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Orange Walnut Spice Madeleines

January 2, 2012

As I was searching my cookbook collection for a classic madeleine recipe for my brand new madeleine pan, I came across the same anecdote in several of them. Apparently the madeleine, a dainty and delicate cake-cookie, is the memory-awakening trigger in Proust’s The Remembrance of Things Past. As a writing major, I’m always slightly embarrassed when I haven’t read classic literature like this, but I’ve never read of word of Proust and who cares? What my cookbooks really should have emphasized is how addicting these little French cakes are. I easily could have devoured the whole lot of them by myself, but it is January 2nd, so I restrained myself to just two three four. Besides, they’re so pretty I need to share them and show them off.

The great thing about madeleines is that you can change and adapt the flavors however you like just by folding in whatever tasty ingredients you have on hand. Lemon zest, spices or nuts, chocolate chips even! I went for a warm, wintery combination of orange zest, toasted walnuts and a hint of clove. If normal madeleines are addicting, this version is just plain dangerous. They are completely irresistible. My first time making madeleines, and I nailed it, if I do say so myself. Granted, they’re surprisingly easy to whip together despite their fancy looks.

Making madeleines might just be my new baking addiction. It will be hard to try new flavors with such a winning combo like this one, but experimenting is my thing, so I’m sure I’ll get past it. However, like Proust, whenever I take a bite of a madeleine, my thoughts will remember these, my first, with fondness. And a bit of drooling.

Orange Walnut Spice Madeleines

© Copyright 2012 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Yield: 24 madeleines


  • 2/3 cup oat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a standard madeleine pan and place on a baking sheet. If you don’t have a madeleine pan, you can bake these in a muffin tin, using just a spoonful of batter in each cup.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer, whip the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Add the vanilla and orange zest and stir to combine.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in thirds, folding in each addition by hand with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add the butter and fold into the mixture until fully incorporated. Add the walnuts and stir until combined.
  6. Add a spoonful of batter to each of the madeleine molds, filling them 3/4 full. Bake until golden and set, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the pan and invert on a cooling rack. Continue with remaining batter.
  7. Once cooled slightly, dust the madeleines with powdered sugar and enjoy!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 8:22 am

    Those look fantastic.

  2. January 2, 2012 9:24 am

    Very nice indeed! I always think madeleines look so pretty! they sound a little as though they would taste similar to the biscuits I blogged today – minus the jam.

  3. January 2, 2012 1:10 pm

    Cue tummy growling – these look amazing!

  4. January 10, 2012 10:27 am

    I love the addition of cloves. Can’t wait to give these a try in my shiny new madeleine pan. Thanks!

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