Orange Cardamom Madeleines

orange cardamom madeleine5

First of all, I would like to thank all my blogger friends who left such heart warming comments on my last post that I was brought to tears by so many of them. I appreciate your words of wisdom, encouragement and never ending support. It means more to me than I can describe in words.

orange cardamom madeleine

My intention was never to write what I did in my last post because though I was in pain and frustrated and very down, I am not the one to admit such things. But for some reason, sub consciously maybe, it all came pouring out. Maybe it was to hear all the lovely words you had to say to me and to let me know that I am not alone. Whatever it was, I’m glad I did share what I was feeling because I got such great advice from others who do this and go through similar things as I do. Thank you all so much. Of course, with such a great support system that I have in all of you, I’m not giving up this blogging gig anytime soon!

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So, just a quick post today because it’s time for the monthly Improv Cooking Challenge that is hosted by Kristen Baker of Frugal Antics of a Harried HomemakerThis month’s theme is orange and cardamom. I have to say, I had many grand plans for this theme, many, many ideas, but feeling the way I did, and with my mobility issues and the whole feeling of despair, I opted for something easier but just as good. Maybe, I will post my other ideas later.

Who doesn’t love a madeleine? I adore these scalloped, buttery bits of heaven. There is nothing better than a warm madeleine, fragrant from the lemon zest and butter alongside a steaming cup of Earl Grey.

orange cardamom madeleine1

Though I prefer my madeleines, unadorned and uncomplicated with just a light dusting of powdered sugar and a hint of lemon, these Orange Cardamom Madeleines are really quite amazing. The underlying flavour is the fresh citrusy flavour from the orange with the hint of cardamom. Cardamom can be quite strong and a little goes a long way, so use a light hand with it unless you really, really love it. I always grind my own cardamom powder because the flavour and aroma are stronger, but you can use a good quality, ready ground powder.

orange cardamom madeleine3

I hope you check out my fellow Improv Cooking Challengers below and their delicious creations. 

Orange Cardamom Madeleines

Serves: 24

Calories: 2285

Fat: 117g

The classic French madeleine gets a makeover with fresh orange and cardamom.
  • 1 cup/150g all purpose/plain organic flour
  • ¼ cup/25g ground almonds
  • ⅔ cups/120g cane sugar
  • 2 eggs, large organic
  • 1 stick/115g melted (and browned) butter
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. This recipe is so easy, you can do it with a fork with no need to whip out the mixer.
  2. If you want to use the browned butter, heat the butter in a small, heavy saucepan on medium low heat.
  3. Allow the milk solids to start browning being careful not to burn.
  4. It can burn very quickly so keep an eye on it.
  5. Remember, it continues to cook in the pan so I take it off while it's just light brown.
  6. By the time I'm ready for it, it has reached a deep golden brown.
  7. If you don't want to mess with browned butter, you can use just melted butter.
  8. Mix the flour and ground almonds together.
  9. Mix the sugar and eggs together.
  10. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well.
  11. Add the orange zest, cardamom powder and the orange juice.
  12. Mix thoroughly and then slowly mix in the cool, melted butter.
  13. The batter will be soft and will need to be chilled for easier scooping.
  14. Chilling also helps develop the characteristic hump of the madeleine and is a necessary step.
  15. Chill the batter for at least an hour.
  16. I've made madeleine batter the night before and is very convenient to have it ready to go in the morning.
  17. When you are ready to bake, grease and flour your madeleine pans.
  18. Preheat your oven to 375℉/190℃
  19. Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each scalloped mould.
  20. This recipe should yield 24 madeleines and it's easier to have two pans.
  21. Bake for 15 minutes.
  22. Check at 10 minutes and then add minutes from there.
  23. They can burn easily if you don't keep an eye on them.
  24. Mine were ready in about 13 minutes.
  25. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and them prise them out gently with a knife.
  26. Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar.
  27. Some people like glazes and such on them or even chocolate, but I like mine plain.
  28. You can always drizzle a sugar or chocolate glaze if you like (maybe melt an orange chocolate bar and dip)
This recipe is heavily adapted from Julia Child's madeleine recipe.

orange cardamom madeleines6

Just a note on the madeleine pans that you need for this recipe. If you don’t own one and would like to buy one, I highly recommend ones that are sold at Williams Sonoma, or heavy duty cast iron or aluminium. Don’t buy the non stick, they are quiet terrible and don’t buy cheap ones. You will regret it and then hate making madeleines. I happened to have a gift card from a store that was not Williams and Sonoma years back and so I spent my money buying these non stick madeleine pans. They’re not a cheap make, but obviously now I realise they are not good enough. I sprayed them with non stick and I used shortening and flour one other time, and they are beginning to stick like a big dog! Very frustrating when your favourite cakes don’t come out all pretty and scalloped. They worked fine for about a year or two, but I’ve had them for a while now, but looks like I’ll be investing in some proper ones soon.

orange flower

My children are off from school next week for Thanksgiving and I’m already getting nervous. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, a few of my good friends and I are getting together for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I am so excited because these ladies are great cooks and we have a great menu lined up. Can’t wait!

