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orange macarons

Cara Cara Macarons

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  • Author: Elizabeth Buuck
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes + rest time
  • Yield: 40-50 macarons 1x


Perfectly crisp on the outside chewy on the inside macaron shells filled with cara cara orange curd and orange swiss meringue buttercream.



For the Macaron Shells

  • 212 g Powdered Sugar
  • 212 g Almond Flour
  • 82 g and 90 g Egg Whites, separated
  • 235 g Granulated Sugar, plus a pinch
  • 158 g Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Orange Food Coloring

For the Cara Cara Orange Curd

  • 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
  • 1 TBSP Cara Cara Orange Zest
  • 1/3 C Cara Cara Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 Lg Egg Yolks
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 5 TBSP Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed

For the Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 3 Lg Egg Whites
  • 1 C Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 C (1 1/2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, cubed at room temperature
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
  • Pinch of Salt


For the Macaron Shells

  • Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together 3 times. This will help achieve smooth macaron tops. Then, in a large bowl, fold together the powdered sugar/almond flour mixture with the 82 g of egg whites. It will be a very thick paste. Set aside
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together the water and granulated sugar. Heat over medium high heat, monitoring the temperature with a candy thermometer.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment add the remaining 90 g of egg whites and a pinch of sugar.
  • When the water/sugar mixture reaches 200 degrees, start whipping the egg whites in the mixer on medium high speed until you reach soft peaks.
  • When the water/sugar mixture reaches 248 degrees, remove from the heat and slowly pour down the side of the mixer with the mixer running on low speed.
  • Once all of the sugar syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high and whip until stiff peaks – about 7 minutes.
  • Fold the egg white meringue into the almond flour mixture 1/3 at a time. When it’s all incorporated, add a bit of orange food coloring, then continue to fold together until the mixture runs off of your spatula in a smooth ribbon without breaking.
  • Pour the macaron batter into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, then pipe onto cookie sheet with macaron baking mat. You can also use parchment, but it will be harder to get the macarons all the same size.
  • Rap the baking sheet on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, and pop any stubborn ones with a toothpick. Let them rest on the counter for 30-40 minutes, until the top has formed a skin and you can lightly touch them without it sticking to your finger.
  • Preheat the oven to 295 and bake for 18 minutes. The macarons should be totally set, and not wiggly when you press on them. Let them cool completely.

For the Cara Cara Orange Curd

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, orange zest, and egg yolks. Pour in the orange juice and salt and whisk to combine. Place the pan over medium heat and add the butter.
  • Cook, while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon- about 6-7 minutes. Don’t let it boil.
  • Cool completely in the fridge until ready to use. When covering it, press the plastic directly onto the surface of the curd so that it doesn’t form a skin.

For the Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • In your stand mixer bowl, add the sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl over a saucepan filled with a couple inches of water. Don’t let the bottom of the mixing bowl touch the water.
  • Turn heat to medium high, and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Test the mixture in between two fingers. If it feels grainy at all, it isn’t ready. Once completely smooth, remove from heat.
  • Using the whisk attachment, whisk the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and the bowl isn’t warm to the touch. Add the orange zest and juice.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the softened butter, 1 TBSP at a time until it’s all combined.
  • Continue to mix until the buttercream is thick and smooth. If it starts to look curdled, don’t panic, just keep mixing until it comes together.

To assemble

  • Pipe the buttercream on one macaron shell in a circle.
  • Spoon some orange curd into the middle.
  • Top with another macaron shell. 
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat.