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Classic Madeleines are soft spongy mini cakes with a signature shell shape and dusting of sugar on top. Making French butter cakes is easier than you think! |


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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 4 hours 29 minutes
  • Yield: 12 madeleines
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Classic Madeleines are soft and spongy mini cakes with a signature shell shape and a dusting of sugar on top. These delicious French butter cakes look complicated to make but are a lot easier than you think!


  • 1 scant cup (110 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (114 gramsunsalted buttermelted
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioners' sugar (optional, for dusting)


  1. Add flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. Add eggs to stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer). Turn the stand mixer on low and mix the eggs for about 1 minute to break the eggs up. Once the eggs look foamy, turn the mixer to medium and begin sprinkling in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, every 30 seconds or so.
  3. When all of the sugar has been added, add in the vanilla and lemon zest and turn the stand mixer to high and beat for 2-3 more minutes, or until it looks about triple in volume. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. Use a silicone spatula to fold the dry ingredients delicately into the batter until combined.
  5. Scoop some batter into the melted butter and fold together. Then pour that into the rest of the batter, and delicately fold until combined again, making sure that the batter isn’t deflated.
  6. Place plastic cling wrap over the bowl and let the batter rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours (up to 12 hours). The longer you let it rest, the taller the humps on the back with be.
  7. When you’re almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a madeleine pan by brushing with very soft butter or spray with cooking oil spray. Place the prepared pan into the freezer for 20 minutes.
  8. While the pan is in the freezer, remove the rested batter from the fridge and give the batter 2 or 3 stirs. Scoop the batter into a large piping bag, then cut the tip off the piping bag.
  9. Remove the pan from the freezer and fill each cavity 2/3 full with batter. Place the pan back into the freezer for 5 more minutes.
  10. Remove the pan from the freezer and bake for 9 minutes. Allow the madeleines to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then carefully pop each madeleine out and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once completely cooled, dust each madeleine with confectioners sugar (optional).


How to measure flour: Measure the flour properly. Do not use the measuring cup to scoop the flour, instead fluff the flour first then spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off. For the most accurate results, use a kitchen scale.

Check for doneness: Gently poke one madeleine with your finger. If it bounces back, it's done. You can also check with a toothpick. If a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean, it's done baking.

How to store: Store leftover madeleines in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to five days, though you may want to eat or freeze them immediately as they’re prone to drying out quickly.

How to freeze: Wrap each madeleine individually in plastic cling wrap, then place all of the wrapped cookies in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Rest Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: French