Experiment with the basic madeleine recipe and numerous flavors and create new variations of classic French madeleines. Adjust the recipe in any way you desire: the possibilities are endless!
Madeleines. If you have never tried to make these seemingly fussy little cakes that are not so complicated to make in reality, you should definitely give it a try.
A true classic, this French treat is beloved around every corner - whether it's tucked inside a lunch box at work (where you might be reading these very words) and then eaten guiltily while out running errands later on.
Or madeleines could be served warm from one person's kitchen counter another evening after dinner…or even taken straight into the schoolyard during lunchtime because who doesn't need some energy boost?
So, I would highly suggest you read this guide this information so you can read about it here before starting to make your own!
If you are a relatively new baker, then these unique little cakes are right up your alley.
You will get to experience the magic of authentic French madeleines when I promise that "hump" thing will happen!
- Dust or not dust madeleines
- Classic French madeleines
- Flavored madeleines
- Vanilla madeleines
- Lemon poppy seed madeleines
- Raspberry madeleines
- Gingerbread madeleines
- Nut sprinkled madeleines
- Pumpkin seed madeleines
- Chocolate chip madeleines
- Glazed madeleines
- Other madeleine flavors
- Love tea time cakes? Try these next!
- Recipe card
Dust or not dust madeleines
Dusting madeleines with powdered (icing) sugar is a common final touch if you look at most madeleine recipes, but French chefs serve these cakes without powdered sugar on top.
To perform or omit this step depends upon your preference.
If you ask me which side of madeleines - bumpy or shell-shaped to dust? I don't really know.
The flat-looking madeleines often get dusted on top of their shell side and are served and photographed in this way.
The authentic French madeleines are served with their signature hump on top and shell side down.
All of the added decorations go onto what's known as "la bosse des madeleines," which means hump on top of madeleines in English.
That is why I assume that the French would dust this side of madeleines.
Classic French madeleines
Classic French madeleines
The lemon madeleine is a classic French treat that has been enjoyed for centuries. The delicate shell-shaped cakes as a breakfast favorite are scented with the zest from a lemon, orange, or lime, depending on what you prefer - some chefs also add orange flower water to their recipe.
Have you mastered classic madeleines? So, what are you waiting for?
There is no end to the possibilities of flavors and ingredients that can be combined with these madeleines. Get ready to experiment in order to find your own personal favorite.
They typically come in two different flavors: citrus and vanilla, but you are free to experiment by adding your own twist.
Some flavorings, such as chopped nuts, chocolate chips, and dried fruit, can be added at any time during baking.
They are often incorporated into a batter mixture or sprinkled on top of madeleines before baking.
Madeleines are often covered with a glaze based on lemon or orange juice, or even rum.
What to do if you do not like the citrus note in madeleines? You can make plain madeleines or flavor them with only vanilla!
Lemon poppy seed madeleines
Zesty and sweet lemon poppy seed madeleines are easy to bake. The best part? You can use a zester grater for this.
Just zest half of one lemon, then add 1 teaspoon of its juice into your batter in the last step.
Mix gently before baking in either a standard madeleine mold or muffin tins.
The lemon zest can be omitted without losing any of the cakes' texture. I recommend using only poppy seeds for an energizing effect.
Lemon poppy seed madeleines
These light and fluffy cakes, flavored with lemon zest and evenly distributed poppy seeds, will play your taste buds like they're never had something so delicious before!
Raspberry madeleines are the perfect way to show your loved one how much you care.
These delicate pastries are flavored with rosewater and raspberry, and they are sure to impress.
These raspberry madeleines are great for making a romantic dessert on Valentine's Day, so experiment with different berries but keep this raspberry flavor and pinkish-red color as they stand out best among all others.
Tired of the same old taste? Then try these spice madeleines for a change.
It seems that the scent of warm spices is mostly associated with the wintertime. But why stop there!?
I say enjoy these delicious spiced treats all year round with different flavors for every season.
