Orange Almond Madeleines – A Petit Four


Finished PhotoMadeleines were said to be the favorite of Proust. These shell shaped petit fours  were originally made of sponge cake and to me, rather tasteless.  They dried out quickly while sitting on display and lacked any definitive flavor.

However, the Orange Almond Madeleines and the fudgey Chocolate Madeleines we made at the bakery are a special treat that lasts on display or in a tin and can be frozen for later use.  These were a very popular petit four.  Orange and almond is a favorite flavor combination than never fails to deliver in the taste department.

There are two kinds of petit fours, petit four sec which is any small one or two bite cake, tart, or other pick up dessert.  Petit four glace are the fondant covered little cakes.  At the bakery, we  made the petit four sec and had a box of assorted ones that were very popular.

This Orange Almond Madeleine depends upon almond paste for its moistness and flavor.  Marzipan, a derivative of almond paste should not be used.  It has egg whites and sugar incorporated into the almond paste.  You want to use the pure almond paste.  It can be found in most grocery stores in 10 ounce cans.  Solo CanGetting it out of the can is easiest of you remove the top and bottom of the can and just push it through.  It will save a lot of frustration.Pushing Almond paste through can

Madelienes have their own special mold.  A pan usually has 10 to 12 shell shaped molds and mini molds can also be found. Madeleine Pan The only way I found to release these easily was to use Baker’s Joy, a baking release that is made of oil and flour.  I tried ever conceivable way to get this to release and Baker’s Joy was the only thing that worked.  Bakery's JoyI tried spraying or wiping the pans with oil, then dusting with flour, but it was not as successful.  The other tip is to remove them while they are warm to easily get them out of their molds.  I prefer the shiny pans to the dark ones as I think the dark ones color the madeleines too much and crisp the exterior more than I like.  If you  have the dark ones, lower the temperature by 25 degrees and watch to make sure they aren’t over browning underneath.

Orange Almond Madelienes are really easy to put together.  I prefer using the processor as I think it mixes the ingredients the best.  But lacking a processor, a mixer can certainly be used.  I have included instructions for both.

These melt in your mouth petit fours are simplicity itself to make…….and enjoy.   When we did dessert buffets, we usually displayed them as in the finished photo.  Just use a small plate and starting at the outside edge, circle the madeleines.  Continue circling them, moving into the center where two will finish them.  Dust with powdered sugar and they are ready to go.

Orange Almond MadelienesIngredients 10 ounces almond paste (285 grams or 10 ounces)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (215 grams or 7 1/2 ounces)
1 orange rinds, grated
10 tablespoons  butter, softened (140 grams or 5 ounces or 1 stick + 2 tablespoons)
4 eggs
2/3 cup flour (85 grams or 3 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Processor Method:   Process the almond paste and sugar until mealy.  Almond paste-Sugar in processorAlmond paste-sugar processed Add the butter. Butter inProcess until smooth. Butter processed in Add the eggs and Eggs inprocess until smooth.  Eggs processedLastly add the orange rind, flour and baking powder.  Flour, B.P. Orange rindProcess until completely mixed.  Finished batterScrape down the side of the bowl and into the corners and process one last time.  Cleaning side of  bowlRemove the batter to a bowl.  Finished Batter in bowlTo clean the blade easily, pulse it several times and the centrifugal force will clean the blade.Cleaning blade 1

Cleaning blade 2Mixer Method:  Microwave almond paste briefly to soften.  Beat the paste with the sugar in the mixer with the paddle until combined.  It may clump up and that is fine.  Add the butter.  Beat until it all comes together and is light.  Add the eggs and beat until incorporated.  Add the orange rind, flour and baking powder.

Spray madeliene pans very well with Baker’s JoySprayed PanDrop batter with #60 scoop or by a tablespoon per mold.  Dropping batter with fisherTray of unbaked MadeleinesBake for 15 to 17 minutes, turning 2/3 the way through until golden around the edges and lightly browned on top.Baked in pans

Cool a few minutes and then remove the madeleines from the molds.  The easiest way to do this is to cup your hand and, using your fingers, slide the madeleines out toward you.  Removing from pan 1Removing from Pan 2If you wait until they are cool removing them becomes difficult.

