January 9, 2013


If you have friends or family coming round for coffee and want to bake something lovely but don’t have much time, madeleines are the solution.  They are quick and easy to make, fill the house with the wonderful smell of home baking and look gorgeous.  In fact they are so easy to make that it’s best not to let on – just enjoy them with your friends and then bask in the praise and admiration that follows.


My recipe for madeleines comes from a card I picked up in Waitrose some years ago and you can see the original on the website here.


Unfortunately madeleines are something that you can’t really bake without the proper equipment – a madeleine tin.  I bought mine when they were on offer in Lakeland a few years ago and it was an excellent investment.  This recipe makes exactly the right quantity of mixture to fill just one tin.

I suppose you could at a push use a bun tin and make little flat round cakes – I haven’t tried that myself but don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

madeleines1c They take hardly any time to mix together and only a few minutes to bake.  The whole job takes less than half an hour from the very start to the point where you dust them with a little icing sugar.

madeleines1dThe original recipe uses orange zest to flavour them but I also use lemon zest if that’s all I have in the house and they are just as delicious.  You can of course make them in lots of different flavours – honey, chocolate, ginger – you can just use your imagination and adapt the recipe.

Personally I love the citrus flavours and so I am entering my madeleines into this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted this month by Karen at Lavender and Lovage and alternately Kate at What Kate Baked.  For January the challenge is to bake something with citrus flavours, a lovely idea after the rich stodginess of all the Christmas goodies – which I absolutely love but am ready to leave behind by now.  Something nice and light with a hint of orange or lemon goes down a real treat in January.



The texture is light and fluffy and very moreish.  I don’t think they keep for very long but somehow that doesn’t seem to be an issue – they usually all disappear on the day.


Another good thing about this recipe is that it produces a minimal amount of washing up !!



60g unsalted butter

1 egg

50g caster sugar

50g plain flour

1 orange, zest only, finely grated

icing sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°fan.

Melt the butter and measure out 50ml.  Put this on one side to cool.  Brush the holes in a madeleine tin with the remaining butter – there may be some left over that you won’t need.

Put the egg and sugar into a medium bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until the mixture becomes thick and mousse-like.  When you lift the beaters out of the bowl they should leave a definite trail in the mixture.

Sift the flour and fold in gently.  Then fold in the cooled melted butter and the orange zest.

Spoon the mixture into the tin, dividing it as evenly as possible.  Bake for 7-8 minutes until they are light golden brown.

Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Makes 12 madeleines, depending on the size of your tin.


  1. Are you allowed to eat madeleines if you've never read Proust though?

    1. Susan, I'm sure it would be ok if there are no madeleine police about!

  2. Now I have this quick and easy recipe, and when I've invested in the special tin, I can stop buying those 'just in case' chocolate biscuits!!

    On second thoughts, I can resist a choccy biscuit but never a madeleine...

    1. Gaynor, you often see madeleine tins for sale at brocantes.
      I bought two, one for here and one for there, when they were "buy one get one half price" or similar at Lakeland. You could try using a bun tin first to see if you like making them, before parting with your cash.
      The choccy biscuit thing wouldn't work for me. If I had a "just in case" packet of choccy biscuits there would never be any left when they were needed !!

  3. Oh they look so very good! I'm with you, Jean, on the chocolate biscuit front. Coeliac aside, if I had a packet in for emergencies there would be an emergency every day!

  4. We both love madeleines, so I can foresee an excuse to buy yet more baking tins, Jean. :-)

  5. Madeleines are always welcome and yours look lovely. I was tempted to buy a second madeleine tin the other day because it made slightly larger madeleines than my existing tin. Can you have too many baking tins? I think my wife would say yes.

    1. Phil, I would have to disagree with your wife !!

  6. I've never tried madelines but I love the look of them. They look so elegant.

    1. Jo, I think you've got the right word there. For something so simple they do look rather elegant.

  7. I've been meaning to get round to making these for ages.....since someone gave me the tin....now I will. Thankyou ! J.

  8. Anything flavoured with orange or lemon zest gets my vote and these Madeleines look so pretty. I made some for the first time a while back and flavoured them with cocoa and chilli, but I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be, so I might just try your recipe next.

  9. Just finished making these- they turned out *perfect*. Thank you so much! My egg never really got to 'mousse' state, but they still turned out light and airy. And I didn't have any oranges on hand, so I went with 1/2 tsp. vanilla. My husband said they were the forbidden lovechild of cornbread (texture) and a Danish shortbread cookie (flavor).

    Again- thank you for the post! And you're right about clean-up!

    1. Lori, I'm so glad they turned out well. It's nice to know that someone actually tries a recipe from time to time !!

  10. These look amazing Jean and I am a BIG lover of Proust and Madeleines! I am lucky enough to have several vintage madeleine tins that I bought in a brocante at only €1 each! A FABULOUS entry into Tea Time Treats thanks, and lovely photos too! Karen