Santa Madeleines

A little bit of frosting is all you need to bring some Christmas spirit to classic madeleine cookies.

holiday cookies

Carson Downing

Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

The classic shape of these Christmas cookies comes from the fluted madeleine pan they are baked in. Choose a metal, nonstick, or silicone pan. You can find them at kitchen supply stores or online. Once baked, use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to create Santa's adorable beard and hat.


  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

  • 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel

  • 2 teaspoons orange juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed, crushed (optional)

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon clear vanilla

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup softened butter

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla


  1. Grease and flour twenty-four 3-inch madeleine molds; set aside. Stir together flour and baking powder; set aside.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat egg and egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Add powdered sugar; beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed about 5 minutes more or until very thick and satiny. Beat in butter with an electric mixer on low speed. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until combined. Stir in orange peel, orange juice, and, if using, anise seed. Carefully spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling each three-fourths full.

  3. Bake in a 375° F oven about 10 minutes or until edges are golden and tops spring back. Cool in molds on rack 1 minute. Loosen cookies with a knife. Invert cookies onto a rack and cool completely.

  4. Divide Powdered Sugar Icing in half. Tint half red and thin the other half slightly. Remove a small amount of Buttercream Frosting and tint it black.

  5. To decorate, frost the bottom (rounded end) third of the cookies with thin white Powdered Sugar Icing. Frost the top third at an angle with red icing. Fill a decorating bag fitted with a small star tip with white Buttercream Frosting. Pipe hat trim and poms on the red icing. Pipe lines for beards on the white icing. Fill decorating bag fitted with a small round tip with black frosting; pipe on eyes and noses. Let set.

    Powdered Sugar Icing

  6. In a small bowl combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. milk, and 1/4 tsp. clear vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until icing reaches desired piping or drizzling consistency. If you like, tint icing with food coloring to desired color.

Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a large bowl beat 1/2 cup softened butter with a mixer on medium 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Beat in 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add 1 Tbsp. heavy cream, and 1/2 tsp. clear vanilla; beat on low until combined. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups additional powdered sugar just until combined. Beat on medium 5 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Add additional cream as needed; beat on high 1 minute more.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

168 Calories
9g Fat
22g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 167.8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8.7g 11%
Saturated Fat 5.3g 26%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 91.3mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 21.6g 8%
Dietary Fiber 0.1g 0%
Total Sugars 18.1g
Protein 1.4g
Vitamin D 0.2mcg 1%
Vitamin C 0.4mg 2%
Calcium 20.2mg 2%
Iron 0.3mg 2%
Potassium 19.1mg 0%
Fatty acids, total trans 0.3g
Vitamin D 7.4IU
Alanine 0.1g
Arginine 0.1g
Ash 0.4g
Aspartic acid 0.1g
Caffeine 0mg
Carotene, alpha 0.3mcg
Choline, total 26.6mg
Copper, Cu 0mg
Cystine 0g
Energy 702.1kJ
Fluoride, F 0.4mcg
Folate, total 11.6mcg
Glutamic acid 0.3g
Glycine 0g
Histidine 0g
Isoleucine 0.1g
Leucine 0.1g
Lysine 0.1g
Methionine 0g
Magnesium, Mg 2.1mg
Manganese, Mn 0mg
Niacin 0.2mg
Phosphorus, P 26.9mg
Pantothenic acid 0.2mg
Phenylalanine 0.1g
Phytosterols 0.1mg
Proline 0.1g
Retinol 79mcg
Selenium, Se 3.9mcg
Serine 0.1g
Starch 0.2g
Theobromine 0mg
Threonine 0.1g
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.3mg
Tryptophan 0g
Tyrosine 0.1g
Valine 0.1g
Vitamin A, IU 292.2IU
Vitamin A, RAE 80.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.7mcg
Water 8.6g
Zinc, Zn 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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