The French writer Proust refers to these little cakes as the catalyst of his “remembering of things past” in his famous book “A la recherche de temps perdu”

Madeleines are puffy, lemony little sponge cakes made with eggs, sugar, flour, and butter. To make them you need a madeleine tin.   The proportions and the method of preparation differ slightly from recipe to recipe. This is a version that works for me. Madeleine tins are available, of course, at Williams Sonoma as well as many other suppliers. For a recipe from Gourmet Magazine, click here.

Madeleine tins are not only for sweet confections…they can be used to make savory madeleines.  The thought had not occurred to me to do so until I sampled some savory madeleines at a very popular Winter Park restaurant, the Cask and Larder.  Searching the internet, I found a recipe (why am I not surprised since they sell the tins!) at Williams Sonoma.  Click here  for the recipe.

madeleine 1


  1. 4 eggs at room temperature
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons. grated lemon zest
  4. 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (bleached)
  5. ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  6. 2 tablespoons butter (for tin)


  1. Put the sugar in a large bowl and add one egg at time mixing  at medium speed, about a minute an egg until the mixture is light lemon in color. This will take 4-5 minutes
  2. Add the zest.
  3. “Shower” the flour into the mixture (the French recipe says “rain”) and fold in.
  4. Add the ¾ cup melted butter and mix well.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the additional butter to butter the tins.  You will not use all of it. Cover each shell with a nice coat of melted butter.
  6. Wipe down the pan between batches and coat again with melted butter.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

  1. Spoon batter into the shells, filling each about ¾ full.
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
  3. Turn the madeleine tin over a cooling rack as soon as you take them out of the oven and give the pan a little pat on the back. The madeleines should come right out.
  4. Store up to a week in a tin.

Yield: 3 dozen madeleines

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