A Little Taste of Paris

A visit to our local patisserie is the closest I’m going to come to a visit to Paris for quite some time I’m afraid. Although, I think I gain weight just looking at the rows and rows of sugary, buttery  masterpieces.

As luck would have it, we have to pass by the patisserie every weekend after my daughter’s Saturday morning ballet class on our way to swimming. Of course the only way to make it through our hectic schedule is to pick up a snack somewhere convenient . . .

There’s always a long line up at the patisserie and by the time we get to the counter they’ve usually sold out of our favourite snack: mini madeleines. (In case you are not familiar with them, madeleines are small sponge cake-type cookies distinguished by the shell pattern that comes from using a special pan.) My daughter just LOVES them and so I spend the next hour convincing her that the goldfish crackers I’ve packed in my purse are even better than madeleines.

To avoid the constant disappointment and the $7 for a small bag, I finally decided that I needed to try my hand at making them myself. All I can say is that they’re going to miss us at the patisserie. I think that mini madeleines may become my new signature cookie. The $9 for the special madeleine pan was definitely money well spent — and it is a lot cheaper than a trip to Paris.


Mini Lemon Madeleines

Makes about 80 cookies.

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from David Lebovitz

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional) (I added this)
zest of one small lemon
9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

1/4 cup of icing sugar (for dusting)


1. Brush the indentations of a mini madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.

2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

3. Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)

4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.

5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

8. Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4′s Do not spread it.

10. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the cakes just feel set.

11. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

12. Sift icing sugar over madeleines (shell side up).

Storage: Madeleines are best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary.


  • I didn’t put the madeleine pan in the fridge before baking, but I did refrigerate the batter for an hour or so before baking.
  • I adjusted the baking time in David’s original from 8 or 9 minutes to 5 or 6 minutes for the madeleines. All of my cookies cooked in 5 minutes.
  • I did not use the lemon glaze on any of my cookies. I wanted the delicate and buttery flavour of the cookies to stand on its own.
  • I recently bought my mini madeleine pan at Tap Phong in Chinatown. It makes 20 cookies per batch.(Remember the shopping excersion I was supposed to go on with Eva? Hopefully we can reschedule now that she’s managed to shake her cold.)

55 Comments on “A Little Taste of Paris”

  1. I love madeleines and these are so adorable and delicious!

  2. ohlidia says:

    They are lovely and I’m sure quite delicious!

  3. A_Boleyn says:

    I love madeleines as well. They were one of the first things I made when I started posting recipes to my LJ. And for people who don’t want to invest in a madeleine pan, you can use the bottom of a regular muffin pan and make Commercy cupcakes. I’ve tried matcha, chocolate and lemon-poppyseed versions.

    The last batch of madeleines I made I ate with some curd and it was great. I should really make some more one of these days.


    PS: I never DID get the hump even after refrigerating but I never used baking powder.

  4. musingmar says:

    Your madeleines sound so utterly charming! It must be frustrating to be entranced by the delicacies in the window of the patisserie and then find that they’re sold out by the time you get in there to shop. How clever to think of making these at home! Not only have I never made madeleines, but I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever eaten one. Clearly it’s time to rectify that!

  5. Eva Taylor says:

    I love the Madeleines Barb, I’ve had my pan for a few years now but they are the regular sized versions. I usually make Laura Calder’s (French Food at Home, Food Network Canada) lemon flavoured delicacies, they are so lovely with the delicate flavour of the lemon zest. I also love serving them for dessert with a raspberry coulis and crème fraîche. So elegant.
    We’ll chat about rescheduling on Saturday! Very much looking forward to seeing you and Kevin again. Claudia and Justin are expecting us at their lovely restaurant!

  6. I love Madeleines, too! I’ll have to try your lemon version.

  7. I’ve had lemon madeleines before… Looking at these the taste ACTUALLY is coming back to me. So delicious. And good point, way cheaper than a trip to Paris. ;). I think you’ve convinced me to give it a-go!

  8. Oh, we all love madeleines! And, yours look so~ Good! Yum!

  9. Norma Chang says:

    Your mini madeleines are so pretty and delicate. Was thinking, since I trying to lose a few pounds, mini madeleines would be the way for me to go, but then again I would probably eat a few more, got to develop will power.

