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Madeleines are one of France’s most beloved desserts. The French regularly eat madeleines, a soft mini sponge cake made with eggs, flour, sugar, and butter. They always have a distinctive shell shape with tapered edges, smooth on one side and bumpy on the other. They are often eaten with a coffee in the morning, or at 4 pm for the “goûter”, the French equivalent of the British afternoon tea.

To make madeleines, a génoise cake batter is used. The flavor is similar to but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. This recipe uses lemon zest for a pronounced lemony taste.


2 eggs.

½ cup sugar

¾ cups All-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

7 tablespoons (98 grams unsalted butter.)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

teaspoon lemon zest.

pinch of salt.


In a saucepan carefully melt / brown the butter – careful not to burn – once melted add ½ teaspoon of cold better

Sift together flour and baking powder – set aside

In a stand mixer beat 2 large eggs at room temperature with sugar on high speed for 8 minutes until fluffy, silky and leaves a trail when whisk is lifted

Carefully fold in dry ingredients trying not to deflate beaten eggs – include vanilla and lemon zest

Add browned butter to mixture – cover and chill one hour

Brush pans with butter and chill pans

Fill each shell with 1 tablespoon batter) treat batter gently)

Bake in a 375-degree preheated oven for 9 – 12 minutes careful watch not to burn

Let cool – sprinkle with powder sugar or dip half the madeleines in melted chocolate


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