My Best French Madeleines

Classic French Madeleines. Let’s make classic French Madeleines with step-by-step instructions with lots of tips and tricks.
classic French madeleines recipe pinit

These delicate, tiny cakes surprisingly very easy to make. It is a French delicacy, also known as cookies are delightful to eyes as they are to mouth. Aren’t these adorable petit cakes look just gorgeous? It’s can be served as tea cakes or a lovely finish to any meal.

Let’s understand, what are madeleines, why are they called madeleines and what are they made up of.

What are Madeleines?

Madeleines are nothing but shell-shaped tiny sponge cake. Some people refer to them as cookies. However you classify them, a cake or cookie, Madeleines are known for their distinct shell shape with little crispy edges. You can decorate them by dusting powdered sugar or just them in melted chocolate.

Why are they called Madeleines?

Madeleines are originated in two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France, Commercy and Liverdun.

It is said that a girl named Madeline had been given these little cakes during her pilgrimage and she bought the recipe back to France.

What are madeleines made up of?

Classic French madeleines are made up of very basic ingredients. Flour, sugar, eggs, butter and baking powder.

These are prepared the same way we prepare genoise cakes. The lift in genoise comes from beating eggs and sugar first and then folding the flour in it.

The difference between regular sponge and genoise is, we add melted butter to genoise which gives our madeleines a buttery flavor.

How are madeleines different from cakes?

Traditional madeleines are petit cake like cookies which have crispy edge but soft and moist from inside while cakes don’t have crispy edges.

In short, they are crisp, moist and soft.

Table of Content:

  1. Why is this Best Madeleines Recipe?
  2. List of ingredients and Importance of each ingredient.
  3. Equipments required to make this.
  4. Overview: How to make Madeleines
  5. Step by step preparation photos to make Madeleines from scratch
  6. My secret tips to make best Madeleines from scratch at home
  7. Classic Madeleines Video Tutorial
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Request
  10. Detail recipe card with quantity of ingredients and detail steps to make homemade Madeleine’s recipe

Why is this Best Madeleines Recipe?

  1. Soft and moist from inside while just crispy on the edges
  2. Beautiful golden color with crispy edges.
  3. Makes perfect tea time dessert.
  4. Has signature, hump or dome shape in middle
  5. Light, airy but still have excellent butter flavor which will melt in your mouth.

List of ingredients and Importance of each ingredient.

Madeleines-recipe-ingredients
Ingredients-for-Madeleines-recipe
  • All-purpose flour

Use regular, easily available all-purpose flour. If you use self-rising flour, skip out the leavening agent, i.e., baking powder.

  • Eggs

The eggs need to be at room temperature and not fridge-cold, to ensure it incorporates properly into the batter.

Quick way to bring them room temperature:

If you forgot to take it out, just place them in a bowl of hot water fore 4-5 minutes and you are done. Wipe dry and use as instructed.

Egg size (“large eggs”): 

50 – 55g / 2 oz per egg is the industry standard of sizes sold as “large eggs” in Canada and the US.

If your eggs are significantly larger or smaller in size, just weigh different eggs and use

150-165g / 6 oz in total (including shell) OR

135 – 150g / 5.4 oz in total excluding shell.

This is because this recipe uses 3 large eggs in total.

  • Sugar

Caster sugar or superfine sugar works best in this recipe because it dissolves easily in the batter. If you do not have it, you can use plain regular granulated sugar. No-No to any other types of sugar such as powdered sugar or brown sugar.

  • Unsalted Butter

I always prefer to use unsalted butter in my recipes. I can control the amount of salt I can add. If you do not have unsalted butter, it is ok to use salted butter. Just skip the salt in this recipe.

  • Vanilla Extract

This is of course for flavoring. Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste is better than essence which is artificial. Use the best you can afford, for the best flavors.

  • Baking powder

This is used as a leavening agent. This will make our Madeleines light, airy and fluffy.

  • Powdered Sugar – For decoration (Optional)

This is used for decoration and completely optional. You can use store bought powdered sugar or homemade powdered sugar. Both are fine and works great.

  • Salt

Little bit of salt will bring out the flavor. You can skip this if using salted butter.

Equipments required to make this.

  1. Stand mixer or hand mixer
  2. Measuring spoons
  3. Measuring cups
  4. Madeleines Pan

Overview: How to make Madeleines

I have mentioned step by step recipe with images below and also mentioned all the details in recipe card but let’s quickly understand the basic steps before you start.

  1. Beat eggs and sugar
  2. Delicately fold the flour
  3. Add melted butter
  4. Chill the batter
  5. Bake them
  6. Decorate them

Step by step preparation photos to make Madeleines from scratch

1. Prepare your madeleines pan. You can use unsalted butter or cooking spray to coat the pan.
2. In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk and keep it aside.

  1. Heat the butter in pan. Once melted, let it cook for few more minutes. Wait until it turns little brown in color. Let it cool down. We will prepare remaining things until it cools down.
  2. In another bowl, take eggs, sugar and vanilla.
  1. Whisk it until it is double in volume and pale in color.
  2. Now sift the dry ingredients in 3 portions. Sift first portion and gently fold it in egg and sugar batter until you cannot see flour. Now sift second portion and so on.
  1. Now, take out 1-2 spoon batter and add it in cooled browned butter. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Add this batter back into the remaining batter and gently fold it.
  1. Mix until it is combined. Do not overmix.
  2. Cover it with cling wrap.
  1. Freeze it for 1/2 an hour to 40 minutes.
  2. Put a tablespoon of batter into each madeleines pan and bake at 350F for 8 minutes.
  1. You can see the big hump in middle, edges have become brown and it is loosed from sides.
  2. Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan.
  1. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.
  2. Enjoy.

