Madeleines are a traditional cake originally from the north east of France and they are a small sponge cake with a very distinct shell shape that comes from the special baking tin used to bake them in. They also have their famous ‘hump’ that forms when baking and this can usually only be achieved if you chill your batter in the fridge before baking. There is a lot of speculation as to where the name actually comes from, but with Madeleine being a female name, I wonder if it was named after a family member, either a wife or daughter. The recipe is fairly simple and takes a couple of minutes to mix together, before putting it in the fridge before baking.



  • 3 medium eggs
  • 130g (2/3 cup) white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons zest of either a lemon or an orange
  • 120g (1 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90 ml (6 tablespoons) melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


1.Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy

2.Add the zest to the egg mixture

3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients, mixing by hand until just combined

4. Stir in the melted butter

5. Place this mixture into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, but this can be made up to 2 days ahead of time

6. After the mixture has chilled in the fridge, preheat the oven to 170°C/350°F

7. Grease your baking tray and spoon a tablespoon of the batter into each space.

8. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or you can even dip them in some melted chocolate (OPTIONAL)

This recipe will make about 18 standard sized cakes. These are really simple to make and so delicious to serve up to your guests, they will love them with a cup of tea!