6-Layer Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake

Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

Well, all I can say is thank-the-cake-fairies that Neapolitan will never be oh-so-vanilla. It’s nearly impossible to get tired of making, serving, seeing, or eating anything with the beloved trio of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. But since it’s such a classic, and many bakers love to create Neapolitan-themed treats, it never hurts to put a new spin on things. I’ve had some fun with this idea before with the Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake, which was a combination of chocolate butter cake with a trio of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream flavours. I’ve also made it with a more classic flavoured cake layers variation with the Neapolitan 5-Layer Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting, which is perfectly delightful, but this time I wanted to kick it up a notch and make it a bit more unique and decadent. And since that’s what I love to do, I did!

Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

This time I opted to split the layers into 6 (one of the easiest ways to add instant wow-factor to a cake), fill them with dark chocolate ganache, strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream, vanilla Swiss buttercream, and whole neapolitan macarons. I frosted the entire cake with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, and then added a pink glaze for drama and topped with more of the macarons and a few small pink sugar beads. As with this lemony blueberry cake I made awhile back, the macarons add the most amazing texture inside the cake, as well as a unique visual when the cake is sliced. The distinct macaron crunch & chew factor is the perfect match for the rich and decadent ganache, satiny buttercream frosting, and of course the deep, dark, and moist chocolate cake.

Neapolitan Macaron via Sweetapolita

Okay, so let’s talk macarons. I know if you’ve had any type of macaron failure, like I had over the years, you might be somewhat traumatized and avoid them at all costs. Or, maybe you’ve never tried them but the baking world has freaked you out with all of this talk about how hard they are to make. Either way, I’m here to tell you that not only are they totally doable, but they are so quick to make as well. And while these facts are, well, facts, there is a trick to it. After trying many, many macaron recipes, I’ve discovered what works each and every time.

I’ve included the recipe below, but I thought it might be easier if I followed this post with one devoted to macarons. I will go ahead and make a little video as well, just to make it a little more visual. If you are comfortable with making macarons, and you’ve never made a neapolitan version, I know you will adore these! Dark chocolate macaron shell (which tastes just like a chewy brownie with a hint of almond) paired with strawberry macaron shell filled with vanilla buttercream. Simple and splendid.

Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

For such a quick and easy step, I love how much drama the pink glaze adds. Of course you could use this technique for any cake and have fun with other color palettes. A simple whisk of confectioners’ sugar and milk and you’ve got yourself a sweet and versatile white glaze, or of course you could have fun with other colors, play with adding extract or flavor oil, and use this technique for any cake (just remember to chill the cake first, so that the frosting is firm to the touch).

Weneapolitan.

And while this cake does have several components, most of them can be made ahead (see Sweetapolita’s Notes), making this recipe much less daunting. I promise.

In other news, I’m so thrilled about the upcoming launch of my new & improved site coming early September! While the new design makes me giddy, one of the things I’m most excited about is the visual recipe index–finally! So all of my recipes are grouped with images, and not just the recipe names, and the index categories are easy to navigate and super functional. There are many other updates and changes in the new design, and I can’t wait to show you. My graphic designer, Melissa, did such an amazing job, and I just know you will adore what we came up with. I can’t stop looking at it. Counting the days until the launch! ♥

And if you missed my update in my last post, Birthday Party Ice Cream Cake, my first book, The Sweetapolita Bakebook, hit shelves April 7th, 2015, but it is already on pre-order on Amazon, Indigo, and many other online retailers. Yay! (Just thinking that this would be a good time for me to grasp that this whole book thing is actually happening. Oh my!) The book’s cover will soon be added to the listing, and I can’t wait to share it here on the blog when it’s ready to go.

So here’s the recipe for this towering delight:

6-Layer Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake

Ingredients

    For the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 8 large fresh egg whites
  • 2 cups (400 g) superfine granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups (510 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 ounces (300 g) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry puree OR preserves
  • Few drops pink gel colour
  • For the Strawberry Macarons:
  • 135 g almond flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 125 g confectioners' sugar
  • 105 g egg whites, room temperature
  • 105 g superfine OR instant dissolving sugar (see Notes)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon strawberry flavor oil (I use Lorann)
  • Few drops AmeriColor Soft Pink gel paste
  • For the Chocolate Macarons:
  • 1 recipe Strawberry Macarons (above) but omit the flavor oil and pink food color, and add 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • For the Ganache:
  • 10 ounces (300 g) best-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (440 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1-3/4 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups (360 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup (125 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Drop AmeriColor Soft Pink gel paste

Instructions

    Make the Buttercream:
  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 125°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  2. Place bowl back on mixer and fit with whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 15 minutes, or longer). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
  3. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined. Keep in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, refrigerated for up to 7 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. !Make the Strawberry Macarons:
  4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Fit a large pastry bag with a large plain round tip, such as #1A.
  5. Into a medium bowl, use a fine mesh sieve to sift the almond flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt, twice. It might take a little effort to push through the larger bits of almond flour, for which you can use a wooden spoon. Discard any bits that won't fit through the sieve.
  6. Wipe a stainless steel bowl and whisk attachment with lemon juice to eliminate any grease (or beaters and bowl if you are using a hand mixer). Whisk the egg whites on low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and add the superfine sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes Add a drop or two of pink color and the flavor oil to the meringue and beat until combined, about 20 seconds.
  7. Add one-third of the dry mixture to the meringue and fold in with a rubber spatula, but working deflate the meringue at the same time. It should take about 15 stirs/folds (strokes) before the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Add the remaining dry mixture to the bowl and fold/stir/deflate in the same manner until the batter "flows like magma," about 25 more strokes.
  8. Fill the pastry bag two-thirds full with the mixture and pipe 1-inch circles about 2-inches apart on each tray. Lift and drop the trays firmly on the counter a few times to rid of air bubbles.
  9. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Let the piped macarons sit while the oven preheats. Bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool on trays. When completely cool, carefully peel the macarons off of the paper/silicone mat. If you find they are sticking even slightly, use a thin metal spatula to pry them off.
  10. Make the Chocolate Macarons:
  11. Repeat the steps for the Strawberry Macarons, but omit the strawberry flavor oil and pink color, and sift 3 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder along with the dry ingredients.
  12. Assemble the Neapolitan Macarons:
  13. Pair one of each strawberry and chocolate macaron with the closest in size and pipe a dollop of the vanilla buttercream on the flat side of each chocolate macaron. Sandwich each one with the strawberry macaron. Reserve the "best" macarons that are the most uniform for the top (8-10). For best results, let macarons sit in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a day. Bring macarons to room temperature when ready to use/eat.
  14. Make the Ganache:
  15. Place the chocolate in a medium saucepan or bowl with tall sides. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream, corn syrup, and salt just until the edges start to bubble (watch carefully, as it's easy to scold the cream). Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute and then use an immersion blender to combine the mixture until glossy and smooth. Add the butter and vanilla and blend until well incorporated. Let sit at room temperature until spreadable, about 2 hours. Refrigerate for up until 5 days. Bring to room temperature on counter, or microwave in 10-second increments until desired consistency is reached.
  16. Make the Cake:
  17. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease three 7-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment.
  18. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 8 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  19. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
  20. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or finish by hand gently.
  21. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan (about 450 grams per pan, excluding the pans--you will want to tare the scale each time.) This ensures even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs, about 25 minutes.
  22. Let pans cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
  23. Assemble the 6-Layer Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake
  24. Spread a small dollop of buttercream onto an 7-inch round cake board. Cut your 3 cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 thin layers.
  25. Transfer about 2 cups of buttercream to a medium bowl and stir in the strawberry preserves and a drop or two of pink gel paste color.
  26. Place your first layer face-up on the board (or plate) and spread one-fifth of the ganache using a small offset spatula, leaving about 1/2" around the edge. With a clean offset spatula, spread about one half of the strawberry buttercream on top. Place another cake layer to top, face-up, and spread another fifth of the ganache on top, followed by a layer of macarons. Press the macarons gently into the ganache.
  27. Place another layer on top and spread more ganache, followed by about 1 cup of the vanilla buttercream. Place the next layer on top and spread more ganache, followed by another layer of macarons, gently pushing them into place.
  28. Place the next layer on top and spread the remaining ganache followed by the strawberry buttercream. Place the final layer on top, face-down. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and use your hands to wiggle and straighten the cake into place, if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  29. In a medium microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, melt the 10 ounces of dark chocolate in small increments, about 90 seconds total. Once the melted chocolate cools slightly add it to the remaining buttercream and beat to combine.
  30. Remove the cake from the fridge and place on cake turntable, if using. Frost the entire outside of cake with a thin layer of the chocolate buttercream to seal in crumbs. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Repeat with another layer of frosting, this time working to get the frosting as smooth as possible. Chill again until firm, about another 30-60 minutes.
  31. Make the Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk. Add the color until desired shade of pink is achieved.
  32. Use a small offset spatula to spread the glaze over the top of the cake, pushing it slightly over the edges to allow the glaze to drip down the sides. Top the cake with 8-10 neapolitan macarons, pushing them gently into the glaze to secure. Add sugar pearls or other decorations of choice, if desired.
  33. You did it! Hooray! Serve cake at room temperature, but keep refrigerated if not serving the day it's made. Cake will keep for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature several hours before serving.
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Sweetapolita‘s Notes: 