  10. Make me want to take up baking.

  11. erika says:

    Wow, what an excellent mother you are! If only I could convince my boyfriend to do this for me…haha. These are gorgeous and sound like such a fun project!

  12. I was given a present of a beautiful madeleine tin but have yet to use it, your lovely recipe will give me the push I need.

  13. Tandy says:

    What a bargain, it will definitely pay for itself and yours look perfect 🙂

  14. I do understand the need for Madeleines. When I was little my uncle and aunt lived just outside Paris, this became our destination for most of our holidays. Madeleines were such a part of that time that they always bring back fun childhood memories. Well worth making your own. GG

  15. Chez Foti says:

    I can’t believe I actually live in France and have never tried my hand at baking madeleines! They’re so easy to buy here, but like anything homemade apparently way superior to bought. Must invest in a madeleine tray! Loving your lemony version.

  16. Love that you tried to convince your daughter that the goldfish crackers were better than the Madeleines 🙂
    I can imagine that they will be missing you at the patisserie – these look absolutely amazing!!! I will have to try them – perfect with a cup of tea! I am in love 🙂

  17. I love madeleines, they are beautiful and look so delicious!

  18. Chef Randall says:

    Wonderful little Madeleine Cookies. Your images are delectable as well.

    I have a new web site as well as blog: Fun with Food at http://www.savorthefood.com/home .

    I hope you will click over and visit. Leave your e-mail to never miss out on future posts. I always appreciated your visits and comments to my former blog. 🙂

    Chef Randall

  19. Ooooh. I love these mini Madeleines and yours are perfect…look and flavors! What a great idea. Now I want a pan so I can make them. I’ve always thought about making them but never have. The mini version is really calling to me. How interesting to find the pan in Chinatown. Now I’m going to be on the lookout and am wondering if I might find one at our International Farmer’s Market at a good price. Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Madeleines! Yum Barb. I love them but have never made them. These sound gorgeous and light and lemony. I do think that my husband would actually kill me though if I was to purchase another style of baking pan – he is incredulous at the amount I own (friands, mini muffs, muffs, Texas muffs, tarts, mini tarts – I’m sure you can relate). I need to find a baking tray hiding spot.
    Great post, as always. I have a sweet craving now…

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    These look so good, Barb, and the best thing about them is the memory your daughter will have of you making them for her because it was the only way you could be sure she’d have her favorite cookie. It’s things like this that we big kids remember and cherish about our Moms. 😉

  22. I heard mandolins are going to be the new vogue cookie this year. You are way ahead of the fashion culinary predictions. Your such a good mom and spoiling those ponytails with your cookies.

  23. Karen says:

    Your madeleines look perfect and while not the same as having them in Paris, I’d love to share some of yours.

  24. Purely.. Kay says:

    These are mini delicious mounds of joy :). This is definitely a taste of Paris and I can’t wait to make it :). Thanks so much for this recipe.

  25. azita says:

    I’m afraid of baking so I’m not sure if I’ll get to follow suit but have to tell you that from the first glimpse till the last read this post just cheered me up. Significantly! Beautiful madeleines.

  26. Kristy says:

    I am a sucker for anything and everything lemon Barb – especially desserts. I would devour these rather embarrassingly quickly I believe. 🙂

  27. gotasté says:

    I had lots of these when I was in Paris. With your recipe, I can bring Paris home..:-) But the procedure doesn’t seem that easy…..danny

  28. Sissi says:

    They look perfect, Barb. No wonder you will stop buying them now. I am sure your madeleines taste hundred times better! I haven’t made madeleines for ages… Thanks you for reminding me how I love these cute sweet treats.

  29. I thought they were much more complicated t make… Thanks for sharing this, now I think I can give it a try!

  30. I have a confession to make. I have never made or tried madeleines! I know, I know!
    I saw the pan quite a few times and was always hesitant to buy it fearing I may not like them! I need to change that real soon

    • Hi Sawsan! Promise me that you won’t buy the pan…I’m have another idea to make up for the missing Santa package. Stay tuned! 🙂

      • Barb, please don’t go through any trouble for me. Believe me I deeply appreciate what you did even if the package never made it here. I actually still have hope it will lol
        Believe it or not, a company sent me a maple syrup sample 6 months ago and it arrived the other day! so there is still hope 🙂

  31. Charles says:

    Hi Barb, would you believe I’ve never tried a proper madeleine,even after years of living here. They always seem so… plain, compared to the other delights in the bakery and so they usually lose out in favour of other more decadent cakes!

