Cardamom Orange Mini Madeleines

Spring has sprung in Houston, and it has me daydreaming about picnics and tea parties and pretty floral dresses. And if I know anything about tea parties, I know that you need a yummy dessert to go with your tea. And, if you happen to have one, maybe a bunny plate to serve your desserts on.


Bunny Plate


I’ve had a mini madeleine pan on my wish list for a while, and we finally made it to a Sur La Table and bought one. Teddy and I have been trying to bake in smaller batches, so that we won’t have a whole cake or a whole pie sitting around tempting us all week. So while a madeleine pan was definitely a splurge, I’m excited that I can experiment with flavors without having to feel guilt about having cake around all the time. Plus they seem so fancy, which is perfect for a tea party.


I used Emma Gardner’s recipe for Maple Nutmeg Mini Madeleines, but since it’s spring, I wanted to try a different flavor combination. I’ve been wanting to bake with cardamom, and I thought orange and vanilla would go with the cardamom really well. The madeleines are bright and citrusy and perfect for spring. And they’re so small that I don’t feel bad about eating at least four!


Cardamom Orange Mini Madeleines

Adapted slightly from Emma Gardner’s Maple Nutmeg Mini Madeleines (with flavors inspired by Sarah Kieffer’s Cardamom Pound Cake)


Makes 20+ madeleines

65g unsalted butter (plus more for tin)
50g powdered sugar
20g almond meal/ flour
20g all purpose flour (plus more for tin)
45g egg white (about 1.25 – 1.5 eggs worth)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
Few shavings of fresh nutmeg or a dash of ground nutmeg
Zest of 1/2 an orange (I used a Cara Cara)
To make the batter:

Brown the butter: cut butter into slices and melt in a small pot with a light-colored bottom over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After the butter is melted, continue stirring and wait for the butter to hiss and get foamy on top. After the foam dissolves a little, watch for some white flecks to appear at the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until the flecks turn a nice brown color and the butter smells nutty. Pour butter into a small bowl, making sure not to leave any brown flecks behind, and set aside to cool. Butter browns really quickly, so you definitely don’t want to walk away from the stove! If you’ve never browned butter before, Emma’s guide is really helpful.


Sift the powdered sugar, flour, almond meal into a large bowl and whisk together. Whisk in egg whites. In a small bowl, stir vanilla, cardamom, sea salt, nutmeg, and orange zest together, then whisk into the batter. Whisk in the brown butter a little at time, so that it incorporates into the batter easier. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.


Brown Edges


Believe it or not, I didn’t “test” that madeleine. It actually slipped out and fell into the bottom of the oven. So be careful, because they might try to escape!


To bake the madeleines:

Preheat oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour tins, making sure to get all the \nooks and crannies. Put little dollops of batter into each mold so that they’re about 3/4 of the way full. The batter is sticky after chilling in the fridge, so I like to use a teaspoon to get a little scoop, and then use another spoon to nudge the batter into its spot.  Bake for 8-12 minutes, until the edges are brown and each madeleine has a hump in the middle. Flip madeleines out onto a plate and serve.


FLowers + Bunny Plate



– These are best within an hour or two of coming out of the oven, so you can make the batter ahead of time and then bake them off right before you want to serve them.

– I got my mini madeleine tin here. If you’d rather not buy a single-use kitchen gadget, I think adding some cardamom and orange zest to vanilla cupcakes or shortbread would be equally great!

-If you’re looking at the measurements wondering why they’re in grams, it’s because the original recipe is in grams, and the amounts were really finicky in volume measurements. I’m hoping to be able to give both weight and volume measurements for baking recipes in the future (and possibly update this recipe), but trying to figure out these measurements was giving me a headache.

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