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I hope to post before Thanksgiving, but that may not happen with the children home and with all the busyness. If not then I will take the opportunity now to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to my readers and friends in the US. Have a great weekend and a holiday weekend!


  1. Hi Nazneen, would you believe, I had a sudden urge to make madeleines the other day! Perhaps I was subconsciously missing France :p. Alas I didn’t have the proper moulds, so I’ll have to save them for another day. Great job with the baking – I see in some of the photos you were able to get the “required” bump in the tops (well, bottoms I suppose) too! They look and sound lovely, I bet the cardamom was really good.
    Charles recently posted..Muddus CakeMy Profile

    • Thanks Charles! Yes, it’s my sole purpose to try and get those desired humps! I love madeleines and the pans were something I had to have. The cardamom was excellent in these.

  2. Love madeleines! My husband loves anything orange flavored and I’m betting he will adore these. Who doesn’t love a buttery cookie!?
    It must have been hard to share with us…you are very brave and I admire that. I’m glad you shared and I’m certainly glad that you’re still on the path as food blogger. 🙂
    Tina @ Tina’s Chic Corner recently posted..Pasta With Tomato Cream SauceMy Profile

  3. Happy early Thanksgiving to you. Enjoy the time off with your children. I bet your kids have already spotted the madeleines and they will be gone before sunset. Orange and cardamon sounds amazing combination. My hubby just bought me a several cardamon pods now I just need to purchase a madeleine baker sheet. Have a super weekend. BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted..Roasted Butternut and Carrot Ginger SoupMy Profile

    • Thanks Bam. Actually, I hid them quite well but then they started bugging me about being hungry so I broke them out. Can’t keep things hidden In this house for long.

  4. I love madeleines! Mrs K R makes a terrific lemon one, but I’m intrigued by the flavoring in these. I just sent her the link as a hint! 😉 We’ve got both nice metal madeleine pans, and some silicone ones. Mrs K R actually prefers the silicone ones. Anyway, great recipe, super pictures – thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Spicy Roast ChickpeasMy Profile

    • Thanks John. You know I was wondering about the silicon pans and now I know that Mrs KR approves. Maybe I’ll think of trying those out then. Thank you!

  5. Sorry to learn that you’ve not been well of late, Nazneen. If I’ve an off day, I’ve only a dog and parrot to deal with. You’ve children to tend and a home to run. I admire you for doing so well under such trying circumstances.
    These Madeleines look terrific! The fragrance of orange and cardamom must make them irresistible. I bet you hid some before they all “disappeared”. 🙂
    ChgoJohn recently posted..What I Did During My Fall VacationMy Profile

    • Thank you John. I am doing better and it definitely was uplifting to have so many wonderful people, like yourself, leave such positive comments. Makes me feel that I can do this with everyone’s support.

  6. Madeleines hold a special place in my heart. My daughter once had to make them while translating from a French recipe. Yes, it was an extra credit project for her French class. More fun, than tough and we did get wonderful results. since then, we’ve tried others and maybe soon we will try these. Have a great Thanksgiving!
    Abbe@This is How I Cook recently posted..Maple Glazed Challah Rolls and A Winner!My Profile

    • Your comment made me smile Abbe! My daughters French recipe was clafoutis. Thankfully she didn’t have to translate, but just had to make a French dish. So I told her to go to my blog and use my clafoutis recipe. I don’t know what she did, but she mixed up the salt and sugar quantities and made an awful salted clafoutis. I struggles to salvage it and poured powdered sugar over and over on it. Apparently, people still ate it!!

  7. I would love to be in the US to experience Thanksgiving. It seems like the most wonderful day of remembering to be thankful and there’s the emphasis on all the family coming together – something we don’t do often enough. I hope you have a wonderful day. Your madeleines look very good xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Three Turkey StuffingsMy Profile

    • Well, Charlie, if you find yourself here in November, you have a standing invitation at my house for Thanksgiving.