  • When making a French meringue, as we do with the macarons (this is a meringue made without heating the sugar and/or egg whites prior to mixing), I splurge on instant dissolving sugar (aka fruit and berry sugar). This is basically granulated sugar that is even more fine than superfine sugar, and it dissolves much quicker than superfine sugar. You can make your own superfine and dissolving sugar by pulsing regular granulated sugar in the food processor for about a minute for superfine, and about 90 seconds for the fineness of dissolving sugar. I have to admit that for dissolving sugar I tend to buy it prepackaged, just to ensure it’s fine enough. For superfine sugar in everyday baking, I use the food processor.
  • For the chocolate cake, I used my favourite cocoa powder, Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Brute. It’s fabulously dark and lends an intense chocolate flavor to cake and tons of other desserts.
  • For the ganache and chocolate buttercream, I used Callebaut Semisweet Chocolate Callets.
  • For the macarons, I always use Bob’s Red Mill Flour Almond Meal–since we use such a small amount for each batch of macarons, the splurge is worth it, as this is the only almond flour I’ve had great success with.
  • True, having three 7-inch round cake pans on hand might be a bit of a stretch, but if you think you will be baking a lot of layer cakes (especially those from this blog), I do recommend investing in them (I love Fat Daddio’s brand, but any good quality pan would work). They are just the right size to bake up three layers that are easily cut horizontally into 2. If you are eager to make this cake and don’t have access to those pans, you can bake in three 8-inch round pans, but will likely find the layers a bit too thin to cut into two, so you could stick with a 3-layer cake.
  • To make this cake recipe a lot less daunting, I recommend making a few of the components ahead of time. Make the Swiss buttercream up to 5 days ahead, or up to 2 months ahead if you freeze; make the ganache up to 5 days ahead; and make the macarons up to 2 days ahead.
  • Just a reminder that I will be back soon with a macaron-devoted post!

Good luck & enjoy!

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Lemon-Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake

Lemon Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

Where to begin! I have so much to say right now–I really do. So here’s what happened: I’ve recently been crazy for anything with the combination teal/turquoise and yellow, and since I was planning a visit to see my sister-in-law earlier this week, I thought it would be the perfect time to make her some colourful treats, and not just any treat, but something special. I knew in my heart it was a French macaron kind of week, because they are not only a complete delight to make and share, but I can’t think of a sweet that says colour the way they do. So at first, this post was going to be all about the glory of macarons, sans cake, but then I decided to keep going with the colour and flavour combination, and tie them into a small cake (inside and out).

If you’re not familiar with macarons, they are small (about 1 1/2-inch diameter) and elegant sandwich cookies (particularly celebrated in Paris, but becoming increasingly popular in North America) made from almond flour, egg whites, granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar (for the shells) that bake up with a signature “ruffle” or “foot” around the base and slight gloss to the shell. They’re typically filled with anything from buttercream to ganache, and the flavour and colour combinations are pretty much endless, as you can also flavour the shells. What makes beloved macarons so incredibly special, in my opinion, is the way each bite is crispy, chewy and creamy all at once. (And possibly even more, depending on what you fill it with.) Each one is a little parade of texture and taste.

At first glance, aside from the hint of filling peeking through the sides, they may appear sort of dry or innocent, but they literally burst with flavour and melt in your mouth, making them worth every bit of effort. The thing is, the shells are not extremely time-consuming or difficult to make, but the effort required to take special care in the mixing and baking is what will typically result in a successful batch. That being said, they say even some of the most seasoned bakers and macaron makers experience occasional (and sometimes inexplicable) batch failure from time to time. So what does a “failed” macaron shell look like? Well, it might not develop the “foot,” the shell might be cracked, dull, flat, or hollow, and although those are the most common issues, I’m certain that there are more. With so much that can go wrong, it’s hard to imagine it going right, but with the a reliable recipe and instructions, and a bit of extra care and attention, it does, and macaron making is very rewarding.