To serve, sprinkle with powdered sugar.Finished photo

Makes about 50 madelienes.

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

13 thoughts on “Orange Almond Madeleines – A Petit Four

  1. Rhea

    Your orange almond madeleine’s look so elegant and tasty! Your step-by-step instructions makes this recipe look easy enough for me to tackle. Thank you!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Rhea: These truly are easy and I would encourage you to make them. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. Stephanie

    Hi Ms. Fletcher. I just wanted to let you know that I just found your YouTube channel today. I subscribed to it. I am looking forward to seeing more of your videos.

  3. Gay DeMichele

    Hi Helen, will you please post the recipe for the chocolate fudgie madeleines? thanks so much!

  4. Sarah

    I actually leave my batter in the fridge overnight before baking and they come out even more moist as well as have more of a lift. I have tested recipes, baking right away versus batter in the fridge as well as various pans. I found leaving the batter in the fridge overnight created a better Madeleine.

      1. Sarah

        Hi Helen,

        I was just thinking I never made the Almond Madeleines, so I am wondering if I tried the same method with your recipe would they come out the same.
        here is my recipe / formula and method


        3 eggs

        1 egg yolk

        zest from either an Orange or Lemon (I tried both and I prefer orange, but that is because I am not a huge Lemon fan.)

        5 ¼ ounces of sugar

        5 1/8 ounce of AP flour (I tested Cake flour and you can definitely use cake flour. )

        1 tsp baking powder (I tried the warming method from culinary school and that works, but I find using baking powder gives the Madeleine more of an arch and much easier than the warming method.)

        4 ounces of melted butter

        1 tsp of vanilla or almond extract (I used both and loved them both equally. I also did a ½ and ½ and the people at work really liked the flavor. The hint of both gave the cookies a nice flavor.)

        1/8 tsp of salt (some recipes do not call for salt, but I tried it with and without salt and I felt salt brought out the flavor more.)


        Sift the flour and baking powder together and put aside. (I tried using un-sifted flour and unfortunately, that did not work well. It made the cookie dense.)
        In a large bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolk, zest and sugar till very pale. (I did this by hand, but you can easily use a kitchen aid).
        Using a spatula, fold in the flour / baking powder mixture.
        Fold in the melted butter. (The batter will look very running at first, but after all the butter is incorporated it will look more like a cake batter. )
        Put the batter in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. (You can keep the batter in the fridge overnight. I tried baking them right away and at various fridge times and the longer in the fridge the better. However, I found the minimum time to be 30 minutes. )
        While the batter is in the fridge, preheat oven to 375.
        Butter and flour lightly your pan. (I tried using cooking spray and I did not like the way the Madeleine’s came out. They did not come out even.)
        I used a “regular” size metal pan. I tried the petite non-stick pans and they came out fine, but they did not have even lift. I would suggest a metal pan and butter and lightly flour the pan for best results.
        Using the number 40 ice cream scoop (or a tablespoon), spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold.
        Cook for 10 minutes.
        Quickly tap out the Madeleine onto a wire rack and let cool.
        Sprinkle with confection sugar (or I have with some preserves).

  5. Hilda

    And madeleine pans, both regular and mini, may be found at Kitchen Conservatory, of course.

      1. Delia Athey

        You are supposed to brush the molds with melted butter to get them to release and it usually does just fine for me. The sprays like that have so many other chemicals I don’t use them anymore.
        The other thing I learned in France is to put the filled molds in the fridge until they are cold because the great difference between cold and hot will help them puff up much more.

        1. hfletcher Post author

          Hi Delia: Thank you so much for your comment. I think the butter would work if you were doing sponge madeleines. However, the almond paste in these causes them to stick like crazy. I tried butter, butter and flour, oil, oil and flour, every conceivable thing I could think of and the only way to easily remove these so they retain their shape is to use the Baker’s Joy. These will never puff up, and I wouldn’t want them to, because they are totally different from the classic madeleines. These are madeleines by shape only. If these were to be refrigerated, the baking time will be different.

Comments are closed.