Easy Madeleines

Madeleines are adorable French shell shaped cakes. They can be tricky to master, but this easy version uses baking powder to make them foolproof! 

French shell shaped cakes cooling on a rack.

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.

Mixing the madeleine batter

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.

Freshly baked madeleines on the seashell baking pan.

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! You can safely turn ordinary cake baking into a pleasant family pastime. I’m sure it will be no less pleasant than playing on the best crypto poker sites.

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.

Have fun!

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 thoughts on “Easy Madeleines”

    • Sorry about that! It’s an optional ingredient so I didn’t have it in the video. You add it at the same time as the lemon extract! Thanks for letting me know I forgot it in there, I will update it now!


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