classic madeleines

On Friday, someone asked me if there was a food I was eager to try. I answered that I’d never baked or even tried a single madeleine in my whole life. Four hours later, I had done both, so emboldened by the suspicious ease of marking items off my wish-list, I next mentioned that I had yet to get that puppy I’ve been asking for. No dice on that one yet.

mom's madeleine pan

It might have helped that I nabbed a few months back the madeleine pan my father bought for my mother way back in the day when she, too, was absorbed with French cookery. I’ve realized lately that as much fun as it is to have shiny and new things for the kitchen, I like the appearance of the worn and, in this case, a wee dented ones better, from a time before there were silicon, non-stick and even miniature alternatives. All homage to old and beat up bakeware aside, I’m not sure with a recipe like the one I tried, I’ll be getting much more use out of it than mom ever did.

poor girl's fisheye a wee overfilled

While it’s so unlike a Dorie Greenspan recipe to do anything but send us catapulting into a buzzy baked good heaven, the one I used from her Paris Sweets book didn’t yield what I consider the stuff of florid food writing volumes. The crumb was surprisingly big, almost cornbread sized, they were fairly spongy and not in a tender way and they definitely lacked for salt to balance and round out the sweetness. They also had no hump. My last gripe, that I underbaked the first batch (you know, the one I actually got good pictures of), can be wholly chalked up to inexperience, though it might have helped if the recipe told you to look for browned edges and not just a top that sprung back. (That said, this, this, that and the other still make that cookbook a highly advised, fun purchase.)

big crumb underbaked

Despite all the hoopla around madeleines, they’re really easy to make, did not barrage through an avalanche of ingredients and better yet, the items are fairly standard in a home kitchen, which means I have no excuse not to bake up another batch very soon. But first I’d love some advice. Do you have a perfected technique, recipe or favorite experience with these vaunted cakes? In the meanwhile, I am posting the recipe I used for reference, in case it provides any insight into what may have gone wrong. And then I’m going to bug Alex to find out where my puppy is.

a proper edge

Classic Madeleines [Madeleines Classiques]
Adapted from Patisserie Lerch, via Paris Sweets

3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces; 70 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Sift together the flour and baking powder and keep close at hand. Working in a mixer fit with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until they thicken and lighten in color, 2 to 4 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Switch to a large rubber spatula and gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal, and chill for at least 3 hours, perhaps longer–chilling helps the batter develop its characteristic crown, known as the hump or the bump. (The batter can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). If your Madeleine pan is not nonstick, generously butter it, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. If the pan is nonstick, you still might want to give it an insurance coating of butter and flour. If it is silicone, do nothing. No matter what kind of pan you have, place it on a baking sheet for easy transportability.

Divide the batter among the molds, filling them almost to the top. Don’t worry about smoothing the batter, it will even out as it bakes.

Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, small ones for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and golden and spring back when touched. Pull the pan from the oven and remove the cookies by either rapping the pan against the counter (the madeleines should drop out) or gently running a butter knife around the edges of the cookies. Allow the madeleines to cool on a cooling rack. They can be served ever so slightly warm or at room temperature.

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100 comments on classic madeleines

  1. There was a thread on chow hound last November about this and a couple of people offered recipes. You’d probably have French people swooning over your Madeleines – they try to avoid the hump.

  2. When I lived in Berkeley, and was attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, I spent some time working for Donsuemor Madeleines. All we made were madeleines, all day, and into the evening. We made them in huge batches of course, running pans through a dispenser (it was a factory, after all). At the bakery, each madeleine form was squirted with some clarified butter, then the batter filled the form, but not all the way up to the top. We baked them in a convection oven, 16 racks high. Anyway, they were wonderful and I gained a love of madeleines through working at the bakery,and often had lots of seconds in the freezer (they freeze beautifully). As is unavoidable, while packaging them, some fell to the floor here and there. They’d get picked up at the end of the day and bagged for the trash. But sometimes a friend and I would take the bags of unusable madeleines and bring them with us to Golden Gate Park, where we’d throw them out for the seagulls and other birds that frequented the lake. They loved the madeleines! I should make some soon.

  3. My husband has been taking over the baking in our house, and I believe he used the Dorie recipe from her Baking at Home book. The madeleines are delicious, with just a hint of lemon.

