How to Make Blueberry French Madeleine

When it comes to baking, French desserts are the classic recipes to master. They may sound sweet and simple but takes a lot of practice and patience to get the correct and perfect outcome.

Today, I’ll be talking about one of the classic French delicacies called Madeleines! Some call them as cookies while some refer to them as mini butter cakes. Either way, they are cute little cakey crispy bites that you will fall in love with.

So, what are Madeleines?

It’s Important we talk about what type of dessert Madeleines are and what are it’s key points to really understand it before trying any recipe.

Madeleines are Petit, shell shaped like butter cakes which have crispy edges, buttery flavor and light airy cake texture from inside. They have a unique ‘hump’ which is the mark of a good Madeleine. This hump is important to achieve. It’s created because the batter is chilled first and then put in hot oven, so the temperature difference creates fast steam inside batter bursting it with air.

Madeleines Recipe Video Tutorial

Taste and texture of the cake

The outside of the cake Is supposed to be crispy (like cookies) while the inside should very light (like cakes). 

The dominant flavor of the dessert comes from butter. I have added lemon zest and fresh blueberries for further accentuating the flavor.

Key ingredients used for the recipe and their relevance

The ingredients going into Madeleines are very basic however it’s the way it is made that helps in achieving its unique flavor and texture.

Eggs-Being a classic French dessert, egg is one of the main ingredients and plays important role in creating the texture along with flavor and color it needs. The eggs are beaten to incorporate as much air as possible for the product to rise.

Flour-Gluten is of course needed to get the strength all the whipped eggs need. You must fold it in gently so that the air incorporate remains in the batter.

Sugar-The sweetness, caramelized color and aeration comes from castor sugar.

Honey– It provides unique sweet flavor along with rich golden color to the madeleines.

Butter-The amount of butter going in is quite high which results in the butter as the dominant flavor in madeleines.

Milk– Milk in any recipe provides dairy richness and moisture in the product.

Lemon zest– Traditionally, lemon zest is added for the freshness it can add to the cakes. You can always experiment with flavor as per your likings. I have discussed this in the FAQ section.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the dessert and its ingredients, let’s make this classic cute little cake.

All Ingredient List for Making Madeleines

Ingredients for madeleines

Ingredients for madeleines Quantity
All-purpose flour
125 g
Eggs
85 g
Castor Sugar
80 g
Vanilla Bean Paste
1/4 tsp
Honey
20 g
Salted Butter (Melted)
140 g
Salt
1/4 tsp
Milk
38 ml
Lemon Zest
1 lemon
Baking Powder
1 + 1/8 tsp
Fresh Blueberries
Handful

All equipment needed for the recipe

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Digital kitchen weighing scale
  • Bowls and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Sieve
  • Shell-shaped madeleines mould
  • Oven/OTG
  • Microwave 

Steps to prepare madeleines

For Madeleines:

  1. In a bowl, beat eggs and castor sugar for a couple of minutes with the help of a whisk.
  2. Add in vanilla bean paste and mix.
  3. Now add honey followed by melted butter. Mix everything well.
  4. In a new bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder. Add in the lemon zest to this.
  5. Gradually, add in the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients alternatively until a smooth batter is achieved.
  6. Prepare the shell shaped madeleines mould by greasing with unsalted butter and dusting some flour. Remove any excess flour by tapping the mould upside down.
  7. Now pipe the batter into the cavities of the mould and place 2-3 blueberries over the batter.
  8. Place the tray in the fridge for at least 12 hours so that the batter is cold before baking.
  9. After 12 hours, put the batter for baking in a pre heated oven at 180C (OTG mode: lower rod only) for 8-12 minutes

Chef's Tip And Key Points

  1. Use room temperature eggs. Do not use cold eggs.
  2. Make sure no lumps are there in the batter.
  3. In place of vanilla bean paste, you can use vanilla essence approximately 2 tsp.
  4. You can put any other berry if you want.
  5. Chilling the batter is important to get the signature hump. Do not skip this step.
  6. Pipe the batter to ¾ level of the cavity. Do not over fill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having doubts is natural, especially when you are making something as unique as madeleines.

Q1. What happens if I overbake or under bake madeleines?

Ans. Timing is quite crucial here. Over baking the batter will lead to dry texture and may even have burnt edges. While under baking will lead to having dent in middle rather than the hump. So make sure you baking for the right duration.

Q2. How are madeleines eaten?

Ans. Since they are Petit cakes, they are mostly served as a high tea dessert. People love to eat them along with coffee. (some even dip them in their coffee and then eat)

Q3. Why is it necessary to chill the batter for 12 hours?

Ans. To get the iconic hump in the madeleines, it is important that the batter is chilled for significant time. You can prepare the trays one day ahead and keep them overnight in fridge to bake them the next day. The sudden change in temperature leads to the burst of steam in batter creating that hump.

Q4. Can I add any other flavor?

Ans. Yes, you can replace lemon zest with orange zest. Use any other berry like strawberry or cherry (both chopped). However do not add too many berries, as that would create hindrance in the batter to rise. You can also dip or coat madeleines with some melted chocolate for the chocolate flavor.

Q5. What is the shelf-life of madeleines?

Ans. It’s always better to consume madeleines the day they are baked. However, you can store them in an airtight container for 1-2 days.