Makes: about 36 madeleines

These small, buttery cakes, forever associated with the French writer Marcel Proust, are baked in fluted tins, giving them their unforgettable shell-like shape – one of the true sweet representations of France. Baked in a hot oven, they puff up to create the classic “hump” on their backs. We serve them warm with coffee after every class at The Cook’s Atelier.


  • ²⁄³ cup (150g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1½ cups (190g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


1In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Let it cool slightly, then use a pastry brush to generously coat two or three madeleine tins with butter. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess, and refrigerate to set.

2Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the remaining butter and set aside.

3 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and has doubled in volume, this takes about five minutes. The batter should have a ribbon-like consistency when dripped from the whisk.

4Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and use a large rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined. Slowly drizzle the melted butter into the batter, folding gently until fully
incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1½ hours or up to 12.

5Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C).

6Place the madeleine batter in a pastry bag fitted
with a large round tip. Starting near the “base”, pipe into the bottom of each mould, filling them about two-thirds of the way up and not spreading the batter. Bake until the madeleines feel set to the touch, seven to eight minutes should do it. Let them cool slightly, dust with confectioners’ sugar, then serve immediately. Madeleines are best served warm and eaten the day they are made.


First printed in our sister publication France Today

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