What are madeleines?

Madeleine is a delicious bite-sized sponge cake¬†with a very distinctive shape which gives it all its charm. They’re baked in special moulds that imprint a shell-like pattern to bottom of the cake while the other side shows a small mound.

To be honest, the bump has nothing to do with the pan, rather with the baking temperature (or temperatureS should I say). Making madeleines is not difficult but you must follow the instructions carefully. These little cakes are the result of a series of chemical reactions and if you don’t follow the whole process, you won’t get perfect madeleines.

Getting that nice bump is maybe the most challenging part of making perfect madeleines; you’ll see many madeleines being displayed or photographed with the shell-like side up as if this was the most important feature. In France though, the shell-like surface is considered to be the bottom of the cake and we always proudly display the bump. A madeleine without a bump is not a madeleine. Some people like to eat the bump first, some save it for last (I’m one of those! Chipping away the sides of the madeleine until only the tender middle cakey part remains).

In France they’re usually flavoured with vanilla and many people also add lemon zests. We like that hint of lemon and that’s the recipe we’re sharing with you ūüôā In this recipe we use doTerra’s lemon essential oil (please note that not all brands of essential oils are edible. More info on doTerra’s oils here)

Both kids and adults usually love them and they’re an ideal companion to a nice cup of tea.¬†

How to store madeleines?

They get dry rather fast and are best eaten within a few hours after they came out of the oven.

To store them longer, there are 2 options: freeze them¬† and they’ll keep for weeks or place them in a Ziplock bag or metal tin and eat within 48 hours. The nice crunch they have right after being baked will slowly fade away and the madeleines will become soft all the way, there’s nothing you can do about it; make sure you enjoy some right after baking them!

You can store unbaked dough for 24 hours in the fridge. You could bake half of it on the Saturday and the other half on the Sunday to enjoy freshly baked madeleines all week-end!


Leave your butter at room temperature for a few hours until it’s very soft, or melt it before you start weighing the rest of the ingredients. You don’t want to add hot butter to the recipe, we need warm or room temperature butter.

Download or print the¬†Madeleines recipe¬†sheet but don’t forget to read the blog recipe and watch the video for more details!

Melt the butter (don't heat it up too much) or use soft butter.

Rub the zests in the sugar to release the oil from the rind and get a stronger flavour.

With the whisk attachment or beaters, mix well the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and honey. Mix on medium-high speed until all the sugar has dissolved but not more than that.

Add the baking powder to the flour and mix with a spatula to evenly distribute the baking powder. If you want an even lighter madeleine, you can then sift the flour before adding it to the batter.

Switch to the paddle attachment or use a spatula and add the flour in 3 times to avoid creating lumps. Mix until the dough starts to show some elasticity and a spongy texture.

Add the butter and still with the paddle or a spatula gently incorporate all the butter in the dough. If using a spatula it will be easier if you add the butter in 2 or 3 times and not all at once. Stop when the dough isn't shiny any more and you see the spongy texture again.

Cover with a plastic film or a damp cloth so the surface doesn't get dry and leave in the fridge to rest for a minimum of 2 hours (and a maximum of 24 hours before the baking powders starts to lose it properties).

If you're using metal madeleines pans, don't forget to grease the pan with butter or a neutral vegetable oil.

Pipe (or use 2 spoons) the cold dough into the moulds. Don't fill more than 2/3 to 3/4 of each cavity.

Put the tray in the fridge for the dough to cool down again while you pre-heat your oven to 430F.

When the oven is at temperature, put the tray in and immediately lower the temperature to 380F. Set a timer for 5:30 minutes (this could vary depending on your oven).

When the timer rings, lower the temperature to 350F and set the timer to 5:30 minutes again (this could vary depending on your oven). At this stage, the madeleines will still be flat and white-ish. The sides start to form a crust and the centre looks jiggly. If the heat in your oven is not even, you could flip the tray so that the half that started baking at the back of the oven - where the temperature is usually higher - finishes baking closer to the door.

Lowering the temperature will allow the centre part to rise while the sides remain level. That's the magic behind the bump!

When the timer rings, check that the madeleines are golden all the way except for the very top of the bump. If it's not, leave them in the oven and check every 30 seconds or so to take them out at the perfect moment.

Let them cool down in the moulds until you can safely take them out without burning your fingers and place them on a cooling rack. Don't stack them until they're fully cool or they will stick together.

Serve as is or with tea and jam or hot chocolate and bon appétit!