Madeleines (shell shaped butter cakes)

Having returned from Paris recently, I enjoyed one of my favourite treats, madeleines, so much that I ended up buying a pan from the famous store – E.Dehillerin – as my souvenir. This is the store that Julia Child frequented and includes fans such as Ina Garten. You can buy a pan from any well stocked kitchen store, and this recipe makes a dozen madeleines so you only need to buy 1 pan. They are best eaten warm and on the first day, so if you have any leftovers, dunk them in coffee or tea as a snack.  


Preheat your oven to 375F or convect at 350F. 

  •  1/4 cup butter – melted

Set this aside for now so it can cool. 

In a mixing bowl combine:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Beat this together with a mixer until light. Since there is no baking soda or powder, the lightness of the eggs is what acts as leavener. 

  • 1/3 cup sugar (I used my homemade vanilla sugar)

Add this in, and continue beating until the mixture is light yellow and ribbons, at least 5 minutes. 

  • 1/2 cup of flour

Fold this in little bits at a time until well incorporated. 

  • 1 TB zest – traditionally orange, I used lemon as it is my favourite. 

Add this to the batter. Mix. Carefully pour in the melted butter and keep mixing. 

Butter and flour your pan. Carefully divide batter between the 12 shells. Give the pan a good whack on the counter to remove bubbles. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until brown. 


Loosen and remove immediately. 

Enjoy! We had these for breakfast today. You can sprinkle them with sugar if you like. Or drizzle with chocolate when cooled for an elegant dessert. In France we saw ones made with almonds, hazelnuts, chocolate etc. So this recipe is just the start!

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