Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons – A classic chewy french cookie is given a fall makeover with a pinch of pumpkin spice, cream cheese buttercream, and pumpkin butter.
It’s been more than a year that I started this tradition and I have no intent on slowing down. So please send me your requests so we can keep this train going!
Last year’s pumpkin cookie was the pumpkin snickerdoodle. A tough cookie to beat but I think I’ve got a willing opponent today…
The Pumpkin Cheesecake Macaron!
Also around this time last year, I finally learned the proper technique for making macarons. It took lots of research and a cooking class to get there but it was all worth it. Finally, I can make these little beauties at home!
Do you guys remember my post on Nutella Macarons? I talked all about the things I learned in my class (what to do, what not to do) and gave you guys every tip I knew. Make sure to go back and read this post because, though I will have a few tips at the end of this post, they will be in addition to the Nutella Macaron tips.
For this recipe, I used the same macaron shell recipe as the Nutella Macarons, but I left out the cocoa powder, added a little pumpkin spice to the flour and a little color to the whipped egg whites. But the technique remains the same.
For the the filling, I used the same cream cheese buttercream as the red velvet macarons I made in my first macaron attempt. But I wanted to have real pumpkin in the filling, too, in order for the pumpkin flavor to be the star of the recipe.
I struggled back and forth with how to get real pumpkin in the macaron. I didn’t want to make pumpkin buttercream because it would be too much with the cream cheese buttercream in there, as well. I didn’t want to use pumpkin puree because it’s too wet and would destroy the delicate macaron shell.
And then it hit me…pumpkin butter! It’s the perfect flavor and consistency for the macaron. Plus, it’s a great balance for the cream cheese buttercream.
Pumpkin butter is just like apple butter – a spreadable puree of deliciousness with tons of spices – but made with pumpkin puree instead of apple (duh).
I’ve seen pumpkin butter sold in stores (near the jams and jellies) but it wasn’t available at my store yet. So I just made my own using this recipe from Skinnytaste. I only made a half-batch and it was more than enough.
Side note: I’ve been using the leftover pumpkin butter to flavor my coffee in the mornings. Just a teaspoon goes a long way!
These macarons are so delicate, yet chewy and BEYOND flavorful. Move over, pumpkin spice latte, there’s a new favorite pumpkin treat in town!
As promised, here are two more tips to ensure these macarons come out perfectly:
- You have to use gel food coloring when coloring egg whites. Egg whites are so sensitive to moisture so, if you use liquid food coloring, you’ll ruin the consistency of the macaron. Here is a set I bought on Amazon that I love. It has every color you’ll ever need.
- I measure all the ingredients I use in this recipe (and all my macaron recipes) with a food scale. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one. Macarons are finicky cookies so you really need to be precise here. This is similar to the one I have and I love it.
There you have it – October’s cookie recipe! Where does this rank on your list of call the cookie recipes? This is definitely one of my favorites, for sure!
Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons
For the macarons:
- 3.5 ounces powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 ounces almond flour
- 2 ounces egg whites (about 2 large egg whites)
- 1 3/4 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 pinch cream of tartar (less than 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon orange gel food coloring
- 1/3 cup pumpkin butter
- cream cheese buttercream (recipe below)
For the cream cheese butter cream
- 1/4 cup cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted, softened
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the macarons:
- Prepare one baking sheets by placing two macaron templates on the sheet. You can print the templates above. Place parchment paper or silicone mats over the templates. Set baking sheet aside.
- Place oven rack in the lower half of the oven, but not all the way to the bottom. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Add powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and almond flour to the bowl of a food processor. Process the ingredients for about 30 seconds so that the mixture is super fine. Sieve the flour and sugar mixture three times. Set mixture aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add egg whites and cream of tartar and begin to beat on medium-high until it begins to foam. Once it starts to get foamy, begin to slowly sprinkle the granulated sugar into the egg whites until it's all been incorporated. Increase the speed to high to whip the meringue into stiff peaks. The meringue should have the consistency of shaving cream, NOT soft serve. Add food coloring and mix to combine. If you want a deeper color, add a little bit more coloring. A little goes a long way.
- Once the meringue is done, add one-third of the sifted flour mixture to the meringue and fold with a spatula. Do this step very carefully and slowly, cutting the mixture down the middle and swooping around. Once it's incorporated, add a second-third and gently fold in. Then, add the final third. Mix just until it's incorporated. Do not over mix. The consistency should be like slow-moving lava. To check for consistency, the batter should flow from your spatula like thick lava and hold a ribbon for a couple seconds. If it falls into clumps and doesn't fall slowly, it is not mixed enough. Keep mixing slowly so that the batter deflates a bit and the proper consistency is reached.
- Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a smooth, round 1/2 inch tip. Holding the bag in two hands directly over the parchment, pipe a small amount of batter into the first circle stencil. Stop pipping right as the batter reaches the edge of the circle. The batter will spread so don't add too much. Move on to the other circles until all the batter is gone. When you get to the end of the batter, a lot of it will stick to the bag. To push it down, use the edge of a bench scrapper.
- After you've pipped all the circles, smack the baking sheets on the counter a couple times to release air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop all the air bubbles. If you don't do this step, the air bubbles will release steam while baking and crack the shells.
- Let them sit to dry out until the tops are smooth to the touch, about 30 minutes. They are done when you rub your finger over the top and your finger doesn't stick.
- Bake macarons in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes. Make sure to rotate the sheet halfway through, for even baking. Remove from oven and let them cool for 5 minutes before transferring parchment sheet to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- While macarons cool, add pumpkin butter to a plastic bag without a piping tip (I used a storage bag). Do not cut the tip yet. Set aside while we make the cream cheese buttercream. (see recipe below)
- Lay half of the macarons flat side up on a baking sheet. Cut a little corner off the bag with the cream cheese butter cream and pipe a small cherry-sized amount of cream cheese buttercream in the center of one shell. Cut a very small tip of the pumpkin butter bag and pipe a small amount in the center of the cream cheese buttercream (about the size of a bean). Top with the other shell and gently press just enough to push the filling out to the edges. Do this for all the macaron shells until done.
- Once filled, macarons can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days. Or you can freeze for up to five months.
For the cream cheese butter cream:
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined. Scrape buttercream into a plastic storage bag without a piping tip. Cut off a small corner off the bag and begin macaron assembly above.