Cardamom Macarons with Vanilla and Orange Buttercream
Orange Buttercream Cardamom Macarons
Macarons can be intimidating to even the most experienced baker, but we promise you success with this easy-to-follow recipe–loaded with helpful tips!
Cardamom scented macaron shells are filled with a sweet, bright buttercream that’s infused with orange zest and vanilla. The hardest part will be letting these beauties sit overnight, which is key for the most perfect flavor and texture!
Cardamom Macarons with Tangy Vanilla Buttercream
- 20 cardamom pods
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, divided
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Grated zest from 1 large orange
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- Make the macaron shells: Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods by crushing the pods with a rolling pin or large chef’s knife. Discard the pods.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and fit a large pastry bag with a 1” plain tip.
- Place the egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt in the bowl of a standing mixer and, using the whisk attachment, beat on medium-low speed until frothy and no longer translucent. Raise the speed to medium and add the granulated sugar very gradually. Once all the sugar has been added, raise the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form – the tip of the meringue should not move a bit when you remove the whisk and turn it upside down.
- While the meringue is beating, place 1 1/2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar, the almond flour, the reserved cardamom seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very fine, then pour through a sieve into a medium bowl.
- Scoop one-third of the meringue into the flour mixture and use a spatula to fold it in. Once it’s completely incorporated, repeat 2 more times with the remaining meringue. Continue to fold the mixture with the spatula until you can lift the spatula and the mixture pours slowly off – like ribbons of lava. Immediately transfer to your prepared pastry bag and pipe small circles, spaced about an inch apart, onto your baking sheets. Rap the sheets a few times on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 300°F. clean and dry your mixer bowl and piping tip. Place the tip in a clean pastry bag.
- Bake the shells for 15 minutes; then, remove from the oven to cool completely on the pans.
- While the shells are cooling, prepare the buttercream: Place the butter, remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt in your mixer bowl. Scrape the seeds from the halved vanilla bean and add them to the bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat on low until the confectioner’s sugar is completely incorporated. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, add the milk, and beat again. Transfer to your prepared pastry bag.
- When the shells are cooled turn half upside down and pipe a dollop of buttercream on each half, leaving space around the edges. Top with the remaining shells, pressing down lightly until the buttercream reaches the edges. For the best texture, store the filled macarons in an airtight container overnight in the fridge.