Mutable Madeleines

Mike Radin, 2023/06/11


This is the basic recipe, ingredients are grouped by step





Madeleines are basically pound cake in that it's a 1:1:1 ratio of butter, sugar and flour. However the results wont vary much if the amount of sugar is reduced. If reducing sugar, use less salt. The honey in the recipe above is optional and isn't used in the variations above. For a fluffier texture, consider cake flour instead of AP flour.

Getting peaks to form is not hard, but appears to require some conditions — using chilled batter, filling the mold properly.

Chilled batter may be quite thick especially with thirsty ingredients like cocoa powder. It may be easier to scoop the batter into the mold. The batter will spread out as it bakes.

It’s possible to substitute light brown sugar for just plain sugar or dark brown sugar, it will impact the color of final product somewhat.

If using a non-stick mold, check safe temperature range. Additionally, instead of brushing on a layer of oil or butter, apply it with a paper towel before dusting with flour. Avocado oil has done well here. Using melted butter will add more flavor. Dusting is important, especially for the chocolate variation.

Browning the butter instead of just melting it is a common technique for these cakes.

Eggs can be brought to room temperature more quickly in warm water.

Adding a bit of cornmeal to the basic recipe improves texture.


It doesn't take much to put this together. The madeleine pan is the only specialized tool, the rest are just bowls, whisks and spatulas. Using a 0.1g resolution scale helps weigh the ingredients at precision an order of magnitude higher. This is useful especially when measuring spices where a 1g resolution scale may give you a 2g reading for cardamom at 1.5g or 2.5g. For coarse measurements a scale with a pull-out display will make it easier to see the readings. Narrow, high-wall mixing bowls are much better for whisking than wide, shallow ones that are fine for general cooking. Sifting flour together with cocoa powder or other powders that tend to clump can be done with a fine-mesh strainer.

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