Classic Madeleine Cakes

Published June 22, 2014. Comments


Ah, Madeleines. There are so many recipes for these buttery delectable cakes that have been immortalized by Marcel Proust in his Remembrance of Lost Time. These are not those. This recipe is adapted from Pauline Wolfert's cookbook The Cooking of Southwest France. These are so buttery and spongy, you'll forget immediately those mass produced cakes sold in your mass produced coffee shops. It is recommended to make the batter a day in advance to let the batter rest, giving you the most tender crumb in a madeleine cake. 


Classic Madeleine Cakes


2 large eggs

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup superfine sugar

5 ½ tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

5 ½ tablespoons cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup clarified butter

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoon orange-flower water (I substituted with 1 teaspoon orange extract)

1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter


  1. Combine the eggs, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until thick and light in color, about 2 minutes.
  2. Mix together the all-purpose and cake flours with the baking powder. Sift twice through a cake sifter. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix it! Add the clarified butter, heavy cream, orange flower water or orange extract, and the vanilla. Stir gently until smooth.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic onto the top of the batter to prevent the batter from forming a skin.
  4. When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425°F. Use a pastry brush and brush butter into the Madeleine molds, making sure that your butter each crevice well. This will help the cakes get the nice golden butter color. Fill each mold 2/3 full of batter. Tap the mold on the table to allow the batter to settle.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven to 325°F and bake for 7 to 10 minutes more, until the madeleines are plate golden and just turning brown around the edges.
  6. Use the tip of knife to turn each cake out onto wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm with fruit jams, compotes, sorbets, or custards.