Madeleines are adorable seashell shaped butter cakes originating in France. They can be tricky to master, but this easy version uses baking powder to make them foolproof!Jump to Recipe
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, 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.
Madeleines are adorable seashell shaped butter cakes originating in France. They can be tricky to master, but this easy version uses baking powder to make them foolproof!
- 2 eggs
- 70 g granulated sugar 5.6 tablespoons
- 90 g all purpose flour 0.72 cups
- 1/2 t baking powder slightly heaping half teaspoon
- 1/4 t lemon extract
- 90 g unsalted butter, melted 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
- 10 g honey 0.47 tablespoons
- 1 t vanilla extract optional
Prep your 12 shell madeleine pan by buttering it and sifting flour over it. Tap off the excess flour and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and the baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until very well combined. Pour the flour mixture into the eggs and sugar, and combine. Add the lemon extract (and vanilla, if using) and give it a quick stir. Add the melted butter and the honey, and stir until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spoon the batter into the 12 shells, and bake on the middle rack until golden and baked through, about 13 minutes. Remove the madeleines from the pan (they should slide right off, but if they don't, slide a knife tip around the edges) and allow to cool on a wire rack. These taste great warm or at room temperature.