Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons are deliciously sweet and fragrant, loaded with pumpkin spice and with a tangy pumpkin cream cheese filling. All the components of a delicious spiced pumpkin cheesecake in a macaron!
Pumpkin season is upon us, and these spiced pumpkin cheesecake macarons make a dainty Autumn snack or elegant Halloween cookie. Baking homemade macarons can be daunting, and if this is your time, then be sure to read my step-by-step guide to making Italian macarons (with Italian meringue) first.
Try making these pumpkin spiced cheesecake macaron cookies for Halloween and become the favorite house on your street when the trick-or-treaters come, or serve them after dinner at a dinner party with coffee. Macarons are an excellent way to use leftover egg whites and make a light and crunchy dessert or petit four.
I also love making pumpkin brownies at this time of year, anything pumpkin is a hit with me!
Here is everything you will need to make these spiced pumpkin cheesecake macarons. The flavors and sweetness and perfectly balanced, as pumpkins are naturally sweet, so there's no need to add extra sugar to the pumpkin cheesecake filling.
For the pumpkin spice macaron shells
- Egg whites: I prefer to buy eggs and separate them rather than use pre-packaged egg whites. I never get the same level of results from pre-packaged! Always use room-temperature eggs in baking.
- Fine granulated sugar/caster sugar: I like to use golden sugar in fall macaron flavors; it just gives an added warmth that works really well in the season of pumpkins and apples and all things Autumn. But you can use either white or brown sugar!
- Water: We dissolve the granulated sugar into the water before boiling it into a syrup so that it heats evenly.
- Ground almonds: You can buy almond flour, almond meal, and ground almonds, and they are all slightly different. The best almonds for macarons is almond flour, as it is the finest in texture.
- Powdered sugar/icing sugar: This is mixed with the ground almonds and egg whites to make the almond paste.
- Ground cloves: To get our pumpkin spice flavor, we add the components of this delicious fall spice mix. Ground cloves have a very strong flavor, so you don't need much.
- Ground nutmeg: Nutmeg has a more subtle taste, but if you miss it out, you will definitely notice!
- Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon adds an unmistakable warmth to the macaron shells.
- Ground ginger: We also add ground ginger to give extra warmth and a very slight bit of heat.
- Orange food coloring: To achieve a pumpkin color, I use a small amount of food coloring for the macaron shells. Use powdered food coloring or gel food coloring for macarons, and not liquid. You can adjust the quantity as to your preference on how intense an orange color you like!
For the pumpkin cheesecake macaron filling
- Pumpkin puree: Canned pumpkin puree is so handy for baking, but make sure you purchase pumpkin puree with nothing in it other than pumpkin.
- Cream cheese: I try and buy organic cream cheese wherever possible as the water content is lower, making for thicker, richer cream cheese. The cream cheese gives a rich and smooth cheesecake tang, and the pumpkin pie spices in the macaron shells bring it all together perfectly.
- Digestive biscuits/Graham crackers (optional): To get the taste and texture of a cheesecake base, I like to grind biscuits/cookies to a fine crumb and mix it into the spiced pumpkin cheesecake macaron filling. If you are not in the UK, use Graham Cracker crumbs.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the quantities.Jump to Recipe
There are a lot of instructions to make homemade macarons but trust me, it is worth reading them all through and really getting it straight in your mind before starting. Because even though the instructions are long, the time frame is short! So preparation is key.
- Preheat the oven to 145 degrees Celsius / 295 Fahrenheit (no fan).
- Prepare and weigh out the ingredients, separating the egg whites from egg yolks if necessary, taking extreme care not to get any yolk in the white.
- Make the almond paste by blending the ground almonds and powdered sugar together until they are a very fine consistency and completely combined. Sieve the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon.
- Mix the egg white and orange food coloring into the almond and pumpkin pie spice mixture firmly until it is fully incorporated.
- Make the Italian meringue by placing the water and granulated sugar into a saucepan. Gently warm the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it has dissolved, turn up the heat, stop stirring, and place the sugar thermometer into the mixture.
- Once the thermometer starts to climb above 105 degrees Celsius/220 degrees Fahrenheit, whisk the egg whites until they go opaque and form soft peaks.
- When the sugar syrup reaches a soft boil temperature of 115 degrees Celsius/240 degrees, start whisking the egg whites again to a stiff peak stage and then slowly pour in the sugar syrup a little at a time. The residual heat of the sugar will mean the temperature continues to go up even once you remove it from the heat, and it will be the required 120 degrees Celsius when you mix it into the egg white.
