How to make the filling for pumpkin spice macarons with freshly roasted red kuri squash (potimarron pumpkin) and egg yolks. Deliciously fun with the flavours of Autumn or Fall from Paris. Also great for Halloween and Thanksgiving parties.

chestnut pumpkin macarons

Pumpkins in France

I’ve never really understood why the French don’t seem to be that much into regular pumpkin. So, when I bought a potimarron last week at the market in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a lovely French lady in the queue asked me what I did with it.  Well, here’s one of my recipes! In France potimarron is very popular – it even tastes a little of chestnuts, just like its name implied, Japanese Chestnut Pumpkin.

For more, check out the pumpkin (courges) page at the French market
for random facts about pumpkin in France and recipes.

What is Potimarron in English?

What’s Potimarron in English? Apparently it’s Red Kuri, Japanese Squash or Orange Hokkaido.  It’s darker than pumpkin without the ridges and has a more intense, even chestnut-like texture and flavour (as the French name implies: marron, meaning chestnut).  What I love about it is, unlike pumpkin, you can eat the skin.

roasted red kuri or Japanese squash

Roast me in the oven for nearly 30 mins, covered in brown sugar, pumpkin spice and top with foil

Pumpkin Purée

For sweet pumpkin recipes, it’s difficult to find pumpkin purée in the French shops. It’s an ingredient that appears to be popular with most of my American friends in Autumn and so in France we just have to make our own.

When I looked up some pumpkin macaron recipes, there wasn’t even any pumpkin in them – instead simply pumpkin pie spice. So I got to work and developed this recipe using freshly roasted pumpkin with spices. The result is delicious.

My inspiration for these pumpkin spice macarons started with David Lebovitz’s roasted pumpkin, potimarron or kuri squash. He mentioned that the Red Kuri squash slices could also be roasted with brown sugar and cinnamon. So my mad macaron instincts got to work and instead I used pain d’épices or gingerbread spice, the French’s closest quick answer to pumpkin pie spice.

Macaron Filling with Egg Yolks

Not only are they filled with spiced roasted pumpkin, but this macaron filling is made with egg yolks. Two are needed for this recipe, so there’s no waste when using the egg whites to make the macarons.

brightly coloured orange macarons next to Japanese chestnut pumpkin the same colour

What is Pumpkin Spice?

Another ingredient that’s difficult to find in France is pumpkin spice so we need to make our own.
So what’s in it? Mainly ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon), 1/4 teaspoon each of ground ginger and nutmeg plus a pinch of ground cloves. Add a pinch of allspice if you love an extra flavour of Autumn or Fall.

More popular in France is pain d’épices or gingerbread spice which is very similar and easily found ready prepared. The only difference is the addition of either ground cardamom or coriander to replace the allspice.

potimarron or red kuru squash spiced macarons

Best Macaron Fillings: How Long do They Keep?

Normally chocolate ganache macaron fillings are best kept at least 36 hours before eating. As a result, macarons can keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container or cake box in the fridge. They also freeze well.

Why are my macarons soggy?

For fillings made with fruit purées, be careful; it can make macarons become rather soggy.  One tip is to add ground almonds (almond flour) to soak up the juices which I’ve done in this recipe.

So the good news with this recipe is that for impatient macaronivores, you can eat this macaron after only 6 hours in the fridge and finish them the next day.  Any longer and they will turn slightly soggy – but the taste is divine and full of healthy, spicy squash!

I wouldn’t recommend keeping the pumpkin spice macarons any longer than 2 days or even freezing them as you would for all the macaron recipes in my book.  If you prefer to keep them longer like in the books, use equal quantities of purée, melted white chocolate and whipping cream.

Colouring the meringue for making pumpkin macaron shells

How to Make the Macaron Shells

Instructions how to make the macaron shells are given step-by-step in both my books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris.

Just add a good pinch of powdered colouring (I use a pinch of red and yellow) and a teaspoon of pumpkin spice or pain d’épices (French gingerbread spice) to the meringue.

piped out orange pumpkin-coloured macarons

pumpkin spice macaron filling with red kuri squash

Roasted Pumpkin Spice Macaron Filling

pumpkin spiced macarons

This recipe is ideal for serving later in the day.  Just chill in the fridge for 6 hours.  Best eaten within a couple of days. The basic French recipe for macaron shells are well explained, step by step in both my books Mad About Macarons! and Teatime in Paris! (100g egg whites for about 35 macarons/70 shells).

