Roasted Butter Pecan Cake and Orange Macarons

Warning: This is going to be a very long post. I guess you could call it somewhat of a disaster novella involving these lovely macarons.  The cake was a piece of cake (pun intended), so no kvetching there.

Roasted Butter Pecan Orange Buttercream Cake and Orange Macarons

It all started as a mission to use up leftovers.  I had a ton of egg whites left over from making the infamous Momofuku Crack Pie and a jar of orange marmalade from the Daring Bakers Orange Tian challenge.   I typed egg whites and orange marmalade into a search engine, and came across a cake by a baker whose amazing butterscotch ‘custardy’ pudding is one I’ve made and deemed the perfect butterscotch ‘custard’ pudding – Melissa Murphy of Sweet Melissa Patisserie in Brooklyn.

Apparently, there’s  a challenge online called Sweet Melissa Sundays where they have been baking from her book, The Sweet Melissa Baking Book , for some time now.  I’m not a member, but one benefit of these challenges is you can grab recipes from cookbooks you don’t happen to own a copy of (I know, that sounds kind of awful, huh?)  Well, in this case, no need to label me a pilferer because I went out and bought the book, (but not before Leslie of Lethally Delicious, who hosted this particular Sweet Melissa Sunday, went out of her way to correct a small part of the recipe left out, for me.  Thank you, Leslie!)  In fact, I bought two cookbooks, one of which I would like to give away to one of my readers, but I’ll get to that later.

Roasted Butter Pecan Orange Buttercream Cake and Orange Macarons

The cake I’m speaking of is called Roasted Pecan Cake with Caramel Orange Marmalade and Burnt Orange Buttercream.  If you recall..I don’t flip over orange marmalade.  However, this wasn’t a cake for was a Birthday slash Easter cake for a friend who happens to love anything and everything orange. After seeing the theme for last month’s Mac Attack. which was Holidays in April, I thought, why not accessorize the Easter cake with a macaron for Passover using the same flavors in the cake? However, several heartbaking MACcidents that took place (I just love word play, even though I suck at it.), hindered that idea to the point where this whole post almost didn’t happen.

Roasted Butter Pecan Orange Buttercream Cake and Orange Macarons                            I ripped the dang ribbon trying to tie a perfect bow.

The first batch of Macs I made were perfection.  It was the first time I turned out a full batch of perfect macaron shells – no duds! I was ecstatic!! I thought the Mac gods had blackballed me and I was destined to turn out lumpy, uneven macs for eternity.  I was so thrilled with this sheet of perfect macaron shells, that I could not stop looking at them.  Every time I walked by the baking sheet of superbness, I had to check and make sure they were still superbness.

Since I wasn’t filling them until the next day, this occurred quite a bit.  Soon, a little paranoia crept in..

What if someone accidentally eats them? 

What if my cat runs across the counter and crushes them?

What if a 6.5 on the Richter scale earthquake strikes and they crash to the floor in pieces?’

Let’s not get into minor details about my living on the Northeast Coast. We do have the Ramapo Fault, you know!

Roasted Butter Pecan Orange Buttercream Cake and Orange MacaronsUnwaxed, unflavored dental floss makes a great cake ‘torter’.  Just cut around the perimeter of the cake, not going through, then slide the dental floss into the cut and pull both ends through in a criss-cross manner.

Due to this paranoia, I decided to put them in my turned off oven, slightly ajar, for ‘safekeeping’.  I think you all know how this is going to turn out. Now, I’m not naming names as I would never want to embarrass anyone I love because they made a little mistake. SO, I’ll refer to this person as someone.

Roasted Butter Pecan Orange Buttercream Cake and Orange Macarons                    Crumb coat, final coat, rickety decor, and the piece de resistance.

One hour before I was going to fill them, I get a phone call from someone on my cell while out.

Someone:  Hiya..did you leave some chocolate cookies in the oven?

Me: Um, yeah, why?  (I instantly knew what happened.  My macarons were orange)

Someone:  Yeah, I turned on the oven to preheat for the chicken I’m making tonight, then smelled something.  They look great!

Me:  OH NO, they were orange macarons and you just burned them to a crisp!!! (sob, sniff)  They were perfect, I’ll never get another batch like them!

Someone: never told me you left something in the oven! (He’s right, but I suppose my habit of always looking in the oven prior to preheating isn’t a habit possessed by all.)

Me: I know (sob, sniff) it’s not your fault (although I was almost wishing it was so I could blame someone – anyone!)

