Madeleines – Basic Recipe


Madeleines are one of my favourite cakes, little morsels of sweet cakey goodness that take little effort to make and taste so much better than the dried out things that you buy  in the shops.  I love to have them for breakfast at the weekend, and whilst they should be eaten fresh, they will warm through for the next day.

If you don’t have a Madeleine Tin, you can make them in individual cake tins though they are not quite the same.  It is a worthwhile investment as you can make lots of different flavours and they are ideal if you just want a few small cakes.

This is the absolute basic recipe with no added flavours, try adding some citrus zest if you want to experiment though I like them just as they are, perhaps with a little Raspberry Jam if I am feeling indulgent.  It is also a small quantity so good when baking for one.


  • 50 gms / 2 oz Unsalted Butter
  • 50 gms / 2 oz Caster Suger
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 50 gms / 2 oz Plain Flour
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder


Step 1

Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool. If you switch the heat off when the butter is about half melted you can just swirl the pan to complete the job and it won't take so long to cool. Make sure to take the pan off the ring where it was melting and put it somewhere cool as that will speed up the process.

Step 2

Whisk together the egg and sugar in a bowl until light and frothy - a hand mixer or whisk is best for this quantity

Step 3

Slowly whisk in the melted butter, making sure it is cool or you will have sweet scrambled eggs!

Step 4

Lightly whisk in the flour and baking powder until the mixture is just combined

Step 5

Cover the mixture and leave to stand for about 15 minutes. I use a saucepan lid rather than clingfilm as it's quicker, cheaper and easier.

Step 6

Heat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. Prepare the Madeleine tin by lightly greasing and dusting with flour or you can use Cake Release.

Step 7

After standing the mixture will be quite stiff and set. Divide among 12 Madeleine moulds, about a level tablespoon per mould.

Step 8

Put in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The cakes will have risen a little in the middle and should be just golden on top. Cool on a wire rack and dust with Caster Sugar

Step 9

Eat whilst fresh and warm for preference. They can be warmed through gently the next day but won't keep much longer than that. They will freeze.

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