Years ago I bought a Madeleine pan and promptly put it away never to be used. It took cleaning out my cupboard to find this pan again, still all clean and shiny. But by the end of the day, I made my first batch of these sweet and tender Spiced Madeleines with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves. Why did I wait so long to make these simple and delicious classic cakes?
sweet delicate cakes with a dusting of sugar
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I can’t believe I waited this long to make these little sweet little butter cakes, they are a perfect bite-size treat and they go so well with my cup of tea; and added a little bit of sweetness to my day.
Never having made a Madeleine I thought there would be lots of ingredients and complicated steps to baking these pretty scalloped sponge cakes, but with a few baking tips these cakes were simple to make.
Different Flavors for Madeleines
There are so many possibilities to flavor Madeleines by adding different ingredients to the batter. Here are a few flavor ideas for you ~
- Earl Grey
- Honey Lavender
- Lemon with Lemon Glaze
- Orange Cardamom
- Pumpkin Spice
- Vanilla Bean
Of course, plain Madeleine’s with a dusting of powdered sugar are always delicious!
The ingredients to make Madeleine’s
- Superfine Sugar
How to make Madeleines
You make think these elegant little cakes require a degree in baking to make them come out of the oven golden brown with the distinctive shell design and the classic madeleine bump.
- The batter for madeleines is actually called a genoise which means sponge cake. Sponge cakes use eggs for leavening which causes the cakes to rise during baking and gives them their light and airy texture. So no baking powder or yeast required.
- The first step in making the madeleine batter is to beat the eggs and sugar together for five to seven minutes. What will happen is the eggs will become pale yellow and triple in volume.
- At this point, we want to treat the egg batter as delicately as possible so it doesn’t deflate, so be gentle.
- Next, mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl then lightly spoon on top of the egg mixture.
- With a rubber spatula start folding the flour into the beaten egg batter until the flour has been incorporated.
- For the last step add the melted butter the batter and fold in with a rubber spatula.
- Your madeleine batter is done and ready to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Chilling the dough does help the batter rise during baking so you get those nice fluffy madeleines.
While the dough is chilling in the fridge prepare your pan. Always butter your pan even if it is a nonstick pan. You can use cooking spray but I like the butter flavor better and lightly coat with flour.
Add one tablespoon of batter to each shell. The batter will be thick, so you can press down on the batter to smooth it out a bit.
It is time to bake these cakes at 400 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes.
Of course, you are going to need a Madeleine pan, just don’t put it away in your cupboards for long.
Fresh Baked Madeleines
Oh joy, this batch came out beautifully. Give these cakes a sprinkle of powdered sugar to add a bit of sweetness and because anything dusted with powdered sugar just looks extra special.
Eating madeleines warm is simply the best, but they do keep for a couple of days in a covered container.
The easy French Madeleine recipe with spices
Spiced Madeleines with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves
- Madeleine Pan
- Melt the butter in the microwave or a saucepan. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl beat the sugar and eggs for five to seven minutes until the mixture becomes pale and has tripled in volume.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices and whisk to combine.
- Spoon the flour mixture over the egg batter and gently fold the flour into the batter with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Pour the cooled melted butter over the batter and again, gently fold into the batter until combined.
- Chill the batter for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease and flour the Madeleine pan. Butter is my preferred choice.
- Spoon a tablespoon of batter into each mold.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't over brown.
- Let cool for 5 minutes then remove from the pan. Once cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Madeleines are the perfect little cake to serve with tea or coffee, but today a big pot of Lady Grey Tea is being poured. The delicate flavor of bergamot, orange, and lemon is what makes Lady Grey Tea perfect for pairing with the spices in the madeleines.