Years ago I bought a Madeleine pan and promptly put it away never to be used. It took cleaning out my cupboard to find this pan again, still all clean and shiny. If you have done the same pull that pan out and make these sweet and tender Spiced Madeleines with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves.
Add little sweetness to your day and bake a batch of these ADDICTIVE madeleines.
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Madeleines are a classic French dessert cake with pretty scallops shape. They are buttery, tender inside with crispy edges on the outside. And, because I love using spices these cakes have three of my favorite spices in them, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
What is a madeleine?
A madeleine hails from France and is baked in a special madeleine pan with scallops that produces a petite sponge cake that has a signature bump on top.
Are madeleines a cake or a cookie?
Many times madeleines are referred to as cookies, but the batter for madeleines is actually called a genoise which means sponge cake. Sponge cakes use eggs for leavening which causes the cakes to rise during baking and gives them their light and airy texture. So no baking powder or yeast required. Let’s call them CAKES!
Different flavors for madeleines
There are so many possibilities to flavor Madeleines by adding different ingredients to the batter. Here are a few flavor ideas for you ~
- Earl Grey
- Honey Lavender
- Lemon with Lemon Glaze
- Orange Cardamom
- Pumpkin Spice
- Vanilla Bean
Of course, plain Madeleines with a dusting of powdered sugar are always delicious!
- Superfine Sugar
Do you ever see the madeleines in containers next to cash registers in bakeries or coffee shops? So tempting to buy one or two or three, right, but you can bake these at home because the recipe is not complicated and uses simple ingredients.
Grab a mixing bowl and a madeleine pan and let’s bake.
Step 1. Prepare the batter by beating the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together for five to seven minutes. What will happen is the eggs will become pale yellow and triple in volume.
At this point, we want to treat the egg batter as delicately as possible so it doesn’t deflate, so be gentle.
Step 2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl then lightly spoon on top of the egg mixture. Then with a rubber spatula start folding the flour into the beaten egg batter until the flour has been incorporated.
Step 3. Add the melted butter to the batter and fold in with a rubber spatula.
Step 4. Your madeleine batter is done and ready to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Chilling does help the batter rise during baking so you get those nice fluffy madeleines.
Step 5. While the dough is chilling in the fridge prepare your pan. Always butter your pan even if it is a nonstick pan. You can use cooking spray but I like the butter flavor better and lightly coat the pan with flour.
Step 6. Add one tablespoon of batter to each shell. The batter will be thick, so you can press down on the batter to smooth it out a bit.
Step 7. Bake these cakes at 400 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes until the bump is on top and they are golden brown.
Step 8. Remove little cakes from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Remove the cakes out one by one, pushing each from the mold. If they are stuck you can run a knife around the edges to release them. It is better to prop the cakes up in the pan to finish cooling instead of putting them on a cooling rack which could cause the indentation of the racks lines.
Step 9. When cooled dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container
Oh joy, this batch came out beautifully. Give these cakes a sprinkle of powdered sugar to add a bit of sweetness and because anything dusted with powdered sugar just looks extra special.
Since eggs are the main ingredient for this recipe and what is used as a leavening, they need to be at room temperature so they will combine with the other ingredients. If they are cold they may separate.
The chilled batter can be kept covered in the fridge to up to two days.
You can freeze the baked madeleines in an airtight container for up to six months. To serve let thaw one to two hours.
Eating madeleines warm is simply the best, but they do keep for a couple of days in a covered container.
Do you have a pan?
Of course, you are going to need a Madeleine pan, just don’t put it away in your cupboards for long. When buying a pan make sure to purchase one that is heavy-duty, that doesn’t warp, such as the carbon steel one shown.
More spiced treats to enjoy
Spiced Holiday Cookies with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
Classic Ginger Cookies are always a tasty cookie.
Cinnamon Rock Candy is a fun-to-make sweet treat and perfect for the holidays.
Apple Cider Bread has all the yummy fall flavors we all love.
Homemade Cinnamon Crescent Rolls are made with cottage cheese for a light and fluffy texture.
Chai Spiced Shortbread Cookies are filled with chai tea.
Spiced Madeleines with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves
- Melt the butter in the microwave or a saucepan. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla for five to seven minutes until the mixture becomes pale and has tripled in volume.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and whisk to combine.
- Spoon the flour mixture over the egg batter and gently fold the flour into the batter with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Pour the cooled melted butter over the batter and again, gently fold into the batter until combined.
- Chill the batter for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease and flour the Madeleine pan. Butter is my preferred choice. Some pans are non-stick so you may not have to flour the pan, but I would still grease it.
- Spoon a tablespoon of batter into each mold.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown the bump appears on top. Watch carefully so they don't over-brown.
- Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from the pan. Once cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Superfine sugar is also called Caster Sugar or Baker's Sugar - If you do not have superfine sugar you can make it in a food processor, spice grinder or blender. Simply add the amount of regular white sugar you need in the recipe and add additional sugar and grind for a few seconds to make a finer sugar crystal.
- For this recipe add 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra sugar to the 3/4 cups of sugar before grinding.
Sweet with a little spice
From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.
Have any questions or just want to chat about the recipe? Contact me here, and I’ll be happy to help!
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