Looking for more Hallowe’en macaron flavours?
See my Top Ten Halloween macaron ideas.

pumpkin spiced macarons

Pumpkin Spice Macarons Filling

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course : Dessert, teatime, Party Food
Cuisine : French
Keyword : pumpkin macaron filling
Servings : 35 macarons


How to make the filling for pumpkin spice macarons with freshly roasted red kuri squash (potimarron) and egg yolks, with flavours of French Autumn or Fall


For Roasting the Chestnut Pumpkin (Potimarron)

  • 1/2 red kuri squash or chestnut pumpkin (potimarron)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp pumpkin spice

Pumpkin Spice Macaron Filling

  • 2 g (@2g) gelatine sheet
  • 2 egg yolks organic
  • 50 g (2oz) brown sugar
  • 50 g (2oz) whipping cream (30% fat)
  • 100 g (4oz) roasted red kuri/chestnut pumpkin (about half a small pumpkin)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice or pain d'épices*
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 100 g (4oz) mascarpone chilled

Pumpkin Spice Macarons (shells)

  • 120 g (4½oz) ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 180 g (6oz) icing/confectioner's sugar
  • 100 g (3½oz) egg whites (aged for 2-3 days)
  • 65 g (2½oz) caster sugar (superfine)
  • pinch orange (red/yellow) powdered food colouring
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (or pain d'épices)


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.  
    Cut the kuri squash in 2 and, using only half of it, scoop out the seeds.  Cut into slices and place on a non-stick baking sheet, sprinkling with the brown sugar and spice.  Cover with aluminium foil and roast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the slices.  When ready, set aside to cool then purée using a mixer or by hand with a masher.  Weigh out 100g of purée.
  • For the cream, soak the gelatine in cold water for about 15 minutes.  In a bowl, hand-whisk the yolks and sugar until creamy.  Heat the cream in a saucepan until nearly boiling, then whisk into the yolk mixture then transfer back to the pan over a medium heat, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens (rather like a pastry cream).
  • Take off the heat, add the gelatine (squeeze of excess water) to the warm cream, whisking until melted then add the purée, ground almonds and spice.  Set aside to cool then chill for about an hour.
  • Hand-whisk in the mascarpone then transfer the cream to a piping bag with a 1cm plain tip.  Pipe onto half of the shells then assemble with the remaining macaron shell tops and chill in the fridge.


Pumpkin Spice: mainly cinnamon with ginger, nutmeg, cloves plus a little allspice. In France it's more popular to use gingerbread spice (pain d'épices) which is similar: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves with either cardamom or coriander.
Serving: unlike the classic macaron recipes in my books, this recipe is ideal for serving later in the day.  Just chill in the fridge for 6 hours.  Best eaten within a couple of days. 
To make the macaron shells, follow the basic French step-by-step recipe in both my books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris (100g egg whites for about 35  macarons or 70 shells).

This recipe was first published 28 October 2014 but has now been updated with more explanatory text, tips and advice.

From the market

From the kitchen

14 responses to “Pumpkin Spice Macarons”

  1. The color of these macarons are so stunning~~ Thank you for sharing the recipe!!

  2. Lovely post Jill I like the idea of a pumpkin filling – I make my own pumpkin spice mix so may well have to give these a try
    Do you mind if I share them on my pumpkin spice biscuit post ?

  3. Gawd that looks good!
    Maybe I should be painting potirons?
    Love all those oranges.

    • Sounds good, Carol. Love what you do with any subject – and so with these colours will be so cosy!

  4. Everyone should try the individual Potimarron or red kuri squash cooked in the oven. I loved them and ate the skin as well. Thank you for introducing them to me. Now I need to find them locally.

    • Let’s hope you can find them, though, Thomasina. They’re everywhere in Paris but do you see them?

  5. Chere Jill,

    J’adore potiron! En particulier dans la bière, le boudin et rôti au beurre, sucre et épices!

    Thanks so much for this recipe. Ironically on the Food Network Giada de Laurentis as well as the Network had a pumpkin macaron recipe; but they all had pumpkin spice and orange food color rather than real pumpkin. (As a matter of fact, Giada’s recipe called for grinding your own almonds rather than getting pumpkin flour.) So I wondered if it could be done and you just answered my curiosity.

    I like the fact that they won’t keep long so you will have to eat them quickly! J That’s a good enough excuse for me!

    I can’t wait for your new book. So when you are finished with your bricolage, let us know!

    • Interesting, Tonessa. It’s a first for me to eat a macaron after 6 hours. But when I tasted this one, I have to admit it was exciting. The flavours in there just spell Autumn/Fall. Need to further tweak this to last longer, though, but the family gobbled it up quick enough!

  6. Oh my. I love the look of these ingredients – I think, I believe I can taste them together from my computer…great photos Jill!

    • Wish I could share them with you, Jean-Pierre. Great flavours – give them a go!

  7. I bought my first red kuri squash yesterday for one of Dorie Greenspan’s soups. I think I’d rather have your gorgeous macarons! So glad you have a little reprieve in the cookbook process! xo

    • What is it with this red kuri squash all of a sudden? I LOVE this – much more than pumpkin, have to say. Glad to see more recipes with it. Can’t get enough, Liz!

  8. Oooh this looks good Jill! I just use cream cheese filling in my pumpkin spice macarons (coloured and flavoured with a little pumpkin spice) but this looks much more interesting!

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