Christmas: Spekulatius Spiced Madeleines

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0081 by Meeta K. Wolff

The Holiday time is often brimming with emotion, where anxiety, cheerfulness and the grey areas are entwined with each other. There will be some who have happy memories of Christmases past, while others face a painful time to endeavour. We all have memories and experiences in our lives that make us who we are.

Often when we are in a bad place we are so consumed with our troubles, hardships and sorrow that we tend to overlook the “bright side of life” delving into our misery more. It is important to tend to the troubles and grief, taking time to heal. This is what makes us stronger. But it is even more vital to get out of the dark vault, where self-pity, negativity and pessimism reside.

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0073 by Meeta K. Wolff

I am currently reading Rumi and to quote him:

"The wound is the place where the Light enters you."

I’ve been turning it in my head ever since. It struck a strong note in me. I dislike showing my vulnerable side and often mask this as a weakness. Over the course of this year however, I have opened up and allowed people to see some of the hurt and vulnerability I have felt. I recently saw Rumi’s quote on Pinterest and it hit me then and there. It is fine to have weaknesses and be wounded but it is even more important to open up and allow the people in your life to pull you out of the dark and show you the Light. The pain felt, subsides a lot easier if it is shared and leaning on the loved ones in our lives brings us closer and makes the happy - happier and the sweet - sweeter. It allows for positive emotions: love, tenderness and kindness to enter and cure. And it feels good to be able to share, bond and connect.

It puts all that is good, gratifying and positive into perspective again.

Pommes en Cage by Meeta K. Wolff

A happy and certainly a sweeter part of last week was spending a day with my lovely friend Sandy of Confiture de Vivre. Being one of the cherished people in my life, Sandy has allowed me to express my thoughts and emotions freely with her without judgement. I feel my positive energy and inspiration flow freely in her company. We definitely feed off each others creativity and … we laugh a lot. So as I packed my camera gear and ingredients for the day ahead I knew this would be a little therapy session for me.

We’re planning a food photography and styling workshop again next year together, teaming up with Simone of Simone’s Kitchen once again. After the great time we had in Amsterdam and Weimar we have to get together in 2014 again. More about the workshop next year - promise!

 pommesencage 005 by Sandy Neumann

Photo by Sandy Neumann

Sandy and I spent a few hours putting the pieces together and securing a stunning location here in Germany for the workshop. That gave me wings as we moved into the kitchen and began taking out ingredients for our baking session. Each of us had chosen a sweet treat for Christmas and we wanted to work on it together. Baking, styling and shooting - all the while listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album. If that does not make one happy what does?

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0075 by Meeta K. Wolff

Both Sandy & I are spoiling you today! It is after all almost Christmas. If your taste buds have not been tantalized by the last few sweet posts I think the post today will appeal to your palate. There is sugar and spice, pastry and succulent fruit and many things nice. Should you still want more, head on over to Sandy’s blog as she is counts down to Christmas with “13 Desserts for Christmas” (in German) over the next few days. Her Pommes en Cage and my Spekulatius Spiced Madeleines are part of the countdown.

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0078 by Meeta K. Wolff

Madeleines are delicate French pastries that, in my opinion, are the perfect little treats when you want to spoil someone special. They may not flaunt with intricate sugar work or flatter with crispy meringue shells sandwiching a complex filling, but they do share a big dose of affection with their light and moist genoise sponge and golden biscuit edge.

My madeleines come with season’s greetings, infused with spekulatius (speculoos) spices, which have all the warming flavours of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and anise seed. Add to that the zingy zest of oranges and you have a blend of exceptional flavours encased in divine sponge pastry. They make great homemade gifts for friends and family ... a little thank you presented in the lovely lace basket. Isn't it gorgeous? It's from Sabine Wittig's shop, where you'll find not only the basket but other exclusive gift ideas too.

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0084 by Meeta K. Wolff

Recipe: Spekulatius Spiced Madeleines

Printable version of recipe here

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0078 by Meeta K. Wolff

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes plus extra time for dough in fridge
Makes: 15 madeleines


  • 125g butter, plus extra for the pan
  • 100g muscovado sugar
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 40g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon spekulatius spice
  • zest of 1 ½ oranges
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it starts to foam, remove it from the heat and strain. Set aside.
  2. In a clean bowl, sift flour, sugar, ground almonds and spice. Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl then fold this into the dry mix. Pour in the butter, which should be still slightly war, in one stream. Add the orange zest and the salt . Mix with a rubber spatula till incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 ½ hours.
  3. In the meantime butter the madeleine moulds and lightly dust with flour to ensure the cakes come out easily. Using two teaspoons, fill the moulds with the batter.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until set and golden brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack then enjoy warm.
Notes: You can dust the madeleines with a mix of icing sugar and some spekulatius spice.


Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0087 by Meeta K. Wolff

Have yourself a grand Holiday! Spread your love, kindness and joy as special gifts with your loved and cherished ones. Let them lean on you and open up to them, allowing the Light to enter – we all need to heal a little!

If you are still looking for more Christmas surprises check out the Holiday Edition of FoodieCrush Magazine it is jammed packed with festive ideas from Foodies around the globe. In the feature "Around the World in 6 Desserts" you'll find traditional holiday sweets shared by lovely fellow food bloggers in Serbia, Croatia, Poland, Mexico, South USA and Germany. That's where you're treated to my favorite German Christmas treat and I tell you a little about Christmas at our place. Read all about it!
You'll also find a great list shared by food bloggers: 43 "Must Eat" Foods For The Holidays Shared By Your Favorite Bloggers Over on Tony Rulli's blog. Some great ideas there! Lastly if you are still looking for ideas do not miss out on my Christmas recipes: you'll find everything from Beef Wellington and apple glazed duck breasts to a luscious chocolate Buch de Noel, desserts, cookies and Christmas cakes.

Wishing you a safe and positive start to 2014. I am taking a break for the rest of the year and I certainly hope you have enjoyed my sweet and savory posts throughout the year. I’ll be back in the new year, with a fresh start and a clean slate – doesn’t that sound awesome? See you all then … same place …

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

You might like these Christmas treats from WFLH:

AdvocaatCream-0033-WM_thumb LebkuchenMacs03framed2 FrenchYuleLog01framed2
Spiced Advocaat Custard Lebkuchen Spice Macarons with Quince Jam and Candied Ginger Chocolate & Coconut French Yule Log

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2013 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Rumi is so inspiring! Indeed, delving into negativeness will not solve our problems...

    Those Madeleines are so pretty and I adore their flavor! Very festive.



    1. Thank you dear Rosa. Love Rumi too. I have Essential Reading and try to read a poem a day. Always inspires!

  2. I feel inspired with your words. Definitely sharing our feelings with our loved ones is the way to go. And showing them our weaknesses means becoming a stronger and better person, more loving and caring. May your holidays be sweet and savory, around the dinner table with your lovely family and friends! See you here, in 2014 :)

  3. Very festive Madeleines. Perfectly spiced for the season.

    Rumi is very inspiring and that quote now is stuck in my head. Have a joyful holiday.

    1. Yes these were really lovely madeleines and with Rumi and a cup of tea ... a great way to come down.

  4. Thank you for all these wonderful recepies.

  5. I truly believe in opening up and sharing the love or emotions. Vulnerability is not a weakness but it becomes one if you think that and you hide it. I think that in our times people tend to be more and more constrained in their shell and tend not to share or speak about their emotions. But you know the real truth? We are humans so we should act like it. Have emotions, spread them, share them, show them. As this will bring others to do the same and what can be more beautiful than embracing our emotions and opening our souls to find other beautiful souls near us.Life and people are as beautiful as one sees them. So Happy Holidays and Happy Thoughts to you! Oh, I've bought my very own brand new madeleines tray. Happy beyond words! You can't imagine how long I've searched for one. So I'm baking these this winter. :) And I'm so glad I broke the silence. I've been admiring your blog since.. forever. :)

    1. Thank you for breaking the silence Ana-Maria. I hope you do so more often as your thoughts and words are wonderful. I hope you enjoyed making the madeleines in your new tray.

  6. Hey Meeta, those Madeleines have got all my attention from the first teaser picture you put up ! I can just about imagine how delicious they are ! Happy holidays !

  7. Dear Meeta,
    I wish you wonderful and happy Christmas!! Looking at your wonderful photos and reading about Sandy and you and about your plans with Simone put a big smile on my face :)
    So let's see if next year I can be part again of one of your workshops.
    Love and Hugs, Eva xx

    1. I am truly hoping you can Eva. I look forward to seeing you. If not I hope we can finally find time for our curry cooking session we have been talking about!

  8. Everything about this post I love. Michael Buble has the best Christmas album and now I feel like I need a big cup of coffee to go along with your creations. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you dear Andrea. All the perfect things for a cosy winter day.


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