When you use an indentation mat, keep the batter within the indentations for perfectly round circles. Click here to link to a macaron mat.
- Use a silicone mat with printed macaron circles on it. Make sure you check the dimensions of any mat you want to purchase. Some are for professional ovens and do not fit some home ovens. Click here to link to one.
- Draw circles on parchment paper by tracing around a 1-inch to 1-1/4-inch round object (such as a small vase or toddler cup). Trace circles (spaced apart) with a pencil or pen. Then turn the parchment paper over and place it on a baking sheet to keep the pencil markings (on the underside) away from the macarons. You will be able to see the circles through the paper.
- Make a lot of macarons. It takes practice to make freehanded uniform circles, but soon you will find it easy to make same-sized shells.