In the summertime, try them alongside hibiscus tea sorbet, basil, or orange ice creams, while in fall, they make the best coffee accompaniment that will keep your guests coming back again and again.
The ground cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, and mix of them add an interesting note to spicy-flavored madeleines.
While playing with spices, I found a formula that gives the most beautiful taste to madeleines.
Mix ½ teaspoon of ground ginger, ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and ⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves.
Add this mixture to the mixture of sifted flour and baking powder and incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter.
Epicurious' chefs add ⅛ teaspoon of ground allspice to their spice formula.
I know it sounds daunting to mix too many spices at once, but just use four, and you will be fine.
These madeleines will bring up a festive spirit around Christmas time. They are perfect for tea, coffee, and even dessert wine! Gently spiced with cinnamon sugar these warm little cakes have an elegant flavor that is sure not to be forgotten by any guest or visitor during the holiday season.
Nut sprinkled madeleines
Ready to make your baking skills even better? With just a few simple ingredients, you can create delicious madeleines that are perfect for any occasion.
Sprinkle toasted chopped nuts or seeds (pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) on top of madeleines before baking to give them a unique flavor and texture.
If you use quarters of pecans or walnuts, try arranging them in circles leaving room at the center so it can rise without being weighed down by heavier pieces on top.
Nut sprinkled madeleines
Pumpkin seed madeleines
Have you ever thought of adding organic pepitas (no shell pumpkin seeds) to madeleines? Since the pumpkin season comes in the fall, it becomes obvious to create pumpkin seed madeleines around the Halloween holiday.
Sprinkle the butter that is already in madeleine molds with the raw or toasted pepitas, and bake as directed. Add a few toasted unsalted sunflower seeds as well if you desire.
Pumpkin seed madeleines
Chocolate chip madeleines
Everybody loves chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover, you will surely appreciate chocolate chip madeleines.
Use chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (dark chocolate, milk, white, or mint chocolate ones) and stir them into the cake batter at the last step before refrigerating.
It is enough to add 3 ½ oz (100 g) of chocolate, chopped into very small pieces, or ¼ cup (40 g) of chocolate chips. The chocolate will be evenly distributed in the baked madeleines.
If you want only to sprinkle madeleines with chocolate chips (add a few toasted flaked almonds for additional crunchiness), please, go for it.
Chocolate chip madeleines
To highlight the blood oranges season, glaze your madeleines with the blood orange glaze. If you are a fan of maple syrup, make the maple glaze and enjoy a new flavor of madeleines.
Glaze spiced madeleines with the molasses glaze that beautifully adds "a bit of depth," or use the melted honey (about three tablespoons) as a glaze.
How to glaze madeleines? Unmold and let cool the baked cakes for 5 minutes. Dip the top (not the shell side) of each madeleine into the glaze and place the madeleine bump up for the glaze to set.
Glaze the shell-patterned side of madeleines, especially with the use of honey as a glaze, if you prefer this way.
Other madeleine flavors
There are so many ways to flavor classic French madeleines by adding different ingredients to the batter. Here are a few flavor ideas for you:
- Earl Grey tea: melt the butter, add two tea bags, and let the butter infuse for 10 minutes. Then discard the tea bags and finish making the madeleine batter as directed.
- Lavender: add one teaspoon of dried lavender to the melted butter and let steep for 5 minutes. Then pour the butter into a fine sieve and incorporate the infused butter into the cake batter.
- Matcha: add one to two teaspoons of matcha powder to the mixture of sifted flour with baking powder. Make the batter as directed.
- Coconut: Add ¼ to ⅓ cup (25 to 33 g) of sweetened shredded coconut to the cake batter.
- Cranberry: add ⅓ cup (40 g) of finely chopped dried cranberries (or dried cherries) with one tablespoon of orange zest to the batter.
- Blueberry: add ⅓ cup (40 g) of dried wild blueberries to the cake batter and sprinkle with the flaked almonds before baking.
- Almond: Add a few drops of almond extract to the madeleine batter.