  4. I’ve made Madeleines few times now since the first batch in April – great small cakes to know how to make! I’m very keen to try matcha ones next. And I agree that it’s a great sense of accomplishment whenever you get to tick something off the list :)

  5. joanne

    I adore madeleines. I make them all the time. The recipe I adapted is from gourmet. . It’s the September 2001 recipe. I always use cake flour or Lily White flour. Lily White’s soft winter wheat flour is closer to cake flour if I happen to run out. I have tried Gale Gand’s method of melted butter coat, freeze, coat, freeze, then mold and bake, also used Pam for Baking sprayed in the molds. Both methods work well, the flavor is better with the butter. For the dispensing of the the batter, I use take out soup spoons, one to scoop and the other to scoot the batter into the pans. If you are really comfortable with a piping bag, use the disposable ones, and fill the molds with that. I only fill the molds 2/3 full. I avoid the hump. I also under bake them. My family prefer the light golden color, and it stays moister and lasts longer. Use Meyer lemons for your zest, the flavor is so much better. I played around the other day and I also added fresh chopped mint in the batter for kicks. Gale Gand also has two recipes in her new book Vanilla / Chocolate. Her recipes are supposedly freezer friendly. I have yet to try the chocolate recipe. I’ll let you know how that one goes.

  6. RA

    Oh, I’d much rather have madeleines (and the corresponding baking pan) than the puppy! But, the husband has won me over with supreme naming rights, so we’re getting a dog next week, after we get back from vacation. Oy. Since this new addition to the family will come with its share of pricey accessories, I’m left to have vicarious madeleine experiences, for now.

  7. i’ve also never made or tasted a madeleine. i’ve wanted to ever since i saw the first transporter movie :) i’m hesitant to buy a pan that has but one use tho… maybe if i inherit one.

  8. How did you visit Paris and not try madelines? I don’t like them, but my sister and mom went gaga over them in France. Sorry I don’t have any recipes to share, but they look pretty!

  9. Jelena

    I’ve tried to make madeleines a couple of times, and while I’m not sure I succeeded I know I didn’t fail (they tasted good, but could’ve have been way better). I think I didn’t let the batter rest long enough and my mother has individual little molds that start flipping over once filled. I really should get a madeleine tray for it, but I don’t make it often enough. Kudos on not mentioning Proust though, everyone goes on and on about him.

  10. I remember first seeing this treat being made by Martha Stewart when I was in High School and being eager to try them. I had my first one, a Starbucks, attempt when I was in college thinking that they were a bit of a disappointment but didn’t rule them out due to the maker. When I moved to Houston, I gave the cake another go when I spotted them at a small French chain, La Madeline and now I’m hooked. They make theirs with a lemon flair, the zest in the cake and the icing. Perfect with coffee, a paper and a table in the morning, before the humidity sets in.

  11. I tried honey madeleines, chocolate, coconut and lemon madeleines, orange madeleines and lemon madeleine and my favorites by far are choco, coco…madeleines and lemon madeleinse. You are right that it should be specified that the madeleine are done when slightly golden on the edges, otherwise they tend to taste like uncooked batter. The lemon madeleine recipe that I always use and it has never disapointed me is from Essentiel of baking by Williams Sonoma and the choco, coco, lemon is an adaptation from a Pierre Hermes choco recipe.

  12. I use Julia Child’s recipe. It’s a version of her genoise cake, and they’re delicious. They are so easy, and I have no excuse either for the fact that I haven’t made them in a few years. The last time I made mine I made them with vanilla instead of lemon zest and then dipped them halfway into ganache. To say they were a hit would be an understatement. I hope you like them better with a different recipe, because they are delicious when they turn out.

  13. I love stealing bakeware and cooking utensils from my dad. He calls me a thief. I smile, knowingly, and bake more cookies with his mixer in my apartment, sending them to appease him.

  14. Madeleines are one of my favorite “special” baked treats that I usually reserve for myself when I’m on a day off from work and have time to putter about the kitchen and enjoy a long cup of tea or two. I’m just like Candy in post #7. My love affair with madeleines started after watching Transporter (strangely one of my top 5 movies ever, even though it’s not at all “girly”). When the hostage girl made them in his oh so rustic kitchen by the sea, I had to try them.