After mourning the most perfect sheet of macarons, it was time to move on.  I cracked the eggs, separating the whites from the yolks to age, made another batch of  tant pour tant, then emailed Jamie of Life’s a  Feast, the Mac Tweets co-founder, to ask for an extension, along with a very detailed explanation of what went wrong.  THEN, my descent back into macaron hell began.

Batch #2 – I left the aging egg whites uncovered to rush the aging process.  Umm..egg whites exposed to air eventually dry up.  I know this, so why did I forget this? I used what egg white was still liquid and folded in as much tant pour tant as it would hold.  Added too much, resulting in a thick paste. I knew it was going to be a failure as I squeezed the batter in the piping bag onto the baking sheet, popping a few blood vessels along the way.  Hoped for an oven miracle.  No dice.  Trashed.

Batch #3 –  Couldn’t wait for the egg whites to age for 24 hours, so I cut it short.  This time I over-folded which deflated the meringue, and again, I knew they were going to be an epic failure as I watched the non viscous batter dribble out of the pastry tip onto the baking sheet.  Hoped for an oven miracle.  No dice.  Trashed.

Emailed Jamie and bowed out of April’s Mac Tweets Attack.  Okay, so I would enter these macs in May’s Mac Attack instead, informing Jamie that I would find a way to wrap them around the next new theme because Easter and Passover are over.

Batch #4 –  Not as perfect and gorgeous as that first sheet, but they turned out okay.  Asked someone to pull them out of the oven when the timer goes off since I needed to run out for a few.  When I got home, he looked worried.  The macarons were squashed and/or dented.  He used my giant Hamburger Helper ‘hand’ pot holder to pull the cookie sheet out, one I never use because it’s too big and squishes most everything on a cookie sheet.  Macarons trashed.

Batch #5 – These turned out ‘meh’, but at this point I’ll take anything.  Took some photos of them sandwiched together and planned to take photos of them with the cake later on.  Two other someones came over for dinner.  They move everything over on my table to make room, piling some stuff on top of the cookie sheet of macarons.  Cracks, cracks, cracks.  Macarons trashed. Well, some eaten, but still falling into the  ‘Trashed’ category because I have to do them again. (sigh)

Batch #6 – Not even coloring the tant pour tant orange this time.  Instead, colored the burnt orange buttercream.  These turned out somewhat okay, so this was it for me.  Tucked in some of the cracked orange colored macs for photos, turning them so you can’t see the cracks, and left it at that. No more mac making for at least 2 weeks! Oh, did I mention I got sick after the final batch, further delaying this entry another two weeks? Yep, it was just one of those months.  I’m convinced it’s Mercury retrograde.  Esoterically, the color orange is associated with Mercury. Hmmmm.

After all of this, I check the May theme at the Mac Attack site.  Pair your macarons with a book you  like, whether it be from your childhood or present.  This all started as an Easter/Passover cake and macaron entry.  Now it’s a cake and macaron entry pertaining to a book my grandmother used to read to me as a child called The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl.

Basically, I’d be lying if I said this came to mind initially, but I remember the kitchen disaster where she added way too many things to the cake, including leavening, so…the cake rose, and the Duchess with it; and how were they to get her down again? The cake I had no problem with other than decorator’s block, hence the polka dots, ribbon of dried oranges and odd border, so it’s kind of far-fetched.

Yeah..I know, it’s a half-assed book pairing/analogy.  There really IS a book I initially thought of that I read as a kid, when I thought of my macarons.  In it, the lead character’s little brother stuffs his teddy bear with orange pits for its life force.  I couldn’t remember the name of it until 2014, so this paragraph is an update. The book is called The Cat Ate my Gymsuit, by Paula Danziger. Definitely a better pairing with my macarons than the aforementioned read.

Roasted Pecan Orange Cake and Orange Macarons

As for the cake, yes, I emphatically stated in my Orange Tian post that I did not like orange marmalade or any dessert laden with orange pieces of any sort.  In this case, the marmalade is stirred into a caramel, so it tasted like orange candy, really good orange candy. No bitterness, no aftertaste.  The roasted pecan cake is amazing too; moist, light, toasty, and tender.  My one caveat is the buttercream.  I think it needs more of the orange juice  reduction, or maybe a few grates of orange zest would suffice.  The orange flavor just didn’t come through.  However, it was still smooth, silky, rich and delicious, delicious enough that next time I may mix a little of it into the orange marmalade filling and suggest you do the same..not only for taste, but for prettier layers.

Speaking of buttercream, have you ever heard of ermine buttercream? It’s buttercream made with flour. I tasted it on some pecan pie cupcakes, and I’m kinda on the fence about it. Will have to try it again.