    I’ve had bad ones – horrid mass-produced monstrosities which don’t deserve their name, but I should really look into getting some real ones. Yours look so charming and the money you spent on the pan was certainly money well spent. No more over-priced bakery madeleines – hooray! 🙂

  32. This is as good as a trip to Paris.. well, almost, but definitely a close second because most people go to Paris for the baking! I love that you’ve figured these out on your own, it’s fun to bake something that’s much better than that expensive bakery! xx

  33. Scrambled Megs says:

    I would do anything to head back to paris. Making baking is satisfactory for now. Hope you’ve been well xx

  34. fudgingood says:

    I love the way you’ve photographed these! They are going to haunt me until I try them and I can’t wait to do so.

  35. bentodays says:

    These look lovely! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  36. EllaDee says:

    Thanks for the like on my post “Dead Waters”… I was curious and came over, and have to comment on your lovely Madeleines. I also bought a $9 pan as I wanted to make something a little different for our Christmas dessert. I’m impressed how simple they are to make, how elegant and impressive is their appearance and taste! And, in this case at least homemade has to be better than shop bought. The dessert I had in mind was a deconstructed trifle as my partner the G.O. hates traditional soaked trifle, and the Madeleines worked beautifully. I assembled individual trifles of Madeleines with homemade custard, blackberries in jelly, passionfruit jelly and mango slices. Perfect for our summery Christmas lunch.

    • Thanks for dropping by. I love the idea of your deconstructed trifle using madeleines — what a brilliant idea. I must try that! I too was surprised how easy they are to make — yet they do look and taste impressive. I will be making them again for sure and will remember your great idea. I look forward to staying in touch!

  37. Wow…they look perfect! I have never had a madeleine before, but as they sound and look so delicious, I would love to try one of yours! 🙂

  38. Tanya says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never had a madeline!!! Clearly I’m depriving myself and my family!!! Mini foods are wonderful you can eat more but feel like you are eating less! Great recipe!

  39. Sophie33 says:

    Lemon madeleines sound pretty tasty to me! MMMMM! They look fantasticly tasty!

  40. Your madeleines look lovely…and they are probably 100% better than goldfish! 🙂

  41. Oh, dear, these look so tempting!!! For some reason, my first association was Proust’s Madeleine 😉 Thank you for sharing!

  42. These look so delicious! And David Lebovitz always has such great recipes to adapt from!

  43. Christi says:

    I love madeleines! I’ve never had the lemon ones before. You may have just inspired me to get a special madeleine tray…

  44. David Lebovitz is a desser legend. I think we might have a similar cookbook collection by the looks of it! Sadly I do t have an upcoming trip to Paris, a French bakery nearby or a Madeleine tin….nonetheless that won’t stop me from admiring and appreciating your lovely cakes. I can hear Marcel Proust reminiscing of days gone by…. 😉

  45. Yum! *drool* When I lived in Paris, I would make madeleines using Orange Flower Water, but since having been back in the States and really not making them that often, it seems as though that flavoring has always been a bit of a challenge to find. I may have to go on a quest for it now:) Inspired!

  46. Ali says:

    These look so delicious! And, yes, much cheaper than a trip to Paris! Hope you are doing well x

  47. My favorite little cookies. I feel so French when I eat them!

  48. miyoreos says:

    These look delicious!

    I just wanted to let you know that you have been awarded the Best Moment Award! 🙂 You don’t have to take any action (unless you want to pass along the nominations to new blogs) you can check out the award here: http://lessaveursdemimi.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/more-awards-d/
    Have an awesome day!

  49. bec {daisy and the fox} says:

    ooo i’ve never actually had madeleines before – but this looks like the perfect opportunity to try! 🙂 thanks!!
    and have a wonderful weekend!

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