    Deb – Since you were disappointed with your initial recipe, I have a version you must try when you put that battered madeleine pan to use again. The proportions are different from your recipe, so the crumb is different/lighter. 1.25 c. flour; 1 t. baking powder; 2 eggs; .75 c. confectioners sugar; zest from 1 lemon; 1 T. lemon juice; 6 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled. The directions are basically the same as yours. This recipe is from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Cookies by Hilaire Walden. I swear by that book for all cookie concoctions. Now, since I’m off work today, I think I’ll get out my pan and make some of my own. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  15. Yvo

    I’ve never had a madeleine, even though they really call to me when I go into French bakeries (specifically, Financier on Pearl). Mmm…

  16. It’s all about cardamom madelines with orange glaze. I think I might have found it in Martha Stewart once, but can’t remember…it’s a basic madeline with ground cardamom mixed with the dry ingredients, then the finished good gets topped with an OJ-powdered sugar-orange zest glaze. Pure cardamomy goodness.

  17. I bought myself a silicone madeleine tray recently with the intention of making madeleines. I have not gotten around to that yet but I did use some leftover carrot cake batter with my tray, which achieved the same qualities as what I like about madeleines. Madeleines are perfect when served almost straight from the oven. They have a high surface-to-mass ratio which means more of the crispy outside in relation to a soft fluffy inside, especially when fresh and warm. Yum!

    p.s. I strongly reccomend silicone baking trays

  18. M

    This reminds me of a Barefoot Contessa episode I saw last week. Ina made a few dishes for some sort of ladies lunch featuring 35 year olds clinging to sorority life. Ina made madeleines and one of the girls said “would you like to try a mandolin?” Funny stuff.

  19. deb

    Mary — I had no idea! I though my hump failures would be silently ridiculed by the French. Thanks for cheering me up!

    megc — Those are some lucky seagulls!

    Lydia — Interesting. I wonder if these are the same, as I’ve noticed she’s repeated a few recipes between this and that cookbook. I’ll have to check. I love the lemon/vanilla play in them.

    joanne — Thanks for the head’s up! I was sent the Vanilla/Chocolate book a bunch of months ago and though I’ve flipped lovingly through it several times, I have yet bake anything from it. (Much to Alex’s chagrin.) That said, the layout is bonkers, and not in a good way. Perhaps I’ll try the Epicurious one first!

    RA — I hope this means we will be graced with an avalanche of puppy pictures, so that I can live vicariously through YOUR experience! Puppy and kitten pictures make the internet go ’round, anyway.

    Hilary — We were too busy trying Berthillon ice cream, Poilane bread and Pierre Herme macaron. Oh, and a chocolate. And wine. It just wasn’t a priority but perhaps I’ll seek out a proper one next time, which I hope is soon.

    Jenifer from Houston — I remember La Madeline! There was one in DC, and I remember eating many brunches there. Never tried the madeleines, though…

    Rose — Thanks for the recipe. Those look gorgeous!

    Jessie — Funny, I looked through Mastering the Art of French Cooking both Volume 1 and 2 for a recipe, but didn’t find a single one! Perhaps it’s in Baking with Julia? Yet another reason I need that book.

    jennbec — Thanks so much for the recipe! I hope to try it, too. I found them particularly easy to make, so I have no qualms about trying all of them.

    Yvo — Finanacier on Pearl seem fabulous, but whenever I’m there, I look but don’t try. Everything there just look impeccable, I’m overwhelmed by choice.

  20. Jennifer

    Because I like to torture myself………I’ve been watching Julia Child DVD’s as I do my morning workout (and try to diet!). Check out disc 3 of “Julia Child! – The French Chef, Volume 3” (I copied Amazon link below) – and you can watch Julia make them and get her recipe! She also discusses Proust. She inspires me to try all kinds of things I thought I would never try!

  21. Madeleines are something I’ve often thought about trying but I’m definitely in the camp of folks who don’t want to buy a single-use pan. My grandmother provided me with a mountain of baking items bu she never made madeleines. On the other hand, Amanda’s suggestion with cardamom and orange glaze sounds like an excuse to hit the kitchenware store!

