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Hot Cross Bun Macarons with Cream Cheese


My humble apologies if you’re not a macaron fan. This is after all, my third mac post in a row, but if you are a fan…stick out your hand and grab a seat on the macaron party bus! Free shots of agua con gas for everyone, woohoo!

Actually there’s no party or bus, but I might have some fizzy water in the back of the fridge somewhere. After so many fails I feel pretty good notching up three macaron recipes in a trot, you see me and the meringue got off to a bad start, but life is too short for broken relationships so we decided to give it another go and we seem to be doing just fine.

I was planning on making some fine hot cross buns for this weeks Easter festivities. I remember eating them back home slathered in butter, you’d see them for sale everywhere but here in California you have to sniff them out a little more. They’re here but not guaranteed in every store. Rather than drive around and add to the demise of the planet I’ll just make my own. Problem solved. No..problem just beginning. As I was checking off the ingredient list for the buns I noticed I had no yeast.

French macarons with a hot cross bun spice flavor to them
Sigh… soft cuss word (I said soft) and slamming of the cupboard door only helped me come up with a hair-brained scheme of making hot cross bun macarons! How hard could it be? Well it wasn’t that easy, the flavor being the easiest and getting a close color being the hardest. I tainted the meringue with yellow, then a spot of red. I’m trying for a burnt orange here, stay with me and then I added a spot of black which almost turned the whole meringue blue. Another spot of yellow and some red gave me a lovely pistachio hue?? By now I’m about to call it a day (or fail) but I decided to throw in the flour mixture and carry on. Praise the great macaron god because it started to turn brown, I think it was from the mixed spices. I’m wondering if any color was ever needed. I filled them with a cream cheese/ground spice frosting.

Get This…hot cross bun macarons taste exactly like hot cross buns. Winner winner hot cross bun dinner!

Hot Cross Bun Macarons
Macaron Batter
  1. 3/4 cup of almond meal flour (I've been using Bob's Red Mill - so far so good)
  2. 1 cup powdered confectioners sugar
  3. 2 egg whites, at room temp
  4. 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  5. Pinch of cream of tartar
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  8. Pinch of ground nutmeg
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting, adapted from Joy The Baker
  1. 8 oz cream cheese at room temp
  2. 1 stick butter at room temp
  3. 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 tsp molasses
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  7. 2 tsp vanilla
  8. 1 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  10. Pinch of ground nutmeg
  11. 1-2 drops of orange oil
  12. Beat cream cheese until soft. Add the butter and beat until blended. Scrape down and add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for about 30 seconds.
  13. With mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, spices, vanilla and orange oil and mix. Scrape down again and mix until well blended.
  14. I like to keep it in the fridge for an hour or overnight before piping. It will stay fresh for up to 7 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Macaron Batter
  1. Sift the confectioners sugar and the almond flour into a bowl along with the cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk the whites on medium until they get foamy. Add the cream of tartar and mix a little more.
  2. Add the sugar gradually - when all added, crank up the mixer to high and whisk until you get stiff peaks. If you want to color your macarons, this is where you would add a couple of drops.
  3. Take your bowl from the mixer and sift the flour/sugar mixture again into the egg whites. Start folding the mixture with a large flat spatula, gently turning about 50 times.
  4. Transfer the mix to a piping bag with a half-inch plain tip and start piping onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I pipe to about the size of a quarter and then drag the tip to the edge quickly to avoid leaving a peak on the macaron.
  5. Once they are all piped, leave them sitting at room temp for at least 45 minutes until you see them become dull and are dry to touch on top (gently). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, turning once after 5 minutes. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes when they come out of the oven, and then gently lift the whole paper sheet from the tray to your counter.
  6. Have your filling ready and fill once they are cool.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat cream cheese until soft. Add the butter and beat until blended. Scrape down and add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for about 30 seconds.
  2. With mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, spices, vanilla and orange oil and mix. Scrape down again and mix until well blended.
  3. I like to keep it in the fridge for an hour or overnight before piping. It will stay fresh for up to 7 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Foodness Gracious


  • You know I’m with you on the macaron party bus! I have one coming up soon. I look forward to getting in the kitchen, facing the meringue head on! Yours are beautiful and inspiring! What a great idea. Have a blessed Easter and keep those cookie posts coming!

    April 06, 2012
  • Hi Gerry! I have to say I am planning to bake the hot cross buns this weekend and macarons are still too intimidating to me. These are very original. I would probably eat them like oreos: frosting first :) Have a great weekend!

    April 06, 2012
  • I love macarons. Those are so perfect for Easter. yum!

    April 06, 2012
  • Wow, dude. Your macarons are awesome! You are really good at those. And your photos are wonderful too.

    April 06, 2012
  • Great idea! It’s incredibly innovative! And that brown color is absolutely perfect. Well done!

    April 06, 2012
  • Brilliant! As one of the nuns in college always said, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” and these macarons prove that. I have not had such success with macarons; yours are gorgeous!

