Monday, April 13, 2009

Traditional Madelines

I bookmarked this recipe many moons ago, before I even had Madeline pans to bake with! I got 2 Madeline pans for Christmas and knew that these would be the first thing I baked in them. Today when I told hubby I was going to make Madelines he said, "You're baking little French orphans?" Le sigh.

These were really, really good. I liked that the grooved side was crispy but the rest of the cookie was soft and spongy, almost cake-like. These taste sooo good with some powdered sugar dusted over the top, and they're just so darn cute to boot! I can already see the possibilities for these little beauties...can't you just see decorated shells for a beach party, or little Santas for Christmas? All I need is a buttercream icing recipe and I'm good to go! I can't wait till my summer break when I can really practice some cookies and desserts for Christmastime.

The original recipe is via Dorie Greenspan, of Baking, from My Home to Yours. I don't own the book, I just found the recipe from someone who belongs to Tuesdays with Dorie. This recipe was posted before the group decided to stop posting recipes and just post recaps.

Traditional Madelines
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant and smells of lemon. Add the eggs. With the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed (6 on a KA mixer) until mixture is pale and thick, approx. 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and mix on low for 1 minute.

Using a spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to deflate the egg mixture. To fold, draw your spatular down the middle of the mixture and fold the mixture up and together. Turn bowl a quarter turn and repeat process until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Add melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. (Chilling the batter will better help the dough form the "back hump" found on all Madelines.)

To bake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Butter and flour 12 full-sized molds, or 36 small molds. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each 9/10ths of the way full. Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes (or 8-10 for minis), or until cookies are golden brown and "humps" spring back when pressed.

Let cool for 1-2 minutes in pan and then transfer to cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

  • I skipped the lemon zest and didn't miss it, but these would be just as heavenly with as they were without.
  • The original recipe suggested placing the Madeline pans on a baking or cookie sheet before baking. I forgot this step and plopped them right in the oven, which probably explains why my first batch turned out so dark (as you can see from the top of the picture).
  • I started checking these around 10 minutes, and the second batch was ready to go, so I took them out when their edges were golden brown and crisp.
  • My folding technique leaves a lot to be desired, but these still turned out okay. I don't think they would have risen as much as they did if my folding was terrible.
  • Speaking of folding, forgive my crappy explanation of folding. If you need a better explanation, you can find a video on or which will explain it much better than I can.
  • These are perfect for mix-ins. Next time I might try them with dried cranberries or chocolate chips, or maybe a mixture of dried fruit. These are great and stand alone, but I'm certain they'd be awesome with something added.


  1. I've never heard or seen of these before! :o But they sure look and sound quite tasty!

  2. I need to get a new madeline pan... because I want to make some after reading this! lol Looks beautiful and delicious!

  3. I have been wanting to try these for a while - you have re-inspired me!


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