  22. Julie

    Hiya Deb,
    Longtime lurker here :) I also am not a big fan of madeleines (I have never sampled a plain one that didn’t taste bland), but I have used the recipe in Fran’s Pure Chocolate cookbook several times and given plates of her chocolate madeleines as gifts. Not only do they look beautiful, but the coco powder adds a nice layer to the little cakes o’butter that definitely spruces them up. If you end up with the cookbook, I have to recommend the gold bar brownies as well. They take several hours to make, especially if you roast the almonds and make the caramel yourself, but they are seriously worth the effort!

    I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for providing such interesting reading (and yummy recipes–I have tried many)

  23. i never add anything to my madeleine batter. i have dipped them in a slightly stiff ganache, however, and they’re heavenly.

    the recipe i use is a bit different than the one above, and my madeleines turn out lighter and fluffier and a bit taller than the ones in the picture. i use silicone madeleine pans my aunt bought me at Harrods, of all places.

    here ya go!

    ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    ¼ cup cake flour
    Pinch of coarse salt
    2 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
    ¼ cup sugar
    1½ teaspoons vanilla
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    1. Adjust oven rack to low center position; heat oven to 375°F.
    Sift flours and salt together in small bowl; set aside.

    2. Beat yolks with whole egg in bowl of electric mixer until light yellow and fluffy
    (about 5 minutes on high speed if using a hand mixer) about 3 minutes.

    3. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until a ribbon drops from beaters, about 5 minutes with hand mixer, 3 minutes with stand mixer. Gently fold in flour mixture,
    then melted butter.

    4. Spoon batter into molds. (Batter should come just flush with mold rim.)
    Bake until tops are golden and cakes spring back when pressed lightly, about 10 minutes. Turn madeleines onto dry tea towel; cool to room temperature.
    (Can be stored in airtight container up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.)

  24. Hi!
    I’ve read quite a lot about madeleine on the net, and I made some a long time ago.
    It seems that to obtain the hump you should refrigerate the mould once filled with batter, and then bake it in a fairly hot oven: the batter on the edges will solidifie quickly, and the one from the center will have no room to expand and create the hump.

  25. I have personally only tried Nigella’s madeleines with rose water. And they were delicious. I think I over whipped the egg whites, which resulted in the lightest airiest concoction ever. It simply melted on my tongue!

  26. Steve

    Here’s a great recipe:

    1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    3 large eggs, at room temperature

    2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated white sugar

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Note: If you make miniature madeleines, reduce the baking time to about 7-9 minutes.

    First, melt the butter and allow it to cool while you make the batter.

    In a small bowl place the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well blended.

    In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

    Sift a small amount of flour over the egg mixture and, using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs to lighten it. Sift the rest of the flour over the egg mixture and fold in being sure not to overmix or the batter will deflate.

    Whisk a small amount of the egg mixture into the melted butter to lighten it. Then fold in the cooled melted butter in three additions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours, until slightly firm.

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Generously butter two 12-mold madeleine pans. Dust the molds with flour and tap out the excess. (Could spray pans with Bakers Joy instead.) (Make sure the pans are well greased or the madeleines will stick and be hard to remove.)

    Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center. (This will result in the classic “humped” appearance of the madeleines.)

    Bake the madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Do not overbake these cookies or they will be dry.

    Remove the pans from the oven and rap each pan sharply against a countertop to release the madeleines. Transfer the madeleines, smooth sides down, to wire racks to cool. The madeleines are best served the same day but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.

    When serving dust with confectioners sugar.

    Variation: Lemon-Poppy Seed Madeleines – Substitute 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar for 2/3 cup white sugar, substitute 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract plus 1 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest for 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and add l tablespoon poppy seeds after adding butter. Proceed with recipe.

    Bittersweet Chocolate Madeleines – Melt 4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (in pieces) in top of double boiler (stainless steel bowl over a saucepan) until melted. Let cool slightly. Follow the above recipe but add the melted chocolate to the batter after adding the melted butter. Proceed with recipe.

  27. Tracy

    Hi Deb…I made the madeleines from the Baking at Home cookbook, which is slightly different than your recipe…but with the same result. Okay, but not overly special. Have you tried any other recipes yet? Would love to know if you’ve found anything better…I want to, but don’t want to end up with more “eh” madeleines!

  28. Jay

    Okay. I posted this in the wrong post…too many darn windows open.

    I have an honest to goodness Madeleine addiction. The sad part is that I have never truly tasted one made properly, so even after my addiction I am not sure I am making them right. See, I first read about madeleines in these crazy french books, and then I saw them in cheesy french movies. I was fascinated. Then it seemed like everywhere I looked there was recipe for the darn things. The problem being though that after seeing pan after pan after pan sitting in various discount departments of dozens of stores I never picked one up. So my hunt was rather vigorous. Finally I found a wilton professional line pan. It is really heavy and rather dark. My first batch ( a basic lemon recipe from somewhere it was rather vague) was kind of like chewing on a dry chewy corn muffin. It was wierd because there was no corn! (although I think that would work pretty well now that I think of it) The second batch was more adventerous. Lavender and Lime. They came out oddly softer and heavenly smelling! They also were inedible after a day and turned into tough little speckled rocks.

    Most efforts after that were about on par, and I thought I had given up on madelienes. Until I found an interesting recipe in the Ethnic Paris Cookbook. After copying it down on two eight post its because I am a poor college student, I set out to make this green concoction. It had these detailed steps that I really didn’t understand before. It had degrees of where I was to mix, what it was to look like, like an actual recipe! Most before were mix until creamy and foamy. THIS HAD DETAILS!

    I am also quite the impatient one, and cleaning that monster kitchenaid is a daunting thought so I tend to do things by hand. With SPOONS. But I used the beast, and cleaned it well quite quickly then put it away. With that sideways glance those cute dogs give I was amazed at the speed I went through that sucker. The recipe not only turned out magnificently dellicate, it also lasted for a day or two.

    So…madeleines can suck real easy. I eventually gave up this pan in favor of a lighter colored larger capacity (eighteen) pan from Crate and Barrell that set me back fifteen dollars. I gave up on healthier madeleines and decided that ones with more butter will ultimately last more than one day so you won’t have to force yourself to eat the entire batch in one sitting. Those twelve count recipes rarely make twelve, and if you make them too full they look horrendous. I can usually get about twenty to twenty four fully molded cakes from a batch. Don’t fill them too full, I know this is said plenty before but if the batter is right it will spread a lot and very quickly. Also don’t spread the batter out. Ugly misshapen blob in the middle, and you’re good. It melts and spreads and humps all on it’s own just let it work it’s magic.

    Now though I’m trying really hard to make them healthy! Which I don’t think will happen, although I almost got a filled one to work. Hmm…experimentation awaits!

  29. Karen

    The recipe should say “double acting baking powder” not “double acting soda”? Right?

    That’s what I’m going to use.

    (Maybe someone has already asked about this.)

  30. Leia

    I have been looking for the perfect madeleine recipe, and when looking at yours, I see that we need double acting baking soda. I live in Chile and we don’t have it! is there anything I can substitute it with?

  31. Adelina

    I think the recipe posted by “Steve” should produce a good batch of Madeleine. By now, I’m sure you’ll find that there are many recipes out there on Madeleine and you have probably tried a few of them already, by now!

    Personally, I still am looking for a “perfect” recipe to bake these wonderful cookie/ cake myself! I haven’t gotten there yet!

    If you still want to know what I’ve experienced so far, here it goes:

    1. Madeleine batter should be rest in the refrigerator for at least one-two hours.

    2. Melt butter to get a buttery aroma over a low heat setting, on top of a stove top is recommended. Many recipes suggest to melt butter in a microwave, which I find to be very convenient, but does not yield a nice nutty, buttery aroma in a Madeleine.

    3. Madeleine is best when you consume it the same day you bake, or even fresh right out from the oven!

  32. Julie

    Hi Deb,
    Thank you so much for keeping up the cooking/posting even though you’ve got a little one around. (And thanks for all the baby photos.) Just a question about the madeleines: how long do you think they can keep? I’d like to make a batch to take to my in-laws for Christmas, and if possible not a the very last minute…
    Thanks, Julie

  33. Francheska

    I made the ones with the lemon glaze from David’s site, They looked just like his, They had a huge hump and smelled great, Next time ill try this recipe, I wasn’t very excited once I tasted them, They’re very dry, I wish there was a way to make em super moist and tender, Id hate to think I just wasted 20 bucks on a pan that just makes dry cakes =c

