Le Maddalene (Orange and Vanilla Madeleines)


Strictly speaking Madeleines are not an Italian sweet treat. So what are they doing in my Authentic Italian food blog, you may rightfully ask? It’s one of the best known, most loved French buttery delight, but  the geographical vicinity with France, the French influence in Val D’Aosta and Piedmont, both in language and cuisine and the fact that Italy and France have been calling one another “cousins” for centuries makes me feel entitled to love and share this recipe with you. Also, the batter itself is a Génoise cake batter …Génoise means “from Genoa”, the main city of Liguria, in Italy, another reason why Italians claim this sweet as, partially, theirs…

The recipe is fairly simple. It’s a combination of the usual suspects: self-raising flour, eggs, sugar, butter, orange and vanilla. The secret to a perfectly moist and soft Madeleine though, is in the time you allow for the batter to rest. I have had a few failures with these lovely, shell-shaped nuggets and it was only after reading the Roux bothers cook-book, the bible of French dessert, that I realized that even cakes need their beauty sleep! And I’m not talking about a power-nap. The batter needs to rest for a minimum of 6 hours, up to 24. So, if you have an instant craving for Madeleines, think again. But if you are prepared to make this batter today and bake your sweets in the morning, by the time you’ve had a shower, you’ll be able to dunk a few warm ones into your morning coffee.


INGREDIENTS, makes 24 small cakes

3 whole eggs at room temperature

100 gr sugar (half a cup)

2 tbsp honey

120 gr of butter (3/4 of a cup)

175 gr (1 1/2 cups) of sieved self-raising flour

Grated rind of one large orange, or two small ones

Vanilla paste or essence (or seeds, if you have them)


1. Melt the butter over low heat and add the grated orange zest. Turn off the heat and set aside.

2.Whisk the eggs with the sugar and the honey until pale and creamy. Sift over the sieved flour and fold gently. Don’t over work the flour or the gluten with make the batter too dense. Fold in the orange butter and a teaspoon of vanilla paste.

3. Cover with cling wrap and rest for up to 24 hours in the fridge.

4. The next day, bring your oven to 180 Celsius (390 Farenheit). Spoon the batter onto a greased and floured madeleine mould. The cakes will rise in the oven, so only fill the mould to 3/4 full.

5. Bake 5-10 minutes or until golden and cooked-thourgh.


Dunk in your coffee and have a très magnifique day!


Silvia’s Cucina is on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram


This is a reblog of my original post on Madeleines from 2011. I have since altered the recipe slightly, hence the need to update it and provide better quality images.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. These look so wonderful, I don’t have a madeline pan, do you think mini tart pans would work? I hope so because I’m going to try it, can’t help myself!

    1. I’m sure they will work just fine!

  2. Ally says:

    Every time I open your blog, my mouth starts watering and I start smiling! Just lovely and so tempting! Thanks for adding the U.S. conversions, sweet thang!! xoxo Ally 🙂

  3. Ally, I actually had you in mind when I added the US conversions…!

  4. charlotte rose says:

    just bought a madeleine mould gonna make them as soon as it arrives :o) !

    1. Great! Let me know how you go!

  5. i have been after a madeleine pan for ages, where can i buy one?

    1. Yvonne,
      try amazon. You can find pan for under a tenner and since you are in the UK you get free delivery.

  6. Madeleines! A childhood favorite of mine… my grandmother used to make them for me. I never knew about letting the batter rest~ thanks for the tip!!! Beautiful post!

  7. I have never tried to make Madeleines but I am going to try with this recipe. Looks fantastic!

  8. Laney says:

    I guess all good things are worth waiting for…and these Madeleines definitely look worth the wait…

  9. Love madeleines! Orange and vanilla flavors, perfect Italian combo!

    1. With a little French accent…

  10. Adri says:

    i love madeleines, and your look lovely. complimenti!

    1. Thanks Adri! Hope you are well!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s