Madeleines Made Easy with Honey, Vanilla and Lemon

Our simple and speedy recipe for light, fragrant Madeleines - perfect for whipping up with the children in about 30 minutes. Dust with icing sugar or dip into decadent chocolate sauce.

Madeleines are small, traditional French butter sponge cakes shaped like ridged scallop shells. They are very pretty and very moreish. Slightly crisp on the outside and tantalisingly soft and light on the inside, always endeavour to eat them whilst still warm.

You can come across some very complex Madeleine recipes with multiple stages but, for me, this simple recipe just works.  

I've put this recipe in cup form to make it even easier to make with children. This version is flavoured with honey, vanilla and lemon but you could easily substitute orange zest.


  • 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter (you don't want to cook your eggs!)
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp honey or Agave nectar (Agave will make the Madeleines slightly less sweet)
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC.
  2. In a medium bowl beat sieved sugar, eggs, vanilla, honey and lemon zest with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes until thick and glossy.
  3. Add the sieved flour, salt and baking powder and gently fold in.  
  4. Add the melted, cooled butter and fold in until you have a thick, shiny batter.
  5. Rest the batter for a minimum of 5-10 minutes in the fridge. You can leave it up to an hour if you like.
  6. Butter your Madeleine tin thoroughly and dust with flour - if you don't have a Madeleine tin don't worry any shallow form baking tin will work.
  7. Scoop the batter in your moulds till about 2/3 full.  
  8. Bang the tin smartly down on the table a couple of times when finished to remove any air bubbles.
  9. Cook for 10-12min until lightly golden. The top should spring back when you press it with your finger.
  10. Dust with icing sugar.



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