- Saffron: place butter and saffron threads in a small saucepan and heat over low until butter is melted. Then follow the recipe as directed.
- Chocolate: replace two tablespoons of flour with two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder in the recipe.
- Maple: replace honey with the same amount of reduced maple syrup. Cook maple syrup over medium-low heat and reduce it by half, cooking for about 15 minutes.
Madeleines are delicious when served right from the oven and slightly cooled. Keep them in an airtight container for a couple of days, but the cakes will start losing their crispiness. That is why fresh-from-the-oven madeleines are the best.
Below, I am sharing with you a recipe for Vanilla French Madeleines that is a basic recipe for a number of flavors. Play with flavors and customize these little cakes in the way you desire.
Read the post about how to make perfect French madeleines before you start. It is the best guide to succeed in making classic French madeleines.
Love tea time cakes? Try these next!Print
Vanilla French Madeleines
Enjoy the basic recipe for the homemade vanilla French madeleines, which is used to experiment with numerous flavors to create new variations of madeleines.
- Total Time: 1 hour (plus chilling time)
- Yield: 36 1x
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: French
- 250 g eggs (5 eggs)
- 1 cup + 1 ½ tablespoon (250 g) granulated sugar
- 8.8 oz (250 g) butter, melted
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ⅓ tsp (12 g) honey
- ½ vanilla bean
- 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder
* If needed, please refer to Baking Conversion Charts.
** Want to make perfect madeleines? Grab this FREE FAQ Guide!
- Follow this recipe with step by step photographed explanations, except adding the lemon zest.
- To make the batter, place eggs, sugar, honey and scraped seeds of half of the vanilla bean in a large bowl and beat with a hand whisk. Sift flour with baking powder using a flour sifter, add to the mixture and combine with a whisk. Add the cooled melted butter and whisk again.
- Cover the batter with a plastic film in contact and refrigerate overnight, or even better for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 F/220 C. Butter cavities of a madeleine mold: either it is a silicon one (it facilitates the removal of cakes), or it is a metal one. If you use the latter one, dust it with flour and tap any excess. Using a pastry bag, fill the cavities up to three fourth.
- Bake at 425 F/220 C for 3 minutes. Then switch off the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. The madeleines will get that famous bump on top. Turn the oven to 320 F/160 C for the other 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove madeleines from the oven and cool them in the mold for 5 minutes. Take them out one by one, pushing each cavity from the bottom. Place cakes on the side, still in the mold, so that they completely cool.
- if you wish.
- Do not overheat butter while melting. To avoid this, turn off the heat when half of the butter is melted and mix butter off the heat. Cool the butter before incorporating it into the main preparation.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C and let it heat for 10 minutes. This step is necessary to get the bump of madeleines.
- Leave the filled mold in the fridge while preheating/heating the oven.
- Respect the temperature regimen while baking. The ideal temperature formula is 3 + 8 + 4 where "3" is 3 minutes of baking at 425 F/220 C, "8" is 8 minutes with the oven switched off and "4" is 4 minutes of baking at 320 F/160 C. You might need to test your oven and adjust this formula, for example, as 3 + 7 + 3 or something different. To adjust the last baking minutes are essential to prevent madeleines from burning.
- Bake one batch of madeleines (one mold) at a time. After each batch clean the mold, then bake the rest. Keep the batter in the fridge between batches' baking.
- Serving Size: 1 madeleine
- Calories: 112
- Sugar: 7.3 g
- Sodium: 50 mg
- Fat: 6.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.7 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g
- Protein: 1.7 g
- Cholesterol: 41 mg
Keywords: madeleines, French madeleines, flavored madeleines, madeleine flavors, madeleine flavours
Follow my step-by-step photographed explanations, expert tips, and tricks to help you succeed with this incredibly yummy and delicious recipe.
The nutritional information has been calculated using an online recipe nutrition calculator such as Verywellfit.com and is intended for informational purposes only. These figures should be used as a general guideline and not be construed as a guarantee.