lebovitz's madeleines

Hello everyone,
I just got home from my California adventure and am in the process of writing a few more posts about my travels, but for now I am going to give you an update on what I am up to back home.

I finished David Lebovitz’s book The Sweet Life In Paris on the plane. A Chez Panisse pastry chef turned cookbook author,  Lebovitz never fails to make me smile with his snide yet all-knowing sense of humor. In contrast to his wide array of cookbooks, The Sweet Life In Paris is a collection of little anecdotes about Parisian life such as why not to flush meringue down the toilet and why one should never drink the coffee in a Parisian bistro. Sure enough, each chapter is about buying, eating, smelling, preparing, or interacting with food in some way and is ended with a relevant recipe (what else do you expect from the food-obsessed Lebovitz?).

{puckery lemon}

{spicy chai}

One of the recipes that intrigued me the most was one for lemon glazed madeleines. I have a mini madeleine mold that has been a bit neglected — and this was the first thing I popped in the oven when I got home. Madeleines are a French cookie (petit gateaux, if you will) with a light, buttery taste that literally melts in your mouth. They are famous for their delicate, shell-like appearnce, and owe their popularity to the great French author, Marcel Proust who used these dainty cakes as a means to contrast involuntary and voluntary memory.

{smooth, silky batter}

I have loved madeleines ever since I took the first bite from one of those little packages at the Starbucks checkout. It wasn’t Paris, but I was in cookie heaven. The madelines that I made were much more moist and plump than the Starbucks varaiety — with perfect little “humps” on the back. The secret is chilling the batter before baking them.

With love,


Basic Madeleine Recipe

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1. Grease the madeleine mold with butter or non-stick spray. 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. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold it into the egg mixture.
4. Fold in flavoring of choice (scroll down for flavor ideas!)
5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours — the longer you chill it, the higher the cakes will rise!)
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 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set.
11. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

mocha madeleines: add 1 tsp instant coffee granules and 1-2 tsp cocoa powder

chai spiced madeleines: add 1 tablespoon instant chai powder (I use Oregon Chai, or you could use this Keurig Vue Pack Cafe Escapes Chai Latte)

lemon madeleines: add the zest of one lemon

chocolate chip madeleines: add 1-2 tablespoons of cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips

3 thoughts on “lebovitz's madeleines

  1. Maralyn Woods

    These look so good. I wish I still had my Madeleine pans. I follow David Liebovitz's blog also. Love it that you are going to bake birthday cakes for homeless kids. I think you are amazing.

    1. Cannella Vita

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I got my madeleine pan for really cheap on amazon! I think it was only $5 or something!

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