Madeleines recipe on a plate next to a cup of coffee

Classic Madeleines Recipe

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Walking through a local grocery store, I was reminded of how popular madeleines (French butter cakes) really are. An authentic French madeleines recipe should produce little cakes that are light and quite spongy. While a classic madeleine recipe is made to be eaten sans fork, don’t be mistaken into thinking that this dessert should be any less fluffy and moist than a picturesque, tiered cake would be. 

While you may be tempted to pick up some Costco madeleines, I have to assure you that a homemade madeleines recipe can be whipped up just as easily. In fact, you can make French madeleines as quickly as cookie dough and they will bake just as fast.

Madeleine cakes (also known as madeleine cookies) are not very fussy, but they do require a madeleine pan to get that famous shell shape. Don’t fret, however, as a madeleine pan only costs a little more than a store-bought package of madeleines, so it’s worth the investment. 

side view of madeleine cake

One of my favorite things about a French madeleine is the delightfully tender crumb. Whether you’re making a flavored madeleine recipe, such as a honey orange or lemon madeleine recipe, or going for a classic like this Julia Child madeleine recipe, you will love how moist and fluffy the interior of these madeleines are. 

I also think this easy madeleine recipe from Julia is one of the best madeleine recipes out there. It works as the perfect foray into the world of madeleine baking. Once you realize just how easy madeleines are to make, you will feel excited to experiment with other variations like Christmas madeleines or chocolate madeleines

close up shot of madeleine edges

overhead shot of madeleine cake shell shape

Tips for Making Madeleines

If it’s your first time making madeleines, here are some tips to ensure you’re successful and accomplish these with the upmost ease:

  • Beat the sugar and eggs together well. You want the sugar and egg mixture to look pale yellow in color. A handheld mixer can help make this an effortless process. 
  • Grease your madeleine pan well. Use a nonstick pan for the best results and a nonstick baking spray or softened butter. 
  • Follow the recipe instructions and simply fill each mold with a heaping tablespoon of batter. Don’t spread the batter out to fill out the entire mold. The batter will spread and form a hump as it bakes. 
  • Let the madeleines cool in the pan for a few minutes before you try nudging them out on a wire cooling rack. 

Madeleine cookies on a plate with coffee

You can see that for this madeleines recipe, I decorated the cakes with a dusting of powdered sugar. This is a very traditional and simple method of garnishing madeleines. 

Other ways you can decorate your madeleines include dipping them in chocolate or drizzling melted chocolate onto them. Once they’ve been garnished with chocolate, they can also be adorned with sprinkles or chopped nuts for a fancy finish!

overhead shot of madeleine cake shell shape

Madeleines Recipe

Yield: 30
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tbsp orange zest, or lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a madeleine pan well with nonstick baking spray or softened butter and flour. 
  2. Add the orange zest to the sugar, and use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar granules. Then, use a handheld mixer to beat the sugar and eggs together until well-combined and pale yellow in color.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda and vanilla extract; quickly mix to incorporate.
  4. Pour in the melted butter before giving the batter a final mix to get everything combined.
  5. Use a dinner spoon to scoop out a heaping tablespoon worth of batter into each madeleine shell (this should fill about 3/4 of each shell - do not fill the each shell completely). No need to spread out the batter to fill out the mold; the batter will spread as it bakes. 
  6. Bake the madeleines for approximately 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are no longer jiggly. Cool the madeleines in the pan for a few minutes before flipping them out onto a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the madeleines just before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 18 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 111
French Madeleines: Make these French butter cakes at home with this easy recipe! via

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  1. Hi good afternoon. I made the Madeleines today. The hump is great however the shell is very unclear. I’ve done research yet am unable to find why. I do find placing batter in the fridge to chill for several hours. Thoughts? Thank you.

  2. Good Morning Beeta,
    I have a question for you, I have been thought when you made madeleines the mix needs to rest over night and bake the next day. Is this true or an important step? Also, if selling madeleines how much would you sell for unpackaged? I will definitely be trying this recipe.
    thank you

    1. Hi Stephanie, the theory behind resting the batter is that you need it to form nice “humps” on the madeleines. I haven’t found it necessary, but I do think that letting the batter rest for 10 min sometimes, before scooping, does make the humps a little more pronounced. But it’s not like your madeleines won’t have them if you bake straight away, at least not with this recipe. As for pricing, I wouldn’t be able to tell you definitively as it matters where you live and what the market there is, as well as your cost of goods. Since groceries are pricey these days, I recommend calculating the cost of making a batch, packaging for them, as well as the time it takes you to make them, then determine how much you want to be paid for your time per hour. Add it all up and price accordingly. 🙂

      1. Hello Beeta
        Today was my first attempt at baking Madeleines and extremely pleased with how simply fun and delicious this recipe is to make. Thank you very much for sharing!!!

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