Cake Recipes

The classic French madeleine recipe – Let’s be Ariel!

A perfect afternoon! Follow the classic French madeleine recipe.

Okay, before giving out the classic French madeleine recipe. Tell me. Who never think of themselves being the Disney princesses?

Even that I’m in my mid-twenties now, I can still clearly remember how I wear my blanket on my waist and pretend that I’m Princess Belle, Snow White or Aurora.

Ariel is clearly one of the girls’ favourites. But, see, Ariel is a mermaid. She doesn’t wear fancy gowns and her iconic costume is her seashell bra, which looks a lot like the French cookie – madeleine! This is primarily why I, as a kid, have always linked madeleine with Ariel. Whenever I want to be Ariel, I eat madeleine (oops, don’t laugh).

Madeleine is a small cake originated from France and has a distinctive shell-like shape. Its taste is similar to that of sponge cake, but with a slightly denser texture. Finely ground nuts are normally included in traditional recipes while in this recipe, we are using lemon zest for an extraordinary lemony taste.

Thanks to too many madeleines, over the years, I have got extra inches on my waist. I might not have the same perfect body figure as Ariel now, BUT the princess-y feeling when eating madeleine never stops.

Well, if you are ready, let’s dive in and be Ariel!


The classic French madeleine recipe – Ingredients

You’ll probably be surprised by the ingredients you need in this classic French madeleine recipe. Pretty much the ingredients you’ve got on hand!

  • 130g of plain flour
  • 65g of unsalted butter
  • 3 large, free-range eggs (at room temperature)
  • 120g of caster sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp of baking powder

Tools you need

  • Madeleine pan
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Zester
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Hand mixer
  • Sieve

Click here to find out other tools you need

Step by step instructions


  1. Grease pan and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter by using the defrost mode of the microwave and set aside to allow it to cool.
  3. Prepare the zest of a lemon.
  4. Sieve the dry ingredients – sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and gently whisk to combine.

Mixing time!

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar into eggs until the mixture is smooth and becomes pale yellow.
  2. Add the lemon zest and mix well.
  3. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two portions. Make sure that the dry ingredients are fully combined before you move to the next step.
  4. Pour the melted butter into the batter and stir to combine.

Nearly there

  1. Fill the baking pan with the butter until it is about 80% full.
  2. Bake the batter at 170°C for 15 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.


The ultimate madeleine tips

How to melt the butter without making a mess?

Loosely cover the top of the butter-containing bowl with a piece of kitchen towel and heat the butter at time intervals of 10 seconds. Check after each time of heating and stop heating when there are just a few tiny solids remain. Stir to melt the solids completely.

How to make sure that you can those iconic madeleine humps?

For the best result, refrigerate the batter for at least an hour before you spoon them into the baking pan.

Planning to make things ahead?

The batter can be made two days ahead of time. Whether you are planning to host a party or just love to have some daily madeleine, keeping some madeleine batter in the refrigerator always sounds like a wonderful idea!

Video tutorial

Happy madeleine day

We hope that you have enjoyed reading the classic French madeleine recipe. Below we have also attached some recipes that we think you might be interested in – feel free to check them out!

Anyway, if you have any questions or any tips to share, please leave them in the comment section below too! 🙂


Any crepe cake lovers? Do you know it’s totally not hard to make crepe cake? All you need is patience.


What about a piece of cheesecake? Being one of the most popular types of cake, it has its own reasons!


To my fellow chocolate fans, I know you are always there! This chocolate volcano cake recipe is specially for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *