Foolproof Vanilla Orange Madeleines

These light, cake-like cookies are laced with vanilla and orange flavors. Optional (and recommended!) cranberry glaze. Lots of tips + tricks to make these madeleines perfect every time!

With this Foolproof Vanilla Orange Madeleines recipe I’ll share how to make perfect madeleines every time! Super easy to make and made for make-ahead (LOVE). This dough can sit in the fridge for several days letting you make madeleines on demand – how fabulous is that?!?

When I first started baking madeleines I was so completely annoyed and frustrated with the requisite hump that is required (DEMANDED) for the perfect madeleine. WHY oh why did they need this if they taste delicious with or without the hump?!?! Why I ask you!!

But alas I was determined to come up with the perfect recipe that would give us the hump every single time and I DID IT! I’ve adapted the madeleine recipe from The Cookie Book and made it super jazz-handsy and informative, and all of this in collaboration with my friends at C&H® Sugar. We’ll use C&H® Granulated Sugar in the cookie base, C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar in the glaze and if you’re feeling especially frisky I’ll share how to transform C&H® Demerara Sugar into holiday sparkles!

Whenever I make madeleines I think about living in Beijing. We used to go to Maison Boulud (now closed, rip) which was situated in the old (and first) American Embassy. It was just adjacent to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We would sip cocktails in the oh so elegant bar late into the night and they would serve us warm, fresh-from-the-oven madeleines. It. Was. Heaven.

And what could be possibly be better than cookies and cocktails?

Some madeleines strewn about

Why Your Wanna Bake These Vanilla Orange Madeleines!

  • Madeleine cookies are a delicious hybrid: half-cake, half cookie. They have a soft, delicate sponge-like texture. They’re like mini, bit-sized portable cakes.
  • The dough comes together in a snap and requires zero special ingredients.
  • You can keep the dough in the fridge and bake-off fresh madeleines on demand (aka: best life living).
  • There are a couple of tricks to ensure that they come out light, delicious and with that signature hump – I’ll share all of it with you below!
  • You can keep them casual with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or jazz them up with the cranberry glaze and demerara sugar sprinkles. YOU DO YOU.

Some pretty Madeleines close up

BAKING MADELEINES

Traditional madeleines are super simple, cake-like cookies comprised of eggs, sugar, butter, flour and salt. I add in some milk, cornstarch and baking powder for a combination of structure, lightness and lift. 

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH BUTTER?

What is the deal with butter? It’s fabulous! It’s delicious! And most madeleine recipes want it melted. I found that I liked the consistent results that I got when I used butter that was softened, but not melted. During my recipe testing I leaned on my experience baking scones for a local bakery (hi Solvang Bakery!). 

I wanted that lift and lightness that you get from small butter chunks interspersed throughout the dough. When the butter is softened it spreads easily throughout the dough, but tiny flecks of butter remain in the batter thus helping create extra lift in the oven. I swear it works.

To soften your butter quickly, you can put it in the microwave for 5-10 second increments. Be cautious as you don’t want it to melt, but you want it to yield when pressed with your finger.

REST YOUR MADLEINE DOUGH OVERNIGHT 

This, my friends, is imperative to getting that hump on the tops of your madeleines. My theory (and I’m no scientist) is that the overnight rest allows the flour to absorb any excess moisture leading to a puffier cookie. You’ll have the same experience if you rest your cookie dough (chocolate chip, snickerdoodle); it will always yield a puffier cookie than if you’d baked the dough straight away. But my cookies don’t get a hump?! I’m asking your questions for you now…no, no they don’t. See the next paragraph!

TIP: When you stash your dough in the fridge for the overnight rest, be sure to place your madeleine tins in the freezer at the same time so they’ll be nice and chilled.

WHERE + HOW
TO PLACE YOUR MADELEINE BATTER

Now that you’ve rested your dough, you’re well on your way to getting that all-important hump. What’s the next step? Perfectly placed dough in your perfectly prepared madeleine tin (see below for tips on that!). It’s important that the batter is placed at the deepest part of the well and that you don’t even it out or make it tidy. Just scoop out your one tablespoon of dough, place it in the deep side of the madeleine well and that’s it. No smoothing, no fussing, no nothing. This is a less is more situation. You’ve nailed it.

FLAVORING YOUR MADELEINES

Get frisky. I loved the combination of vanilla bean, orange zest and fresh cranberry – all the good winter flavors rolled into one delicious bite. If you don’t have vanilla bean, use vanilla extract…or almond extract (just a little). You can sub in any type of citrus zest…I tried grapefruit during one test and it was DELICIOUS. You could also play around with the juice for the glaze…use what you have on hand! 

Madeleines dusted in confectioners' sugar

MADELEINE TINS

Who would have thought we lived in a world where I would have this much to say about madeleine tins, but here we are! Go nonstick! I never say that about anything, but it’s imperative with madeleines. Read for more tin facts, including what to look for and how to prep them.

MADELEINE PAN

Use a nonstick madeleine pan. Invest in some really good nonstick madeleine tins. I don’t like to have you buy extra equipment, but you’ll save yourself some heartache, as I’ve found even the most painstakingly perfectly prepared pan can produce madeleines that stick. 

GREASING YOUR MADELEINE PAN

Since nonstick madeleine tins are darker in color than stainless-steel tins, they bake at a lower temperature. If using a stainless-steel tin that isn’t nonstick, butter and flour the crap out of it and increase the oven to 400°F (204°C) and bake for several additional minutes. 

Additionally, I’ve found baking spray works really well for greasing up madeleine tins if you can’t be bothered with butter and flour.

