Madeleines – Perfect French Treats

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This recipe for Madeleines – Perfect French Treats delivers great little cakes. Madeleines are made with a génoise sponge. That is a lovely light sponge. The cakes have a distinctive shape. That comes from baking the cakes in a mould. The moulds have a shell shape which gives a lovely appearance to the madeleines, on one side. The other side domes in the centre to create a familiar shape.

I took time to look at lots of recipes and some videos before arriving at this recipe, which is based on one by Anna Olson. Some recipes say to whip eggs and sugar until thick and airy. But this recipe doesn’t require that. Mine is not a difficult recipe.

However there are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly it is important to work with very cold batter. The same applies to the madeleine moulds. Another important requirement is to grease, or butter, the moulds. That is to ensure that the madeleines release easily after baking.


Making the madeleines in the special moulds is best. However other little pans or moulds can work well too. For instance, I have some small tart tins that work well. Those don’t have the madeleine shape but they bake perfectly into wonderfully light cakes. The same too can be said of bun tins, the sort used for making jam tarts, or mince pies. So, although, the recipe is for madeleines it can be used for other little cakes.


The ingredients list is quite simple too. The basics are flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar and melted butter. In addition a little honey helps to keep the madeleines nice and moist. For flavouring I use vanilla and some lemon zest. However you can vary the flavours too. I like the simple vanilla/lemon combination.

Process for Madeleines

The process for making the madeleines takes some time. That is because it is important to have cold batter. But creating the batter doesn’t take long at all. Rub the zest into the sugar to release the oils. Add eggs, along with egg white, and beat them together. Then add the other flavourings – honey and vanilla. Mix the baking powder into the flour and sift that onto the wet mixture. Fold it in and then mix in the melted butter too. That is all there is to it. Then chill the batter.

It needs to be for at least 2 hours, but I prefer much longer, even overnight. That allows the batter to hold its’ shape when scooping and placing in the moulds.


Grease or butter the madeleine moulds(if not using non-stick moulds, lightly flour them as well). Then chill the moulds thoroughly, for at least 30 minutes.

When you are ready to bake the madeleines scoop about 28g(1 oz) of the batter onto a spoon and place it in the mould. When all the moulds have batter in them place them into the fridge again.

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F. Bake the madeleines for 11 to 12 minutes, until the batter spreads to fill the pan and bakes through, with a nice dome right in the centre. The dome will be quite firm if pressed. Take the madeleines out of the oven and immediately loosen them from the pan and place on wire rack to cool.

To bake more you need to wash and dry the moulds, grease them again and chill again too.

My Madeleines

Madeleine Made in Mini Tart Pans

I baked my madeleines for 12 minutes. The coloured nicely with a nice, lighter, dome in the centre. The domes looked perfect to me. I did also bake some, using the same amount of batter, in small tart tins, just to show that you can make little cakes that are perfect even if you don’t have a madeleine pan. I let the madeleines cool a wile before tasting. What a lovely tasting experience it was too. The madeleines were light and airy. The vanilla and lemon flavours were great too.

Although madeleines are best eaten the day they are made they will store for a few days in an airtight container.

Madeleines – Video

Another great recipe is Perfect Strawberry Pie.

Madeleines – Perfect French Treats

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: CakesCuisine: French


Prep time(excl. waiting)


Cooking time




  • 150g(1 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 113g(1/2 cup) unsalted melted and cooled until just warm

  • 2 medium eggs(large in USA)

  • 1 medium egg white(large in USA)

  • 125g(1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 7g(1 tsp) honey

  • 4g(1 tsp) baking powder

  • 5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract

  • grated zest of one lemon.


  • Place the sugar into a large bowl and rub the lemon zest into it to release the oils.
  • Add the eggs and the egg white and whisk them until combined.
  • Then mix in the honey and the vanilla as well.
  • Mix the baking powder into the flour and sift it over the wet mixture.
  • Fold it in to create a batter.
  • Pour the melted butter into the batter and stir that until it is fully combined.
  • Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge, for a minimum of two hours, preferably overnight.
  • Lightly grease or butter the madeleine moulds and place they tray into the fridge and chill thoroughly. It needs to be very cold.
  • Scoop about 28g(1 oz) batter into each of the moulds. It should be cold enough to stay in the scooped shape.
  • Place the madeleine tray back into the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F.
  • Bake the madeleines for 11 to 12 minuites until they have coloured on top and domed in the centre. The dome will be lighter in colour and should be set when gently pressed.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines onto their side, for one minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

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