French and Francophone Studies: Orange Honey Madeleines

Courtesy of Cathy Yandell

French is the official language of 29 countries – in Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and North and South America. Although no single recipe could reflect the diverse cultures we embrace and examine in French and Francophone Studies, we’ve chosen a hybrid recipe combining the celebrated Proustian madeleine with a Moroccan flavoring (many thanks to Gaby Tietyen-Mlengana for unearthing this gem). The result recalls France’s colonial past but honors its pluricultural present. Adapted from Chef Rachida:


  • 130 grams unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 130 grams (2 large) eggs
  • 80 grams sugar
  • 30 grams honey
  • Zest of 1 one large orange
  • 140 grams all-purpose flour
  • 7 grams (1 ¼ teaspoon) baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar


Combine orange zest and sugar. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat eggs, orange/sugar mixture, and a pinch of salt. Gradually add honey and beat until the mixture become light and pale and doubles in volume, about 5 minutes.

Fold in flour mixture, the add the melted butter and mix until just incorporated.

Chill batter for at least 3 hours or overnight to help the gluten relax and give the madeleines a lighter texture.

To bake, preheat oven to 500°F/260°C. Generously butter madeleine pan and dust with flour. Spoon batter into pan, filling each hold about 2/3 full. 

 Put cookies in the oven and immediately lower the 450°F/232°C. After 4 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F/177°C, and bake for 7-8 minutes more, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Unmold and cool on racks, then dust with powdered sugar.