Savory Olive and Rosemary Madeleines

Little three-bite savory delights, perfect for a party!

A new toy!

It started with a trip to King Arthur Baking in Norwich. I was meeting my friend Suzy for lunch at the cafe, and had a couple of things to pick up from the baking store, primarily the organic white whole wheat flour I frequently use. Of course, whenever there, I need no excuse for a stroll through the aisles of the shop (now widened to accommodate social distancing). I came across a beautiful Madeleine tin with its little shell-shaped forms. It reminded me of my mother’s, although this one was a bit larger. Mom’s pan made 12 of these buttery little cakes, but this shiny new version made a bountiful 16. 

A new toy!

I don’t know what happened to Mom’s tin, but I thought it would be fun to get my own and fiddle with her recipe. Lunch was leisurely, long, and perfect, and I returned home with my gathering task completed as well as a new pan to play with.

A simple recipe

A classic Madeleine recipe is simple. Eggs, well beaten and the only leavening, flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mom always used a little lemon in hers, and some vanilla. She beat the eggs for seven or eight minutes, until the mixture was very high in volume and well ribboned when dropped off the beater. A careful folding in of the dry ingredients and butter, and the tin was filled with little dabs of this light and airy batter. In just a few minutes, they were finished, brown and crispy in the edges of the shells, the traditional “hump” on the top side, and beautifully fluffy on the inside. Perfect for afternoon tea!

Let’s make this savory

But what about a savory version? Many things came to mind, and while I was thinking about it, that new bag of organic white whole wheat flour was calling my attention. A healthier version perhaps?

The herb garden is a jungle of scents right now, especially my rosemary. My starting point, I thought an Italian spin on things would work. I ended up making two batches, one with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs, the second with black olives and herbs. They were both delicious, but we all liked the black olive version best!

Keep the eggs, but make a few other changes

Local, organic eggs stayed in the recipe, but I made other substitutions. I swapped out the whole wheat flour for the original white. While I was tempted to use regular butter in these, I decided on a really fruity olive oil instead to enhance the Italian flavors, and I kept my fingers crossed it would work!

A keeper!

The result was delightful, and will make an appearance at our next gathering! You can use any herbs you like in this, and add a little Parmesan or non-dairy cheese as well. The hump was not as pronounced, but it didn’t matter, the cakes were tasty and satisfied all.

And if you don’t have a Madeleine pan, you can use a mini muffin tin!

Savory Olive and Rosemary Madeleines

Makes 32

  • 113 g. organic white whole wheat flour (about a cup)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4 large organic eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. organic white sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon style mustard
  • ½ cup fruity olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and brush your Madeleine pan or mini muffin tin with olive oil.

Sift the flour, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the herbs, black olives, and zest. Set aside.

Place the eggs in a stand mixer and start beating on highest setting for four or five minutes. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and mustard, and continue beating for another three or four minutes. The mixture will be really thick, pale, and fluffy. When dripped from the beater, the batter will leave a ribbon that slowly disappears. Of course, you can use a hand mixer as well, but it will require just a bit more patience on your part! Put on some lovely music, and beat away!

Gently fold in the dry mixture a little at a time, taking care not to deflate the eggs. Just a sprinkle at a time. Then drizzle the oil in several batches around the outside of the batter and fold that in too.

Fill each cake mold about halfway with about a tablespoon of the batter.

Bake for about 14-16 minutes, until firm and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

To make the pretty little sun-dried tomato version, simply substitute chopped up sun-dried tomatoes for the olives, or maybe use a mix of both!

From Mom’s recipe box:

Sylvia’s Madeleines

Beat four eggs and 2/3 cup of sugar to fluffy, about six minutes. Add a tsp. of lemon juice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and beat another couple of minutes. Sift in and fold, a little at a time, 1 cup cake flour, zest of a lemon, 1/2 tsp. salt, then drizzle in a stick of slightly cooled melted butter. Refrigerate for a half hour, then brush Madeleine pan with more butter, fill the wells, and bake for 15 minutes or so.

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58 Comments Add yours

  1. Bernadette says:

    Dorothy, I have never been a fan of Madeline’s but this version has made me a convert. I will be buying a pan very soon to try your recipe. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Bernie! I hope you enjoy them as much as we are!

  2. How interesting! You are always ahead of the curve. I love Madeleines but the sweet ones, but I’d guess this is a dinner favorite.

    1. We were happy at how delicious these turned out!

  3. I do love savory bites and these look amazing!! what a wonderfuly unique recipe

    1. Thank you! It was certainly a successful redo!

  4. Suzassippi says:

    Oh, this is going to be a recipe for my new stove with the double ovens! I love madeleines and these sound so good–I love Italian flavors. Maybe I will make Sylvia’s in the top oven, and savory in the lower oven. 🙂

    1. That would be fun! A sweet and savory Madeleine party! 💕

      1. Suzassippi says:

        My former colleague and long-time friend is coming to visit at the end of the month–this will be great for that!

      2. Wonderful! Let me know how you enjoy it, and have a blast with your friend. So important right now to make those connections again where possible.

  5. Great twist on a classic! Both olive and sun dried tomatoes versions sound amazing. 🙂

    p.s. it seems a line or two are missing from the end of the egg beating instructions.

