French Madeleines

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5 from 21 reviews

These classic French madeleines are dainty little sponge cakes baked in a scallop-shaped mould. This madeleine recipe includes tips on how to make the perfect madeleines with step-by-step photos.



  1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. This step should take 1-2 minutes using an electric stand-mixer, or a bit longer if you are whisking by hand.
  2. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
  3. Next add the lemon zest (or see variations below in Kitchen Notes) and melted butter.
  4. Continue whisking until you have a thick and smooth batter.
  5. Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 270°C (518°F).
  7. Generously grease the madeleine mould with butter and flour, even if it is non-stick. Another option is to use a non-stick baking spray.
  8. Fill each madeleine mould until about 3/4 full, either with a spoon or with a piping bag filled with the batter.
  9. Place the madeleine pan in the oven, and immediately turn down the temperature to 210°C (410°F).
  10. Bake until the madeleine cakes have risen and are lightly golden on top. For large madeleine moulds similar to that pictured, this should take about 7-10 minutes, depending on your oven.
  11. Remove the madeleine pan from the oven, and wait a few minutes before carefully removing the cakes from the moulds.
  12. Leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack (the ridge-side facing down), and serve them warm or cold.

Kitchen Notes

Substitute the lemon zest with:
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon honey and/or 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
* 1 cup chocolate chips
For more madeleine recipes:
Lamington Madeleines
Madeleines with Lemon Curd
Madeleines with Nutella

The batter can be made several days ahead of time and left in the fridge to rest. I have kept batter in the fridge for up to 5 days with no problems.

The madeleines are best eaten on the same day they are baked, and preferably when they are still warm.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.