Vanilla Spice Macarons

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After discovering the Vanilla Spice Latte at Starbucks a couple of years ago I became a bit obsessed with it. I’m a life long Starbucks addict having worked there throughout university (averaging a Starbucks at least once a day). Nowadays I frequent there a few times a week after work and at weekends (their seasonal drinks get me every time…hook, line and sinker). The Vanilla Spice Latte is always at the top of my order when in season, so it was only natural to incorporate the flavour into my baking repertoire.

I have spoken previously about the challenges of making macarons, however after attempting my Vanilla Macaron recipe let’s assume we’ve mastered the basics.

These macarons are filled with a cinnamon and nutmeg frosting to spice up the simple macaron. I promise you the flavour will not disappoint!  

Let’s bake!

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Recipe (makes approx. 24 macarons)

Meringue (Shell)
80g Ground Almonds (Sifted)
120g Icing Sugar (Sifted)
70g Egg Whites (Approximately 2 Medium/Large Eggs)
45g Caster Sugar
Pinch Cream of Tartar

Filling
180g Icing sugar (Sifted)
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
75g Unsalted Butter (Room temperature)
1 Vanilla Pod (Alternatively, you can use 1 tsp Vanilla Extract if you don’t have pods)
1 tbsp Heavy Cream

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Method

Meringue (Shell)

  • Begin by lining 2 trays with baking paper (I also place a macaron template under the paper to achieve uniformity) and make sure you have a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle ready and waiting.
  • Place a bowl on your scales and sift in your ground almonds until you have 80g worth.
  • Repeat the previous step with your icing sugar until you have 120g worth.
  • In a bowl combine your sifted almonds and icing sugar. Sift them again, this is to ensure that the mix is really fine.
  • Place your egg whites in a large mixing bowl with your cream of tartar and whisk on a medium speed for approximately 30 seconds until they start to look foamy.
  • Continue to whisk your egg whites whilst gradually adding your caster sugar 1/4 at a time every 10-15 seconds.
  • Once your sugar has been added, turn up to a high speed and whisk for approximately 3 minutes until you have shiny stiff peaks.*
  • Tip your almond sugar into your egg mix and begin to fold in with a spatula. This is the tricky bit!
  • Just keep folding regardless of how you mixture looks. I usually have to fold for a good 2 minutes to achieve the thick ‘lava’ like consistency.
  • Pour your mixture into your piping bag and pipe round dollops about 3cm wide.**
  • Firmly and carefully tap/bang your baking tray a few times onto your work surface, this will cause the macarons to spread slightly and release any air bubbles.
  • As you can see from my photos I have sprinkled ground cinnamon onto my shells. At this point you can scatter some over the shells.
  • LEAVE TO REST! This is an important step as if you don’t let your macarons rest they will not dry out and they will crack when baked.
  • Whilst they are resting pre-heat your oven to 145 degrees (celsius)
  • Your macarons should dent when gently pressed and shouldn’t stick to your finger. When they do you know they are ready to go in the oven.
  • Depending on your kitchen environment/temperature drying your macarons can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 9 minutes.
  • Take out and place on a wire rack to cool.
  • Make your filling using the steps below.

*A good test is to stop and turn your whisk upside down, if the egg white stays up in a straight peak they are ready!
**If using a template you want to pipe so you are within the circle by about 1cm.

Filling

  • Measure out your icing sugar into a bowl and add your ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix your unsalted butter for 1 minute on a medium speed until lightened.
  • Add half your icing sugar and mix until combined, follow with your heavy cream and mix until pale, thick and creamy.
  • Add the remaining icing sugar with the seeds from your vanilla pod* and mix on a high setting for 1 minute until you have a thick creamy frosting.
  • Place frosting in a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice.

*To extract the seeds from your vanilla pod, split the pod down the middle lengthways with a sharp knife. Using a blunt knife, scape the seeds out from the top to the bottom of the pod, they will collect on the knife.

Assembly Method

  • Gently remove your meringue shells from the baking paper (they should peel off fairly easily).
  • Turn them upside down so you can pipe your filling onto the flat side.
  • Get your filled piping bag and pipe a dollop of frosting into the centre of the macaron leaving a gap of 1cm around the edge.
  • Get an empty shell and sandwich together until the frosting reaches the sides.

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