Roasted Pecan Orange Cake and Orange Macarons                    Photo shamelessly stolen from the Barnes and Noble website.

FINALLY, my GIVEAWAY!   As mentioned 1000 miles ago (the start of this entry), I would like to give away a brand spanking new copy of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.  No need to subscribe to my blog, post it on your Facebook and Twitter, take out an ad in the NY Times singing the praises of my blog, or offer up your first born.  Just leave a comment and  I’ll announce the winner a week from today.

One last thing for fun, although it probably wasn’t fun at the time.  Has a kitchen disaster ever reduced you to tears?   Would love to hear your stories! An answer is NOT required to enter the giveaway. 🙂

One more thing. The one big change I made to this cake was to butter toast the pecans, because butter toasted pecans are so much better than just toasted pecans, In my kitchen, no pecan will ever go un-buttered.

Roasted Butter Pecan Cake with Caramel Orange Marmalade and Burnt Orange Buttercream

Roasted Butter Pecan Cake with Caramel Orange Marmalade and Burnt Orange Buttercream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 9-inch cake
Roasted Butter Pecan Cake
  • 1⅔ cups coarsely chopped pecan pieces
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 12 large egg whites, at room temperature
Caramel Orange Marmalade
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
Burnt Orange Buttercream
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice (I suggest doubling the juice, it really cooks down a lot)
  • ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, buttered and toasted
Toast Buttered Pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. coat pecan pieces in melted butter, then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden and you can smell them. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Make Cake
  1. Prepare three 9-inch round pans by greasing them, then placing a circle of parchment paper in each, greasing the parchments circles too. If you don't have parchment, just grease and lightly flour each pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the toasted, buttered pecans with ⅔ cup of the sugar and pulse grind until it is a coarse flour. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the all-purpose flour, an additional ⅔ cup of the sugar, the baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. Have ready a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, brown the butter over medium heat. (The butter will melt first, and then the milk solids will settle to the bottom. After a little while, the milk solids will start to turn golden.) When the milk solids have reached a nutty brown color, immediately remove from the heat.
  4. Using the fine-meshed strainer, strain the butter into the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Discard the butter solids. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. In the very clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the very clean whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. In a slow steady stream, with the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining ⅔ cup of the sugar and increase the speed back to high. Beat until there are firm--not dry--glossy peaks of meringue.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, briskly fold in one-third of the meringue mixture into the batter to lighten it. Add the remaining meringue and gently fold it in until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Spin the pans to level the batter. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool in the pans for 20 minutes before turning the layers out onto the rack. Cool completely before filling or frosting.
Make the Caramel Marmalade
  1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar with the water until amber in color, like clover honey. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the orange juice to stop the cooking.
  2. Add the marmalade and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
  3. The marmalade may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Make the Buttercream
  1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, reduce the orange juice until it is syrupy and just starts to caramelize (it turns brown). Watch it closely; don't let it burn! Add a splash of water to the caramel orange syrup to stop the cooking. Set aside to cool.
  2. In another small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the ⅔ cup of the sugar and water and cook to 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the 3 tablespoons sugar and beat until there are medium-stiff peaks of meringue.
  4. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees, decrease the speed of the mixer to medium, and immediately but slowly pour the hot liquid sugar in a steady stream down the side of the bowl and into the meringue. (Or, if the syrup is not yet 240 degrees when the meringue is ready, turn off the mixer until it is. Then turn the mixer to medium and add the syrup.) Beat together until stiff glossy peaks form.
  5. With the mixer still on medium, add the butter in pieces to the meringue. The mixture will break, but just keep beating and it will come together beautifully. Add the vanilla and reserved caramel orange syrup and mix to combine.
  6. If using the buttercream immediately, set aside at room temperature. If not, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. If the buttercream has been chilling, let it reach room temperature before beating it in the electric mixer. The buttercream will break, but then it will come together beautifully.
Assemble the Cake
  1. Split each cake layer in half, and spread one-third of the marmalade over each of the interior layers. Crumb coat the cake,then chill for 30 minutes. Remove after 30 minutes and fuly frost the cake.
  2. After frosting the cake, gently press the toasted, buttered pecans against the sides of the cake with your fingers.
  3. This cake keeps very well, in a cake saver in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The cake should come to room temperature before serving.
  5. Assembling a layer cake seems as though it would be pretty straight forward, but there are a few tips I use so that my results look consistent and professional.

