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Orange-Cardamom Madeleines


These shell-shaped, cakey cookies are a French treat traditionally served with tea. The buttery madeleines are spiced with ground cardamom and coated with a sweet citrus icing.

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen
orange cardamom madeleines

Photography: Justin Bernhaut

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2006


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons strained orange juice


  1. Brush molds of a madeleine pan with butter; set aside. Make the batter: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in honey and vanilla. Let cool 10 minutes.

  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

  3. Preheat oven to 325, with rack in center. Stir together sugar and eggs in a medium bowl. Gently fold in flour mixture until combined. Add butter mixture, and fold until combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling each mold halfway. Tap pan on work surface to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until cookies are puffed and edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool slightly. Unmold cookies onto rack, and let cool completely.

  5. Make the orange glaze: Stir together sugar and orange zest and juice in a small bowl until glaze is smooth, thick, and opaque. Using a small pastry brush, coat ridged side of each cookie with glaze. Let set 15 minutes. Cookies can be stored in a single layer in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Laurie328
    16 APR, 2014
    There are 2 sized madeleine pans. If you are using the small size you will get 24. If you are using the large size you will get 12. The large size cake is like 3.5". They are very tasty!
  • MS10093801
    27 MAR, 2014
    I bet there are several ways to make this without a madeleine pan-wee little cupcake pan, partially filled regular muffin tin, etc. But come on! It's a madeleine pan, it's all the fun foodie sort of thing, it's *Proustian*. Who wants to have some sort of mini-muffin when you can channel the musty, fusty atmosphere of a bygone age. Just buy the damn pan;-). Andrea
  • Sandra7824
    10 OCT, 2012
    Tasty! Loved it better with the orange glaze on top. My recipe only yielded 12 Madeleines. :)
  • Ceege
    17 JUL, 2012
    I would really like to try this recipe but do not have the proper pan to bake these little treats in. Can anyone tell me if there is some other way to make these cookies without buying yet another kitchen item? Thanks for any help out there.
  • gecw
    27 FEB, 2012
    These came out perfect! Be careful not to overbake them. They literally take 8 minutes. I added orange zest to the batter and used fresh cardamom from a pod. Really yummy and moist!
  • aulait
    10 SEP, 2011
    Liz_M,I have had Madeleines 'dry" too. Like to dip into a creamy chocolate sauce and allow to dry on parchement paper.Or rack w/parchement under to catch chocolate.If prepare before me,tell us All how it worked,Thanks!
  • Liz_M
    7 JUN, 2011
    I absolutely loved the flavors, but felt that the butter/flour ratio was a little off. Mine turned out a little too dry for what I expect in a madeleine.
  • kdka30
    26 APR, 2011
    These came out really well. A hit at work!
  • MS11627428
    29 AUG, 2009
    do you need the mold to make these?
  • nanopia
    11 FEB, 2009
    OH MY GOD! These cookies are like little heavenly cakes!! You will eat five in a row, alone, when no one is looking...... double the recipe! They are pretty easy to make, you don't even need a mixer. I didn't even have the orange zest, I improvised with some lemon and orange essence instead and it was fabulous. Once you put that light glaze on them, let them sit and it becomes the most decadent little treat!!