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Part little cake, part delicate cookie, Orange and Chocolate Madeleines are the perfect bite. This recipe for these distinctive light and airy French butter cookies is delicious and foolproof.

chocolate dipped madeleines on a tray with an orange and sieve on a madeleine tray

A few years ago, the whole family found ourselves at home.  At the time, it was very rare occurrence on a weekend. That night while I was cooking up dinner, I had the idea that we needed to celebrate with dessert.

I flipped through my cookbook and found this recipe that I had printed out years ago. Mmm…madeleines. I have zero self-control when it comes to these cookies. I once made myself ill off of eating so many of them, and yet I still love them. That is the sign of a great cookie. Or a personal sickness. Who knows for sure.

The recipe called for lemon zest. Well, guess who had two thumbs and no lemons. :points to self: This girl. What I did have were mandarin oranges.  With a declaration of “oh what the hell”, I set off on a journey that ended with one of the best cookies I’ve ever made. Troy declared them “dangerous”.

a mixer whisk propped up with madeleine batter

Oh, and while I was at it, I also made them a little bit healthier. Yep. You’re welcome. These fluffy and amazing cookies are 100% whole wheat. Check out this post on whole wheat flours to read more about the awesomeness of baking with whole wheat. When baking with whole wheat flours, you’ll want to add one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of flour. The vital wheat gluten gives the cookies the bounce and fluff you’d find in normal flours.

You need a special pan to make these into the shape of the madeleine.  I can’t speak to what they’d turn out like without the pan.  I will say the batter is delicious as is, so you maybe don’t even need to bake these. 🙂 You can add a madeleine pan to your holiday wishlist, but I’ve also seen at Goodwill often, so check there too! This recipe calls for powdered sugar; did you know you could make your own? While you’re at it, go ahead and use some homemade vanilla extract too!

madeleines on a tray with an orange and microplane

For the orange zest, I highly recommend using a microplane to get a nice fine zest. By the way, Nice Fine Zest is also the name of my Fine Young Cannibals cover band.

With a name like Orange and Chocolate Madeleines, you may think these cookies are complicated. FALSE. Making these cookies is surprisingly easy.

Just read the recipe thoroughly to make sure you have all the ingredients set up, and follow the steps as written. If it says use room temperature eggs, by all means, use room temperature eggs! But, let’s say you don’t have whole wheat flour and just want to use regular all-purpose. You go right ahead; these cookies are still going to rock your socks off. Right. Off.

Now the cookies as is are pretty awesome. They’re delicious and delicate. But what happens when you then dip them in chocolate? I’ll tell you what happens…you win the day and just made an awesome cookie into an amazing cookie. And you know what that makes you? A cookie ninja.chocolate dipped madeleine cookies on a dish with cookies, a sieve, and orange in the background

5 from 2 ratings

Orange and Chocolate Madeleines

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Orange and Chocolate Madeleines. These soft and delicate butter cookies are absolutely delicious. Oh and guess what? They're totally whole wheat. 





  • Melt the butter, and place in the fridge to cool down. 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Zest your satsuma into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the vanilla and eggs to the mixing bowl. Mix for 5 minutes on high with the whisk attachment.
  • Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the powdered sugar. Mix on high for another 5 minutes.
  • Combine the dry ingredients (flour, vital wheat gluten, and baking powder), and add to the egg and sugar mixture slowly, about 1/4 cup at a time. Mix on low until just incorporated. The mixture should now be thick and fluffy looking. 
  • Add the melted/cooled butter, and mix on low until just incorporated. Don't go overboard scraping the bowl out with a spatula. Set the butter bowl aside cause you're going to use it later.
  • Use a pastry brush, and spread some of the melted butter left in the bowl in the molds. Then, sprinkle a bit of flour over the tray.  
  • Spoon a scant tablespoon of batter into each mold. To get the batter spread out, I use an ancient French technique called "Le Finger.," i.e., just push it down with your pointer finger. ?
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Let sit in the molds for one minute, and then remove and let cool on a baking rack.


  • Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave. Stir. every 30 seconds until fully combined.
  • Dip one side in the chocolate, and lay on a tray lined with parchment. Put the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
  • Store in an air-tight container at room temperature if your kitchen is cool. If your kitchen is on the warmer side, please store in the fridge.


Based off of this allrecipes submission.
If you want to use regular all-purpose flour, you won't need the vital wheat gluten.


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 30mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 0gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 240IUVitamin C: 1.4mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  1. These sound delightfully dangerous! Too bad I don’t bake.

    But wait! Costco sells Madeleines (although not orange ones), so I am assuming I can add orange extract to the chocolate, move on from there and call myself happy.

    Thanks for the idea. Yum.

    1. If you’re using whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten will help make the finished product light and fluffy. If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, you can try baking powder, but you may get different results.

      Or just use regular flour!

  2. I read the title of this post, and my brain interpreted it as “Whole Wheat Oranges, and Chocolate Madelines”. I understood the chocolate madelines, but couldn’t figure out what whole wheat oranges are, or why you would want them. LOL! I guess I need another cup of coffee…

  3. These sound wonderful. My daughter made Lemon Madeleines last year for a school project. We didn’t have the Madeline pan and I was too cheap to go buy it. 🙂 We used a mini muffin pan and filled them about halfway. They still turned out delicious and she got an A on the project.