Orange Pecan Matzo Meal Macarons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 25 macarons (more or less depending on the size)
Macaron shells adapted from Tartelette
Orange Pecan Matzo Meal Macarons
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup toasted, ground pecans
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 2 large egg whites (aged overnight, at the least - I age them 48 hours)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated, dried orange zest, powdered (dry zest in a 200F oven for about 30-40 minutes, then grind until powder like consistency, or dry strips of the peel minus the pith, grind to a powder, use one teaspoon and bottle the rest for all kinds of uses)
  • orange food coloring (optional)
Burnt Orange Marmalade Buttercream Filling
  • 1 half recipe burnt orange buttercream, recipe above
  • 1 half recipe caramel orange marmalade, recipe above
  • orange food coloring (if not coloring the shells)
Make Macarons
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. You should have glossy peaks that bend at the tip.
  2. Place the powdered sugar, almond meal, ground pecans, matzo meal and dried orange zest in a food processor and give them a good pulse until everything is finely ground.
  3. Add them to the meringue along with some orange food coloring, if using. Fold all carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small peak, give the batter a couple of turns.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (Ateco #807 or #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 300F.
  5. When ready, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don't let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.
  6. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 tablespoon of burnt orange marmalade buttercream in the center of one shell and top with another one.
Make the Filling and Fill the Macarons
  1. Combine the buttercream and caramel orange marmalade, then pipe or spoon onto every other macaron cookie. Top with another macaron cookie. If you don't color the shells orange, add a few drops of orange food color to the buttercream for contrast, if desired.


Tender, fluffy and moist roasted butter pecan cake with an orange caramel filling that tastes like the best orange candy ever. Oh, and the white orange frosting is pretty good too! #orangecake #butterpecancake #butterpecan #orange #cake #orangepecan

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81 Responses to Roasted Butter Pecan Cake and Orange Macarons

  1. deeba says:

    SCREAMING GORGEOUS Lisa, just too utterly beautiful. Just love the flavour and colour combinations and the cake too! What a great giveaway too! The Momofuku Crack Pie is on my list to do too. More whites in my future!!
    Thank you for joining Jamie and me at MacTweets with these lovely Macs!

  2. Rosa says:

    A great giveaway! That book looks interesting…

    What a beautiful cake! It is perfect and must taste terrific. The macarons are also perfect and tempting!



  3. ap269 says:

    This post was GREAT! I feel so sorry for your first batch of macarons! This could have happened here, too ;o). But the cake and the macarons look AWESOME, OUTSTANDING, FANTASTIC! I know I don’t have to tweet your post, but I will because everything just looks so great. OK, can I have the book now? ;o))))))))))))

  4. Lora says:

    Gorgeous cake and just beautiful macarons. Love the matzoh idea. So clever. Your macfrustration wasn’t for naught. It made such an entertaining read. I empathize and also blamed my macaron failures for this challenge on the Mercury retrograde. Actually, I’ll blame everything on a retrograde if I can get away with it.

    Great job.

  5. Aparna says:

    Your macarons looks beautiful and I love the colour orange as well as marmalade! I empathise with you as far as the MACFailures go, because I’ve had so many but none as colourful as yours.
    Mine were very consistent in not wanting to form “appendages” every single time!

    As for your cake, if decorate’s block turns out this, can’t wait to see the cakes you make once the “block” disappears! 🙂

  6. Barbara says:

    The macarons are very beautiful, you are very expert, they are so difficult to do! And the cake .. that’s beautiful! Fine recipes, but difficult to realize!
    Thanks for the great giveaway and good weekend!

  7. Sophie says:

    Waw!! This is all spine chilling!!

    What tasty & superb looking macarons & that filling is so special too!
    The special gateau looks fenomenal & so apart!!! Festive too!

    That cookbook looks georgous too!

  8. Sarah says:

    The cake is beautiful, and the cookbook seems like it is full of wonderful recipes!

  9. Now, that is a story of Macs! You did a fantastic job with them. Both versions shown look great, and I love the bright orange color. Beautiful cake too, and it sounds like it comes from a great book!

  10. I think we all have mac phobia once we got perfect macs which is our ultimate downfall. I have my fair share of mac failures even the professional bakers do. 🙂

    I simply can’t believe those gorgeous orange macs are dented – they look picture perfect to me. And that layered cake looks divine. I don’t make anything orange in my kitchen simply because poppet & hub aren’t hot on citrus flavoured cookies or cakes. oh, they will still eat it but I’ll have to finish the rest of it.

  11. shaz says:

    Lisa, you are a legend! I would have given up at #2, but you keep on truckin. If you hadn’t told us all about the disasters, I would have thought the macarons were perfect. They look perfect, so well done!

