Carole Yu

Orange Madeleines Recipe: How to Make French Citrus Madeleines with Orange Flower Water

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Delicious and Easy Orange Madeleines Recipe

Are you looking for a tasty and unique dessert?  Look no further than these super delicious orange madeleines.  Crispy edged and tender, they are a dream on a plate!

The first time I baked these lovely orange madeleines was when I worked as the Culinary Director at Williams Sonoma in Beverly Hills. As I love a lot of bright taste in my baked goods, I’ve adapted the original recipe here, by adding orange zest.  

Madeleines with orange slices on a wooden cutting board
Orange Madeleines are perfect for afternoon tea, and paired with some juicy orange slices.
Baked Madeleines on a Cooling Rack

Made with simple ingredients like cake flour, baking powder, granulated sugar and orange flower water, these delicate and flavorful treats will have your friends begging for the recipe!

What You'll Need for this Orange Madeleines Recipe:

What You’ll Need for This Recipe:

  • Cake flour: This low-protein flour is essential for the delicate texture of madeleines. It’s finer than all-purpose flour, and gives the madeleines a tender crumb. (Crumb refers to the texture of the interior of a baked good, like a cake or muffin, meaning it’s soft, moist, and delicate!)
  • Baking powder: This leavening agent helps the madeleines rise and gives them their signature hump.
  • Egg: One large egg is all you need for this recipe. It provides structure and richness to the batter.
  • Granulated sugar: The sugar sweetens the madeleines and helps create a light and airy texture.
  • Orange flower water: This fragrant ingredient provides a delicate floral flavor to the madeleines. (if you don’t have orange flower water, options are listed below in the FAQs)
  • Unsalted butter: The butter provides richness and flavor to the madeleines. Make sure it’s at room temperature before using.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: This powdered sugar is used for dusting the madeleines after baking.

How to Make Orange Madeleines:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and butter a 12-mold madeleine pan.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the cake flour and baking powder.
Cake Flour and Baking Powder in a sifter ready to prep the madeleines

3. In another bowl, beat the egg, granulated sugar, orange zest and orange flower water using an electric mixer for 30 seconds.

4. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture has quadrupled in bulk and is very thick, about 10 minutes.

The dry ingredients are ready to be added to the bowl of wet ingredients

5. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the flour mixture and then the melted butter into the egg mixture. Be sure to fold gently to avoid deflating the batter. 

Madeleine batter alongside a bowl of melted butter

Refrigerating the Batter (or not) before you bake the Orange Madeleines??

Madeleines with a smaller bump in the baking sheet after no refrigeration of batter
These are madeleines with a smaller bump because the batter was just put directly into the baking pan.
Baked Madeleines after batter was sitting in refrigerator shows the characteristic bump
If you put the batter in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, the "bump" will be much more pronounced.

[PRO TIP: If you are in a rush, you can just put the batter into the madeleine pan without refrigeration, and you’ll still get the characteristic baby bump as in the first photo above.  But, if you’re wanting the quality of the bigger bump, then put the batter in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before scooping out into the baking pan.]

6. Decide if you want to refrigerate the batter before scooping. This will affect the baby bump! Do you want a 3 mo baby, or a 8 mo baby bump??Scoop the batter into the prepared molds, filling each one about three-fourths full. You can use a piping bag , spoon, or small 1 TBSP ice cream scoop to do this.

unbaked madeleine batter in a madeleine pan

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the madeleines are lightly browned around the edges and on the bottom.

8. Remove the orange madeleines from the oven and immediately turn them out onto a wire rack.

Baked orange Madeleines stil in the pan
Orange Madeleines fresh out of the oven on a cooling rack

9. Using a fine-mesh sieve or sifter, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.

10. Serve them warm and enjoy!

Close up of Orange Madeleines with powdered sugar

Pro Tips:

  • To ensure that your orange madeleines have the characteristic hump, chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • Be sure to butter your madeleine pan generously to prevent sticking.
  • If you’re using a nonstick madeleine pan, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) or shorten the baking time by a few minutes.
  • Don’t overmix the batter or the madeleines will be tough. Fold the ingredients together gently.


Q:  Where can I find Orange Blossom Water?                                                                A: Orange Blossom Water, gives the madeleines a delicate orange perfume-y fragrance.  It is also known as Orange Flower Water. You can often find it at a Mediterranean , Spanish, Italian, Persian, or Middle Eastern grocery store.  You can also order at this link on Amazon.

Q: Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour”                                            A: You can, but the madeleines will have a slightly different texture.  Cake flour gives the madeleines a more delicate softer crumb.

Q: I don’t have any orange flower water, what can I use instead?                A: You can always substitute in orange juice or an orange liquor like my favorite Cointreau, or Grand Marnier.

Q: Can I use lemon or almond extract instead of orange flower water?       A: Yes, you can. Lemon extract will give the madeleines a bright and zesty flavor, while almond extract will give them a nutty and slightly sweet flavor.

Q:  Can I make madeleines ahead of time?                                                                 A. Yes, you can definitely make orange madeleines ahead of time.  They are best served fresh and warm, but if you need to make them in advance, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

To keep them fresh for longer, you can also freeze them for up to three months.  To freeze, place the cooled madeleines in a single layer in an airtight container, separating each layer with a sheet of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.  When you’re ready to serve them, simply let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes and dust them with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

It’s worth noting that while madeleines can be stored and frozen, they really are at their best when they’re served fresh out of the overn.  If you’re serving them for a special occasion, and want to make sure they are warm, it’s really best to bake them the same day you plan to serve them!

Orange Madeleines on a large serving plate, on a personal small plate, served with a cup of tea, all on a lovely blue wedgewood china set.

If you love this Orange Madeleine recipe, try this Orange Pumpkin Bread !

Pumpkin Bread Hero Shot
Another delicious Orange Flavored dessert - Click here for this super moist Drunken Pumpkin Bread recipe!
Orange Madeleines on a plate with confectioners’ sugar dusting.
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Classic Orange Madeleines

How to make the perfect Orange Madeleines with Orange Flower Water
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
Course: Brunch, Cookie, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: Baking, French Cookies, Madeleines, Orange Madeleines
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 60kcal
Author: Carole Yu




  • Put a rack on the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400℉/(200℃).
  • Generously butter a 12-mold madeleine pan.
  • Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a second bowl, in a mixer beat together the egg, granulated sugar, orange zest, and orange blossom water for 30 seconds.
  • Increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat the mixture until it has quadrupled and is very thick. It should take about 10 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the flour mixture and then the melted butter into the egg mixture.
  • Using a 1 TBSP ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the prepared molds, filling each about ¾ full.
  • Bake the madeleines until they are lightly browned around the edges and on the bottom, between 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove the madeleines from the oven, and immediately flip them out onto a wire rack.
  • Using a fine mesh sieve or a sifter, dust the orange madeleines with confectioners' sugar.
  • Best served warm. Makes 12 madeleines.


Calories: 60kcal

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ellen kahn

    Does this take an egg? Not listed in ingredients but instructions say beat the egg with other ingredients.

    1. Scott Stewart

      Hi Ellen,
      I’m so sorry that I forgot to list the egg in the ingredients, it is listed in the description and instructions before the recipe card. I have added it to the recipe. Thank you so much for catching that! Did you end up making the Orange Madeleines? How did they turn out.

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