Homemade Madeleines – French & British style

by Barry Lewis


For the British stlyle ones

100g unsalted butter, room temp

100g caster sugar

100g self-raising flour

2 eggs

1tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla bean paste

To decorate

100g cherry jam (or other jam)

1tbsp water

80g desiccated coconut

Handful glacé cherries, halved

For the French style madeleines

130g unsalted butter

130g plain flour

3 eggs

3tbsp milk

1½tsp baking powder

100g light brown sugar

zest of 1 organic lemon

To decorate

Icing sugar

Madeleines are delicious little baked treats that I first tasted when we had French exchange students growing up! It turns out there are British versions too – lets make both of them and compare which is best! The British ones get glossed in jam and coated in coconut, whereas the classic French ones stay more humble and are more about the texture with a rested batter and light lemon taste.

You can get the pans here if you like (amazon affiliate links)

Dariole Moulds

French Madeleines baking tray

How to make British Madeleines

First up beat together the butter and sugar for a few minutes with an electric whisk until fluffy. Add in the eggs, baking powder, flour and vanilla extract and whisk again until merged.

Use a small amount of butter to grease the dariole moulds to help getting them out easier. And add the filling approx two thirds of the way up the mould, they will rise as they bake and you can trim off any excess. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C/180fan/400F/Gas6 – they should be golden and risen over the edge of the moulds. Allow to cool, trimming off any excess on top to make the bases flat then carefully turn out.

Allow them to cool fully, then warm up the jam in the microwave with the water and stir, to make it spreadable. Lightly brush the jam all over the upturned cake to coat, then roll in the coconut so it sticks to the jam and fully coats the cake. Top with a glacé cherry half and serve or keep in an airtight container.

How to  make French Madeleines

First up melt the butter in the microwave in small blasts, if you want you can brown the butter for more flavour. Let the butter cool to one side whilst you get a mixing bowl and whisk together the eggs with the sugar until combined, whisk for a few minutes. Add in the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, milk and the cooled butter, whisk well again then cover with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for an hour – this helps make the cake super soft!

Grease the madeleine pan with a little butter, then add in batter, about two thirds of the mould filled with batter evenly. Bake in an oven at 190fan/210c/Gas6/400F for approx. 10 minutes until golden brown, allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar. You can eat straight away or store in an airtight container!