    Oh, and I haven’t yet had someone switch on the oven with something in it, but I have had someone forget to remove cooked dinner (leftovers) from oven and transfer it to the fridge. Found some salmon once..about 3 days old!

  12. Wow, everything looks absolutely stunning. I am green with envy at your talent. I have to say, I’ve given up on macaroons for a while. I haven’t been able to get the texture I want. I’d much rather eat them at laduree than eat my own.
    THe cake is gorgeous! What an amazing table of treats you put out.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  13. p.s. yes, the macaroon making has made me cry several times. I invested so much time and money trying to get it right. Then I went to this class given at Claridges hotel and they said even the great pastry chefs don’t get them right all the time. After that i thought, hey, why am i beating myself up with this. If i cant do it, whats the big deal… i can still eat them.

  14. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Sorry about your 1st macaroons, but the final result is spectacular! The macs look perfect and so does that gorgeous cake!

  15. I don’t know who I feel more sorry for you and your perfect ruined macs, or that someone who turned on the oven and ruined your perfect macs. I would have such guilt. I’d say your other batches turned out more than okay, they look scrumptious. The cake is gorgeous!

  16. OMGosh! I am crying and laughing hysterically all at once. I have partially succeeded, then again partially, then succeeded, but still felt like I had not, then failed horribly. And am on temporary hiatus until I find two full days with nothing to do but persevere. Like you, I have it in me, but it does take its toll. However, you must be on the ceiling with your gorgeous successes. I have not been so successful. We are going to Paris this summer, and I have been trying to find a macaron class there – but it is summer, and the only one available is on the day we fly in. I thought that may inspire me. Coming to bake with you, I can see, would inspire me more. Absolutely gorgeous ideas. I love the candied blood oranges tied around the cake. I just candied some for my mom’s 80th. Do you find if you don’t use them right away they tend to go sugary? They seemed fine the first 10 days to 2 weeks. I guess I should not expect them to last forever.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    BIG HUG, Lisa!

  17. Jon Lin says:

    Wow! looks amazing. I wish I knew how to bake sugary goodness. The cake and macrons look delicious ^_^.

  18. Valérie says:

    Wow, have you ever been busy! The macarons are stunning, and that cake is so ab-fabulous! I miss making macarons, but I can’t seem to put away the time right now… :,-(

    Have I ever been reduced to tears by a kitchen disaster? Well, my recent catastrophic DB challenge this month made me laugh, fortunately. I think I’ve learnt to take disasters in stride. No, the only times I feel like crying are when I’ve worked hard on a dish and feel I’ve done a good job, but the reaction around the table is “meh” or downright negative – it’s hard for me not to take it personally. I’m working on that, though!

  19. Arlette says:

    Hello my gorgeous talented friend…

    I missed your postings and your creativity… what a stunning cake.
    Love to have a copy of the book if I can enter the draw.
    Disasters are waiting at the corner … I do leave/hide my bakings in the oven too, but, I am very careful and make sure the oven is empty before I restart it. You should know that some people are not born to be great cooks. (Have the same problem too- Cannot trust him with my baking)
    One night last year I was dead tired, and was still baking Cinnamon Buns at 2:00am in the morning, for the 8 am market. Forgot to set the timer, and from tired I dozed on the sofa for couple of minutes , then jumped running to the oven to check my pans, which were over baked and not yummy for the market. I learned my lesson no more baking after midnight.

    the Macaroons are very nice

  20. Simone says:

    Oooo, I shouldn’t probably admit that you had me laughing to tears but o boy, you had your fair share of misfortune !! I am amazed how you persevered in making those macarons!! Big applaus from me and I think they look beautiful!

  21. Elaine says:

    I truly admire your patience and “stick-to-it-iveness” I would have quit way before you did!

  22. Summer says:

    Before i say anything else,that book sure is on my wishlist:-)))

    And loved cing the giveaway here, im so in,so in ………….so in………….

    Baby, i am in love what u did to the leftovers:-))
    Thats creativity in all its awesomeness, one thing i never run out of ,when am on this site, is cravings, large drool and words!!!
    Oh love that polka ribbon ,as muc as ur Macs and that Cake is super gorgeous too!!
    Way to go gurl and am lookin foward to ur Momofuku Experiments, i sure did have my share too ,but havent posted about it yet:-)))

    Cheers and will catcha soonnnnnnnnnnnnnn again, till then ,i wannna leave u lods of blank comments here, to hve many a more chance to win!!!