    April 07, 2012
  • you are becoming quite the macaron expert! these look amazing…and i am sure they taste much better than hot cross buns (which i never loved anyway). by the way..i never stopped in to say congratulations on the chocolate competition win–well done! Happy Easter…hope to meet you at one of these swaps we do.

    April 07, 2012
    • Thanks Christy, I am trying to get to a swap, hopefully soon. They sound like major fun!!
      Take care.

      April 07, 2012
    • this was amazing !! delicious !!

      April 10, 2012
  • Wow, this is a great idea and they are really beautiful!

    April 07, 2012
  • Zoe

    You are clever making these hot cross macaron! Love love love this fantastic idea!

    April 07, 2012
  • I’m not a fan of macaroons (probably I’m the only one who’s not crazy over them) but I love looking at them though. The colors and the perfect shape always caught my eye. Nice looking ones you have here, Gerry. Happy Easter!

    April 07, 2012
  • You are a genius! I have to repeat: you are a GENIUS! Those look wonderful.

    April 07, 2012
  • You must have done something to please that great macaroon god in a past life! These are adorable and so creative, Happy Easter.

    April 07, 2012
  • Happy Easter!! The macs look and sound perfect!

    April 08, 2012
  • Anonymous

    nice. were the macaron shells hollow or full inside? i seem to get hollow shells only, i dont get why…

    April 08, 2012
    • They were more full inside than hollow. I think hollow might come from not leaving them long enough to dry before baking and try giving the sheet pan a good rap on the counter top after you’ve piped them.

      April 09, 2012
  • These are fantastic! I have yet to tackle making macaroons they scare me, but these have given me just the inspiration I needed to give them a try :)

    April 08, 2012
  • Absolutely inspired. I LOVE the idea of these!!

    April 08, 2012
  • I was actually talking about macarons yesterday because I have way too many egg whites in the freezer. I absolutely adore this hot cross bun version! Buzzed and bookmarked :)

    April 08, 2012
  • April 08, 2012
  • Two words that belong together. Clever and beautiful. But I (obviously) think you know that.

    April 08, 2012
  • What a lovely alternative for an Easter treat. I’ve never made macaroons but reckon I should one day very soon. Nice to discover your blog.

    April 09, 2012
  • What a fun idea… Love the idea of hot cross macs! :) Thanks for sharing this!

    P.S. – keep bringing the mac posts! Love them! :d

    April 09, 2012
  • I want to jump right on that macaron party bus and make these a-m-a-z-i-n-g macs. I haven’t made macarons in too long and can’t wait to try your very creative flavor combo. Love this post!

    April 09, 2012
  • I’ve never had a hot cross bun, but these macarons make me want to try one. The photos are gorgeous…your crosses look perfect! Keep posting all these great looking macarons and I might actually take the macaron plunge.

    April 10, 2012
  • It’s been FOREVER since I’ve made macarons. You’re killing me with all your cool combinations, which means that I need to get started on some of my own baking, stat.

    April 10, 2012
  • LOVE it, Gerry! Can just imagine their taste. Hm. Perfection! Looks like you’ve got the macaron bug, eh? Fabulous – you’re becoming a real macaronivore…

    April 10, 2012
  • I’m always happy to have a mac post C;

    April 10, 2012
  • I had to smile as soon as I saw these – very creative Gerry and I love that you make the effort to make these TASTE like hot cross buns rather than just crossing them ;) I always snag a couple traditional hot crossed buns when I visit my mom at Easter, but these would certainly be a passable alternative… Very lovely as always…

    April 10, 2012
  • very very delicious and lovely presentation.I liked your blog very much.Happy to follow you dear.Do visit my blog in your free time.

    April 10, 2012
  • Wow, quite amazing ……… and after seeing all your beautiful macarons, you’ve challenged me to give them a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

    April 11, 2012
  • Ingenious, Gerry! You know I love your taste in food but this is really something :)

    April 12, 2012
  • These are gorgeous. I love the twist on the usual buns and I’m impressed with that color. I love that they turned out perfectly after all the different coloring attempts!

    April 12, 2012
  • I had this great idea to make italian easter bread… I DID have yeast…only to find that it had expired AFTER I stirred, kneaded, formed, blah blah blaaaaah. ANNOYED. NOT soft cuss words were said, out loud.
    Hot cross bun macs are a GREAT idea!!!! And they’re so cute with the little cross on the top. Because I know ‘cute’ it totally what you’re going for.

    April 13, 2012
    • Julia, cute is toootally what I was trying to order!! Sucks about your bread. Cussing out loud, you? ;)

      April 13, 2012
  • I love Macarons and these are positively the most clever and creative ones I’ve seen. They look like sheer perfection too. Off to check out some of your other Mac creations.


    April 17, 2012
  • these are soooo cute, I haven’t taken the plunge yet but I am vicariously enjoying the ride :)

    April 20, 2012
  • What a super fantastic idea! These look gorgeous. Your macarons are just perfect.

    April 20, 2012
  • Whoa just saw these. The cookies themselves sound perfect & the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting — catapults them to new levels!

    April 17, 2013

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