Blood Orange Poppyseed Madeleines


These dainty cakes always steal the show. #63: Blood Orange Poppyseed Madeleines


A longtime staple of gorgeous bakery window displays and menus for high tea, madeleines are a crowd-pleaser. They are one of the pastries that seem unattainable to a home baker at first glance, with their dainty lines and perfect, consistent shape. But then I gave in and bought a madeleine pan.

It goes against my rule of not buying single-purpose kitchen utensils, but I decided that this one is an investment. It’s not as much of a novelty as those silly grape slicers and egg molds. I plan to make tons of these versatile little cakes with my shiny new pan! The amount of flavor combinations that you can squeeze into them is impressive. The possibilities are endless and I’m very excited! Have I convinced you to get one yet? No? Keep reading, I’ll get you yet.



Oo, aaah, so shiny. One of the things that surprised me about this bake, is how quickly they cooked. It might have had something to do with it being a dark metal pan, but they browned faster than I was expecting.



I love that it called for more flavorful forms of sugar. The rich molasses flavor in the brown sugar and the subtle floral notes in the honey gave these cakes more depth. Side note, I’m looking for honey recommendations! I’m almost out of my current jar of local East Bay honey, so sad. It was a giant mason jar that when it got down to the last inch, I transferred it to a tiny jar. I love the idea of sticking with local honey, so let me know if you know any good brands!




I used blood oranges because they’re so pretty and I happened to have some on hand. They’ve never seemed as sweet to me as other types of oranges, but I have nothing to back up that statement. I love it when the segments are ombre instead of solidly burgundy – mini edible works of art!

Aren’t poppyseeds fun? They add a different texture that mixes up their rich buttery surroundings.



The only reason that madeleines don’t get the award for most satisfying bake is that you have to chill the dough for an HOUR. In hungry terms, that is forever and a day. So don’t make these on an empty stomach and expect immediate results. On the flip side, you can make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the fridge to be baked the next day. Which I have to admin is a pretty magical trait.



Cooking spray followed by a light dusting of snow (flour.)



Look how dense the dough is! It was a tad difficult to pipe, due to how thick it was after chillin’ in the fridge. This being my first time making them, my first thought was, uh oh. What if they don’t spread in the oven and I end up with cakes that look like little turd piles? (There was no graceful way to state that, trust me, I tried.)

But I should trust the fact that this cake has been made the same way for hundreds of years (some argue they’ve been around since the 1700s!) and also take a tip from the fact that they were chilled for an hour before baking. They clearly would spread far too much if they were baked at the pancake-batter consistency that they were pre-refrigerator-nap.



See? Nothing to fear. The rose up just like they should! Lin Manuel Miranda would be so proud.



Oh hi there.



Can’t wait to try out new flavors (you know pistachio and chocolate are coming, it’s inevitable in my kitchen.) Happy munching!



Recipe from:

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