  34. Kristen

    I’ve always used the Joy of Baking recipe for madeleines but a couple months ago, I thought I would try yours. They looked beautiful and I topped them with powdered sugar. I hadn’t had madeleines in sooooo long so you can imagine my dismay when I bit into my first cookie and it tasted tinny, metallic. How could this be?! I went through the list of ingredients, making sure I hadn’t, um, added liquid iron or copper pennies while mixing. I hadn’t. So it wasn’t until yesterday when I was aimlessly perusing your site and saw the tips section (tips? how had I not read the tips?) and read up on the baking powder dilemma. THIS COMPLETELY EXPLAINS IT! Aluminum baking powder? Gross! I hesitated in commenting about my metallic madeleines initially because I love your site, I love your recipes, I make them all the time. My co-workers love that I make them all the time. I didn’t want to post a negative comment when the problem was probably my fault. Now I have a clear explanation that means you and your recipe are, of course, not to blame. And I have a new tin of Rumford baking powder.

    Fellow readers, watch out for that baking powder! This recipe calls for plenty and you don’t want tinny cookies!

  35. Lamia

    Oops–I almost forgot: we (as in my mother and I–not the royal we) put lemon zest or vanilla extract, depending on what we have/what we feel like.

  36. traci

    just made these…no idea if you’ll get this comment since it’s years past the post! mine turned out very airy and light with just a tad of crunch. I put them in the fridge over night so had that part covered. however, I used pam spray in lieu of butter on the pan. could that have made a difference? just not the firm, sweet madeleine I’m used to. help and thanks!

  37. Willa

    I love your blog! I make madeleines all the time and I use Ina Garten’s recipe for coconut madeleines which are devine you should try to make them!!!!!!!!

  38. mimi

    i tried the madeleines, but when i took them out of the fridge they were hard to work with, i couldnt pour them in the moulds. i had to soften them a little bit before. any suggestions? thank you

  39. maria

    i just baked these madeleines but they were completely BITTER I prepared the batter yesterday and refrigerate it till today. I think one lemon zest is too much, I should have used half. and i think also that standing that long almost 24 hours is too long, it made the lemon bitter…. in over all the texture was good. it’s a shame, I was a bit sad they didnt work out.

  40. Burt

    I just baked them today, mixed them slightly differently but nothing else different.
    Came out perfect. Does not have to stand for a day, three hours is good enough.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  41. Mumbi

    I made them today in preparation for a bake sale at my son’s school, they were good I got the recipe from Fergal Connoly’s 500 cupcakes book. I will take this batch too work and then bake a fresh one on monday evening to take for the bake sale. Yummy yes! But i cannot justify eating all 24 of them= 1 stick of butter wayyy too many calories for me. I love to bake taste and distribute!
    Next recipe, sundried tomato brioche……..

  42. joan b.

    What is the best way to store Madeleines at home? What is the best way to package the cookies for posting them for gifts? Many thanks.

  43. Dona

    I just tried this recipe and I did let it sit over night and it came out really dry and not moist or valet at all… Should I bake it for less time? I baked it for 12 min at 400′ any suggestions? Plus I overfilled the molds and this bump was formed in the middle of each Madeline :(

    1. deb

      Your oven may run hotter than mine did. Small variances in ovens don’t matter terribly with bigger baked goods, but with something so thin, it could definitely contribute to dryness. No harm in using a toothpick in one, either, to see if it has baked through and removing it once it has.

  44. I learned how to make Madeleines at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. We brushed our pans with butter and then refrigerated them. We piped them in the very cold pans, but you could dollop them in. Just do not fill the shells all the way. Then we returned the pans to the fridge for about an hour. The cold dough hitting the very hot oven (we baked them around 400 for 8-9 min) made them rise and give us the hump. Also it made them light because the cold butter kind of bursts inside when hitting the heat, causing it to fluff. That is why you chill pie crust before baking and what gives it its flakiness.

  45. tin

    I’m currently studying Basic Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa. When we made madeleines, we refrigerated the batter for about 20 minutes before piping(or use a spoon if you prefer) them onto the molds. The chef said that it’s better if there’s a large hump rather than having a flat madeleine.

  46. chris

    Madeleines were always my favorite cookie when I lived at sea level. I have six tins and made them all the time.

    I now live at high altitude and cannot successfully make the cookies. They fall flat and have a tough texture.


  47. Camellia

    @Yvo: While I was staying on Gold I would go to the Financier on Pearl for breakfast, got to say, the madeleines were not brilliant. They were a little too cake-like for my liking. The cakes weren’t dense enough.

