Classic French Madeleines Recipe For A Sweet Treat

Madeleines are tiny French cakes that are as popular as any other French dessert could be. These small spongy cookies or cakes were loved by Kings around the 17th century and were brought closer to the hearts of French people and their culture by a French Philosopher Proust around the early 1920s. Made up of very basic ingredients like eggs, flour, butter and sugar, these soft mini sponge cakes are shell shaped. Often considered a perfect companion of coffee, these mini cakes are spongy on one side and crispy on the other.  

While some believe that the first madeleine was baked by Jean Avice, a pastry chef, some believe that it is much older. Commercy in Lorraine could be associated with madeleines as some believe it to be the place of their origin. A legend believes that Madeleine was a young girl who made her grandmother’s recipe. This was when ‘madeleine’ was created. If you are looking for the recipe of a classic French madeleine, here is the recipe! 


  • ½ cup+ 2 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 2 eggs 
  • ½ cup sugar (granulated) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 tsp lemon zest 
  • 1 cup+ 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • ½ tsp baking powder 
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • Sugar to sprinkle on the top 


  • Start with melting butter. Then, take a bowl and add eggs, vanilla extract as well as lemon zest. 
  • When the mixture is pale, thick and you can form ribbons by lifting the whisk, stop and keep it aside. 
  • Take another bowl and 1 cup flour. Baking powder and salt. Whisk well using a wooden spatula and fold in the egg mixture. Then, add the remaining flour. 
  • Now, add ¼ cup batter in the melted butter and let it incorporate. Slowly add in the rest of the batter and mix. It should be shiny and thick. 
  • Cover the batter and keep it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Don't refrigerate for too long. 
  • Now, preheat the oven to 400-degree F. Meanwhile, make a mixture of the remaining butter and flour. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture on the mould. 
  • After the batter is airy and a little spongy, start scooping spoonful of batter in the mould and let it bake for at least 12 to 13 minutes. 
  • When done, transfer the madeleines into a wire race and top with sugar. Serve! 

Quick Tip 

If you don't have a proper madeleine pan or mould, you can freely use any other mould like a round mould, or a rectangular mould or even a muffin mould.