I made a goal several months ago to be more adventurous in my kitchen. Originally my intention was to motivate myself to eat more vegetables—which was one of my goals for the year anyway—but of course my goal also extended into baking. These Orange Almond Madeleines are a result of my goal.
A few months ago, one of my coworkers brought a box of madeleines cookies to work one day. They were delectable and disappeared quickly. So naturally I thought to myself, could I make these just as good at home?
The answer is, of course I can.
Orange Almond Madeleines
If you’ve never had madeleines before, they’re really light, cakey French cookies that are delicious with coffee or tea. They’re identifiable by the classic “madeleine hump,” created thanks to lots of whisking, chilling time, and quick bake time. Madeleines are super versatile flavor-wise, so you can make them pretty much however you want. And since they’re a perfect match with coffee, it’s okay to eat them for breakfast. At least that’s what I tell myself.
I’ve made madeleines a few times times and this recipe is by far my favorite so far. I was a bit intimidated the first time—anything French just automatically sounds fancy and not something a home baker can pull off easily. Oh how wrong I was. Madeleines seem intimidating, but they really are anything but!
Madeleines require a special pan—the wells look like little shells (like this one). The best madeleines pans are dark and non-stick, and that’s the kind I use. Though if push comes to shove and you can’t find a true madeleines pan, you can use a mini muffin tin, too.
In my efforts to be a little more carb-conscious in my diet, I’ve been using almond flour in more of my recipes. I bought a giant bag at my wholesale club and have been substituting it into my recipes for the last month or so. Using it in this recipe was a bit of an experiment, but the almond flavor and texture worked great with orange, so I’m really happy with how they turned out.
Here’s my recipe for Orange Almond Madeleines!
To make the madeleines, you will need:
- Eggs, room temperature
- Almond extract (optional)
- Vanilla extract
- Zest of an orange
- Baking powder
- Melted butter, cooled
For this batch, I used half AP flour, half almond flour. But use whatever kind of flour (or combination of flours) you’d like. Regular, all-purpose flour is the go-to. I’ve made these with gluten-free flour, too, and they turned out great.
Here’s how to make them:
First, whisk the eggs and sugar. Add eggs and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until they’re thickened and pale yellow. It’ll take a few minutes of vigorous whisking. Gordon Ramsay has some great tips on the best whisking techniques and how to get the right texture and color for madeleines.
Add your flavoring(s). In this case, vanilla extract, almond extract, and orange zest. I like a stronger orange flavor, so you can use less if you don’t want it as strong.
Add dry ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients and stir gently until they’re well combined.
Add the melted butter. Slowly, carefully pour the melted butter into the batter and fold to combine. I find that pouring it down the inside of the bowl helps the butter remain cool. At this point, the batter will thicken significantly.
Refrigerate your batter! This step is super important! Cover bowl and refrigerate batter for at least an hour. Overnight is optimal, but the batter needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of an hour before baking.
The first time I made madeleines, I refrigerated the batter for only an hour, and they turned out okay. They tasted good, but didn’t have the “madeleine hump.” Every time I’ve made them since then, I always refrigerate overnight. So it takes a little more planning and time management, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Get ready to bake. The following morning, remove the batter from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your madeleine pan by brushing each well with melted butter or a light coat of baking spray. Add a modest spoonful of batter to each well. Don’t overfill! A teaspoon-sized scoop will be plenty.
Bake and let cool. These don’t take long to bake! Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Once cooled, pop them from the pan and let them finish cooling on a wire rack.
If you’ve ever thought about making madeleines but been intimidated, don’t be! It takes a bit more planning if you want the “true madeleine,” but they are really not a difficult treat to make. In fact, they’re one of my new favorites and are now a frequent item in my baking rotation.
I hope you’ll try to make something new in the kitchen soon! It’s a really great feeling when it turns out well. And then you’ll be wanting to make it all the time.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:
- Brown Butter Chai Madeleines
- Earl Grey Donuts
- Strawberry Yum Yum
- Funfetti Blondies
- Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bread
- Chocolate Chip Scones
Orange Almond Madeleines
This recipe makes about 2 dozen light, cakey French madeleines, packed with sweet almond and zesty orange flavor.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1 orange (zest)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
Whisk eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and thickened and pale yellow.
Add extracts and orange zest, and whisk again.
Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine.
Gently pour in melted butter, and fold to combine. Batter will be thick.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate the batter for at least an hour, or optimally overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease the madeleine pan. Scoop the batter into each well by the rounded teaspoon.
Bake the madeleines for 8-10 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
This post and recipe were updated September 2021. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) for any sales generated via those links. Thanks for your support!