These classic French cookies; Classic Madeleines are actually small cakes; are relatively easy to make. After following a suggestion from Dorie Greenspan, these Madeleines came out of the oven with their iconic bump, airy and absolutely divine.
I gathered a lot of info about Madeleines before I stepped into this French baking project and read that some people find them difficult to make, and yet I considered even my first batch a winner. And believe me, I don’t bake cookies on a regular basis. So maybe my standard’s lower than yours? Who knows, I don’t know how high yours is. I do know that this recipe will allow you to make 12 Classic Madeleines and have a successful result. Something to be proud of and you’ll have Dorie Greenspan to thank for it.
The ingredients you need for Classic Madeleines
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon zest – I am sure orange zest will work as well
- Vanilla extract
- Butter – unsalted, melted and warm
- Milk – whole or 1%, both will work
- Confectioner’s sugar
Ingredients you most likely have in your pantry, except maybe the lemon. The only ‘ingredient’ you may not have is a Madeline pan, but luckily they are not that expensive and can be found in stores that sell bake ware or online.
Directions for Classic Madeleines – phase 1
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix granulates sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. All ingredients will come together in this bowl. Rub the sugar and zest between your fingers, working the lemon zest into the sugar granules. This is nice work as it produces a lovely aroma.
- Add the eggs and mix until sugar-egg mixture becomes slightly thicker and just a little bit lighter. This is the stage where you work air into the batter, this makes your Madeleines rise to the occasion.
- Add the honey and vanilla extract.
- Fold the flour-baking powder-salt mixture into the batter. Make sure it is mixed, but don’t overdo it, because you don’t want to lose the air you worked into the batter in the beginning.
- Add the melted butter that is still warm and finally the milk.
- Resting time. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the batter and place the bowl in the fridge. Chill for 1 hour minimum.
- Place your 12 shells madeleine pan in the fridge as well. It needs to be cold before baking.
Directions – phase 2
- Place a large baking sheet in your oven and set the temperature of your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spray the madeleine pan with baker’s spray or butter it and then dust with flour.
- Spoon the batter into the molds and then place the madeleine pan back in the fridge until the oven is well-heated.
- Once the oven is ready to do it job, place the madeleine pan onto the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake the cookies/cakes for approx. 10 minutes. They’re done when the color is golden, the edges are nicely brown and the bumps spring back when you touch them. You can see, I did an early test on the 3rd one in the right row and it did not spring back. That’s your reference.
Directions – phase 3
- Take the madeleine pan out of the oven and take the cakes out of the mold buy tapping the pan on your counter and most, if not all cakes will release. Allow them to cool in a rack. Look at these brown edges 🙂
- Dust each small cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving. This is of course not a must. Classic Madeleines are so delicious right after baking. They can dry out quickly, but if you keep them in a well-closed bin, they are still very enjoyable, though a little sticky and less airy after a few days.
May I say that these look good. The next photo shows the little bump, or a pooch that is characteristic of these Madeleines.
It is the cold batter in a cold madeleine pan on a hot baking sheet in a hot oven that generates these bumps. The bump develops because of the cold batter, the cold madeleine pan going into a warm oven. Temperature difference creates a puff of steam that results in a bump.
Directions – final phase
Let’s enjoy and take a bite.
- 90 grams all-purpose flour 2/3 cup
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 67 grams granulated sugar 1/3 cup
- 1 lemon only the zest
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 113 grams unsalted butter 1 stick or 4 ounces
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Transfer sugar and lemon zest to large bowl and rub these two ingredients together with your fingers, working the zest into the sugar granules.
- Add the eggs and mix until you have a lighter and slightly thicker mixture.
- Add honey and vanilla extract and mix.
- Fold the flour mixture into the batter.
- Add the melted butter and finally the milk.
- Place plastic wrap on the surface of the mixture and place the bowl in the fridge, together with the empty madeleine pan, in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Place a large baking sheet in your oven and set the temperature to 375 degrees F.
- Spray the madeleine pan with baker's spray and spoon the batter into the molds and place back in the fridge until the oven is ready to go.
- Place madeleine pan onto the hot baking sheet and bake for approx. 10 minutes or until the cakes have turned golden and the cakes spring back after touching them.
- Take the madeleine pan out of the oven and take the cakes out of the mold onto a rack to cool.
- Dust with confectioner's sugar if you like.