Gluten-Free Orange Blossom Madeleines

Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell shape. These delightful mini cakes are immortalized by Marcel Proust in his novel Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann’s Way. Though I have not read the book, the renown Madeleine episode has been well quoted and his description of these scalloped cakes dipped in tea is enough to make me want to try them.

To make Madeleines, a special pan with shell-like indentations is needed. These pans can be found in specialty kitchen stores and come in two sizes – regular and minis. I have both sizes as the first time I wanted to get them, it so happened our city paper had an article on these little cakes and all the kitchen stores ran out of the regular sized ones. The stores ordered more pans and I eventually got mine after the “madness” wore off. I also found silicone ones which I have yet to try out.

I decided to go gluten-free this time so that everyone in the family can enjoy them. I searched on the web and found Luane’s Cookies Gluten-Free Chocolate Madeleines which I adapted and flavored with that huge bottle of orange blossom water sitting in my pantry. Although I filled the indentations about two thirds full, they did not totally fill out after baking. Still I thought they were just fine and very pretty. If you prefer larger pieces, you should fill it all the way but you will likely end up with only 18 to 20 small cakes.

These Madeleines are truly delightful! They are light, airy, and mildly sweetened. My only complaint is that they disappeared far too quickly. I highly recommend dusting them with powdered sugar.

Gluten-Free Orange Blossom Madeleines
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24 madeleines
  • ½ cup (75g) brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup (25g) ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • ½ tsp guar gum
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp orange flower water
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp/115g) butter, melted
  • Powdered sugar, optional
  1. Grease 2 standard size Madeleine pans well. Sift together brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, guar gum, baking powder, and salt. Mix in ground almonds. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Beat sugar, eggs, and orange blossom water together until light and fluffy. Stir in flour mixture and melted butter until incorporated.
  3. Spoon batter into mold until batter is about ⅔ full. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in pan.
  4. Turn the pan over and give it a light tap to unmold. Cool on rack, shell side up.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with tea or coffee.
Do grease the indentations well with butter. Even though I did not flour them, I had no problems releasing the little cakes. Just turn the pan over and give it a tap. The cakes should fall out easily.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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  1. says

    Oooo…such lovely and tempting madeleines! Too bad I don’t have the mould for this. Do you think the kuih bahulu one can use for this? hahaha…. That would be so cool! You have a good day.
    Blessings, Kristy

    • Biren says

      Kristy, I think the kuih bahulu mold should work. Just grease it well with butter. I bought the kuih bahulu mold during my last visit and forgot all about it. Thanks for reminding me. :)

  2. says

    Looks so elegant and delicious! I have not bought any madeleines pans yet, even though it has been on my list of items that seems to get longer! Looking at your madeleines, makes me want to get the pan ASAP!

    • Biren says

      It took me a long time to get the pans and try my hand at these. I am glad I did and will definitely be making more in the coming days. :)

  3. says

    I’m so glad to find this, Biren! My hubby loves Madeleines so much…but I really haven’t thought of making them myself. I’m sure he’ll be delighted if I can make some for him.
    I’ll be trying this as soon as I get my madeleines pan!
    Thanks so much for sharing! :-*

  4. says

    Biren, I bought 3 madelines pans from Daiso and the pans still sitting in my cupboard. Must make this soon!
    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

    • Biren says

      I have had my pans for a while too. I finally decided that it is time to make these and I am glad I did. They are pretty easy to make and the little cakes are light and airy. Should have no problems finishing them. :)

  5. says

    Oh! Your madeleines look so delicate and I love the idea of orange blossom…Great pictures! Hope you are having a great week Biren :-)

  6. says

    I’ve always wanted to make madeleines, but don’t have the proper pan. It looks like I’ll have to order one soon, because your orange blossom version sounds absolutely delicious!

    • Biren says

      I am trying to use up some of that orange blossom water as it comes in a relatively large bottle and very little is used for a recipe. Good thing it goes really well in desserts. :)

  7. says

    they are just extremely GORGEOUS! (: look exactly like how you described it to be. so mouthwatering! and orange blossom is a new flavour to me 😀 i saw guar gum. what can i replace that with?

    • Biren says

      Thanks Jasmine! Guar gum is used in gluten-free baking to bind the flours. For a non gluten-free version, combine the measurements for all the flours (rice, tapioca, and potato) and use about 100g of all-purpose flour. Omit the guar gum but use the rest of the ingredients.

  8. says

    Hi Biren! You know I’m just looking at these beautiful madeleines…and I totally wish that you live near my house. I will do cleaning so I’d like to have a piece or two (or more!!). I once thought of buying those special baking pans, but I knew better, I wouldn’t be making it so often. Then today I look at your recipe and it made me feel like I can bake it. =P We’ll see…

  9. Jeannie says

    So yummy looking! I love kuih bahulu so I am guessing this would be even more tasty judging from the ingredients!

  10. says

    Love orange-flavored things…particularly when they are light and delicate like this recipe. I may try these for a gluten-intolerant friend’s birthday! Wrapped up in a pretty box, they will be a sweet treat!

    • Biren says

      Hi Melissa, thanks for visiting! Yes, these will make a lovely and thoughtful gift for a gluten intolerant friend. I am sure she will appreciate it. :)

  11. says

    Madeleines must be the French version of our kuih bahulu, although I imagine ours must be full of gluten! I think your madeleines look delightful and that orange blossom flavoring must’ve made them yummier…love these!

  12. denise @ quickies on the dinner table says

    My, but these are pretty!! I wish I had that huge bottle of orange blossom water in my pantry! Madeleine tins are something of a rarity, aren’t they? 😉 Mine are so beautiful, I’ve been using them as kitchen art instead of baking equipment LOL


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