Real French Madeleines

You will fall in love with these soft, buttery cakes, that are light and moist on the inside but have a satisfyingly crispy edge. On my quest to make a real French madeleine, I worked my way through several different recipes until I finally found the perfect one, following the advice from the French Culinary Institute. The ingredients are simple; it’s the technique that makes all the difference. The perfect madeleine has a distinctive browning on the bottom and a crispy edge, while the tops are golden yellow with a gently rising hill in the middle. To create a higher rise and this characteristic hump in the middle it is important for the batter to chill before baking. You will also need 2 madeleine baking molds. I know, it’s annoying to need special equipment that is only good for making one thing, especially, since those pans can be a little pricey, but it’s well worth the expense. I bought mine two pans off amazon for $14.

Real French Madeleines

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium


little cakes
Prep time


Baking time





Bake and enjoy the authentic French, shell-shaped tea cakes.


  • 127 g / 4 1/2 oz sugar

  • 106 g / 3 3/4 oz all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • A pinch of salt

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 92 g / 3 1/4 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • Butter and flour for the molds

  • Equipment
  • 2 Madeleine baking pans


  • Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon to blend. Add zest. Stir in the eggs, mixing just to combine. You don’t want to incorporate too much air into the batter. Finally, stir in the butter. Cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until well chilled. The chilling is important, as it ensures a higher rise during baking. At this point, the batter may be stored, covered, and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.
  • Butter and flour the madeleine molds. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C. Using a teaspoon, transfer the batter to the prepared molds. Bake the madeleines for about 7 minutes, or until the cakes spring back in the center when lightly touched.

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