How to make madeleines, France’s classic (mini) butter cake

Adeline Borra shares her secrets

Photograph by Adeline Borra

The madeleine is one of France’s most famous desserts. A mini-cake shaped like a ridged oyster, they’re surprisingly easy to make, and when hot out of the oven, they’re the perfect way to end a meal.

Ingredients for 20-25 madeleines

3 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled at room temperature, plus additional melted butter for the pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or a vanilla bean split in two
1 tablespoon local honey

Special Equipment: Nonstick Madeleine Pan (available at Cook’s Warehouse)


Brush the molds with the additional melted butter. Dust with flour, tap out any excess and place the pan in the freezer.

Meanwhile, on the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs and granulated sugar for 5 minutes, until frothy and thickened. Add flour and baking powder to the mixture, and use a spatula to fold the batter.

Combine vanilla extract and honey with cooled, melted butter. Slowly add the butter into the batter. Fold until the butter is incorporated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (the batter can be chilled up to 24 hours).

To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven at 425°F.

Fill each mold with about ¾ batter. Do not spread it. Bake for 6 minutes at 425°F, then 4 minutes at 380°F, or until the cakes start to set.

Remove from oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

Adeline’s Tip: Make a chocolate sauce ahead of time and once the madeleines are cool, dip them in the sauce and let them firm up on a rack.

Recipe for chocolate sauce: In a medium saucepan, warm 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream with 8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped, over very low heat, stirring occasionally to smooth. When the chocolate is completely melted (about 5 minutes), remove from the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter cut in small pieces

About Adeline: Adeline Borra is private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more on her website,