  48. Living in High Altitude
    I used to live in sea level too,. I’m now in Colorado, and fight all the time with the perfect Madeleine’s recipe.
    Any of you can Help ?????

  49. Steph

    I agree with Candy! I have watched to taste and make Madeleine since I saw the first transporter movie. I have been looking for a pan all over and just bought a small one last weekend at William Sonoma. I am very excited to try them out this weekend : ) Thank you for your recipe!!

  50. Sonya

    I made these today. They came out pretty badly. I can taste the baking soda and they’re not as dense and moist as the madeleines I have had before.

  51. Josi

    These taste pretty good but there’s too much baking soda in the recipe. I will be trying these again with less baking soda. I made them in little muffin tins and they’re not really crisp enough to be Madeleines but they’re good anyway.

  52. Julia

    My husband is French and I’ve been making madeleines using the recipe from a French recipe book (Les bonnes recettes de Mauricette). The proportions are not the same (the recipe calls for much less butter and baking powder). In Provence they use orange flower water and not lemon. Guess it’s a regional thing. I’ve also tried the ones with a bit of lavender. But they put lavender is almost anything over there. :)

  53. Jenifer L. Sullivan

    Is there an error in the recipe? I just now put my batter in the fridge and noticed “double acting baking soda”. What is that? Do you mean baking powder? Please choose one and rectify. Thank you.

    1. deb

      Jenifer — I am so sorry, that was a typo. (Yikes!) It should be baking powder. Definitely the worst typo in a while. I hope it didn’t give you too much trouble.

  54. Beth

    I love making Madeleines but much prefer a metal pan over a silicone one. I also like adding a tablespoon of pure Almond Extract to the batter. I honestly do not know why, but all my cookies have a hump – and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad!

  55. Rochelle Bernold

    Today is the last class in a wonderful course that I’m taking ” Time and the Modern Novel” , so I thought that I’d bake some madeleines for my fellow students. . .
    I found an old madeleine mold up in my attic, where it had slumbered for 30 years, and remembering a hilarious piece on madelines in ” SLATE” ( you would so enjoy reading it, Deb ) that blasted quite a few recipes , I quickly entered your ” Smitten Kitchen”, mixed up the batter at midnight, and set it in the fridge to rest.
    Not until this morning at 5:30 did I notice that you weren’t happy with the recipe ! ! ! Oh, No ! ! ! I await my first bite with more than a little anxiety. . .there’s no time to bake another batch. . . I so wanted everyone to have delicious memories. . . I’m ruining my keyboard with my buttery fingers 9 the easiest way to heavily butter the pans before spraying with Trader Joe’s flour and canola oil baking spray. . .
    I must say that the kitchen does smell wonderful. . . . OMG . . . You are so hard on yourself, Deb ! These madeleines are PERFECTION !
    I just ate a lemony, buttery,crunchy on the outside tender on the inside bite of heaven.

    Hugs and Kisses,

    Thank you Deb !

  56. Melba

    Oh, this looks so good!
    Question: I have only one madeleine pan. Is it OK for the batter to stand while the first batch is cooking? Should I refrigerate it?

  57. SP

    I made this batter and stuck it in the fridge overnight. Today morning as I started to spoon the batter in the pan I noticed a disc of butter at the bottom of the bowl. Was the butter not cool enough when I mixed it in?

  58. Pamela Cass

    I printed out 3 Madeleine recipes, one was even from a new French cookbook I had just bought. Yours was so superior that I tossed out the others plus the French cookbook! Your recipe was also the most simple. I couldn’t fit all the mixture into my Madeleine pan, so covered and kept the rest for the next day. They were just as perfect. I also liked the way you had the variety of measurements, from cups to grams to oz. We use grams in Australia, but I’ve sent it to a friend in America where they use oz.
    Oh yes, I fortunately tried the other 3 recipes first – obviously left the best to last!

  59. Don

    Cooking in general is to taste, yours. When I am undertaking a new venture, Madeleines, I read all the recipes I can find and choose what I think will match my taste combined with what experience tells me will work. Your blog has added some additional information from comments that I might not have found elsewhere. Thanks!

