These Pumpkin Brulée Macarons are filled with a warm pumpkin spice buttercream, a pumpkin creme brulée center, and topped with a burnt sugar shell. Creamy, spiced, and not too sweet, these macarons are a cozy choice to add in to your fall rotation when you want a wow worthy dessert.
Start out by making your shells. For a detailed look at the process, jump over to my Basic French Macaron recipe post!
For this burnt orange color, I used:
-26 drops of Orange
-6 drops of Chocolate Brown
-8 drops of red
-10 drops of yellow
They are definitely a bold color! I think if I were to make them again I would go with a slightly lighter shade of orange to allow more contrast between the shell and the burnt sugar on top.
I popped these in the freezer overnight so I could chip away at this recipe over the course of two days. Fun fact, macaron shells hold up incredibly well when frozen. I also chose to freeze these so I could use the small amount of moisture the shells release as they thaw to room temp to adhere the sugar for the burnt sugar brulée shell. We’ll come back to that later!
Next, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
For the Pumpkin Creme Brulée, whisk the heavy cream, milk, spices, and orange zest together in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to boil.
Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes while the flavors infuse with the cream and milk.
Whisk together your brown sugar, and egg yolks in a medium/large bowl. Once the milk and cream mixture is done infusing, pour a small amount of it into the brown sugar egg yolk bowl while quickly whisking. Continue slowly pouring in the milk and cream while vigorously whisking until fully incorporated.
Next, whisk in the pumpkin puree until smooth.
Strain the Pumpkin Creme Brulée into a large measuring cup, and then pour into your ramekins. My photo shows three glass dishes full, but this recipe will make enough for two 5 oz servings of creme brulée. Plenty to fill your macs and a pinch extra to snack on! Place the filled ramekins in to a larger baking dish deep and fill with hot tap water to the same height as the level of creme brulée. Make sure not to use cold water, because it will drastically increase your bake time. Also be careful to keep the water out of the ramekins.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the cremes have set up slightly but still have a fair amount of jiggle in the middle. Think jiggle, not slosh. Remove from oven to cool in the fridge.
For your pumpkin spice buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, spices, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed. Next, mix in the pumpkin puree. Be sure to scrape down the bowl and beater as needed to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
Once your creme brulée is done and chilled, we can begin the burnt sugar shells. Be sure to match up each shell with a partner shell of equal size, and cover only one of the shell tops in sugar. If you need to attach the sugar without the freezing option I mentioned earlier, you can also take a SMALL amount of water dabbed on your finger and spread it over the tops. When I say small, I mean SMALL. You don’t want to put too much moisture on the tops or else it will get soggy. Sprinkle on enough sugar to create an even layer.
Evenly torch your sugar shells on a heat safe surface.
Next, pipe your pumpkin spice buttercream in a ring around the edge of your macarons, leaving about 1/4 inch of space from the edge all the way around. Fill with the pumpkin creme brulée, and then carefully sandwich the burnt sugar shell on top.
Let mature in the fridge for 24 hours in an airtight container. Eat within 3-5 days for optimum freshness. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Brulée Macarons
Servings: 26-30 Fully Assembled Macarons
Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours and 40 minutes
- Macaron Shell
– 130 grams Egg Whites (Approximately 4 Large Eggs)
– 120 grams Granulated Sugar
– 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
– 200 grams Almond Flour
– 200 grams Confectioner’s Sugar
– 1 Pinch of Salt (Optional)
– Desired Food Coloring
- Spiced Pumpkin Buttercream Filling
– 4 oz Butter
– 1 Pinch of Salt
– 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
– 8 oz Powdered Sugar
– 4 Pinches of Cinnamon
– 2 Pinches of Cloves
– 2 Pinches of Nutmeg
– 2 Pinches of Ginger
– 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin Creme Brulée
– 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
– 1/4 Cup Whole Milk
– 1/8 tsp Cinnamon
– 2 pinches Nutmeg
– 1 pinch Ginger
– 1 pinch Ground Cloves
– 1/8 tsp Orange Zest
– 2 Egg Yolks
– 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
– 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
- 1. Match each shell with a partner shell of equal size.
2. Pipe a circle of pumpkin buttercream on your shell, leaving at least 1/4 inch of space around the edge.
3. Stir cooled Creme Brulée until smooth. Fill a ziploc bag with the creme brulée and cut off a small piece of the corner. Pipe it in to the center of your ring of buttercream to fill your macaron.
