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May 12, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Madeleines (For Mother's Day)


On Mother’s Day for as long as I can remember, my brother, sister, and I would wake up early and sneak quietly (not so quietly) into the kitchen to make breakfast for my mom.  It was usually some sort of pastry: sweet crescents, danishes, or cinnamon buns.  I was pretty young at this point, and probably didn’t do very much in the way of helping.  But it was super exciting to be involved in a surprise, and to be included in a secret with my older siblings. 

Based on these breakfasts, cinnamon buns became my mom’s favorite.  Maybe that’s why there are so many cinnamony things on this blog already.  Today we’ll add another to the list.


This time we’re classing up cinnamon buns and making cinnamon swirl madeleines.  Those little French pastries with the crispy edges and moist insides.  I totally fell in love with these after our honeymoon in France and have made them frequently since then (you might remember this French-themed party).  If you don’t have a Madeleine pan though, you can go ahead and use a mini muffin pan.  

These start with a classic madeleine recipe and you can totally stop there and eat the whole pan, no problem.  But we’re gonna add some melted brown sugar and cinnamon and swirl it into each pastry with a toothpick. 

Serve these with some tea as you spend some time with your mom. 

Even though I wasn’t there to make breakfast for my mom this morning, those memories will live on, and these flowers were for her.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Cinnamon Swirl Madeleines

Adapted from Laura Calder

Makes 12 regular, mini-muffin, or 40 mini madeleines


1 cup + 1 tbsp (75 g) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp (75 g) butter
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (75 g) granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
Freshly ground nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a madeleine mold or a mini muffin pan.  Place pan in freezer while you prepare the batter.  


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk eggs lightly.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with sugar and honey until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour slowly into eggs, whisking constantly so that the eggs don’t cook.  Pour into flour and whisk until smooth.

In a small non-stick frying pan or a small saucepan, melt together brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using) and water until smooth.  Fill each madeleine or mini muffin  mold with batter until level with the pan.  Drizzle a tiny bit of brown sugar cinnamon mixture on top of each madeleine and quickly swirl through the batter with a toothpick.  Swirl each one individually instead of swirling them all at the end as the brown sugar mixture will want to solidify into a clump upon cooling.  If the brown sugar cinnamon mixture does solidify before you have time to drizzle them all, just reheat slightly to warm and splash in more water if it’s still too thick. 

Bake madeleines in the center of the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes (for large or mini-muffins) or 4-6 minutes for mini.  They should be quite brown around the edges (that’s what makes them amazingly crispy) and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. 

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