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Oct 9, 2023

Pumpkin Madeleines

These cute pumpkin madeleines are tasty little French-style sweet treats with a classic American fall flavor.  

Pumpkin Madeleines on black plates with an assortment in the background.

Madeleines are adorable little génoise sponge cakes (or are they cookies?) that are baked in a mold that makes them look like sea shells. They are tiny poppable cakes that are perfect for dipping in your morning or afternoon tea or coffee, or drizzled with a sweet sauce for dessert. 

These wee cookie cakes originated in the Lorraine region of France. Legend is that they are named after a maid named Madeleine who made these for the Duke of Lorraine when she was pressed into service to replace the cook. These were the only desserts she knew how to make. Fortunately for her, they became very popular. (Source: Regions of France). 

Pumpkin Madeleines with demi tasse cups and saucers.

Traditional Madeleines are made with eggs, sugar, flour, butter, and flavorings. They get most of their lift from beating the eggs and sugar together for several minutes. 

These Madeleines are flavored with pumpkin puree along with the traditional spices you would use to bake a pumpkin pie: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. You could substitute pumpkin spice if you have some in your pantry. 

For these particular cakelets, I also added a half teaspoon of baking powder for a little insurance. You can omit it, but just be sure to really whip the eggs and sugar and then gently fold in the flour, spices, and melted butter. 

These itty-bitty treats would be wonderful for a Thanksgiving dessert table. 

Pumpkin Madeleines on a white long serving plate.

Helpful Tools to Make Madeleines:

You will need either an electric stand mixer or a hand mixer. I love using my 5-quart KitchenAid stand mixer because I can walk away while mixing the eggs and sugar. After all, you need to mix them for about six minutes to develop volume, which can seem like an eternity when your arm is getting tired. 

Another key piece of equipment is a fine mesh sieve for sifting the flour and spices together. This will help remove any lumps in the flour and sugars. 

Finally, you will need a Madeleine pan. There are four kinds available:

First, there are molds made with silicone. They are pretty much nonstick and the little cakelets will pop out easily. 

Next, there are dark metal non-stick Madeleine pans. Because these are dark, you have to keep an eye on the cakelets as they are baking to prevent over browning. Be sure to still grease the pan even if it is nonstick to ensure that your cakes easily pop out of the pan. 

One of my favorite Madeleine pans is the light colored non-stick USA Pan. It's a little pricier, but it has all of the advantages of non-stick, without causing over browning. 

To stay true to the French pâtisserie method, buy the traditional shiny metal mold. You will need to thoroughly butter and flour the wells. 

I used both a USA pan and the traditional mold and both worked perfectly. 

If you buy a Madeleine pan, be sure to try my pistacchio or chocolate hazelnut versions. You could also buy a mini Madeleine pan to make my mini hazelnut and cocoa nib version. 

Tips for Success:

Be sure to chill the batter in the refrigerator for about an hour (or up to 24 hours) before portioning and baking. I don't know why, but this helps achieve a higher hump on the back of the cakelet, which is a big goal here, like a badge of honor! 

While many recipes recommend piping the batter into the cavities of the pan, I've found that measuring a slightly heaping tablespoon of the batter and then scraping it into the pan with a mini silicone spatula works great. The Cuisipro measuring spoon oval shape works great with the Madeleine mold. 

Pumpkin Madeleines on little tea plates.

Typically, Madeleines are best the day they are made, but you can keep them in an airtight container for at least a couple of days. They are also great for dipping in coffee, milk, or tea, which will revive them. 

With the pumpkin in the ingredients these will stay moist longer, but they will become a bit more dense over time. If you are making them for guests for dessert, serve them the same day and then enjoy any leftovers for breakfast! 

Welcome to Pumpkin Week, 2023! 

Pumpkin season is here, and we are celebrating our love of pumpkin with #PumpkinWeek hosted by Christie from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures. All week-long 11 bloggers will be sharing over 30 pumpkin-filled recipes for all your Autumn celebrations, including breakfasts, baked goods, savory pumpkin recipes, desserts, and drinks.

More #PumpkinWeek Recipes:

Pumpkin Madeleines on a blue plate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Madeleines

Pumpkin Madeleines
Yield: 24 Madeleines
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 40 M
These cute pumpkin madeleines are tasty little French-style sweet treats with a classic American fall flavor.


  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 13 grams (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 130 grams (1 cup) cake flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Extra flour and butter for coating the molds.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and the sugar on low speed for one minute. Increase the speed to medium high for about six minutes, until light in color and airy.
  2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined.
  3. Add the melted butter, pumpkin, orange juice, and spices and beat on low for about 2 minutes.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least and hour, and up to 24 hours.
  5. When ready to bake, brush your pans with melted butter and dust with flour, shaking out any excess. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Drop the batter by slightly heaping measuring tablespoon (filling each cavity 3/4 full) into the cavities of two 12 cavity Madeleine pans. Leave the batter mounded in the pan (don't smooth it out).
  7. Bake the Madeleines for 8 to 10 minutes, until they have risen and formed a hump in the center, and the edges have just begun to brown.
  8. Turn them out onto a wire rack to cool.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

3 g

Carbs (grams)

5 g

Fiber (grams)

0 g

Net carbs

5 g

Sugar (grams)

1 g

Protein (grams)

2 g

Cholesterol (grams)

26 mg
madeleines, pumpkin, cake, cookie
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Recipe adapted from We Love Madeleines, published in 2012. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Yum! My grandma gave me one of here madeleine pans, but I haven't used it yet. Maybe I should start with these. They look delicious and I like the baking powder insurance!

    1. Thanks! You definitely need to put that pan to use!

  2. I have never made Madeleines, but this recipe has talked me into buying a pan and giving these a try. I'll be sure to chill my batter!! Can't wait to taste one :)

  3. I never made madeleines but yours sound so good, I think I might get a pan and give them a try!

  4. I love Madeleines and this is a perfect fall flavor!

  5. Okay, I need to get a pan to make these! YUM!!

  6. WOW, now these are some yummy cookies. I need to buy a pan now just to make these!

  7. That does it! I'm getting a madeleines pan. Because these look irresistible!!

    1. Yay! I love getting my friends to spend money on kitchen gadgets!


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