- The Italian meringue will turn a smooth, glossy, and opaque white. Continue to whisk once all of the sugar syrup has been added to bring down the heat until you can touch the side of the bowl, and it feels warm but not hot.
- Now mix the Italian meringue into the almond paste in three stages.
- Firmly mix in the first third of the Italian meringue with a metal or wooden spoon to loosen the almond paste and fully combine the two mixtures.
- Fold in the remaining two-thirds one at a time using the softer spoon or spatula, being very gentle with the final third so as not to overmix the batter and make it too slack. You should be able to draw a figure of 8 in the batter, and it slowly fades rather than stays there or vanishes immediately.
Wipe out the bowl you are making your meringue in with some white wine vinegar, it helps to stabilize the mixture.
How to bake macarons
- Pipe the spiced pumpkin cheesecake macarons. Move the macaron batter to a piping bag. Tie a knot in the end and relax the mixture slightly in the bag with your hands for a few seconds. Cut half a centimeter from the tip of the piping bag.
- Position the piping bag perpendicular to the tray with the nozzle a few millimeters above the surface. Squeeze the bag without lifting it up for two or three seconds, then stop squeezing and make a little circle to twist it off. Fill the trays with lines of macaron shells, leaving a 2cm gap in between each macaron as they will spread slightly as they bake.
- Firmly smack it down onto the work surface twice to settle the Italian macaron batter and get rid of any air bubbles. You can use a toothpick to pop any other bubbles you see.
- Bake the macarons for 17 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow the macarons to cool on the tray. This is a no-rest macaron recipe, but if you cannot fit all of your macarons in the oven at once, it won't harm the remaining macarons to be out on the worktop for 17 minutes.
Pumpkin spice cheesecake macaron filling
- Blend the biscuits/graham crackers to a fine crumb in a food processor, or crush them with a pestle and mortar.
- Strain the cream cheese and the pumpkin puree through muslin to squeeze it out and remove any excess water, then mix the pumpkin puree and cream cheese together and stir in the crumbs.
- Add the spiced pumpkin cheesecake macaron filling to a piping bag and pipe it onto one shell before sandwiching it together with another shell.
- Leave the spiced pumpkin cheesecake macarons in the fridge to soften up and go chewy for a few hours before serving.
Hint: If the pumpkin cheesecake filling seems too slack to pipe, put it into the piping bag and then chill quickly in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Try a late-harvest muscat with these Autumn macarons or even a sweet Hungarian Tokaji wine which is a personal favorite of mine.
After making these spiced pumpkin cheesecake macarons, try some of my other macaron flavors...
- Blueberry cheesecake macarons
- Chocolate cinnamon macarons
- Fig and Cardamom macarons
- Mango macarons
- Festive savory macarons with goat cheese and cranberry
Love this home-baked macaron recipe? You'll want to try this no bake pumpkin cheesecake too.
- Weighing scales. Digital scales are best. Baking is a science, after all, so we need precision! I do not recommend using the cup system to make macarons.
- A sieve to ensure that the powdered sugar and almond flour is as fine as possible.
- A blender/food processor to thoroughly combine the almond flour and powdered sugar. This ensures a completely smooth finish on your macaron shells. You can also use the food processor to blend the biscuits into a crumb.
- Use a small saucepan with a pouring lip to make your sugar syrup.
- A jam or sugar thermometer to measure the temperature of the hot sugar syrup. The sugar syrup needs to be at a particular temperature to make Italian meringue, and it is impossible to judge without a thermometer. The best thermometers for sugar syrup do not allow the bulb to touch the bottom or sides of the saucepan, thus ensuring you are measuring the temperature of the sugar and not the pan.
- Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk your egg whites into soft peaks before slowly adding the hot sugar syrup.
- Two large bowls, preferably glass. Try to avoid using a metal mixing bowl for the Italian meringue, as it will conduct heat and prevent the mixture from cooling.
- A metal mixing spoon for combining ingredients more vigorously.
- A silicon mixing spoon or spatula for further, more gentle mixing.
- Baking sheets/trays - Do not high-sided cookie sheets, as this builds up too much steam around the macarons.
- Use an oven thermometer to ensure you are baking at the right temperature.
- Silicon mat or baking parchment paper (but the silicon mats are better and allow for lower waste as they are not single-use)
- Piping bags - to pipe your macarons onto a baking tray and then also to pipe your fillings.
