These soft succulent French treats with a hint of vanilla will have you wanting more.
Are you on team cookie or team cake…
with these, you don’t need to choose… because Madeleines are the best no matter if you call them a little cake or cookie!
Whether the Madeleine is a cookie or a cake is heavily debated, however, if we’re going to be technical this sweet little treat falls into the sponge-like cake category. And it has a long history, which is also a subject of great debate. One legend says that a baker by the name of Madeleine Paulmier, who worked for the Duke of Lorraine during the 18th century. His wife loved the little cakes so much that she began serving them at the court of Versailles.
Another story says that a girl named Madeline had been given these little cake-like cookies while traveling in Spain and she brought the recipe back to France. However they came to be, I’m certainly glad they did!
These shell-shaped “cookies” are perfect as a small treat served with coffee or tea. They are the perfect bite-size cake to delight your senses and tickle your tastebuds. And if you eat more than two or three, you won’t get any judgment from me!
They’re hard to resist! Especially with the delicious flavor of vanilla. Be sure to use great vanilla it makes all the difference. The price of vanilla has really risen in recent years, this vanilla is one of my favorites.
I have a major sweet tooth and I just love to bake, and Madeleines are one of my favorites.
Some of my very favorite cookies to make are Spritz Cookies with Whipped Chocolate Ganache, which are great and bake up quickly.
I often turn to the ease of Drop Cookies, there really is no fuss and so many flavor options!
I’m going to walk you through these little cakes, and you’ll be surprised how easy they are!
Preheat your oven to 375°.
To begin, prepare the madeleine pan by rubbing butter into each area of the pan and dusting the pan with flour. This step is important, do not skip it. It allows your cakes to come loose from the pan easily. If you’re not familiar with a Madeleine pan, take a look it’s a cute shell-shaped pan.
Whip the egg and sugar until pale in color and fluffy. Then stir into the vanilla.
Add in the flour and mix until it’s just combined and no flour showing.
Pour in your cooled and melted butter and stir it in until combined. Don’t whip or overmix as this will create dense madeleines.
Place a heaping tablespoon of batter into each compartment of the madeleine pan.
Bake for 7-9 minutes, I find the sweet spot is 8 minutes.
Remove your pan from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean or the cookie bounces back when lightly pressed.
Allow the “cookies” to cool for a few minutes, then turn the pan over and tap the edge of the pan to release the cookies. If any stick, gently remove them with a soft spatula or give the pan another firm tap.
Once the cookies are cooled completely, they are ready to be served.
One way to enjoy them is by dipping them into melted chocolate, then placing them in the fridge for a couple of minutes until firm. Or you could dust them with powdered sugar, or dip them into a glaze icing of powdered sugar and water, like this glaze recipe.
Can I replace the eggs or butter?
Unfortunately, this isn’t a great idea. Part of what gives this “cookie” its spring is the eggs. And the butter helps with its texture and flavor. This is one recipe you don’t want to substitute!
Could I add some savory additions to this?
Yes, however, the recipe is altered a bit. I’m playing around with this now, but I do have other Madeleine recipes, be sure to take a look at those.
How long will these stay fresh?
Madeleines are best served fresh, they will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container. They do freeze well, just thaw completely before serving.
Be sure to try them with a cup of coffee or tea.
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted cooled
- Prepare the madeleine pan (it's a shell-shaped pan with butter and flour)
- Rub the butter into each area of the pan, then add flour and coat the pan evenly. Remove excess flour.
- Preheat oven to 375°
- This recipe can be made with a bowl and whisk or with a mixer.
- Whip the egg and sugar until pale in color and fluffy.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Add in the flour and mix until it's just combined and no flour showing.
- Pour in the butter and stir it in until combined, don't whip or overmix that will create dense madeleines.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of batter into each compartment of the madeleine pan.
- Bake at 374° for 7-9 minutes (mine usually take 8 minutes)
- Remove pan from the oven when a toothpick comes out clean or the cookie bounces back when pressed.
- Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes, then turn the pan over and tap the edge of the pan to release the cookies from the pan. If any stick, gently remove them with a soft spatula or give the pan another firm tap.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely.
- They are ready to be served.
- You can dip them into melted chocolate, then place them in the fridge for a couple of minutes until firm, or dust them with powdered sugar, or dip them into a glaze icing of powdered sugar and water.