Madeleines are simple, quick, and easy…and yet they manage to be elegant, too. I knew that I needed to make a holiday version, and this seemed like just the thing: Gingerbread Madeleines (with vanilla bean glaze)!
I don’t make madeleines often enough. They are addictive little treats, a cross between a cookie and cake. These Gingerbread Madeleines are a little gingerbread cakes drizzled with vanilla bean glaze. Crisp on the edges and tender inside, the flavors and textures are just perfect. The appropriate time for eating madeleines spans from breakfast, to an afternoon pick-me-up, to dessert. Okay, who am I kidding? It’s just anytime. 😉
Choosing a Madeleine Pan
If you want the classic madeleine shell shape, you have to have a madeleine pan! My favorite is a standard size madeleine pan that’s light in color. The madeleines are tiny little cakes, and a dark-colored pan could have them dried out in no time. If all you have is a darker pan, consider reducing the oven heat by 15 degrees and watch them closely for doneness! The madeleine pan that I linked above is the one I use at home and love (definite bonus points that it’s made in the US, too). <3
Making Gingerbread Madeleines
Whipping up the batter for these beauties is quick and easy! The batter is rather thin, but I can still use my medium cookie scoop to portion the batter into each of the madeleine wells. This is about 1.5 tablespoons of batter per madeleine in my standard-sized pan. Once in the oven, your whoooole house will smell like sweet spices!
Vanilla Bean Glaze
I wanted to add just a touch of sweetness to the madeleines, so I drizzled a bit of vanilla bean glaze over top of each. Those beautiful black flecks in the glaze are from vanilla bean paste, one of my favorite ingredients! If you’d prefer to substitute, you can use an equal measure of vanilla extract.
These Gingerbread Madeleines are sooo delicious with a cup of tea or coffee! I really like how the flavors marry over time, though they do get a bit sticky when you store them. If you plan to store them, I suggest placing sheets of parchment or waxed paper between layers of madeleines to keep them from sticking together.
As you’re running around with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (and it seems we all do), take solace in the fact that these madeleines mix up in no time, bake in just a few minutes, and look like a million bucks. You’ll impress your guests, and maybe (just maybe!) have time left for the other things on your to-do list!
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Recipe adapted from Created by Diane (link here).
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (1/2 stick)
Vanilla Bean Glaze:
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (see note)
- 1 Tbsp heavy (whipping) cream
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a standard size madeleine pan (see note) and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add molasses and vanilla extract and mix to combine. You may need to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure the molasses is incorporated and not just stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
- While the mixer is running on low speed, add half the melted butter, followed by half the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, repeat with the remaining melted butter and remaining dry ingredients.
- Divide the batter evenly among the wells in madeleine pan. Each well in a standard-size madeleine pan should hold about 1.5 tablespoons batter (see note).
- Bake 7-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of several of the madeleines comes out clean. The madeleines will also spring back after you touch them. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the madeleines to cool completely before removing them from the pan.
- In a small bowl, combine sifted powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste (see note), and cream. Stir until smooth, then drizzle over the top of each madeleine. If you'd like to submerge them in the glaze, I would double the glaze recipe and add a little more cream to thin the glaze. Allow the glaze to set before serving.Enjoy!