The Perfect Lunchbox Cake: Simple Madeleines Recipe

French Madeleines are easy to make

I love cupcakes, but sometimes it would be nice to have a sweet treat that wasn’t covered in a ton of frosting and that was a bit more lunchbox friendly. Enter the French madeleine…

Madeleines are small shell-shaped cakes that originate from the Lorraine region of France. They are a lighter cake than a regular sponge cake and can be baked in a muffin or cupcake tin if you don’t have a madeleine pan. If you haven’t tried them before then you are in for a real treat…

simple ingredients for madeleinesStuff You’ll Need

Makes 18

To make these madeleines the very best, you’ll really need a food mixer or a grown-up who doesn’t mind whisking for a good while.

  • 75g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 75g self-raising flour, plus extra for coating
  • 1 tbsp poppyseeds
  • 1 lemon, zested, plus 1 tsp of the juice

 Let’s Get Going

Preheat your oven to 180c, 350f, gas 4

Make sure your tray is coated well1. Get your tin ready by brushing each hole with flavourless oil, (or some melted butter) and then dusting flour over the top. Give the tin a good shake to make sure it’s all coated with the flour, and throw away any loose flour.

2. Melt the butter for your madeleines and then leave it to cool until you need it.




Make sure your madeleine mix is pale and creamy

3. Mix the sugar and eggs in a mixer for at least 5 minutes on a medium speed. It needs to be thick and pale–the mix will leave a trail on the surface if you put a spoon in and out of it.







Carefully fold in the ingredients

4. Now treat your lovely, airy mix with care–we want to keep all that air in there. Sieve the flour over the top, then sprinkle your poppyseeds, and add the lemon zest and juice. Gently pour the cooled melted butter into the mix too. Now use a spatula to fold all the ingredients together. Don’t beat it wildly or you’ll get rid of the air.




Using a jug will make life easier5. To make life easier you should pour the mix into a jug. Using the jug, pour the batter into your tin, filling each well (or hole) to the top.

6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes before you tap them out, and you’re done!

Perfectly delicious madeleines ready for after dinner or to stash into your lunchbox.Finished madeleines



madeleines in a patisserieMadeleines Are Everywhere in France

Madeleines are really popular in France and are one of the few baked goods that people in France make at home–most pastries and breads are bought from the local patisserie (bakery). In fact, madeleines are one of the first things that French children are taught to cook, and now you can cook them too!

Madeleines can be found in patisseries usually in jars by the counter.

Madeleines were written about by a famous writer called Marcel Proust and it’s thought he is to thank for their popularity today. He preferred his madeleines dipped into tea!


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  1. Always wanted to bake one. Will give this a go in my mini muffin tin. I wish Adrian likes cake. For some reason it makes his tongue itch.

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