12 Days of Holiday Treats: Madeleines à la clementine

Orange madeleines on a baking tray with a ramekin of glaze.Welcome to Day 3 of

The Twelve Days of Holiday Treats!

Once again, this year, from December 1st-12th I’ll post a new holiday treat recipe every day – inspiration for your holiday entertaining!

The recipes I’m sharing are small-er batch (perfect for this year when many of us will still be attending/ hosting smaller gatherings) – each recipe makes 1-dozen or a few more smaller-sized treats that are simple to prepare and that use everyday ingredients and equipment so hopefully you’ll be able to whip up any of these on a whim. Check out the treats from 2019 and 2020 at the bottom of this post too for more inspiration!

For today’s instalment of the 12 Days of Holiday Treats, I’m sharing a recipe that works for French Fridays as well!

As you saw in yesterday’s post, orange is a flavour I associate with the holidays and, following the success of my Lemon Madeleines earlier this year, I decided that there needed to be an orange version too!

Orange madeleines glazed and dusted with icing sugar.While this is a quick recipe to prepare, be aware that the batter has an extended rest in the fridge (4ish hours or overnight) so the flavours have a long time to develop. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, your mads will be much better for it! Also, if you’re busy in the kitchen one day, plan to make the batter, pop it in the fridge, get on with some other tasks and then retrieve the batter and bake it later in the day. You can also leave the batter in the fridge overnight.

Wait, what? The batter needs to chill. For 4 hours to overnight?

Yup, it does!  I spent a long time experimenting with different methods for making the lemon version of these – starting with the recipe in In the French kitchen with kids where the pan is buttered, floured and frozen for about 30 minutes before it’s filled and the cakes are baked more or less straight away.

For today’s version of the recipe, I’ve found the rest in the fridge helps ensure you get the coveted hump on the top of the cake – my “quick” method will most often produce these but this version seems pretty foolproof.

Orange madeleines with an orange glaze on a baking tray.

So are they really easy? Or are you just saying that?

No, they really are! Make the batter early in the day if you want afternoon madeleines. It comes together in a few minutes – the fussiest part is getting the batter into the buttered, floured and chilled pan but a small cookie scoop will help you here. the quick bake time means that if you’ve prepped the batter in advance you can get these baked and served pretty quickly once you decide you want them!

Yield: 12

Madeleines à la clementine/ Orange madeleines

Orange madeleines on a baking tray with a ramekin of glaze.

Madeleines with an orange/ clementine twist!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 27 minutes


for the madeleine batter

  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter, melted, for greasing the pans
  • All-purpose flour, for flouring the pans
  • 1/4 cup (57 g/ 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 clementine (approx. 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (58g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

for the glaze (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange or clementine juice (leave the pulp in)
  • 1/3 - 1/3 cup icing sugar


The day before or morning of baking - prepare the madeleine pan

  1. Brush the madeleine pan with the melted butter, making sure to get the butter into all the grooves, but don’t let it pool there (if necessary turn the pan upside down over a paper towel to drain out).
  2. Place a large pinch of flour in each cavity and shake the pan to coat the butter with the flour. Turn the pan upside down over the sink or over some paper towel to catch the flour, and tap to remove any excess.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer.

The day before or morning of baking - prepare the batter

  1. Melt the butter either in a small pot on the stovetop over medium heat, or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
  2. Rub the clementine zest into the sugar with your fingers until it’s mixed through and the sugar is yellow. This helps release the oils and flavour.
  3. Beat the sugar with the egg and orange extract with handheld electric beaters on high speed for 3 -4 minutes, until thick, creamy and slightly pale.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a rubber spatula to gently fold them in until the dry ingredients are just combined.
  6. Add the cooled, melted butter to the batter and use a rubber spatula to gently mix until the butter is completely incorporated. The batter will be a little runny.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge 4 hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to bake (either later that day or the next day)

  1. Remove the madeleine pan from the freezer and fill each cavity about three-quarters full. It’s easiest to use a small spoon or 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to fill the cavities. Do not spread the batter out, it will settle when it bakes. Once you have filled all the cavities, place the tray in the fridge or freezer while the oven pre-heats.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C). When the oven is at temperature, remove the madeleine pan from the fridge and then bake for 8-10 minutes. Your madeleines should be golden around the edges and may have a bump on top—it can be quite pronounced. Don’t worry, that bump is meant to be there!
  3. Remove the pans from the oven. Immediately remove the madeleines from the pans (use a small knife or spoon to coax them out if they don’t just pop right out) to cool on wire racks. Madeleines are best the day you make them, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. If you glaze them (see below), they are definitely best the day you make them!
  4. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool and serve immediately.

Make the glaze and glaze the cakes

  1. Mix the juice and icing sugar together until there are no lumps and it's a syrupy consistency.
  2. While the madeleines are still warm, dip one side of the cake into the glaze. Let the excess drip off and allow the glaze to set on the cakes. Enjoy the same day you glaze them.

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did you make this recipe?

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Orange madeleines on a baking tray with a small dish of orange glaze.Aren’t they festive? Bet you can’t eat just one!

What flavour makes you think of the holidays? Orange or something else?


Baking up a storm? Check out Nuts.com for all your baking and cooking needs!

Buy bulk nuts, snack mixes, dried fruits, candies & sweets by the pound at Nuts.com!

(this is an affiliate link, but I genuinely use Nuts.com products and love them. Highly recommended if you are in the US/ Canada where they currently ship)

Check out 2021’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Speculoos financiers

Day 2: Chocolate Dipped Orange Sugar Cookies

Day 3: Madeleines à la Clémentine

Day 4: Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

Day 5: Sunbutter and Jam Chocolate Cups

Day 6: Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Cookies

Day 7: Linzer Cookies

Day 8: Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Day 9: Choc-Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Day 10: Pailles (Puff Pastry and Jam Cookies)

Day 11: Strawberry Santa Hats

Day 12: Mulled Wine Jam


Check out 2020’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Rice Krispie Wreaths

Day 2: Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Day 3: Peppermint Bark

Day 4: Orangettes

Day 5: Rocky Road Chocolate Crackle Slice

Day 6: Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Day 7: Orange Pim’s

Day 8: Mendiants

Day 9: Chewy Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies

Day 10: Apricot, Coconut and Cranberry “truffles”

Day 11: Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Brownies

Day 12: Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Check out 2019’s 12 Days of Holiday Cookies:

Day 1: Easy Three Ingredient Shortbread

Day 2: Jam Drops

Day 3: Chocolate Caramel Slice

Day 4: Melting Moments

Day 5: White Christmas

Day 6: Langues de Chat

Day 7: Chocolate Coconut Slice

Day 8: Cornflake Biscuits

Day 9: Rocky Road

Day 10: Honey Joys

Day 11: Rum Ball Truffles

Day 12: Giant Florentine Cookie (to share)


Buy my books! In the French kitchen with kids and French Food for Everyone: le goûter are out now! Click here for details and how to order!

Books by Mardi Michels

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