5 Ways to Put Your Own Flavor Twist on Classic French Madeleines

For a treat that has all the crunch and flavor of a cookie but feels a little more fancy, look no further than madeleines. These pretty shell-shaped desserts are a classic French pastry and are easy to customize, letting you create a wide variety of delicious flavors. Serve 'em at your next bridal shower, Mother's Day brunch or fun family event and you'll be sure to wow the crowd.

Good to Know

This recipe makes a large batch of madeleines so you can create different flavor variations at once. If you want a smaller batch, cut the recipe in half.

Classic French Madeleines

Yield: 4 dozen madeleines

What You Need


  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled


Pro Tip

These cakes aren't the same if they're not baked in the traditional shell-shaped pan. The shell makes the cookies look beautiful, but it also gives them a thicker base and thinner top. The base tends to be softer and more cake-y, while the top edge is crispy.


1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease and flour your madeleine pans. If you're using a nonstick pan, skip the flour and only lightly grease it.

2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until smooth and thick, about 1-2 minutes.

3. Add in the vanilla and salt. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix until it's just combined and no flour streaks remain visible. 

4. Slowly stream in the melted butter while you stir constantly (or mix at a low speed) until well-combined.

5. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter into each cavity of your prepared pan, filling each about ¾ full.

6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges. Allow them to cool for 1-3 minutes before removing from the pan. The cakes should slide right out.

Cool, re-grease and flour the plan before filling with more batter for another batch.

Flavor Variations

Baking a large batch of madeleines means it's easy to divide the batter to create different flavors — here are a few worth trying.

Lemon Madeleines

Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest to the batter along with the vanilla extract. Finish madeleines with a glaze of lemon juice and powdered sugar. 

Chocolate Madeleines

Replace ¼ cup all-purpose flour with ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder and continue with recipe as written. 

Chocolate Chip Madeleines

Fold ¾ cup mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate into the batter before portioning into madeleine pans.

Cinnamon Spiced Madeleines

Add 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon to your all-purpose flour when creating the batter. 

Toasted Almond Madeleines

Add ¼ teaspoon almond extract to the batter, then fold in ¾ cup finely chopped, toasted almonds before portioning into madeleine pans.

Learn More Now

Discover more recipes for classic French sweets in our class, Miniature French Desserts: Macarons, Madeleines & More .

Meet your instructor, pastry chef Colette Christian, as she previews the four iconic French desserts you'll make in this class: madeleines, tartlets, macarons and the impressive Opera cake. Then get baking by making mocha-flavored madeleines using the ribbon method, which helps tell you when you've achieved the perfect texture for your whipped eggs and sugar. Colette shows you how to pipe the batter into the madeleine pan and how to tell when your madeleines are done.

May 11, 2020
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5 Ways to Put Your Own Flavor Twist on Classic French Madeleines