Ever since my son was born we’ve had to cut back on expenses and the biggest expense we’ve cut is our dining out budget.  Back pre-baby you’d find us dining all over Los Angeles going to new restaurant openings checking out the latest trendy chef, having date nights twice a week, and not even worrying about how much we just spend on that Lobster.   We definitely ate our fair share of delicious “adult friendly” cuisine.   But ever since we moved out of the city and had a baby life has slowed down.  Our dining out choices have changed and since now it’s a party of 3 sometimes staying at home seems like the better option.   Lets be honest, getting the kid in the car can take up to 30 minutes or more, than you have to sit in traffic while your 2 year old is screaming out the window and when you finally arrive at the restaurant your kid starts having a temper tantrum and wants to leave, what fun!  I think i’ll take the easy way out and order Chinese instead.   When we do get a hankering for dining out we’ve had to find alternative restaurants to please all of us, which is easier said than done.  So like many new parents who have moved to the suburbs our choices are TGI Fridays, Olive Garden and Mimi’s Cafe just to name a few.    I remember going to these restaurants when I was a kid and now I get it.  They’re family friendly, budget conscience and easy to get in and out of, a parents dream.  The only draw back is be prepared to wait for up to 30 + minutes if you go anytime after 6pm.   That’s prime family time at restaurants and if you have a little one like me a 5pm dinner is perfect timing.


Last weekend we ventured to Mimi’s Cafe.  I ordered the Thanksgiving platter.  Yes, it’s January and yes I felt like eating a Thanksgiving dinner.  But besides me scarfing down yet another turkey, they have so many other options like chicken potpie, meatloaf, and roast chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy.  It is a comfort foodies dream (or stoners dream).  Aside from all the surprisingly delicious spread, they bring you a bread basket that is filled with warm baguettes and these irresistible carrot cake muffins.  I knew if I had one I would be calling over the waitress to bring me my own basket of these delicious treats.  But I contained myself.  Who didn’t contain himself was my 2-year- old picky eating son.  He had 4 in one sitting.  He never EVER eats that many muffins in one sitting yet alone I don’t even think I’ve ever seen him eat a muffin, who knew?  I couldn’t complain, there were carrots in them, enough said!


So what do I do when my son eats something at a restaurant and LOVES it?  You guessed it; I find a way to make it at home.  So that’s exactly what I did.   I found carrot cake recipes online and substituted some of the ingredients to make it healthier.   I used whole-wheat flour instead of all purpose.   I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil.   I reduced the brown sugar and added more fruit juice from the crushed pineapples.   And for an extra special touch I used the zest of one orange.  Now that just sounds good!  I also used a new Madeleine pan.  I thought they would be the perfect size for the little ones, and us adults too!


These Madeleine’s came out just as I’d hoped,  warm, moist and flavorful.   I love being able to recreate something that my family will love and will continue to love as I keep making more batches.   This is such an easy recipe that you’d be silly not to try it, especially if you’re trying to get some healthy nutrients into your kids, or husbands too.  And these little guys are packed with nutrients!


I encourage you to not be scared of the “suburban” lifestyle of dining out.  Try it, it may surprise you and even inspire you to create something new in your kitchen that brings memories into your home.  Enjoy!


 If you don’t have a Madeleine pan, get one!  It’s worth having in your kitchen, especially when you don’t want to make huge muffins.  These are bite size and perfect for the little ones.



First step is getting all your ingredients into bowls.  Here’s the dry ingredients; whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.



your wet ingredients are eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and olive oil.  Whisk together and pour into the dry ingredients.



This is the best part, it’s what makes the Madeleine’s special.  Grated carrots, golden raisins, chopped slivered almonds and orange zest.



can’t forget the crushed pineapple.  I use 1 cup to give it extra flavor and texture.  And its a great substitute for cane sugar.



Mix well to combine but try not to over mix



i still spray the pan even though its non-stick.  I think a lot of people do that 🙂



You can use the back of a spoon to help you level out the batter.  Don’t over flow them.




Let these beauties cool on a cooling rack before you dust them with powdered sugar.  Then enjoy!








Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Servings: 40 Madeleines
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour You can use all purpose flour as a substitute
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil You can use vegetable oil as a substitute
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds You can use walnuts or pecans as a substitute
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium size ones)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and move the oven rack to the middle

  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.

  3. In another bowl whisk together the oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla and pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. ( it will be a chunk mixture)

  4. Stir in the almonds, orange zest, pineapple and raisins into the batter

  5. scoop the batter into the madeleine pan and tap on the counter to make sure there are no air bubbles.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the madeleines are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean

  6. once finished in the oven let them keep cooking in the pan for another minute or two and the flip them out on a cooling rack to cool.

  7. Once cooled, dust them generously with powdered sugar and enjoy!


    • Thanks for writing Kathryn! I just noticed that I forgot to mention what to do with the shredded carrots in the recipe box. You just stir them in with the almonds and raisins towards the end. Sorry for the delayed response. I hope you will enjoy these as much as we did!

Leave a Reply to Kathryn Covier Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *