Orange Madeleines – A delicious French dessert perfect for spring! Light orange cakes baked in a shell-shaped madeleine pan and topped with powdered sugar. These orange madeleines are pure perfection!
Madeleines have been a near and dear treat to my heart for many years. My friends and I used to go get the big container of them from costco and munch on them before I started to make them myself. To my delight, it turns out that madeleines are a wonderfully simple dessert to make right at home with some many different flavors that you can make!
Now the one thing to know about madeleines is that they do require a special pan. I got one of mine (the one used for these madeleines) off Amazon and another (it makes smaller madeleines) from Home Goods. They are quite cheap but necessary if you want them to have the signature shell shape.
With it being blood orange season, I used blood orange zest and navel orange juice when I made these but feel free to use any combination of oranges or simply your favorite orange! Before serving, dust with a bit of powdered sugar or dip in chocolate or white chocolate to make these little cakes extra beautiful!
Common Questions About Making Madeleines
What is are orange madeleines?
Orange madeleines are a light and airy cake baked in a shell shaped tin. The batter is that of a regular madeleine but with the addition of orange zest and fresh orange juice.
Why are they called madeleines?
They are called madeleines because as the story goes, the name was given to them to honor the father-in-law of Louis XV’s cook, Madeleine Paulmier.
Are madeleines cookies or cakes?
While the recipe for a madeleine is much more similar to a pound cake, they are baked in molds with a crisp golden crust which makes them more like a cookie. So they are kind of a mix between both a cookie and a cake.
Can madeleines be frozen?
Yes, madeleines can be frozen very easily. Let the madeleines fully cool and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months.
What other flavors of madeleines can I make?
It’s so easy to customize madeleines! Some of my favorite flavors are –
What should I do if I don’t have a madeleine pan?
If you don’t have a madeleine pan, the next best thing would be a muffin tin. While they won’t be quite as pretty, it will do the job.
What type of orange should I use?
Any type of orange will work! I use blood orange zest with some navel orange juice but you can use anything from cara cara to valencia.
Why do madeleines have a hump?
Madeleines have a hump because of the temperature difference between the madeleines and the oven which causes steam, thus making the hump.
What else can I make with oranges?
So many things! Some of my favorite things to use oranges for include –
- Blood Orange Margaritas
- Orange Cookies
- Blood Orange Macarons
- Orange Scones
- Cranberry Orange Muffins
- Orange Sweet Rolls
Looking for more elegant dessert recipes? Check these out!
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled)
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Zest of one orange
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Confectioners' sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until well combined and frothy. Add in butter, orange juice, and orange zest and mix together. Sift in flour and baking powder, stirring until well combined. Set in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease madeleine pan and dust it with flour.
- Transfer a heaping tablespoon full of batter into each of the indentations and spread evenly. Once each of the indentations is filled, place in oven and bake for 8-9 minutes. The madeleines should be a bit golden and cooked through.
- Place on a cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar once cool.