Store the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 2-3 days. They are best eaten fresh after a few hours.
Macaron shells freeze very well; layer them between pieces of parchment paper in an airtight container and use them within one month. Do not freeze macarons once filled.
Macarons can crack whilst baking for a few reasons. Your oven might be too hot, but it is more likely to be due to air bubbles in the mixture. Tap the tray/cookie sheet on a work surface a few times before baking to help knock them out, or use a cocktail stick to pop any you can see.
When making macarons, can food coloring be put in at any stage?
You can add the food coloring to the meringue or to the almond paste, or in the final stage, once you have mixed the macaron batter together. I prefer to add food coloring to the almond paste before mixing, as it avoids knocking the air out of your meringue or running the risk of overmixing your macaron batter.
Some bakers swear by it, some do not. My macaron recipes do not require resting, although it can help to prevent cracking as it forces any air to escape through the base of the macaron rather than the surface (causing cracks).
No, macarons will not work with all-purpose flour. Macarons need a nut flour like almond or hazelnut flour. So macarons are naturally gluten-free.
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Macarons
- 1 Sieve Blender/food processor
- 1 Small saucepan
- 1 electric whisk or stand mixer
- 1 Metal or wooden mixing spoon
- 1 Silicon mixing spoon or spatula
- 3 Large baking sheets/trays
- 3 Silicon baking mat or baking parchment paper
- 2 piping bags
- 185 grams Powdered sugar (icing sugar or confectioners sugar)
- 185 grams Ground almonds (Almond flour is best)
- 65 grams Egg whites
- 1 teaspoon Powdered food colouring
- ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Ground cloves
- 185 grams Granulated sugar
- 100 ml Water
- 65 grams Egg whites
Spiced pumpkin cheesecake filling
- 200 grams Pumpkin puree (Canned is fine)
- 250 grams Cream cheese
- 200 grams Digestive biscuits (Graham crackers/Belvita soft bakes in USA)
- Preheat the oven to 145 degrees Celsius / 295 Fahrenheit.
- Prepare and weigh out the ingredients, separating the egg whites from egg yolks if necessary.
- Sieve the ground almonds and powdered sugar and then blend together until they are a very fine consistency and completely combined.
- Make the almond paste by mixing the egg white with the food coloring and pumpkin pie spices and the ground almond/powdered sugar mixture until it is fully incorporated.
- Place the water and granulated sugar into a saucepan. Gently warm the water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it has dissolved, turn up the heat, stop stirring and place the sugar thermometer into the mixture.
- Once the thermometer starts to climb above 105 degrees Celsius/220 degrees Fahrenheit, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
- When the sugar syrup reaches a soft boil temperature of 115 degrees Celsius/240 degrees, start whisking the egg whites again and then pour in the sugar syrup a little at a time.
- The Italian meringue will turn a smooth, glossy and opaque white. Continue to whisk once all of the sugar syrup has been added to bring down the heat until you can touch the side of the bowl and it feels warm but not hot.
- Firmly mix one third of the Italian meringue into the almond paste with a metal or wooden spoon and fully combine the two mixtures.
- Fold in the remaining two thirds one at a time using the softer spoon or spatula, being very gentle with the final third to not overmix the batter and make it too slack.
- Move the macaron batter to a piping bag. Tie a knot in the end and relax the mixture slightly in the bag with your hands for a few seconds. Cut half a centimetre from the tip of the piping bag.
- Position the piping bag perpendicular to the tray with the nozzle a few millimetres above the surface. Squeeze the bag without lifting it up for two or three seconds, then stop squeezing and make a little circle to twist it off. Fill the trays leaving a 2cm gap in between each macaron.
- Firmly smack it down onto the work surface twice to settle the Italian macaron batter and get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake the macarons for 17 minutes, then remove them from the oven and allow the macarons to cool on the tray. This is a no-rest macaron recipe, but if you cannot fit all of your macarons in the oven at once, it won't harm the remaining macarons to be out on the worktop for 17 minutes.
Spiced pumpkin cheesecake filling
- Using a pestle and mortar or food processor, grind the biscuits/cookies to a fine crumb.
- Strain both the cream cheese and pumpkin puree through muslin/cheesecloth to squeeze out excess water. Mix the pumpkin puree into the cream cheese and stir through the biscuits/crackers.
- Spoon the cheesecake filling into a piping bag. Pipe the filling onto a macaron shell, and sandwich another on top.
- Take care when boiling sugar, and do not leave it unattended.
- Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces after handling raw eggs.