My secret tips to make best Madeleines from scratch at home

  • Use room temperature ingredients

Unless specifically mentioned in the recipe, always use room temperature ingredients.

For this recipe, we need to create whipped eggs and sugar mixture. For this to work properly, we will need room temperature eggs.

Cold eggs won’t reach the consistency we are looking for. If you forgot to take the eggs out, just keep them in a bowl of hot water and you are all set.

  • Beat eggs and sugar

Beating eggs and sugar for long enough is crucial step in making Madeleines.

Whip the eggs and sugar mixture until it is pale and fluffy.

Another way to check if it is whipped properly is check if it has reached ribbon consistency.

When you will lift the beater, ribbon of batter will fall back into the bowl.

You can use stand mixer or hand mixer to do this, but hand mixer will take a bit long time.

  • Gently Fold the flour

It is very important to fold the flour very gently because we do not want to deflate the eggs, sugar batter.

I would recommend to use wooden spoon or rubber spatula to fold the batter. Also, use sifter and slowly add flour into the batter. This will add little bit of air in the batter.

  • My tip to add melted butter

If you directly add melted butter in this light batter, there is a possibility that it will sink to the bottom and will not get mixed properly with rest of the batter.

To avoid this, take 1-2 spoon of batter and add it in melted butter. Thoroughly mix it. Then add this mixture back into our bowl and gently mix it.

  • Do not chill the batter for too long

Madeleines are called small cakes or cookie. Like our cookie dough, we need to chill the madeleines batter in the refrigerator before baking.

Letting rest the batter in fridge will help the madeleines to rise but, do not chill it for long time. Why? because, the butter in the batter will solidify in the refrigerator and batter will not rise in the oven as we want.

  • Preparing the pan

Prepare the baking pan before making the recipe.

You can use non-stick spray or regular butter or butter-flour mixture to prepare the pan.

This will ensure easy release of madeleines.

For this particular recipe, I would recommend to use for butter.

For two reasons: First, for extra butter flavoring and second, butter will give crispy edge to our madeleines. You can pastry brush for even spreading.

Classic Madeleines Video Tutorial

Classic French Madeleines

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many calories in our Madeleines recipe?

Please refer my recipe card to know the details about calorie and nutritional information.

  • How to store the madeleines?

You can store them in an air tight container at room temperature up to 1 day. Actually, Madeleines tastes best when they are fresh. They lose its moisture very fast and become very dry. Good news, even if they are dry, you can still enjoy it with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Just dip them and enjoy.

  • Can I freeze the madeleines?

I would not personally recommend to freeze Madeleines. Two reasons:

  1. They taste best when they are fresh.
  2. They lose moisture very fast and becomes very dry.

However, you can freeze the madeleines batter. You can freeze the batter up to 2 months.

Cover them with plastic warp before freezing.

Thaw it overnight in refrigerator and then keep it on kitchen counter for 5-10 minutes.

For proper rise in oven, batter has to be at chilled state and not at room temperature. So, make sure that the batter is sitting on kitchen counter for too long.

  • How to decorate madeleines?

You can decorate the madeleines two ways.

  1. Just dust powdered sugar
  2. Dip one side of madeleine in melted chocolate
  • How to serve Madeleines?

As per French tradition, they are typically served for afternoon tea.

But I would love them to eat during morning or afternoon tea or a small treat to finish my lunch or dinner.

Basically, I can eat them during anytime of the day and I am sure you can too as you just can’t resist freshly baked madeleines.

Request

Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I really love hearing from you, and your feedback is very much important to me.

Tag @DessertKatta OR Hashtag it #DessertKatta

Detail recipe card with quantity of ingredients and detail steps to make homemade Madeleine’s recipe

My Best French Madeleines

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 50 mins Cook Time 10 mins Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cooking Temp: 350  °F Servings: 12
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Recipe

  1. Prepare your madeleines pan. You can use unsalted butter or cooking spray to coat the pan.

    applying butter to the madeleines pan
  2. In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk and keep it aside.

    mixing all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. Heat the butter in pan. Once melted, let it cook for few more minutes. Wait until it turns little brown in color.
    Let it cool down. We will prepare remaining things until it cools down.

    melt the butter in the pan until it is little brown in color.
  4. In another bowl, take eggs, sugar and vanilla.

    adding eggs, sugar and vanilla in bowl
  5. Whisk it until it is double in volume and pale in color.

    beating eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale in color.
  6. Now sift the dry ingredients in 3 portions. Sift first portion and gently fold it in egg and sugar batter until you cannot see flour. Now sift second portion and so on.

    sifting dry ingredients into eggs.
  7. Now, take out 1-2 spoon batter and add it in cooled browned butter. Mix thoroughly.

    adding eggs and dry ingredients in melted butter.
  8. Add this batter back into the remaining batter and gently fold it.

    adding butter back in the egg and dry ingredients batter
  9. Cover it with cling wrap.

    covering the batter with plastic wrap
  10. Freeze it for 1/2 an hour to 40 minutes.

    mixing dry and wet ingredients together.
  11. Put a tablespoon of batter into each madeleines pan and bake at 350F for 8 minutes.

    adding madeleines batter in madeleines pan.
  12. You can see the big hump in middle, edges have become brown and it is loosed from sides.

    baking in oven at 350F (180 C)
  13. Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan.

    madeleines arranged on wooden board.
  14. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

    sprinkling powdered sugar on madeleines
  15. Enjoy!

    madeleine picture from inside to check the texture
Keywords: madeleines recipe, madeleine, how to make madeleines, French madeleines recipe, madeleines, dessert katta

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Sayali Bhave

Dessert Lover

Hi, I'm Sayali, a dessert blogger, mother of a handsome son and a lovely wife. I live in Toronto with my family. Loves traveling, sharing new recipes, and spending time with my family and friends.

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