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Madeleines Recipe

by · 21 comments

Ever wondered why the shell-shaped cakes, madeleines, have been fascinating French people so badly, more than the palmiers (also known as elephant ears) like me? It could be the delicious taste or the hump of the sponge cakes, I guess. Eventually, I understand why the madeleine has gathered countless die-hard fans around the world until I made and tasted some fresh from oven the other day. To elevate and ensure the softest texture of the end products, I decided to use cake flour instead. The madeleines were extremely soft and fluffy inside and crispy around the edges, perfect for tea snacks. Best of all, you can make the batter in advance and entertain your family or guests within minutes. They will sure enjoy warm madeleines, fresh from oven.

Madeleines Recipe (Printable recipe)
By Christine's Recipes
Prep time: 20 mins + chilling dough time
Cook time: 9 mins
Yield: 12 (Prepare a 12 cup Madeleine baking pan)

  • 100 gm cake flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon zest, only yellow part
  • 70 gm caster sugar
  • 80 gm unsalted butter, melted, cooled at room temperature, plus some to grease pan
  • icing sugar, for garnish
How To Make Madeleines01

How To Make Madeleines02

  1. Lightly coat the madeleine pan with butter and flour. Shake off the excess flour. Chill in fridge for later use.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Increase the speed to high. Add the sugar in batches. Continue to beat until the mixture thickens and lightens in colour, for about 5 minutes. The drips from the whisk can draw lines on the surface of egg mixture.
  4. Sift in the flour mixture in three batches. Switch to use a rubber spatula and gently fold in the dry ingredients. Make sure not to over mix it.
  5. Take a few tablespoons of the batter and mix with the melted butter. Pour the butter mixture back into the batter. Combine well. Cover the batter with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for about an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 180C / 356F. Place a rack in the upper third of your oven.
  7. Remove the madeleine pan and batter from fridge. Use an ice-cream scoop or a large spoon to divide the batter among the moulds, filling about ¾ full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 9 minutes, or until the cakes are puffed and lightly brown on edges and spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven. Tap the madeleines out of the pan onto a rack to cool briefly. Serve immediately. Or let cool completely and garnish with icing sugar.

  • The texture of these cakes is wonderfully soft inside and crispy on edges. To get the best results, make sure to beat the eggs with sugar long enough until really fluffy and pale in colour. When folding in the dry ingredients, don’t ever over mix it.
  • I found the non-stick madeleine pan made with metal is the best. You can easily get the shell prints on cakes.
  • As the bottom of the cakes get burnt easily, don’t leave the cakes unattended, especially approaching the final 2 to 3 minutes. Also, I like to position the baking rack in the upper third of my oven so that they will not get burnt so quickly.
  • By chilling the batter in fridge, you can produce nice-looking hump at the back of each cake. When scooping batter in mould, no need to level the surface.
  • The batter can be prepared one or two days ahead. Simply follow the instructions in the recipe to bake them in your oven.
  • The leftover can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 to 4 days at room temperature.


  1. wow! these look so delicious! Makes me want to buy a madeleine pan! thanks for sharing! love your blog!!

  2. Lovely shape. I have a question. For preheat, we use up and down heat? Anddor baking which heat we use?

  3. Lovely shape. I have a questionabout heat.
    1. For preheat, which heat we use?
    2. For baking?

  4. Hi, your instructions did not stated when to add in the 70g sugar. Beat together with the eggs? Thanks.

    1. Oh, how could I miss it out? Thanks for asking. Updated the recipe.

  5. cute and lovely shape!

    i have a very very very basic question about baking. for preheat and baking which heat we use? up heat or low heat?

    thank you

    1. For preheating oven, simply turn on your oven to the desired temperature for about 10 minutes.

      My oven doesn't have any separate heating element control. So when I turn on my oven, both upper and lower heat elements are in use.

  6. Can I still make this without the madeleine pan?

    1. Sure, you can. The taste will remain unchanged.

  7. this recipe is perfect! i just bought a madeleine pan when i was in paris earlier this month, i wlll be making these this weekend.
    PS christine i bought your book in hong kong last week, and just wanna say well done!!

    1. Glad that this recipe comes in time for you.
      Thanks for your support of my cookbook. Happy cooking!

  8. Hi

    May I know my Madeleine turn out is hard and not soft?

    1. Its texture should be something like sponge cake.

  9. Will it taste better if we add more lemon zest? Thank You.

  10. If we want to make a larger portion, such as 4x the normal recipe, Are we suppose to make all the ingredients to 4x? thank you.

  11. Hi, which brand madeleine pan do you use, is it available on amazon? thank you

    1. I got the madeleine pan from Amazon. There's a link above the "ingredients".

  12. Hi -- what's the difference between using all-purpose flour and cake flour for the madelines?