    1. Thanks Ronit! There was indeed some info that didn’t get transferred. Thank you so much for you eagle eye, and I have fixed it! 💕

      1. It’s easier to detect such things on other people’s recipes! 🙂

      2. It sure is! Especially when you know you finished the sentence in Word! Again, I appreciate it!

  6. Sowmya says:

    Interesting savory bites Dorothy

    1. Thank you! They will make many an appearance I’m sure!

  7. picpholio says:

    They look delicious, I would like to taste one with my afternoon coffee 😉

    1. Perfect little pick-me-up!

  8. Veerle alias docV says:

    What a great alternative! Bravo Dorothy 😍

    1. Thanks! I’m happy to now have this recipe ready for a party!

  9. Gail says:

    I’m torn. I like sun-dried tomatoes and olives BUT I lean toward rosemary in my herb bed. What a dilemma. 🤔🌿🍅🫒

    1. I know! We couldn’t decide at first, so we kept sampling…

  10. What a lovely little nibble! I’ll take one with rosemary please! Love your new pan, you’re going to have a lot of fun with that~

    1. Thanks Jenna! I will have fun with this pan, and I won’t limit it to Madeleines either. A little left-over cupcake batter will make a lot of these!

  11. Ally Bean says:

    This is ingenious. I’ve never thought of making savory madeleines. You are a clever woman.

    1. Thanks Ally! I like to mix things up to keep it all interesting!

  12. terrie gura says:

    I don’t even know where to begin, Dorothy. A trip to King Arthur, lunch with a friend, a fun kitchen tool, getting creative in the kitchen… you realize, of course, that you have exactly described “the perfect day” of my fantasies! And thank you for demystifying the madeleines. Can you believe I have never had one? I always thought they were like those yellow spongy things the grocery sells for strawberry shortcake. Now I know how much more sophisticated they are and you have elevated them in a savory direction, too?! It’s all too much for me! 🤩

    1. Terrie, you hit the nail on the head! It was indeed a perfect day that continued long beyond the store, a trip to a farm stand and back to her house for more coffee, conversation, and a glass of wine.

      Make some Madeleines! Were you thinking about lady fingers, which are also delicious if they are the Italian ones that are crispy and not the spongy ones!
      We have to get together!

  13. These are very nice, Dorothy! I’ve used extra virgin olive oil in otherwise regular sweet madeleines before, and was surprised I could not really make out the olive oil in the finished madeleines. I had had olive madeleines in a restaurant that had a strong olive taste, but they must have added ground dried olives or something like that to get a deep olive taste. Your madeleines came out great — I do not think the ‘hump’ is essential at all (and it could even be considered a ‘fault’). You could try to bake them for 10 minutes at 400F to get them even more crispy on the outside, which is my favorite part of madeleines. I usually separate the eggs and fold in the egg whites into a batter of the other ingredients, but your method is easier as it doesn’t require separating the eggs.

    1. Thank you Sefan! I always love your comments. I agree about the olive flavor in the finished product. When I nibble a bit of the Madeleine without an actual olive, I was not detecting olive at all!
      My stove is an Aga, so I would have to move from one oven to another to to start at the hotter temperature and move to the baking oven. However, I did think about doing this because I thought it might encourage the faster expansion. But, I was worried the transfer might make them collapse!
      I will try separating the eggs and folding the beaten whites into the batter next time, sounds like a good plan, but hump or not, these tasted great!

  14. Leah says:

    I did not know that King Arthur is also a bakeshop and store. It is such a popular brand that I see if often at grocery stores. I looked up the store and it looked cozy…. This is my kind of recipe. I am more of a savory kinda person than sweet. 🙂 Looks delicious!

    1. Thanks Leah! King Arthur’s home base is about a half hour from me, part of my regular routine. They have a great kitchen and supplies store, a cafe, and hold really wonderful baking classes, some of the best! It’s also a great Vermont, employee-owned and managed business, just the way we like it!

      1. Leah says:

        Sounds like a wonderful foodie haven. If I ever get a chance to visit Vermont one day, I will try to visit King Arthur’s as well. 🙂

      2. It’s worth the trip!

  15. Really an amazing recipe with simple ingredients. Looks delicious!

    1. Thank you! They were a hit indeed!

      1. Your delicious servings are always a hit Dorothy!🍽🥂👩‍🍳

      2. Have a fabulous day!💞🍽

      3. You too my friend!

  16. CarolCooks2 says:

    I have never made madelines I have to confess the savoury ones sound delighful 🙂

    1. Thanks Carol! I had never made them savory before, but I sure will again!

  17. Lovely idea!

    1. Thank you! We enjoyed it a lot.

  18. Kally says:

    Looks yummy!

    1. Thanks Kally! We really enjoyed them.

  19. nancyc says:

    Yum! Love that savory Rosemary-Olive combination! 🙂

  20. I have bought one Madeleines tray not so long ago! This is a perfect recipe to try 😉😋

    1. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did! I’ve made them several times now, and everyone seems to like them.

      1. I’ve saved the recipe and next time I have the chance I’ll try them 😉

      2. Enjoy! And have a lovely week!

      3. Thank you! You too ☺️🌸

  21. sunisanthosh says:

    I love sweet Madeleines but this is so unique.

    1. Thanks! They really are different.

  22. I have a madeleines tin and have made them several times. I’d actually not thought about them for ages. I really like the sound of this savoury variation.

    1. It’s fun to experiment with savory options as well a sweet.

  23. I really like your blog!! So glad we crossed paths. ❤️

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