French Butter Cakes (Madeleines) Recipe -
French Butter Cakes (Madeleines) Recipe
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French Butter Cakes (Madeleines)
These traditional airy cookie-cakes are light and lovely. See more

French Butter Cakes (Madeleines)

Recipe by  

"Sponge cake cookie--in shell shaped molds."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 dozen Change Servings


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter and flour 12 (3 inch) madeleine molds; set aside.
  2. Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and salt at high speed until light.
  4. Beating constantly, gradually add sugar; and continue beating at high speed until mixture is thick and pale and ribbons form in bowl when beaters are lifted, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Sift flour into egg mixture 1/3 at a time, gently folding after each addition.
  6. Add lemon zest and pour melted butter around edge of batter. Quickly but gently fold butter into batter. Spoon batter into molds; it will mound slightly above tops.
  7. Bake 14 to 17 minutes, or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.
  8. Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan; invert onto rack. Immediately sprinkle warm cookies with granulated sugar. Madeleines are best eaten the day they're baked. Leftover madeleines are wonderful when dunked into coffee or tea.
  9. Variation: Chocolate Madeleines: Omit lemon zest. Increase sugar to 1/2 cup. Substitute 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder for 2 tablespoons of the flour; sift into batter with flour.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 26, 2007

Easy and precise. For those who have similar questions like me. You need a madeleines pan. I got mine at Bed bath and beyond. I used muffins pan earlier and it was a disaster. If you wonder whether baking powder is needed like in other recipe, and the answer is no. Make sure the eggs mix is thick before you fold in flour and butter, it took about 10 minutes at high speed.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 29, 2007

This recipe is horrible! Does not taste like Madeleines at all. Madeleines are not supposed to be light and airy. They should be dense and butter-y, like Starbucks!


171 Ratings

Apr 07, 2008

These were superb, and I have to disagree with the reviewer who said a good Madeleine should be dense and buttery (like the ones from Starbucks). Have you ever had a REAL French Madeleine? They're lighter than air. Starbucks serves very nice molded pound cakes, NOT Madeleines.

Apr 04, 2008

I am a real beginner, but I had no trouble with this recipe at all. The hard part, actually, was selecting a madeleine pan - there were many different ones to choose from at the cooking supply store, from $10.00 - $79.00, depending on size and material. I bought the $10.00 metal one (which makes one dozen 3" madeleines), and it worked absolutely fine. So no need to spend a fortune to get good results.

Jun 25, 2007

These are the best madeleines I have ever made. This was the pastry that Marcel Proust enjoyed for inspiration - and it seems to have worked for him! The only problem with the recipe is that it yields so few of the cookies. I doubled the recipe last time and I only made about 16 servings. My madeleine pan is a little bit larger, but still, the cookies were gone in less than fifteen minutes. Usually a good thing, but I had wanted to enjoy a couple later. I added a touch of honey and I thought it turned out to be phenomenal. Good luck and thanks for the recipe!

Aug 19, 2010

Perfect recipe!! Whole family loved these delicate cookies. I bought my pan a year ago and finally made madeleines. Like other reviewer said, no need to by expensive non stick pan, grease and flour as directed and they pop out fine. I even greased and dusted with sugar instead of flour, worked great. These are authentic in taste, light and airy. If you want dense ones (like what starbucks sells), you can double the butter; but then you are really eating mini pound cakes, not madeleines. I had to beat the eggs/sugar mixture the full 10 minutes. I think this is the first recipe I reviewed that was 100% accurate and did not need one thing changed to perfect!!!

Nov 13, 2006

I used part cake flour (about one third of the total) owing to a Cook's Illustrated recipe and I added 1/4tsp orange flower water. They were heavenly. And they looked so perfect that they could have come from a bakery. Thanks for this keeper!

Mar 09, 2005

THESE WERE GREAT! I made them for my social studies class and they loved them. I did the chocolate version. They are delicious, light, fluffy, and perfect in general. MMMMM.


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  • Calories
  • 109 kcal
  • 5%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15.3 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 41 mg
  • 14%
  • Fat
  • 4.7 g
  • 7%
  • Fiber
  • 0.2 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 1.6 g
  • 3%
  • Sodium
  • 63 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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