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Close up photo of French Madeleines on a pink napkin.
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5 from 1 vote

French Madeleines

French Madeleines are light, airy, and buttery mini sponge cakes with a scalloped shell shape and golden crisp edges! These cakes are sweet with a hint of lemon, perfect for enjoying alongside a cup of hot tea or coffee!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Chill Time30 mins
Total Time57 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 24
Calories: 88kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • cups pastry flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled for 10 minutes
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Beat together the eggs, sugar, zest, and vanilla in a large bowl for several until pale and fluffy.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and fold in with a rubber spatula until you have a smooth batter.
  • Remove some of the batter and mix it into the melted butter, then slowly add the melted butter and batter mixture back into the rest of the batter and mix gently until combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes. You can refrigerate the batter for up to 24 hours before baking but do not freeze for longer than 15 minutes. Do not skip chilling the batter, this is what helps them rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease the madeleine pan. Since the pan has scalloped edges, the best way to do this is with a pastry brush and melted butter, but you can also use cooking spray. There's no need to flour the pan, in fact, they taste better without it in my opinion.
  • Take the batter out of the fridge and quickly mix again to remove excess air bubbles.
  • Fill your madeleine form evenly with the batter. Don´t fill them too high, the dough will rise a lot. For me, a full tablespoon works perfectly.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes or until the centers bump up and they are golden brown around the edges. The madeleines should have a little bump on the top side, this is the desired "pearl" and what makes them unique.
  • Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Do not put the cakes in the oven before it's preheated, they need that shock of cold batter meets high temperature in order to bake properly.
  • All-purpose flour may be used in this recipe but the cakes/cookies will be a bit denser.
  • Cooling down the dough helps to keep it from overflowing the form and getting out some of the air.
  • You can also use a (mini) muffin pan if you don't own a madeleine pan If you only have one pan and need to bake in batches, keep the remaining dough in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.
  • Variations/how to switch it up: You can add different flavors or spices like cinnamon, orange zest, or some rum extract or finely chopped dried fruits. Sweetness is to taste, you can add 1/4 cup more or less sugar depending on your preferences.
  • Can I make this ahead? Yes, they will stay good in an airtight container for around 3 days. Right after baking, they will have a slight crisp, they will soften and moisten a bit after being stored. You can also prepare the batter one day ahead and keep it covered in your fridge.
  • Can I freeze madeleines? Yes, you can! Let them cool down completely and freeze tightly covered for up to 4 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg