Classic French Madeleines Recipe

A batch of baked madeleines in a baking mold

5 from 74 reviews

This guide with the best French madeleine recipe guarantees “humpy” homemade madeleines that are perfect in shape, density, texture, and taste. Nothing beats these authentic French cakes straight from the oven!




  1. To make the batter, place eggs, granulated sugar, honey and scraped seeds of half of the vanilla bean in a bowl and beat with a hand whisk. Sift flour and baking powder with a flour sifter, add to the mixture and combine with a whisk. Add melted butter (it has to be cooled till 120 F/50 C) and whisk again. Zest half of a lemon with a zester grater, add to the principal preparation and mix. 
  2. Cover the batter with a plastic film on contact and refrigerate overnight, or even better for 24 hours. The plastic wrap must touch the batter, and not cover the bowl.
  3. 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 3/4.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove madeleines from the oven and cool in the mold for 5 minutes. Take them out one by one, simply pushing each cavity from the bottom. Place cakes on the side, still in the mold, so that they completely cool (do not use a wire rack to avoid its traces on the surface of madeleines).


  1. Replace chestnut honey with any other kind of honey.
  2. Replace vanilla seeds with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you wish.
  3. 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.
  4. Replace lemon zest with orange or lime zest if you prefer.
  5. 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. 
  6. Leave the filled mold in the fridge while preheating/heating the oven.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. For an exceptional tasting, serve madeleines immediately or store them in an airtight container for two days. 


Keywords: madeleines, French madeleines, madeleine recipe, best madeleine recipe, how to make madeleines


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