So which macaron recipe did I follow to make these? Well, since I have not always had perfect luck or success with my previous few macaron attempts, I decided to give my friend Heather’s a try, from her new book SprinkleBakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist. I’ve been reading this incredibly inspiring book every day since receiving it, and I can’t seem to put it away–I truly want to make every single one her of recipes and designs (think glittery Snow Apples, artistic Free-Form Lollipops, innovative Pink Peppercorn Macarons, and more–so much more!). Since I adore Heather and all that she creates, I simply knew in my heart that her macaron recipe and technique would work well.

Lemon Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

I went ahead and made a few batches of the classic macarons: 1 teal, 1 turquoise and 1 egg yellow, and I filled them all with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and little dollop of Lemon Curd in the middle (a little zingy gem in the middle). When I decided to create a macaron cake, my first thought was how colourful, textural and tasty it might be to add some actual macarons in the filling layer of the cake (it’s also a fabulous way to use up the shells that aren’t as perfect as the others), and it was! It adds a lovely and unexpected crunch with a little lemony surprise as they burst open upon each bite. I had an epiphany, after the fact, that it would have been even better had I created a blueberry cheesecake-type filling for the blue macarons, and added some of each to the cake, but, that’s just me. (I often have these ideas after I finish the cakes.)

Lemon Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

So I made a lemon-blueberry layer cake, filled it with the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream with some swirls of Lemon Curd, then nestled a layer of macarons (I ended up just using the shells, but if you’re macarons aren’t too tall, you can try adding the sandwiched macarons inside) into the filling. I tinted the buttercream teal and went ahead and frosted it as I normally do. I thought it would only make sense to finish the cake with some actual macarons, and remembered how fabulous it looked when Steph perched macarons on this cake and this cakecolour me inspired!

Lemon Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake via Sweetapolita

I piped some small swirls where each macaron was to sit, placed them atop the cake, and finished it all off with some small yellow sugar decorations I found at a little shop several months ago–I knew they’d make perfect sense one day, and since they were imported from France they seemed particularly special and perfectly apropos. I love when that happens!

So here we go with the recipes and instructions, and I promise you that it’s worth it.

Lemon Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake          {click to print}

Yield: Two 6-inch round, 2-layer cakes

1 batch Lemon-Blueberry Cake split among four 6″ round cake pans (you can split the recipe in 1/2 for one 6″ round 2-layer cake)

1 batch Lemon Curd (this will fill cake and Macarons)

Double-batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream (this will frost cake and fill Macarons)

2 batches French Macarons, 1 tinted Teal and 1 tinted Egg Yellow and filled with a small dollop of Lemon Curd inside a teaspoon of the buttercream (piping the buttercream around the inner perimeter of the macaron shell works best)

*Note: This combination of cake components works well, because you can use the egg whites for the Swiss Buttercream and the yolks for the Lemon Curd.

French Macaron Recipe

shared with permission from the book, SprinkleBakes: Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist, by Heather Baird

Macarons

YIELD: 12 sandwich cookies or 24 individual shells

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

2 egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of cream of tartar

1/4 cup superfine sugar

Gel food coloring (optional)

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/4-inch plain tip (or use a zip-top plastic bag without a tip and snip the corner after filling).

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined.

3. Using a hand-mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Stop the mixer and add the cream of tartar. Start the mixer again and continue beating at medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high, and beat until stiff peaks form. The finished meringue should have a smooth, shiny appearance.

4. Sift the almond flour mixture over the egg whites and fold together with a rubber spatula until just mixed. At this point you may add a drop or two of food coloring to tint the batter. Continue to fold the mixture until it has loosened considerably and falls in a ribbon from the spatula.

5. Transfer the batter to the pastry bag.

6. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds approximately 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. As you pipe, drag the pastry tip to the side of the rounds to avoid forming peaks. The piped rounds will spread slightly.

7. Tap the bottom of each sheet on the work surface to release trapped air bubbles.

8. Let stand at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to dry. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

9. Just before putting the pans in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the macaron are puffed and have formed the frill, or foot, around the bottom edge of the cookie. The feet may may deflate slightly after the pan is removed from the oven–this is normal and should be expected.

