What are French Madeleines?
Forget about muffins and cupcakes, they don't really exist in rural France! If you are looking for an individual sponge cake to munch on then you need to try French Madeleines, said to be named after the person who invented them in the Lorraine region of France. Whereas we would normally eat cakes like this cold, these French Madeleines are best eaten warm form the oven and they are typically eaten at breakfast. This way they are slightly crispy on one side and soft and fluffy in the middle.
Ingredients for French Madeleines
Typically French Madeleines are flavoured with lime zest but I've chosen to add lime zest for a fresh taste and also some ground cardamom. The cardamon gives a delicious sweet spice to complement the lime without overpowering the cake.
Instructions for French Madeleines
To make the shell shape on one side and the traditional dome shape on the other you will need a French Madeleine tin. If it's a metal tin it is best to grease and flour it but if you have a silicone one you can just with cooking spray. If you don't have one you could use a cupcake tin but only fill just over a centimetre in depth and use baking cases.
Begin by whisking together the sugar and eggs until creamy for 5 minutes.
Sieve the flour and mix with salt and cardamom. Carefully fold the flour and lime zest into the egg mixture with a metal spoon and then gently stir in melted butter.
Leave the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes while the oven heats up and then half fill the moulds.
Bake for around 12 minutes at 220 C until the mixture is well risen and golden. Turn out onto a baking rack and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Swap the lime zest for lemon and afterwards dip the Madeleines halfway into glace icing or white chocolate. You could also use orange zest and dip the Madeleines into plain chocolate.
Alternatively, dip them in milk chocolate and dip into sprinkles, chopped nuts or dessicated coconut. There are endless possibilities!
Storing the Madeleines
Store the cakes in an airtight container. You could also freeze them if they haven't been iced.
Other recipes to try
- Banana Bread with Pecans and Cardamom
- Salted Caramel Mille Feuilles
- Apple Caramel Crumble Tart
- Orange Marmalade Drizzle Cake
- Pecan Banana Avocado Cake
- Treacle Tart
- Croissant Dough
- Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits
- Provencal Bread
- 2 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse
French Madeleines with Cardamom and Lime
- 3 eggs beaten
- 150 g caster sugar
- 150 g self raising flour
- 150 g butter melted and cooled
- zest of a lime
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- pinch salt
- Whisk together the sugar and eggs until creamy.
- Combine the salt, flour and cardamom and sieve into the egg mixture.
- Fold in the flour mix and lime zest before stirring in the melted butter.
- Leave the mixture to stand while the oven heats to 220 C.
- Grease the shell moulds and half fill with the mixture then bake for 12 minutes until well risen and golden.
- Turn out onto a rack to cool slightly then enjoy warm.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
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Thanks Jessica. They are easy to make and zingy with the lime!
Thanks so much Mary!
Thanks Neli. They are only slightly crunchy and mainly a light, buttery sponge.
Thanks Jacqui. I got a silicone one in France and it's brilliant.
I need to find a French madeleine tin! Your madeleines look beautiful and I love the idea of lime and cardamom!
These cookies look like lot of flavor and a little crunch. Just my style. Love the variety of ingredients & photos.
Whoa, the flavors in these sound wonderful.
What an AMAZING idea! YUM, these really sound delicious! Thank you for a great recipe!
I love madeleines, but I've never made them myself! I will have to try this recipe, because that flavor sounds incredible!
Thanks Laura. I think a common flavouring is lemon zest but I wanted to try a new combination that wasn't too overpowering for the delicate sponge.
Thanks Ramona. Cardamom goes really well in cakes as it's really earthy and the lime gives it a lift too.
Thanks Michelle - they don't last long around here!
These are so beautiful! I'll have that whole plate full please! The cardamon and lime flavor combination is genius.
This madeleines look truly amazing. I really love the combination of cardamom with lime I have never really added Cardamon to madeleines before. What a superb idea. I will try them soon as possible. They look and sound too perfect to miss.
Madeleines are Francesco's favorite. He tried them the first time at his French primary school cantine. That cantine was competing with the best local restaurants for menu selection and taste. I like the idea of cardamon and lime. I will try them this week since they have school break.