Pumpkin Spice French Macarons

I stumbled upon this today (okay..so maybe I was stalking the Nicholas Sparks Facebook page…). Has anyone read the book?! It looks like this movie will be good!

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks


And do we even need to talk about how excited I am about this movie??

Les Miserables

Or this one? I really enjoyed this book and I think it will make an excellent film! And I’m guessing a pretty fun soundtrack too Winking smile

The Great Gatsby

Got any upcoming movies that you’re pumped about?! Please share!


Pumpkin Spice French Macarons via FoodieMisadventures.com

Those are pumpkin spice macarons.

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons via FoodieMisadventures.com

Yes, I went there. It could possibly be the best dessert ever.

These things were a little scary to make. Remember last August when I threw my friend Crystal her bridal shower? Well I had originally planned to make some gorgeous teal macarons with a chocolate ganache filling, but then disaster struck. I knew pretty much nothing about making macarons, except I knew they were finicky and you have to weigh everything just so (not to mention age your egg whites for hours!). I have a few ideas of went wrong…maybe it was trying to color them such a dark color or perhaps it was just that I started to make them at 10pm after a full day of work/baking? But basically I had a goopy teal mess all over my kitchen and was so convinced I had failed that I didn’t even bake them. Total kitchen breakdown. After that I swore them off as “too difficult”.

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons via FoodieMisadventures.com

But after Ari and I picked up a few macarons after breakfast last week, I decided it was time for me to give it another shot. This time I spent a solid couple of hours researching tips and tricks for making macarons and which were the most crucial things to remember. I stepped into the kitchen ready to succeed!

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons via FoodieMisadventures.com

Almost every recipe out there says you should age your egg whites. Well I didn’t. I skipped it and they came out perfect. The myth has been busted my friends! I’m no expert but here a few things that I found to be most important:

  • Weigh your ingredients very carefully
  • Don’t change the ratio or wet to dry
  • Sift your almond meal. Macarons are too delicate to handle the big chunks
  • Oven temperature is suuuper important if you want adorable little feet on your macarons.
  • Mix very carefully – undermixed batter will be too stiff and overmixed batter is too runny and impossible to pipe.
  • Silicone baking mats work wonders for your macaron “feet” (I LOVE my Silpat)

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons via FoodieMisadventures.com

Rather than making a plain shell, I flavored mine with a little pumpkin pie spice. It was a safe way to go since it is a dry ingredient and would change the texture. To get the color and the pumpkin flavor I filled the shells with a pumpkin butter cream (with a tiny dot of orange coloring to really make it pop). They came out exactly as I had hoped they would. Let’s just say that there will definitely be more macaron making in my future

Happy macaron making!

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons
Serves: about 40 macarons
  • 4 ounces (115g) almond flour or blanched almonds
  • 8 ounces (230g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 ounces egg whites (144g), temperature and age not important!
  • 2½ ounce (72g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (2g) kosher salt
Pumpkin Buttercream:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp whipping cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 300° and have ready a large (18”) pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, along with two sheet pans lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Sift together almond flour, powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl and set aside. If a significant portion won’t go through your sifter (more than 2 tablespoons) you’ll need to grind them up until they do.
  3. *If you are using whole almonds, process the almonds and powdered sugar for about a minute in the bowl of a food processor. Take out the mixture and sift it, reserving whatever bits don’t pass through the sieve. Add these bits back to the food processor and run the machine for another minute. Sift again. You should have about 2 Tbsp of slightly chunkier almond bits, but just add those into the dry mix. Then sift in pumpkin pie spice.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt and turn the mixer to medium (4 on a Kitchen Aid). Whip for 3 minutes. They will not seem especially foamy at that point. Increase the speed to medium-high (7 on a Kitchen Aid) and whip another 3 minutes, then crank the speed to 8 for go another 3 minutes.
  5. Turn the mixer off and add in vanilla extract and whip for a final minute on the highest speed. At the end of this minute, you should have a very stiff, dry meringue.When you remove the whisk attachment, there will be a big clump of meringue in the center, just knock the whisk against the bowl to free it. If the meringue has not become stiff enough to clump inside the whisk, continue beating for another minute, or until it does so.
  6. Now dump in the dry ingredients all at once and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Use both a folding motion (to incorporate the dry ingredients) and a rubbing/smearing motion, to deflate the meringue against the side of the bowl. This should take about 30-45 turns/folds and should be lava like in texture – this enough to mound up on itself, but fluid enough to melt back down.
  7. Transfer about half the batter to a piping bag. Pipe the batter into circles on the baking sheet. Keep in mind batter will continue to spread just a bit. Refill the piping bag after piping out half of macarons.
  8. After piping your macarons, take hold of the sheet pan and hit it hard against your counter three times, rotating 90 degrees after each tap.
  9. Bake for 18 minutes, or until you can cleanly peel the parchment paper away from a macaron. Let cool on the pans before peeling the macarons from the parchment.
To Make Pumpkin Buttercream:
  1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and pumpkin at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Beat in extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt until well combined about 15 seconds.
  2. Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
  3. Match up macarons in pairs based on size and shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with the buttercream and pipe a quarter sized mound of buttercream into half of the shells, then sandwich them with the other half.
  4. Macarons are best a day or so after making. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Macaron recipe adapted from Brave Tart; Frosting recipe by Nicole White