  8. There’s something about madeleines that is so elegant. I adore them but I’ve yet to invest in a madeleine pan. Someone recently told me I can freeze them since I think they’re best fresh and I was “worried” about leftovers. Your madeleines have me thinking about getting a pan again…they look beautiful and so perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon or after dinner.
    Monica recently posted..Hot chocolate affogatoMy Profile

    • Thank you Alice! I heard they were accepted on Foodgawker from you first!! Didn’t even have to read their email 🙂

  9. Nazneen, so nice to read that you are feeling a bit better and that your plans to stop posting these lovely recipes and pictures are on hold or rather forgotten! I, for one, am crazy about Madeleines – simply adore them with a cup of tea or two. They came out beautiful and amazing looking. Orange and cardamom is a wonderful combination of flavors and, of course, fresh spices are always the way to go!
    May you have a wonderful weekend and Thanksgiving with family and friends that you love around your table!
    TheKitchenLioness recently posted..Pfeffernüsse – German Pepper NutsMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Andrea for your lovely comment. I love blogging too much to leave it and whilst it can get overwhelming sometimes, I’m going to take it easy and not let it become a chore. Thank you for the well wishes and I wish you a happy start to your holiday season as well 🙂 xx

    • Thank you Karen! They are fairly easy to make but you of need the pans to get them authentic. The hardest part is getting them out!!

  10. What beautiful madeleines, Nazeen! I can just imagine how wonderful your home smelled while they were baking. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with you family !

    • Thanks Kristen! Yes, the house smelled wonderful while these were baking. Thank you for a great challenge!

    • Thanks Asha! These were really good and I love cardamom in cookies and cakes…ok and kormas, and biryani and kheer…..

  11. Nazneen, I’ve just now read your last post. I had no idea you are ill. I have not idea what you’re going through, but big virtual hugs to you. And as far as the blogging goes, I hear ya. I’ve been doing this for 4 years. Every once in awhile I feel the same way. Then poof, something happens and I’m back in the game. I love how you’ve described this whole venture. It is a part of us. I don’t think I could ever quit. An now for these madelines. I am totally impressed! Beautiful cookies and your photos tell a story. Fabulous job.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..My Secret for Great Chicken Pot PieMy Profile

    • Thank you Lea Ann. It does get hard at times but you gotta suck it up and go on! I for one can’t just stay around moping, it’s too tiring for me! Thank you for stopping by and for your words of support. I really appreciate it.

  12. Actually, I think its so wonderful that you give a little piece of yourself in your posts, and that you are honest about your emotions. There’s nothing wrong with saying your down when you feel down, because thats when you let people know that you need some support, and we all need that sometime. And sometimes some words of encouragement are all that you need to help snap out of it. Still, I am going to kidnap you. Now hand over the madeleines and nobody gets hurt.
    *kisses* H
    Heavenly recently posted..Little SocialMy Profile

    • Thank you H, that’s so sweet of you say. When are you coming to kidnap me, I want to make sure I pack a bag :)?

  13. Nazneen – these sounds absolutely amazing. I, too, love cardamom and freshly ground seeds are the way to go. Our tangerines on the tree are almost ripe so I might just try this using one of them… Happy Thanksgiving to you, too – your pot luck sounds great, and very similar to the one we are attending. All really good cooks! That is the best way to have a potluck, right? Only invite really good cooks… Take good care, and I look forward to more of tour cardamom recipes! ~ David
    David recently posted..Into the Venetian LagoonMy Profile

    • David, your com met made me laugh! I can’t tell you how many bad pot lucks I’ve gone to. I make something amazing and the others walk in with bottles of soda or a store cake!! Makes me so mad. So this time, I made sure to ask only the people who can cook well!

  14. I am a regular visitor to bakeware stores and it isn’t exaggeration when I say that there is no room left in my cupboards so my baking gear is now accumulating in cartons and boxes. The other day my husband asked me if there is anything left to purchase and I was trying to remember. I don’t have madeleine pans!! And now after looking at these beauties I know I want them. I need them badly! Thanks for the tips Nazneen!
    Coming to the Madeleines, what a beautiful combination! I would never stop at one. They look so pretty. Enjoy your get together..Happy Cooking and Happy Thanksgiving:-)
    Sugar et al recently posted..Croissant PuddingMy Profile

    • My collection is getting pretty ridiculous too. I have to think what pans I need…I got mini bundts just recently, I would like to get some popover pans. Madeleine pans are a must though!!

  15. Nazneen, the internet is a much better place for the wise, non-judgemental, funny, interesting and beautifully written contribution you make to it, I’m glad you aren’t going anywhere. The silly season is without doubt a time and energy zapper without children and illness (and temperatures of 18F) so no wonder you’re going through ups and downs in your level of inspiration. It’s a bit of a relief to know that you are a fabulous writer, an amazing cook, a loving mother and still human under all that too! I’m sure a fabulous thanksgiving with good friends will be quite a good dose of medicine for you, on top of these gorgeous madeleines (and I say that without my cardamom and orange loving bias… or maybe not 😀 ).

    And if all that fails, you’re obviously overdue for a cuppa and a surf on stumbleupon (because one should never forget that the internet can be great for mindless fun too. To get you started, here is a site with 25 gifs of animals being jerks. Lol.). Xx
    Jas@AbsolutelyJas recently posted..Matcha MayhemMy Profile

    • Thanks for the laugh Jas! And thank you for your lovely words, your encouragement and support mean the world to me. Thank you also for your friendship. xx