  23. Summer says:

    BDW, i simply have to say it, ur wonky deco is stunning, hope u mean Wonky as in a good word here, way way good word here;-)))

  24. That book looks really interesting! Love your cake and the macarons! i have yet to try my hand at making some! Love the spices you picked and the whole ensemble!

  25. Leslie says:

    I can’t get over everything you went through to make your macs!!! I haven’t tried making my own yet but it’s on my list as I’m hosting on Chocolate with Francois next month and I picked chocolate macs. I’m so glad your cake was such a success–it’s perfect in every way. And I’m glad to have discovered your blog as a result of it.

  26. Esi says:

    The macarons! That cake! Oh my! Can’t wait to see the crack pie as well.

  27. Megan says:

    Those macarons most definitely are perfection! I have hopes of someday turning out ones that look just as beautiful. I’ve had so many crying incidents in the kitchen, I wouldn’t even know where to start! But for the most part being in the kitchen makes me happy so that outweighs the disasters.

    I really want to make that crack pie, btw. Interested to see what you thought of it.

  28. yael says:

    Wow, what an adventure! Your final product turned out beautifully though. I admire your persistence. I have a problem with my “someone” eating things I make for others or a gift. Finally had to start putting a note on the baked goods- DO NOT EAT!

  29. Jamie says:

    Oh Lordy, Lisa, I actually love reading “The Adventures and Misadventures of Lisa” which could also be the book to inspire – or be inspired by – your macdisasters! Oy! I am reliving this with you and I think that you are an absolute saint seeing that Someone (no names mentioned just whistle in his direction…) is still alive today to tell his tale…

    But after all of that I think your macs – and your cake, for heaven’s sake – are stunning! Just perfect! Boy, if you call these disasters my successes will weep in shame! I am not an orange dessert freak but wow do the macs and the cake look absolutely scrumptious! I am glad you persevered… Onward and Upward and on to next month!

  30. Jamie says:

    Oh and man oh man I’d love that book!

  31. astheroshe says:

    wow..! points for persistence.. My disaster was yesterday. Trying to make a chocolate chip cookie! I big fat moist one…just like( do i dare say?) Levain Bakery! LOOOOOL

  32. Sue says:

    Boy, what a tale you tell…such a fun post to read! You are quite the diligent macaron maker! I’m sure I would have given up! The final results are gorgeous(the cake too)and I love the color! I KNOW I have had MANY kitchen disasters, but I must have blocked them from my memory, though I do remember running to the sink and flinging some disasters directly into the sink:)

  33. Wow, what a post. I laughed, I cringed, I cried. I am exhausted! That decoration on the side of the cake with dried orange slices is nothing but PURE GENIUS!

  34. Memoria says:

    These treats and photos are just too lovely words. You did an amazing job.

  35. Elle says:

    Such gorgeous macarons AND a cake that is better than any bakery…how do you do it? The burnt orange buttercream sounds amazing, too.

  36. Lori says:

    I have never heard of matzo in a macaron- very original.

    You are one tenacious chick! I cant believe you kept going with the macarons.

    I bet this cake was amazing! I know you dont think so…

    Reduced me to tears… hmmmm…. When a nearly whole pot of sauce (not hot) spilled all over me, the cabinets and the floor. Everywhere- it made such a splash. I think I might have been PMS’ing…

  37. Michelle says:

    I wish I were HALF as persistent (stubborn?) as you are, my dear. I think I’d have thrown in the towel far sooner.

    Reduced to tears in the kitchen? OH YEAH. The one that comes immediately to mind is right after my “someone” had pre-heated the oven with my Milan cookies still resting inside. ::sigh::

    I’m adding the cake to my forty mile long bookmarks list. Sounds yummy and looks beautiful!

  38. Heidi Phillips says:

    These look great! I’ve never thought of making macs with matz. I can’t wait to try it. Luckily, my birthday is Wednesday so i HAVE to make crack pie, so

  39. Elle says:

    Gorgeous cake Lisa!
    There is an award for you at my blog:

  40. Mandy says:

    That’s got to be one of the most gorgeous cakes I’ve ever seen, I love it!

    Baking since you were 10 means you had a lot of practice I spose, I got a long way to go yet. 🙂

  41. Karen says:

    I’ve been reduced to tears many times. Including dropping a whole hot bundt cake on the floor.

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway and maybe I’ll have the courage to try making macarons one day.

    [email protected]

  42. Johanna GGG says:

    I don’t even know what a line drive is (thought it might be a golfing term when I first saw it) but love the name of your blog and the wonderful photographs. Lovely post about your macarons because of all your dramas shared – glad I am not the only one with ‘someone’ who doesn’t have a clue about helping out in the kitchen.

    I have had many kitchen disasters but I don’t tend to sob though sometimes I just need to leave the kitchen to get life into perspective – but an uncooked middle of a cake when etertaining, cutting my finger as I am about to put burritos together and recently I had a cake that sunk so much I had to fill it with caramel to have a flat top for decorating

  43. Becca says:

    I have been reduced to tears a few times…mostly when I was first married and felt the need to assert my domesticity. 🙂

  44. Swee San says:

    OMG, That’s 6 batches of Macarons making. Did “someone” knew u did 6 batches of macs after that ?? But all praises to your perseverance and they looked great !!

  45. lauresophie says:

    Macarons are perfect,absolutely beautiful and I really like the colors! I laugh a lot reading at the post of the perfect macarons… just like me when I finally had “my” perfect macarons. Now I have to keep an eye on my little boy when I bake them because he is always around (just so afraid that he eats, breaks them… who knows??). Ciaooo

  46. Oh man, what a saga! I admire your perseverance. I have yet to hop on board the macaron craze but they seem to be popping up absolutely everywhere. I think yours came out beautifully. 🙂

  47. julė says:

    what a fantastic, be it dramatic, story.
    kitchen disasters have happened to me but nothing to reduce me to tears.. oh wait, except that time i spoilt my first teflon pan with.. something (can’t remember what) burning/sticking so hard that i could not get it off. i still have the pan yet i don’t use it for crepes anymore (awfully sticky).

  48. Gwen Winsor says:

    hi! like you i’m not a big orange flavored dessert fan so i’m impressed that you spent so long working on an orange dessert!! you tried so many times! such a trooper :)i had a crazy pie night one evening before i was having 20 something friends over for thanksgiving. had three apple pies done and two pumpkin in the oven and was working on a pecan tart in my itty bitty kitchen. doorbell rang and my roommate let in the nieghbor and thier dog. well our cat, bubba is petrified of dogs. he jumped on to the dryer next to the kitchen to get away, landing in my two of my apple pies and then 10 min. later as i was taking out the pumpkin pies the dog ran by and tripped me into dropping one of the pumpkin pies on the floor causing me to drop the pie and break my dish. i was so upset. an entire afternoon ruined! well i had one apple, one pumpkin and a pecan to show. and a heck of a story. You worked alot more then I did!!just some of the fun of enjoying baking 🙂

  49. Bonnie says:

    Ok, I admit it. I laughed and laughed and laughed. It’s always more funny when it happens to someone else. But in the end your macs were gorgeous. I think you win the prize for persistance.

    I had never attempted macarons. When I finally did, I made 5 perfect batches. Five! Then I finally got the macaron book I had mail ordered and waited for months to arrive. Tried batch 6 using the long awaited recipe from the very pretty book. They were terrible!!! And the worst thing is, I knew it from the time I started. The recipe seemed off. But of course I went ahead anyway. They failed in every way. No tears but plenty of MAD. I put them aside, got on the internet. New recipe. Perfect macs. Hallelujah!

  50. Catherine says:

    Yes! Disaster and Macarons are synonymous in my kitchen! I still can’t get those babies to work! I would love that cookbook, but I’m not lying, I really want YOUR MACARONS! Please!!!

  51. Your cake and cookies look yummy! When we were kids my sister and I were making chocolate chip cookies. When they were cooled and it was time to eat them they tasted awful!! After some investigation come to find out they had put salt in a bag labeled sugar. I still to this day make sure I have sugar in a bag marked as such.

  52. Juliana says:

    Oh! Everything looks awesome, the macarons and the cake, absolutely gorgeous…you are amazing 😉
    By the way, nice giveaway.

  53. Rachel says:

    Oh, what a fantastic variation on macarons! They are beautiful! I don’t think a kitchen disaster has ever reduced me to tears – although I may have blocked it out of my memory – but I have definitely failed many times at my kitchen ventures.

  54. Leah says:

    For some reason, I can not for the life of me make brownies. I recently decided to make some for company (bad idea) and was almost reduced to tears when they of course didn’t turn out and the guests were due to arrive.

  55. Constance says:

    Just found your site. Love it!! Now I want to try making the macaroos!!

  56. Natalie says:

    Oh wow all of this looks so amazingly delicious, especially he macaroons mmm! 😀

  57. Ente says:

    Stunning! Many trials often lead to great results. I love the cake too, I must try burnt orange butter cream…it sounds divine.

  58. Claire says:

    Well, those macarons look perfect to me! The ones I’ve made didn’t look ANYTHING like that! Looks like a great dessert…and this cookbook has always sounded good to me.

  59. What a beautiful cake, you decorated it really perfect. And the macarons look awesome!

  60. Adelina says:

    Obviously, you are the epitome of a perfectionist because those macarons look beautiful! And yes…I think it must be the male thing not Ever to check the oven before pre-heating it! I had one incident and I thought the whole house was going to burn into instant trash. But then again, it was probably my fault for leaving the stuff in the oven, and not leaving a BIG, BOLD post-it note in the kitchen to alert him! You know how guys are….most can’t do anything without proper instruction while they’re in the kitchen!!!!

    I love the combo flavor and texture of the cake! Very lovely!!!

  61. Alana says:

    Gorgeous! I cry in the kitchen quite a bit myself- sometimes even over macaroons. Maybe the mac gods will visit me too!

  62. Laurie says:

    Gorgeous, and now I want some!!
    Would love the book as well.. thanks! 🙂

  63. Jenni says:

    This post was fantastic! Your cake looks absolutely stunning – it should be in a magazine! And even if you don’t like orange marmalade, I bet it tastes heavenly!

    I laughed and cried while I read the part about the macs! I still haven’t perfected my macaron making, and I don’t think I ever will.

    And I like to pretend that nothing has ever flustered me to tears in the kitchen, but unfortunately that isn’t true! Usually it has something to do with baking something for someone else, being way behind schedule, and multiple attempts. I must have blocked them from my memory, because I can’t remember any specific instance, but I know they have happened!

  64. Anna Chou says:

    Yes! I am a novice cake decorator and I had a cake order for a 2 tier cake for a friend. I guess I did not use enough support for the top tier but it started to crush and smoosh the lower tier. I was really upset 🙁

  65. Mary says:

    I can’t believe you had to make those macarons 6 times!! They looked gorgeous in the end, and so does the cake. I keep hearing about this baking book, so I’m going to have to have a look at a copy. Too bad I missed your giveaway!

    I’m sure I’ve had a few kitchen disasters, but nothing to compete with yours! I would have given up after 4 batches.

  66. cristie says:

    What beautiful macarons. The colors, the filing- everything just looks perfect. Andy your cake, my goodness you are a wonderful baker. Best of all, you admit that you aren’t perfect. Couldn’t we be neighbors?

  67. trissalicious says:

    I’ve seen macarons, but never have I seen anything as gorgeous as these macarons – really Lisa – they are amazing! And the cake, looks delicious too!

  68. Ken says:

    I adore orange and these macarons just screams heaven. The cake looks amazing as well. You are truly a master baker.

  69. I don’t know what to say every macaron batch I’ve made was perfect and I never have had disasters in the kitchen like you have had and it seems strange that it could would can happen (I’m knocking on wood here) YOU are such a trooper to finish these recipes I don’t think I would have the dedication after all your mishaps. Bravo bravo bravo on such a wondrous result. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  70. chocoparis says:

    I loved reading this post. You had me captivated from beginning to end. What an adventure! Your macs are absolutely gorgeous!

  71. Love love love the macarons, haven’t seen much of a vivid orange macarons like your Orange Pecan Matzo Meal Macarons. Simply stunning 🙂

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  72. lisamichele says:

    Thank you ALL for participating in my Giveaway! Keep checking back as I have loads of goodies to give away this summer!

  73. MandyM says:

    How did I miss this entry?!

    My word Lisa, I would have pouted, stormed out and sworn off making macarons forever! Well, ok, not forever, but certainly long enough so that I didn’t the last experience with them, hehehehe 🙂

    Your perseverance really paid off though, they look fantastic, really lovely looking shells, and if you didn’t say anything about the orange ones being cracked, I would never have known it.

    I’m also not too mad on marmalade but this looks like a good recipe to keep on hand for friends who love orangey type cakes.

    Damnit, can’t believe I missed the giveaway! lol!!!

  74. Tania Connor says:’s done it once again! Incredible writing!

  75. Hey hey hey!! I’ve been super busy at work and not keeping up on my blog reading <:( How are you!? This cake looks amazing!!!!!!!! I love the blood oranges tied around it. Simply gorgeous 😀

  76. Tyson F. Gautreaux says:

    Thank you for the good writeup on “Macarons for Passover, Cake for Easter Just Cake, Macarons, and a Cookbook Giveaway! Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives”. You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my myspace friends. I’m confident they’ll benefit from this website.

  77. nicely done article, saved this page, I’ll come back later.

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  79. Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

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