Madeleines are adorable French shell shaped cakes. They can be tricky to master, but this easy version uses baking powder to make them foolproof!
I want to start with a story. I took these to a luncheon, and my friend asked me if it was cornbread, because she has a cornbread pan where you can make little corn shaped breads. What?! How cute is that? I said they were madeleines, and she didn’t know what that was.
I think it might be another Japanese heritage thing coming through. Sometimes I think, wait, why don’t you know this? Isn’t it common knowledge? Then I realize it’s totally a Japanese thing, not American. So yes, madeleines are popular in Japan. Not *quite* as well known in America.
My mom recently sent me a bunch of kids books from Japan, and one of them was a story of a girl who makes some madeleines for a pirate princess named Madeleine. The story is totally weird (my kids loved it), but there is a recipe for madeleines in the back. Of course, my oldest INSISTED on making them.
You need a special pan to make these French shell shaped cakes, and I haven’t had one since moving to Kansas. Luckily, they are relatively easy to find. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond, but you can also find them on Amazon.
Since it came from a kids book, I thought it should be easy enough for the kids to help make. And it was! The addition of baking powder, while non-traditional (and maybe looked down upon by purists!), makes this recipe a great gateway into madeleine baking!
I used weight measurements for this recipe, but I added in approximate volumes. Weight is more accurate, but if you don’t have a scale, use the volume. I just ran it through a conversion calculator, and put the exact amount it said. So there you go.