    • says

      Stephanie you HAVE to try to make them – they arent as scary as you think! Besides, even if they don’t look perfect they will taste great :)

    • says

      Thanks Erica! They are intimidating but worth a try at least once! :)

    • says

      DO IT Jessica!! You won’t regret it! I am sad I waited this long to give it another shot..

  1. says

    Those macarons look great. I wanted to try one with a pumpkin filling, too, but I may have to wait until next year. I’ve read Safe Haven, and it’s good….like all the other books he writes!

    • says

      Thanks Emily! I love the possiblities with flavors – I now have so many ideas stirring around in my head! But the pumpkin ones might be a little hard to top haha

  2. says

    These were sooooo delicious! I will definitely have to try making some again. Maybe 2nd time’s a charm? ;)
    Ari recently posted..Coconut Mocha BrowniesMy Profile

    • says

      Yep for sure! I think the first time you just gotta test the waters and then improve from there ;)

  3. says

    Darn you Nicholas Sparks! And you too, Ms. Nicole, for bringing that trailer into my life months before it comes out! I saw a trailer for Les Mis in the theater the other day….chills and on the verge of tears, so excited!
    Megan recently posted..The FIRST Neon Splash DashMy Profile

    • says

      Haha Sorry Megan! The Les Mis trailer also gave me chills the first time I saw it – and I am pretty sure my mouth was wide open in awe haha

  4. says

    I have really been wanting to make some macarons but I am terrified I will mess them up. There are no places that I know of around were I live that even sells them. I have only had them once at a wedding in New Orleans but they were delicious! I may just have to suck it up and try to make them! These look delicious!
    Brittany – Life of a Bama Girl recently posted..Perry’s Bridesmaids Lunch & Rehearsal DinnerMy Profile

    • says

      Don’t be scared Brittany! If you have a kitchen scale you’ll be fine :) I used pre-ground almond flour from Bob’s Red Mill which makes it a bit easier! They are too delicious (and too expensive) not to try it at home!

  5. says

    I don’t think we could get any more similar with our thoughts on movies. :) I just came across that Safe Haven trailer via Nicholas Sparks’ Facebook page, too! I haven’t read the book but now really want to and, of course, see the movie. And I have been counting down the days for both Les Miserables and Great Gatsby! Remember when we talked about an iPic date? I still think that needs to happen!

    And then there are the pumpkin macarons. YUM. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous and this is yet another all recipe that I really need to try!
    Jenn (eating bender) recently posted..Viva Las Vegas!My Profile

    • says

      YES!! Jenn we are like movie twins haha! Les Miserables will be out soon, but I am a little bummed The Great Gatsby won’t be out until like next May (accoring to IMDB)!

      And I think we definitely need to make an iPic date soon – anything out you want to see or something here in the near future?

      • says

        I’m bummed about The Great Gatsby, too! Ah well. I don’t know if you’re a Twilight fan (don’t judge me, haha) but I’m pretty excited for Breaking Dawn: Part Two in November! Otherwise I’ll have to do some research but I’m sure we can find something. ;)
        Jenn (eating bender) recently posted..Viva Las Vegas!My Profile

  6. says

    I LOVED Safe Haven. It is one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books.

    I remember literally holding my breath as she was making her escape from her husband. I like when he goes outside of his typical writing style and explores mystery and/or suspense a bit more. The Guardian was also great.

    I’m not quite sure how I feel about the casting for this one though…maybe they’ll grow on me!
    Heather recently posted..A Day at the Beach–Check!My Profile

    • says

      It’s one of my favorites too! And that scene was SO intense – I remember freaking out in suspense while I read it!

      Well anything is better than Miley Cyrus…lol

  7. says

    These are fantastic! I don’t think I’ll ever get enough pumpkin spice. I think I’m excited about Life of Pi…but I can’t decide if the movie will ruin the book.
    Baking Serendipity recently posted..Apple Pomegranate SconesMy Profile

    • says

      I totally agree Sarah! Pumpkin spice everything is the best :)

      I haven’t read Life of Pi – I’ll have to check it out!