  60. Helen

    Another vote for the Jacques Pépin recipe, which I have made many times and always comes out yummy. I particularly like the orange zest twist. I just tried this one and have had the same problems others have mentioned : cornbread consistency, tinny flavor, no bump. I’ll follow advice above and see if it is not the fault of my baking powder. Ironically, am currently in France, far from my Pépin book, so I guess I’d better look up a local recipe!! Thanks for sharing. It’s worh working at madeleines until you get them right (for you). Before, during or after, highly recommend reading the “madeleine” passage in Marcel Proust’s “Combray.”

  61. Jenna

    The recipe in the Joy of Cooking gave me amazing results on the first try and has never failed me. They were springy, brown on the edges, with a perfect crumb. I got the pan at a garage sale for 50 cents and agree about there being something to the character of a used and slightly dinged up pan. I wish I had 2.

  62. Vanessa

    Hi there! I followed the recipe but the ones I made seemed to get really hard by the next day. Anyone know how to fix that?

    Thank you!

  63. Amy

    Hi, Deb!
    I followed this recipe and my dough came out super hard and tough. Then I baked if and they turned into harder dense cakes that weren’t even sweet. I’m so confused! What could I have done differently?

  64. Sarita

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and I LOVE everything about it. Your recipes all look so good and I just received your cookbook for my birthday last month! I’m keeping a list of all the recipes I want to try (the list just keeps getting longer).
    I know you posted this recipe almost 9 years ago, but I’m wondering if you tried making them again? I always use Daniel Boulud’s madeleine recipe and it has never failed me. Not too sweet and the lemon zest gives it a lovely fresh taste. Dust with a little powdered sugar and they’re so yummy. Hope you get to try them soon!

    1. deb

      Sarita — I have made them since, but I will be happy to try Boulud’s next. I realized that more or less, madeleines are only excellent right from the oven and warm. They’re fine later, but they lose that amazing texture. Is this something you’ve noticed too?

  65. College Baker

    I have a wonderful recipe from a friend from France:
    2 and 1/3 cups flour
    1 and a 1/2 cups sugar
    4 eggs
    1 cup butter
    and a dash of vanilla extract.
    Beat the sugar and the egg
    add vanilla extract
    add flour
    add softened butter (you have to be careful that there aren’t any chunks left)
    bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 340 ‘F
    I also like to mix some confectioner sugar and lemon juice together for a simple glaze that complements the madeleines.

  66. Sarita

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for responding! Yes, they are definitely best right out of the oven. While they’re not too bad the next day, they don’t seem to be as light and airy as the day they’re made.
    A little off topic here, but your kids are adorable! Love your daughter’s wavy red hair. :)

  67. Pete

    I love eating madeleines, but I also love baking them. What ever recipe you use, try adding a little nutmeg, just to be a little different. I adds a nice flavor.

  68. Ana Munoz

    HI, I have used several of your recipes and have been very happy! I especially love making my own ricotta because of you, Thank you! I bake a lot, I even sell my cheesecake and my coconut macaroons yet my favorite cookie is the Madeline and for whatever reason I have had one fail after another:( sure it taste like a cookie even a good one to others but not like a Madeline! Can I ask you to repost an updated recipe for your Madeline recipe since its been quite some time and there were a lot of comments and recipes in the replies. I just want to be sure that when I try again it will be a good one that taste like the good old French Madeline I so love! TYVM I so appreciate you!

  69. Don’t understand why the fact that the ingredients are common means you won’t have to make them again soon. Also they are ‘vaunted’ (highly praised) not ‘vaulted’ (having high curved sectional ceilings).

  70. Check out a recipe from Daniel Boulud for madeleine batter you can make ahead, then bake right after dinner (or whenever the urge hits you!) … serve warm with powdered sugar. Heavenly. I’ve made them several times … haven’t flopped yet! Enjoy… Helen (Chevy Chase, MD)

  71. Jane

    Martha Stewart has A recipe that flavors the madeline with cardemon and then brushes the cooled cakes with an orange glaze. The are always very popular when I make them.

  72. Marie Zawatzky

    The only recipe I’ve ever used for these is Julia Child’s. Her technique is clear and precise and they have been perfect every time.
    I have two of these wonderful French madeleine pans and they get a lot of use. Once people learned that I find them quite easy to make, they ask for them at every holiday tea, coffee with friends, church reception etc. that comes along.