Ottolenghi’s saffron, orange and honey madeleines turned gluten-free

Ottolenghi's dessert cookbook, Sweet, is a standing ovation, but sadly there are hardly any gluten-free recipes in it. So, for those who love his food (particularly his spectacular desserts) and struggle to cater to your gluten intolerance, here's a simple yet impressive madeleine recipe you can showcase at any social gathering.
Since honey contains too much fructose, anyone following a FODMAP diet might find that it’s generally better to avoid it. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all as IBS operates on a case-by-case basis. Please feel free to use any one of these alternatives: melted brown sugar, melted golden syrup or maple syrup.  

Makes about 12

Prep time: 1 hour

Baking time: 10 minutes


45g unsalted butter

1 tsp honey, plus an extra 1 tsp for glazing

One eighth tsp saffron threads

1 large egg

35g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla

finely grated zested of 1 small orange

45g plain gluten-free flour

¼ tsp xanthan gum

½ baking powder

10g shelled pistachio kernels, finely blitzed


Madeleine tray

  1. Melt unsalted butter, honey and saffron beads in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to reach room temperature.
  2. Combine gluten-free flour with baking powder and xanthan gum in a separate bowl. In another bowl, combine sugar, vanilla, orange zest and egg, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the melted butter and honey. Once combined, add the flour into the wet mixture in three goes, whisking well each time.
  3. Cover the mixture with cling film and place in the freezer for half an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan / 200ºC otherwise. Using the madeleine tray, brush each mould with butter and sprinkle with extra gluten-free flour.
  5. Spoon one and a half heaped teaspoons in each mould until it is two-thirds of the way full.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Go around the edges of each madeleine with a spatula until they fall out. Transfer the madeleines to a wired rack to cool for 10 minutes before decorating.
  7. Melt additional honey in a saucepan and finely blitz the shelled pistachio kernels. Liberally brush each madeleine with honey, before dunking its narrower end in the nuts. Repeat this process, and neatly place on a serving platter with the nut side faced up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s