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A Halloween themed french macaron cake recipe with ghost meringues and black cocoa frosting. Dairy & Gluten Free

Halloween Macaron Cake

  • Author: Posh Little Designs
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 5" macaron shells + extra 2" shells 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Macarons
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Four chewy 5″ macaron shells, topped with vanilla bean and rich black cocoa frosting. Stacked to form a petite 5″ macaron cake, then decorated with ghost meringues. Spooky, sweet and dairy/gluten-free.



  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 2.5 egg whites
  • dash of cream of tartar for stabilizing
  • dash of gf vanilla
  • Edible black marker for drawing ghost eyes
  • Pink edible paint or Wilton color mist for cheeks
  • Large piping bag fitted with piping tip Wilton 12
  • Parchment paper
  • 106 grams of almond meal
  • 106 grams powdered sugar
  • 41 and 45 grams of egg whites divided
  • 115 grams of granulated sugar
  • 79 grams of water
  • dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
  • black gel or powder food coloring


  • 1 piping bag fitted with Wilton round piping tip 12 for macaron batter.
  • 2 piping bags fitted with coupler and no tip, for piping vanilla and black cocoa frosting
  • Wilton gold color mist or edible gold paint (optional)
  • Silicone mat


  • 1 cups organic shortening or vegan butter (you can also use regular or vegan butter)
  • 1.5 cups confectioners sugar
  • Seeds from half a vanilla bean
  • Dash of gf vanilla.
  • Pinch of sea salt


  • 1 cups organic shortening or vegan butter (you can also use regular or vegan butter)
  • 1.5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp black cocoa powder
  • Dash of gf vanilla.
  • Pinch of sea salt



  1. Start by making the ghost meringues. They can be done a few days in advance of making the macaron cake and stored in an airtight container. They take 2 hours in a low temp oven so make sure you’ve set aside the time to bake them.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  3. Preheat oven to 375. Evenly spread sugar onto a parchment lined baking sheet and heat in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. While sugar is heating in the oven, pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
  5. Beat on low until foamy.
  6. Pour in a dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, then gradually increase speed to medium high.
  7. Whisk the whites on medium high until the peaks begin to stiffen (soft peaks)
  8. Remove sugar from the oven when 5 minutes is up.
  9. With the mixer on medium high, slowly pour warm sugar into the whipped egg whites.
  10. Whisk egg whites, JUST until medium/stiff glossy peaks form.
  11. Be careful not to over-whisk the egg whites.
  12. You’ll know the meringue is ready when it holds its shape.
  13. Decrease oven temp to 200 degrees.
  14. Transfer finished meringue to piping bag.
  15. Gently squeeze a round dollop of meringue onto the parchment paper. While holding even pressure and piping the meringue, pull the tip up slightly then squeeze again to create the second dollop or ghost-like shape. Pipe 1-2 inch kisses onto parchment. To achieve the cute curl on the tops of the meringues, quickly pull the piping bag up from each cookie when done piping each.
  16. Bake in the oven for 2 full hours.
  17. Finished meringues should be crispy on the outside with a soft chewy center and should remove from parchment easily.
  18. Allow to cool and use edible markers to draw on the oval eyes. Dust the cheeks with pink, using a food grade paint brush, then store in an airtight container until ready to decorate the macaron cake!


  • Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly.
  • Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
  • Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 12.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with silpat.
  • Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix almond flour and powder sugar together until evenly combined.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 41 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Fold together until blended and paste like consistency, then add the black gel food coloring and mix well until fully incorporated and grey shell color is achieved. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
  • For the sugar syrup:
  • To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
  • Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 45 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
  • Add a dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking.
  • If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
  • Watch the sugar syrup closely.
  • As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
  • Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
  • THEN increase the mixing speed to medium high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and medium stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled in temperature. (The meringue will be softer than a stiff french meringue and will be slightly curled over on the tip of the whisk.)
  • Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
  • Continue to fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula.
  • **Be careful not to over-mix**
  • You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
  • Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag.
  • Pipe four 5 inch rounds about 4 inches apart on two silpat lined baking sheets.
  • Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds. For this size of macaron, you can either use a 5 inch circle template to pipe the rounds of batter, or the count method. Counting to about 20-25 seconds for each 5″ round.
  • I recommend piping two 5″ macaron shells per baking sheet.
  • *Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
  • *Pop any air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface, using a scribe or even a toothpick.
  • Before placing the macs in the oven, allow them to rest until a proper skin has formed on the full outside of the shell. This takes around 20-30 minutes. For the large shells I recommend 25-30 minutes total, depending on humidity. Test by touching the center of the piped macs with a clean finger. They should be dry to touch with no batter coming off on fingers.
  • Preheat oven to 305 degrees F.
  • Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
  • Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
  • You can open the oven after the first 13 minutes to test the shells. Wiggle gently from side to side to see if they need more time. A fully baked macaron should be sturdy when tested. I find that the large shells take close to 20 minutes to bake through.
  • Once fully baked, remove from oven and allow 20+minutes to cool before attempting to remove the shells from the silpat.
  • Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
  • Repeat same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter. You can fill up a third baking sheet with smaller macaron shells.
  • Once completely cooled, they’re ready to assemble


  • Wash the mixing bowl, then mix shortening/butter, powdered sugar, vanilla bean, and vanilla in a stand mixer until incorporated.
  • Transfer filling to piping bag with coupler.
  • Set aside until ready to decorate.


  • Use the same mixing bowl to mix shortening/butter, powdered sugar, black cocoa powder, and vanilla in a stand mixer until incorporated.
  • Transfer filling to piping bag with coupler.
  • Set aside until ready to decorate.


  • Place the bottom shell on a cake stand, pipe dollops of vanilla and then black cocoa frosting along the outside edge of the 5″ shell, following this pattern until the entire top of the shell is covered.
  • Gently place second macaron shell right on top.
  • Pipe dollops of vanilla and then black cocoa frosting along the outside edge of the 5″ shell, following this pattern until the entire top of the shell is covered.
  • Gently place third macaron shell on top and repeat steps for frosting the third shell.
  • Gently place fourth macaron shell on top.
  • Pipe a few dollops of frosting on the top of the fourth shell, garnish with 2″ macarons, ghost meringues, edible gold and bat decorations. 
  • Cover and chill for at least 2 or up to 24 hours before serving.
  • Carefully slice with a sharp knife when still chilled and serve on small canapé plates.
  • Enjoy!

Keywords: french macarons, baking, dessert, macaron cake, halloween, meringues, ghosts, macaron instructions, halloween desserts, black cocoa frosting