CHILL YOUR MADELEINE PAN

Chill your pan and batter and don’t skip either step. I mean it. 

MADELEINE PAN STATS

Madeleine tins vary in size and depth. If your tin is slightly larger or smaller than 3 1⁄4 x 1 1⁄2–inch (8.3 x 3.7–cm), adjust your batter per cookie and also adjust your bake time. 

That drippy drip

MADELEINE GLAZE NOTES

This is a super simple glaze of simple confectioners’ sugar and a small splash of unsweetened cranberry juice. I love the bright pink color and the cranberry flavor – it’s perfect. However, feel free to sub in any juice in place of the cranberry.

Sift your powdered sugar…it’s always a good policy for the smoothest glaze!

Madelelines are best the day they are eaten. Either bake them fresh, just prior to eating OR you can coat them completely in the glaze. This latter method works in much the same way that frosting or a crumb coat seals moisture in a cake. The glaze seals in the moisture and keeps the madeleines fresh and delicious longer. Plus, it’s delicious. Did I mention it’s all delicious?

Glazes and sprinkles yo

TIP: Use C&H® Demerara Sugar to make DIY sprinkles. Simply mix with gel food coloring or edible shimmers or dusts and sprinkle over the top of the glazed madeleine. I love how it looks on these madeleines!

A bunch of madeleines

BAKER’S MADLEINE TIMELINE

Ever since I was first served warm madeleine with cocktails, it’s one of my most favorite things to have on hand for entertaining. If I was having friends over on a Friday, I would…

Wednesday/Thursday

Prepare the madeleine dough, cover airtight and stash in the fridge. Also, stash your madeleine tins in the freezer now so they’ll be perfectly chilled. If making demerara sprinkles, do them now and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Friday

Once you pop the madeleines in the oven, whip up your glaze (if using). 

Madeleines are delicious fresh from the oven with a dusting of powdered sugar or let them cool, dip in the glaze and serve.

A tray o' madeleines

MORE C&H® SUGAR x DISPLACEDHOUSEWIFE RECIPES!

I have been working with C&H® Sugar throughout this past year creating fun recipes with them. I think I’m probably composed of 60% C&H® Sugar at this point in my life since that’s the sugar I was raised on and use in my baking. All of this makes me super happy and excited to share these recipes with you. 

Dulce De Leche Brownies

No-Churn S’mores Ice Cream

Olive Oil Berry Cake

Let’s bake some delicious Vanilla Orange Madeleines with Cranberry Glaze, shall we?!

A Madeleine sitting on a plate in a pool of glaze

Foolproof Vanilla Orange Madeleines

These light, cake-like cookies are laced with vanilla and orange flavors. Optional (and recommended!) cranberry glaze. Lots of tips + tricks to make these madeleines perfect every time!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Keyword: Madeleines, Cookies, Orange, Vanilla, Dessert
Servings: 24 Cookies

Ingredients

For the Madeleine Cookies

  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, really softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2⁄3 cup ( 128 g) C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) orange zest
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml )whole milk room temperature
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (101 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Cranberry Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) C&H® Confectioners’ Sugar sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsweetened cranberry juice

To Garnish

  • C&H® Demerara Sugar optional
  • Gel Food Coloring optional
  • See notes in blog post regarding Demerara Sprinkles

Instructions

For the Madeleines

  • To make the cookies, grease two 3 1⁄4 x 1 1⁄2–inch (8.3 x 3.7–cm) nonstick madeleine tins and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. If your room temperature butter isn’t soft enough to easily smear on a plate, then give it 10 seconds on high in the microwave to give it the correct consistency. Set aside.
  • In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar on high for about 5 minutes, or until pale yellow and thick. Add in the milk, orange zest and vanilla and run the machine on low for 1 minute more.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture and softened butter to the egg mixture and run the mixer on low for about 40 seconds. The mixture will be smooth and creamy with some small butter bits visible. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least several hours or ideally overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each madeleine well. Place the batter in the deep end of each well, not the middle. Do not smooth or flatten.
  • Bake one tin at a time in the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes. When done, the madeleines will be golden around the edges and puffed up in the middle. Let the cookies cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack. Place some parchment underneath the cooling rack.

For the Glaze

  • To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cranberry juice. Dip each madeleine in the glaze, letting the excess glaze fall back into the bowl, and then place the cookie back on the rack for the glaze to set. If using the demerara sprinkles, sprinkle some over the glaze. Enjoy asap!! xo

Video

Notes

*Do not skip resting the dough nor chilling the madeleine tin.
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

This post + these Foolproof Vanilla Orange Madeleines with Cranberry Glaze were created in collaboration with C&H® Sugar!! A big THANK YOU to them + you for supporting the brands I work with! 

6 Comments

  • Willah January 6, 2021 at 8:06 AM

    5 stars
    I just made these for my family and they were sooo good!! Everyone agreed they were the best madeleines I’d made, hands down. I think this will be my go-to madeleine technique :) Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth January 9, 2021 at 4:20 PM

      Hi Willah! I am sooo happy you liked them!!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Dad December 23, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    5 stars
    With coffee for breakfast. With milk for lunch. With cocktails in the evening. So very very good. I remember the C&H ad from when I was a kid. “Pure Cane Sugar from Hawaii”. Life is good.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth December 23, 2020 at 5:40 PM

      I remember it too!!! I can still hear the tune exactly!!! I’ll bring some to you soon!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Sally December 23, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    5 stars
    You make them so beautiful! I’m going in the kitchen now to make them.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth December 23, 2020 at 5:09 PM

      I hope you do! You will love them!! xox

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating