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A 5-layer black macaron cake filled with red cream cheese filling on a white cake stand.

Halloween Macaron Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 379kcal
Author: Shinee
Tall and impressive, this macaron cake is perfect for Halloween. Fluffy full black macaron layers filled with sweet cream cheese frosting with a hint of cocoa and wrapped in sticky marshmallow spiderweb! 
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Ingredients

For macaron layers:

  • 200 g Bob's Red Mill super fine almond flour Note 1
  • 150 g powdered sugar Note 2
  • 140 g egg whites at room temperature Note 3
  • 150 g fine granulated sugar Note 4
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar optional Note 5
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black gel food coloring Note 6

For cream cheese filling:

  • 110 g cream cheese softened
  • 115 g unsalted butter softened
  • 240 g powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder Note 7
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring

For spiderweb decoration:

  • 15 large marshmallows
  • Candy eyes

Instructions

To make macaron layers:

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or teflon sheet, or silicone mat.
  • To prepare dry ingredients, sift together almond flour and powdered sugar twice. (Note: If you have up to 2 tablespoons of chunky dry ingredients left in the sifter, you don't have to replace it. Simply discard those chunky bits.)
  • To make meringue, in a clean mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium low speed until foamy. (I set it to speed 2 or 4 on my KitchenAid stand mixer.)
  • When egg whites are foamy, add cream of tartar and salt and continue to whisk.
  • Then slowly add sugar one tablespoon at a time, while mixer is still running. Allow the sugar to dissolve after each addition.
  • When the meringue reaches soft peaks, add black gel food coloring.
  • Continue beating the egg whites on the same medium low speed until hard peaks form. Visual cues: Meringue should ball up inside the whisk, and when you lift the whisk, the meringue should hold a pointy end and have sharp ribs. (See pictures above or watch this meringue video for more information.)
  • To make batter, sift almond flour mixture into the meringue. Using a silicone spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until fully incorporated. Then continue to fold the batter until it’s runny enough to draw a figure eight. To test, take a small amount of batter and drop it into the bowl. If the small peaks dissolve into the batter on its own in about 10 seconds, the batter is ready. If not, fold couple more times and test again. Be careful not to over-fold the batter. (TIP: Making french macarons is all about the technique. This is one of the most crucial step. Let me try to describe the folding motion as best as I can: run the spatula clockwise from the bottom, up around the sides and cut the batter in half. If you’re beginner macaron-baker, I suggest to count every fold. It takes roughly about 50 folds to reach the proper consistency. After 50 folds, start testing the batter, and continue testing after every couple folds.)
  • To pipe macaron shells, transfer the batter into a pastry bag, fitted with a round tip. (I used this Wilton 2A tip.)
  • Hold the pastry bag at straight 90° angle and pipe the batter from the center into a spiral until you've got about 5.5-inch circle. (TIP: Download my FREE macaron cake template.) You should get 6 circles. Pipe small macarons if you get leftover batter.
  • Tap the baking sheets firmly on the counter (or using your hand) a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. You can also use a toothpick to burst some large air bubbles. This step ensures smooth tops.
  • Let the macarons sit out on the counter for at least 15-30 minutes, maybe up to couple hours, depending on humidity. When you lightly touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your finger, then it’s ready to go into the oven.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). (Note: I don't use convection settings. I set my oven to heat from top and bottom.)
  • To bake, working one baking sheet at a time, place one tray with macarons on the middle rack. Bake for 23-25 minutes. To test for doneness, touch a macaron lightly and try to move it. If it slides and wobbles, bake a minute or so longer. The cooked macarons should be firm to touch and the base shouldn’t move. (TIP: It’s always better to slightly over-bake macarons than under-bake them!)
  • Cool macaron shells completely and then remove the shells from the parchment paper. (TIP: Don't remove the shells while warm, you may risk breaking the shells, or the bottom might get stuck to the baking surface.)

To make the filling:

  • While macarons bake, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt and beat until well combined.
  • Transfer the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a round piping tip. (I used Wilton 10 piping tip.)

To assemble the cake:

  • Place one macaron layer on a serving platter.
  • Pipe dollops of filling all over and then place the next layer over the filling. Continue with the remaining filling and macaron layers. (TIP: Don't be afraid to pipe the filling up to the edges of the macaron, so it shows better.)
  • Place the filled macaron cake in the fridge.

To make spiderweb decoration:

  • Place marshmallows in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 15 seconds, if needed.
  • Let it cool slightly until safe to touch.
  • Take a few spoonful of marshmallow with your hands and stretch it between your hands to create thin strands. Wrap it around your cake. Repeat as needed.
  • Pipe 3 dollops of frosting on top of the cake. And randomly place candy eyes over the marshmallow web.
  • Let the assembled cake mature in the fridge for at least 8 hours, which allows the filling to soften and flavor the macaron layers.
  • To serve, bring the macarons out about 30 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

Note 1: It’s best to use super fine almond flour to ensure smooth tops. Bob's Red Mill Super Fine almond flour is my go-to choice. Weigh the ingredients before sifting.
Note 2: I don’t recommend making your own powder sugar, because commercial powdered sugar has cornstarch in it. And it helps with texture of the cookies.
Note 3: I’ve had success with carton egg whites. You’ll need 1/3 cup of egg whites.
Note 4: It’s important to use fine granulated sugar for meringue, as it dissolves quicker. You can also use caster sugar, aka baker’s sugar.
Note 5: Cream of tartar is optional and can be omitted. However, it helps to stabilize egg whites and create sturdier meringue. It’s just an extra insurance!
Note 6: It's important to use gel food coloring, instead of liquid. Powder food coloring is also good option. However, I have no experience with powder food colorings, so I can't provide accurate amount.
Note 7: Cocoa powder helps to create nice and deep red color. Without it, the filling will be lighter red. For this recipe, you can use both natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
Note 8: Read this post for must-have macaron tools.
GOT MACARON TROUBLE? Check out my macaron troubleshooting guide.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg