If you’re like me, you bought a Madeleine mold a few years ago when the Madeleine craze hit, but you haven’t used it in a while.
But every time you do make Madeleines, you wonder why you don’t make them more often. While there are tons of good recipes for them out there, I love this one—it brings wonderfully buttery cakes in a light-spongy package. I think they’re perfect for serving with ice cream for a casual dessert with friends.
Try one of the variations for something a little more off the beaten path:
Madeleines and Variations
MAKES 2 DOZEN MINIATURE TEA CAKES
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Nonstick baking spray with flour, such as Pam Baking
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat two (12-cavity) madeleine molds (each cavity should be about 3 inches long, with a 2-tablespoon capacity) with baking spray. If using silicone molds, place them on baking sheets to make it easier to put them into and remove them from the oven (metal molds do not need to be placed on baking sheets).
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and vanilla on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes more. Sift the flour and salt, one third at a time, over the egg mixture, folding in after each addition just until blended. Gently stir in the cooled melted butter.
3. Spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, filling each three-quarters full. Note that you may have a tablespoon or two of extra batter left over; discard this rather than overfilling the molds.
4. Bake until the edges are golden and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 8 to 11 minutes. Let the cakes stand for 1 minute in their molds, then loosen with the tip of a knife and invert onto a wire rack to cool. Before serving, sift confectioners’ sugar over the madeleines.
Citrus Madeleines. Add 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon, lime, or orange zest with the vanilla extract.
Orange-Chocolate Madeleines. Add 1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract and 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest with the vanilla extract. Decrease the flour to 1/4 cup and add 2 tablespoons sifted Dutch-processed cocoa powder to the flour mixture.
Orange-Spice Madeleines. Add 1 teaspoon grated orange zest with the vanilla extract. Sift 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg with the flour.