Classic French Madeleines

Traditional French madeleines are small, shell-shaped tea cakes that are wildly popular throughout France as an afternoon goûter or snack. 

It was this humble treat that inspired a thousand memories for Marcel Proust, who wrote about the childhood memories they evoked in his novel “Remembrance of Things Past.”  Simple and delicious, these small cakes are best enjoyed as the literary figure once did — with a cup of freshly brewed tea for dipping. To make this recipe you’ll need just a few ingredients and a madeleine pan, which you can find at most kitchenware stores.

Classic French Madeleines

Prep Time: 30m Cook Time: 45m-1hr


2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
10 tablespoons (1 ¼ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter and flour your madeleine pan. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl. Add vanilla, lemon peel, and salt and combine. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add the cooled melted butter and beat until blended.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each shell-shaped indentation in your pan. Bake until puffed and brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch.
Dust cookies with powdered sugar.
Et voilà! Bon Appetite! Let the scones cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
Optional variations: add a half cup of blueberries or dried cherries.