3. Gently sandwich the partner shell on top to complete your macaron.
4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to allow the macarons to “mature” and fully develop their flavor and texture. Eat within 3-5 days. Enjoy!
- Line 2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or a silicone mat (circle template optional but recommended).
- Place a medium/large round piping tip in a large piping bag. Twist the bag right behind the tip and add a clip to seal off the opening. Place the bag tip down into either a clean tall cup with the edges folded over the rim to keep the bag open, or clip it into a bag holder.
- Using a kitchen scale, carefully weigh out and sift the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk well to fully blend the two together.
- Place egg whites, granulated sugar, salt, and cream of tartar into a large mixing bowl, and begin beating with a whisk attachment using either a handheld mixer or a stand mixer for 2 minutes on a medium low speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 4).
- Turn up the mixer to a medium speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 6) and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add desired gel food coloring (optional)
- Turn mixer up to medium high speed (Kitchen Aid Speed 8) and beat for 3 more minutes, or until peaks are very stiff and the meringue clumps up in a ball in the center of the whisk. Test stiffness by removing whisk and pointing it upward. (See photos in Basic French Macaron recipe for reference) Once the peaks can hold their shape flipped upright, your meringue is ready.
- Pour half of your almond flour/confectioner’s sugar mixture into the bowl with your meringue, and fold 15 times. One fold is scraping all the way around the edge of your batter in your bowl, and then dragging your spatula through the middle. Be sure to scoop around the bottom of the bowl as well so you don’t miss any dry ingredients.
- Pour in the remaining powdered sugar and almond flour, and continue folding (approximately 40 more folds) until dry ingredients are fully incorporated, your batter is no longer clumpy and stiff, and flows in slow ribbons off of your spatula. Do not overfold. Start checking your batter’s readiness every 5 folds or so at this point by scraping all batter down to the bottom of your bowl, and then wiggling your bowl back and forth several times. If the batter levels out with very few peaks and lines remaining, it should be ready. (See photos in Basic French Macaron recipe for reference)
- Pour batter into prepared piping bag, and twist the opening off. Hold your bag at the twist between your thumb and pointer finger. Remove the clip.
- Holding the piping bag straight up and down, apply pressure to begin piping your batter in the center of your circle templates, releasing pressure once you are a few millimeters short of your desired size. After you release pressure, use a small quick circular flick to release your tip from the piped macaron.
- Once you’ve piped a full tray, firmly bang the tray on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles and smooth out shells. Pop any remaining large bubbles with a toothpick. Repeat with the second tray.
- Begin preheating your oven to 295 degrees, using an oven thermometer if possible to ensure accurate temperature readings.
- Set aside shells to dry until they form a skin and are no longer tacky to the touch. Once you can gently run a finger over your shells, they are ready to bake. Use a fan to speed up the process, rotating the tray every few minutes to ensure even drying. This usually takes at least 20 minutes for me even with a fan.
- Once shells are dry, and the oven has fully preheated to 275, place one tray in the center of the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 18 minutes.
- Quickly open door to check the shell’s doneness by gently pressing on the side just above the feet to see if it’s firm. If it moves at all, bake for another 2 minutes.
- Check shells by performing the same test, pressing on the side. If they are still unstable, bake for one more minute, and check again. Repeat until shells are firm and do not budge.
- Allow shells to cool completely, and the carefully remove from silicone mat or parchment paper by gently peeling them off.
Spiced Pumpkin Buttercream
- Place butter, salt, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add powdered sugar and spices, and beat until frosting starts to come together. Mix for 2 minutes, and then scrape down the bowl and beater. Mix for an additional 2 minutes.
- Pour in heavy cream, and beat on low speed just until heavy cream is fully combined.
Pumpkin Creme Brulée
- Preheat Oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk the heavy cream, milk, spices, and orange zest together in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to boil.
- Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes while the flavors infuse with the cream and milk.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and brown sugar.
4. Once cream and milk mixture is done infusing, slowly pour it into your egg yolk and sugar mixture while vigorously whisking. Whisk until fully incorporated.
- Whisk in pumpkin puree until smooth.
- Strain the Pumpkin Creme Brulée into a large measuring cup, and then pour into your ramekins. My photo shows three glass dishes full, but this recipe will make enough for two 5 oz servings of creme brulée. Place the ramekins in to a larger baking dish deep and fill with hot tap water to the same height as the level of creme brulée.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the custard is set and has a bit of wiggle still. It should still have some movement but not be sloshing.