Madeleines. A delicious aide-mémoire

Madeleines. The most delicious aide-mémoire

Apart from my bad pun in the headline I won’t mention Proust in this post anymore, I promise. However, there are a few things worth knowing to produce madeleines that can be kept in good memory: First of all bake according to recipe and take the time the dough is supposed to spend in the fridge seriously. If you put it in the fridge for less time or don’t do it all, than the madeleines will not rise in the oven and instead of light tasty madeleines, you’ll have clumps of dough only tasting like butter. Believe me, I speak from experience.
Madeleines are a wonderful thing to experiment with. I am going to present two very basic versions here, but so many more are possible, perhaps including orange blossom water or earl grey tea or cinnamon or…

Basic Madeleine Recipe / Lemon Madeleines


1.25 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
0.75 cup confectioner’s sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Optional: Additional lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar for icing

1.) Butter the madeleine pan and put it in the fridge.

2.) Combine flour, baking powder and lemon zest in a bowl.

3.) Mix eggs and sugar in a big bowl. Add the butter.

4.) Add the flour bit by bit to the egg, sugar and butter mixture.

5.) Fill the dough into the madeleine pan. Put the madeleine pan into the fridge again and leave it there for at least an hour.

6.) Preheat the oven to 425 F. Bake madeleines for ca. 8 minutes.


7.) Combine sifted confectioner’s sugar with a little bit of lemon juice for icing.

Madeleines are best eaten out of the oven, so don’t wait or prepare in advance.

Variation: Cardamom-Orange-Madeleines

Replace lemon zest and lemon juice in the dough with one 1 teaspoon cardamom and the zest of one orange.
For the icing use a little bit of fresh pressed orange juice, confectioner’s sugar and a bit of cinnamon.


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