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Madeleines are small, shell-shaped French cakes. They are very airy, sponge-like in texture, and usually plain, or flavored with fruit zest or nuts. For today’s recipe I decided to create some gluten free orange cardamom madeleines. What I like about madeleines is they are easy and quick to prepare, making them ideal to make when you’re craving a little cake late at night.
I made this recipe gluten free using oat flour. Compared to other gluten free flours, oat flour tastes the best to me. Additionally, I like that oat flour baked goods are not as crumbly as those made from other gluten free flours, such as coconut.
Note: Oats are naturally gluten free, however, sometimes they can get contaminated during processing or packaging. If you cannot tolerate gluten, I recommend you buy oats and oat flour that are certified gluten free.
Since madeleines are such small cakes, they are more challenging to infuse flavor into. Thus you will find that most madeleine recipes are quite plain and unoriginal. For this recipe I decided to mix orange zest with cardamom powder. They are both nice by themselves, but together they create this wonderful and refreshing aroma.
Sometimes madeleines are coated in melted chocolate to provide additional flavor and texture. I chose not to with this recipe, but if you wish to do it, I recommend dark chocolate with this flavor profile. Personally, I prefer to eat them plain when they’re fresh out of the oven. The edges are crispy and the interior is light like a cloud. You may also dip them in jam, or coffee.
They store well at room temperature for 2-3 days. I suggest you cover them with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying. Additionally, you could freeze them if you have too many. I like to place 2-3 madeleines in a self-sealing freezer bag. When I wish to eat them, I let them thaw for about 10 minutes then eat them right away. Note: once they thaw, they dry much faster than fresh ones.
And finally, the recipe for the gluten free orange cardamom madeleines:
Gluten Free Orange Cardamom Madeleines
- 1 ¼ cups (125 g/ 4 ½ oz.) oat flour
- ½ cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) granulated sugar
- 1 stick (115 g/ 4 oz.) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- zest from half an orange
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. butter for greasing the baking pan
- 2-3 tbsp. icing sugar for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180 °C (350°F).
- Place the flour and ground cardamom into a bowl, whisk them well together and set aside.
- Crack the eggs into another bowl, add the sugar and beat at high speed with an electric mixer. The mixture is ready when almost triple in volume and light in color. Then add the vanilla extract, salt, orange zest and whisk.
- Gently melt the butter over low temperature. Make sure the butter does not bubble. Once melted allow it to cool down.
- Using a spatula add the flour mix to the eggs bowl in two steps, mixing after each addition until the flour is well incorporated. Make sure not to over mix. Add the melted butter in two steps and mix until well incorporated. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Grease the madeleine pan with butter. Pipe or spoon the batter into the pan filling ¾ of each cavity and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
- Once baked, take the pan out of the oven and allow the madeleines to sit for 2-3 minutes in the pan. Transfer them to a rack and let them cool to room temperature.
- Dust the madeleines with icing sugar.