Authentic Madeleine French Cake Recipe

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Learn how to make plum and golden French Madeleine and follow my four tips for guaranteed success when you bake this little French cake delicacy !

The madeleine – in French, pronounce it [mad-lène] is a small and typical French cake, that’s quite easy to make.

This sort of French cupcake has the shape of a scallop shell. Of course today you can buy chocolate chip madeleines, savoury madeleines with roquefort and walnuts for example.

But in its original form, the Madeleine is a butter cupcake, very unpretentious, just with vanilla and sometimes a touch of lemon.

The key ingredient to the madeleine is the madeleine moulding tray. Although you can probably find one in your own country, his makes a great gift or souvenir to bring back when you travel to France!

Baking an authentic madeleine is quite easy. Here is a typical Madeleine recipe.

Ingredients To Bake an Authentic Madeleine

To cook good traditional Madeleines cakes, you need :

  1. 150 grams flower
  2. 125 grams butter 
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 130g cane sugar (never put superfine sugar in a cake)
  5. 20 grams acacia honey
  6. 1 vanilla bean
  7. 1 salt pinch
  8. 5 grams of baking powder
  9. the zest of a half untreated lemon
  10. A madeleine moulding tray!
learn french madeleine recipe bilingual

4 Tips To Bake The Best Madeleine

Baking Madeleine Tip 1

Choose your butter carefully. Buy a good butter, not salted. The taste of the butter is really important since its going to give its buttery taste to the Madeleine.

Baking Madeleine Tip 2

To make fondant cupcakes, you have to cook a brown butter. This means, first, melt butter over a regular fire. When the butter becomes a light-brown color with a smell of hazelnut, put it in a cold bowl to cool it down.

Baking Madeleine Tip 3

For a very subtle taste, you mix up brown butter with some Acacia honey !

Baking Madeleine Tip 4

To get a beautiful madeleine, you have to try to keep its typical small hump.  Therefore, you need to let the batter rest in the fridge for 2h… or the whole night ! Otherwise, it falls flat and all is lost!

Madeleine Recipe

First, make the brown butter as described in Tip 1.

Beat the eggs, the sugar, and add a pinch of salt. Add the flower and baking powder, then the brown butter. If you want, add a lemon zest and vanilla, or anything you’d like to add flavor to your Madeleine. You can be creative: try a roquefort Madeleine, why not? If you go this way, hold the sugar!!

Then, preheat the oven to 460 Fahrenheit, fill in the baking pans and low the temperature to 390 Fahrenheit while you put them into the oven.

After 5 minutes, low the temperature to 355 Fahrenheit.

Leave the madeleines 5 minutes more and get them out of the oven to let them cool down before… eating them !

Bon appétit !

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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