Speaking of the French…

While creating this blog, I vowed I include a recipe section, to be filled with my fabulous attempts at healthy eating, at least the attempts that turned out so well after about fifteen tries.

Courtesy of ehow.com

But today, I am going to post about Madeleines, my favorite French cookie-cakes, which are not exactly healthy, but which I do have a delicious recipe for.

I first tasted Madeleines, many moons ago, in my French class during the 6th grade. I forgot about Madeleines until my senior year in college, while reading Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (translated as In Search of Lost Time and  Remembrance of Things Past) and was able to make this recipe as part of my thesis presentation…any excuse to snack during class.

This recipe comes from my French great-grandmother (I think) via many years and reinventions, and here is my version:


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice/extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Whip the butter and  sugar on high until fluffy. Add the extracts and orange zest to the butter. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time.

Beat the mixture on medium for 3 minutes, until the mixture is lighter and quite fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Very carefully fold the flour and baking powder into the egg mix. Once smooth, place in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. With a generous hand, grease 2 standard madeleine pans (I spray liberally with olive oil cooking spray) and press the cold batter into the molds. Bake them for 10 to 13 minutes, until they are puffed and turn golden brown. Invert the pans onto wire racks and give them a hard tap to remove the cookies from the molds. They are ready to serve.

This  recipe makes about 12 servings.

**Note: You WILL need a Petite Madeleine pan for this, generally available at specialty kitchen supply stores, although I found mine at Bed Bath & Beyond**

(For more on my thoughts of Marcel Proust, visit my thesis blog about exploring Epiphanies).

“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake . . . a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place.” Marcel Proust, discussing a madeleine.

6 thoughts on “Speaking of the French…

  1. Oh yes I frequent Bed Bath & Beyond often…really, what more do you need?? Thanks for stopping by! Enjoying your blog, it’s beautiful!

  2. Mmm…madeleines. Love ’em, but I can’t say I’ve had the same success baking them– mine always turn out overdone on the pan side or undercooked on the smooth side. Any suggestions?

    By the way I saw your site pop up in my “referrer links” section and was pleasantly surprised (and honored) to see myself in your blogroll! Thanks for making my day. I’m loving your writing style, and looking forward to reading more!

  3. Hey Lauren!
    Glad I could make your day, your comment makes mine! 🙂 Looking forward to more posts on your blog as well, especially the next interviewee!!

    As for the madeleines, I’ve had that problem too–they are supposed to be a little lighter on the smooth side, I’m told. However, I’ve found that putting a smaller amount of batter into the molds, about half a spoonful, makes them cook a little more even. It makes them puff a little less, but on the plus side, makes more cookies!

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