Twelve Days of Cookies Starts… NOW (Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines)

Twelve Days of Cookies Starts… NOW (Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines)

This holiday season I am determined to post a Twelve Days of Cookies list and I will only stand a chance if I start now. This month Food 52 Baking Club is featuring Ottolenghi’s book Sweet authored with Helen Goh, his dessert partner in crime. As with all Ottolenghi books, this one is beautiful, worthy of your coffee table, but more importantly, worthy of use in your kitchen.

A long long time ago in a kitchen somewhere far away, I tried to make madeleines.  I flopped, and since then my madeleines pans have been relegated to the back of a kitchen cabinet.  Looking for a recipe to try for National Cookie Day (yesterday, hope you made a batch) I came across Ottolenghi’s Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines.  They looked and sounded so delicious I decided to pull out my forgotten pans and give it the old college try.

I’m glad I did.  The madeleines are buttery, cakey, tender, everything a madeleine should be and more.

The batter is made in a food processor (oh snap). Eggs and sugar are whirled in the processor, flour and leavening added, pulse a couple more times and then add the saffron infused melted butter. The batter is poured into a WELL BUTTERED AND FLOURED pan (trust me on this) and baked for 7-9 minutes.  In those short minutes, your entire kitchen will be blanketed by the aroma of vanilla, butter, and orange, heavenly.

The cooled madeleines are popped out of their shells (haha, get it?) painted with heated honey (watch your fingers, the honey is hot) and one end rolled in ground pistachios.

So good.  If you don’t have a madeleine pan you could probably use a mini-muffin tin…they’ll still be delicious but they just won’t be the same (sigh).

You can find the recipe on Bon Apetit but without weight measurements (boohoo). If I were you I’d splurge and get the book, totally worth it!

Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines by Ottolenghi


  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, plus more, melted, for brushing
  • 2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
  • ¼ vanilla bean (I used a 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2½ tablespoons shelled pistachio kernels


  • For instructions go to
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Thanks for reading, comments welcomed!