These vanilla bean macarons with pumpkin spice swiss meringue buttercream are every pumpkin lovers dream! The macaron shells are bursting with vanilla flavor and have those beautiful vanilla bean specks all over. And the pumpkin spice swiss meringue buttercream is so heavenly, it tastes so similar to pumpkin pie filling. If you only make one of my macaron recipes, I'm begging you, make this one! I promise, you won't regret it.
Ingredients you'll need to make these vanilla bean macarons:
- White Vinegar: To ensure that your meringue remains stable, clean and wipe down all appliances with white vinegar.
- Powdered Sugar: You'll need powdered sugar for the macaron shells.
- Almond Flour: Be sure to use extra fine almond flour to get those super smooth shells!
- Egg Whites: You'll need about 3 egg whites for the shells. Don't worry about bringing them to room temperature because you'll just heat them up over a double boiler to make a swiss meringue! You'll also need 2 more egg whites for the buttercream.
- Granulated Sugar: The sugar is going to be added to the egg whites when making the swiss meringue for both the shells and the buttercream. It will only take a couple minutes for the sugar to dissolve into the egg whites, so whisk frequently and watch carefully!
- Vanilla Paste: Vanilla paste is key to this recipe. It is much more potent than vanilla extract and adds those beautiful specks throughout the shells and the buttercream.
- Unsalted Butter: You'll need 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature, but on the cooler side.
- Pumpkin Puree: You'll need to start with about 200g of pumpkin puree, then reduce it in a saucepan, which will leave you with about 150g.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Add a little pumpkin pie spice to really amp up the pumpkin flavor in the buttercream.
How to make macarons with my 6 Essential Macaron Rules:
- Wipe down all bowls and appliances with white vinegar. This will ensure that everything is spotlessly clean and nothing will hinder the stability of the meringue.
- Beat the meringue until STIFF peaks form. The best way to test this is to turn the bowl upside down to make sure that the meringue is stable enough and does not move at all.
- SIFT SIFT SIFT! You need to sift the powdered sugar and almond flour to get those smooth macaron shells!
- Mix the batter with a silicone spatula by circling around and straight through the middle. Once all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, deflate the macaron batter by spreading it against the sides of the bowl. This will ensure that the shells do not come out hollow.
- Test the consistency of the batter frequently by drawing a figure eight with the silicone spatula. You should be able to draw a figure eight a few times in a row without the batter breaking. This is how you know the batter is ready to be piped onto a baking sheet.
- Allow the macarons to rest long enough before going into the oven. I would recommend 30-40 minutes of rest time before baking. As they rest, a skin forms on the surface, which is what forces the macarons to bake upwards and grow feet!
A few other tips to make these vanilla bean macarons with pumpkin spice swiss meringue buttercream:
- The flavor of macaron shells develop more by the second day, so I recommend making them the day before and chilling them overnight, then assemble the next day.
- If you have trouble peeling the macarons off of the parchment once they have cooled, pop them into the freezer for a few minutes and they should come off easily.
- For the buttercream – DO NOT add the butter to the swiss meringue until it has cooled down to below 85 degrees F. I have made the mistake of adding it too soon, and the meringue ended up melting the butter and turned the whole thing into a soupy mess. If your meringue has reached stiff peaks before it is cool enough, turn the mixer down to low speed and keep it there until it reaches the right temperature.
- Macarons will last for a few days at room temperature and up to a week in the fridge. I prefer to store them in the fridge not only so they will last longer, but also because I find that they taste even better cold.
- If you liked this recipe, check out my other macaron recipes!
Happy baking! xPrint
These vanilla bean macarons with pumpkin spice swiss meringue buttercream are every pumpkin lovers dream!
For the Macaron Shells:
- 130g powdered sugar
- 120g almond flour
- 105g egg whites (about 3)
- 100g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 72g egg whites (about 2)
- 150g granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 170g unsalted butter (room temp but on the cooler side; 1 ½ sticks)
- ½ tsp vanilla paste
- 150g reduced pumpkin puree (start with 200g canned pumpkin puree)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
For the Macaron Shells:
- Prepare a macaron template by using a large piping tip or small round cookie cutter of about 1 ½″ in size to trace circles about 2 inches a apart on one sheet of parchment paper. You will place this under another piece of parchment paper when ready to pipe the macaron shells.
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar and almond flour twice.
- Next, heat the egg whites and granulated sugar over a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved or until the temperature is about 120 degrees F.
- Transfer the egg white mixture to a large bowl or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the meringue reaches soft peaks. At this point, you can add the vanilla paste.
- Continue whisking the meringue until stiff peaks form. The best way to test if it is ready is by turning the bowl upside down. If the meringue does not fall or move at all, then it is ready.
- Start the macaronage by folding in ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix carefully with a silicone spatula by scraping aroung the sides of the bowl, then through the middle of the batter. Do this a few times until it is mostly combined.
- Add the remainder of the dry ingredients, folding with the same gentle method. Once the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, begin spreading the batter along the sides of the bowl to deflate it slightly. I find that this mixing method ensures that the shells do not bake up hollow. Continue scraping around the sides of the bowl and through the middle. The mixture is ready when you can draw several figure eights without the batter breaking.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a small round piping tip (I used Ateco 802). Place your macaron template under another piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and pipe perpendicular to fill in each circle. Carefully remove the template and tap the baking sheet on the on counter a few times in order to release any air bubbles. It also helps to bang on the bottom of the baking sheet with your hand.
- Let the macarons rest for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are dry and no batter comes away when you touch them. Toward the end of the resting time, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the macarons for about 8-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.
For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- In a double boiler, heat the egg whites, sugar, and salt, whisking frequently until it reaches 160 degrees F or until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites do not feel grainy.
- Transfer the egg white mixture into a bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Turn the mixer down to low speed, and wait until the meringue cools down to at least 85 degrees F.
- While the meringue is cooling down on low speed, reduce the pumpkin puree. Add 200g of pumpkin to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently. Heat for about 5 minutes, then weigh out 150g in a small bowl. Add the pumpkin pie spice to the reduced pumpkin. Set aside to cool.
- Cut the butter into cubes and add to the meringue one piece at a time, allowing each piece to fully incorporate before adding the next. Once all of the butter is added, it will likely look curdled, but keep beating for a few more minutes and it will come together.
- Once the buttercream has mostly come together, change the whisk attachment to the paddle and keep mixing on low speed until homogenous and smooth.
- Add the vanilla paste and reduced pumpkin, mixing until fully combined.
- Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I used Ateco 864).
- Pair the macaron shells up and pipe the buttercream onto the bottom shell, then place the paired shell on top, pressing down slightly to ensure they stick together.
Keywords: pumpkin macarons, pumpkin spice macarons, pumpkin buttercream