Madeleine recipe

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15 min


10 min

These light-as-air French cakes with their distinctive shell shape are made with a traditional whisked genoise batter. They have a similar texture to sponge cakes but with a lighter texture and wonderful rich buttery flavour. You’ll need a specialist tray with the shell shaped dips which need thoroughly greasing with melted butter and dusting with flour to ensure the cakes slip out of the tins easily after baking.


  • 1 large egg
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 55g self-raising flour
  • 40g unsalted butter, melted
  • Icing sugar, to dust


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Grease a 12-hole Madeleine tray with melted butter then lightly dust with flour, tipping out any excess.

  • Place the egg and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Using an electric whisk, beat together the egg and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale and leaves a trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted. This will take about 10 mins

  • Sift over the flour and fold in gently, then pour in the butter and fold in until just incorporated.

  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 mins, or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Dust the warm Madeleine’s lightly with sifted icing sugar.

Top tip for making Madeleine

Flavour the cake batter with a little finely grated lemon or orange zest or replace 10g of the flour with cocoa powder, if liked.

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