10. Let the macaron shells cool completely on the baking sheets. Carefully peel them away from the parchment paper.

11. Select two same-size macaron shells to sandwich together with 1 teaspoon filling.

Tips

  • If you don’t have time to let your egg whites come to room temperature, you can place them in a microwavable bowl and heat them in microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Microwaves vary in strength, so be extra careful to not cook the egg whites.
  • Macaron shells can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw completely at room temperature before filling.
  • Use insulated baking pans (such as T-Fal Air-Bake) or use an additional cookie sheet under the pan of piped macarons to ensure the shells do not over-bake.

Sweetapolita’s Macaron Notes:

  • For the macarons, you can grind your own almond flour using raw almonds in the food processor until very fine. It’s also a bit more affordable, as almond flour is $$$.
  • To colour my macarons, I added the gel colour into the meringue, before the flour mixture was added, so I could play around with adding more drops without risking over-mixing my batter. Once I was happy with the colour, I went ahead with adding the almond flour mixture.
  • Macarons, as you’ve probably heard, are a bit unpredictable, even for the most experienced macaron-makers, so don’t give up. I’ve made many batches prior to using Heather’s recipe/method and had many failures, but they’re just too darn amazing to not make, so I kept trying. You’ll notice not all of mine are perfect (far from), but I was very happy with how they turned out in the end.
  • You can fill macarons with pretty much anything you can dream of–ready-made or not, such as jams, buttercream, curd, ganache, frosting, Nutella, etc. You really can’t go wrong!
  • Filling macarons is the perfect solution to small amounts of leftover fillings and frosting from cake and cupcakes projects–you can freeze most in small containers, and thaw when needed.
  • I found the filled macarons increased in awesomeness after sitting in an airtight container in refrigerator for at least a day.
  • Because the topic of macarons is pretty extensive (including troubleshooting, technique variations, etc.), I will be doing more macaron-specific posts along the way. For some amazing information fueled by complete macaron passion, check out Mardi’s blog–it’s filled with macaron posts, troubleshooting, etc.!

Assembly of the Lemon-Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake

1. Trim any doming or top crust and side crust from cake layers using a very sharp serrated knife (I use the Mac Bread Knife for all of my cake trimming, splitting, etc.).

2. Use a cake turntable for filling, frosting and decorating, if a possible. Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake plate or 6″ round thin foil-covered cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top, top side up (face up).

3. Pipe a dam (a rim around the top perimeter of the cake layer) of buttercream around the cake layer using a large round Pastry Tip
fitted inside a Decorating Bag. Then pipe another smaller circle of buttercream a few inches toward the center. Spoon lemon curd into the open spaces and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife, taking care to keep the curd within the dam (otherwise it will ooze out of the sides of the cake). Gently place 5 macaron shells atop the filling. Place the 2nd cake layer, face down, on top.

4. Tint remaining buttercream teal green, and put a generous scoop of teal buttercream on top, spreading evenly with a small offset palette knife and working your way down the sides until you have a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake (crumb-coat). Chill until set, about 30 minutes.

5. Remove from refrigerator and repeat step 4, but this time using a thicker layer of buttercream and creating a smooth finish. (You can watch me do this on video here).

6. For the top of the cake, place an open star decorating tip (I used 1M) in a Decorating Bag filled with about 1 cup of the buttercream, and pipe 8 small swirls, evenly spaced. Top each swirl with macarons in alternating colours (or your choice), and finish with sugar pearls (if desired).

Store finished cake covered in refrigerator (due to the Lemon Curd filling), but serve at room temperature (you can remove from refrigerator a few hours ahead of serving).

Sweetapolita’s Notes

  • Because Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Lemon Curd both take a little longer to make than some other fillings/frosting, I recommend making both ahead of time, if possible. They freeze well, and the buttercream can be simply brought to room temperature the night before you need it. The curd can basically be used straight from the freezer. If you go ahead and make all of the components in one day, there’s a good chance you will be cursing my name at random throughout the day. But even if you do go this route, it will still be worth it.
  • I also recommend making and filling the macarons about 2 days ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container–they really do taste better after sitting!
  • You can bake the cake layers the day before you need them, and keep them at room temperature wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
  • I baked two 6-inch round cakes (1 for photographing and 1 for gifting), but you can divide the cake and filling quantities in half if you want to create a single 6-inch cake (serves 8).

I hope you find as much joy in making, sharing and enjoying macarons (and macaron cakes) as I did. Stay tuned for more macaron love! ♥

Good luck & enjoy!



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