  8. says

    I really want to try to make these. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to make them for Thanksgiving Day? I think they would be great for after dinner when we are relaxing with coffee or tea.
    Katy (The Singing Runner) recently posted..Mini-Vacation…My Profile

    • says

      Ooh they would be perfect for Thanksgiving, great idea Katy!! I would make them the day before Thanksgiving though – they are much much better (like all macarons) the second day once the flavors have had time to meld :)

  9. Janet says

    I loved seeing this variation of bravetart’s macaron recipe which I’ve used many times. I made the shells today but will use a cream cheese filling though I want to try yours as well. The flavor was fantastic. I hope you will keep experimenting with other variations and post them in the future!

    • says

      Thanks Janet!! I am working on a couple festive holiday flavors right now :) December should have a couple of new macaron recipes!

  10. Shannon says

    I am OBSESSED with all things pumpkin (especially in the Fall) so I absolutely love the idea of pumpkin spice macarons! These macarons are happening in my house soon! I’ve been making macarons for years but I’ve never made them without aging the egg whites for at least 24 hours so I’m curious to try that. Great recipe!

  11. Isabella says

    What spice mix did you use?

  12. Shar says

    How many eggs makes 5oz of egg whites?

    • says

      Hi Shar! It’s hard to say exactly how many – this recipe can’t be made without weighing the ingredients, as it is vital to the success of macarons. I normally put my bowl on the scale and measure it as I add each egg white, then remove little by little until I get to exactly 5 oz. If I had to guess I would say 4 or 5 depending on the size of your eggs.

  13. Hope R says

    So I have successfully made macaroons before and when I go to make these with the egg, salt, and sugar the egg whites never reach the meringue stage where they are fluffy. They just stay liquids. What am I doing wrong?

    • says

      Hi Hope! I’m sorry the meringue isn’t coming together for you! Unfortunately there’s no way for me to know what went wrong in your kitchen, but I would just double check your measurement for the egg whites and be sure to follow the whipping directions step by step as the are very specific with times and speeds. Hopefully that will help!

    • says


      There are two main things that cause egg whites not to whip into a meringue:

      1. The egg whites must be at room temperature
      2. MOST importantly, you cannot have *any* fat or oil in your egg whites. ANY. If even a tiny bit of the yolk gets in there, you’re doomed. Also, you can’t use any plastic bowls, utensils, etc. Anything you store the egg whites in, must be very clean glass or metal. The molecules in plastic imitate oil and will cause the egg white proteins to not form correctly when whipped.
      Christopher recently posted..Men may come and go, but pie is forever… or at least until the holidaysMy Profile

  14. LL says

    Just made the frosting, its liquidy as all get out. What did I do wrong?

    • says

      Hi LL,

      I’m so sorry the frosting didn’t turn out for you! I have made this frosting on a number of occasions and haven’t had any problems with it being too runny. Perhaps your butter was too soft at the start or maybe your pumpkin puree was too liquidy (sometimes my homemade puree is more watery than store bought)? Other than that my only other guess would be that your ingredient quantities were a bit off. This is one of my favs, so I’m bummed it didn’t turn out for you!

  15. says

    Great post! I love that you made them natural. There’s something elegant about that. Adding the pumpkin pie spice is also a terrific idea! :) I’ve been looking for a new fall fillings for mine. :)

    I use the Pierre Hermes macaron method which has the traditional equal parts powdered sugar and almond flour and then uses an Italian meringue to make sure they set up properly.

    Have you tried this method before?
    Christopher recently posted..Men may come and go, but pie is forever… or at least until the holidaysMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Christopher!

      I haven’t had the chance to try making them with Italian meringue yet, but I definitely want to. From what I’ve heard it’s a little more fool proof :)

      And thanks for commenting with some tips for working with meringue – I agree, having clean and oil free utensils is so important to meringue making – I’m so glad you mentioned it!

  16. Amanda says

    Thank you for a great recipe! Last night, I tried making macarons for the first time. They turned out great! Thanks again!

  17. says

    Made these just now with homemade apple butter filling. Soooo good!!

  18. says

    I’m making these right now! While they smell delicious, I turned the oven light on and noticed that almost all of them are cracking on the top! I researched this problem, and apparently you’re supposed to let the batter rest for about an hour… Darn.. I didn’t see that written in the recipe notes here. :( I might have to try it again and let them rest first, but it was so much work (I blanched and ground the almonds first) that I’m feeling a little put-off from a re-try anytime soon. :(

    • says

      Hi Victoria!

      I’m sorry your macarons are cracking! I have made dozens and dozens of batches of macarons and I have never once let the batter rest. Most often it just that your oven temperature is just a little too high – it’s best to lower the temp about 25 degrees and bake them for just a tad longer so they come out perfect!

      Also with the almond meal, I personally find it easier to just purchase almond meal and sift it a few times. I buy the Bobs Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour. It cuts down the work a little bit and makes the whole process a bit more manageable.

      PS – I would still eat the cracked ones if you have them – they will still taste great :)
      Nicole recently posted..Ultimate Candy Bar BrowniesMy Profile


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