Preparation info

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By Geraldene Holt

Published 2011

  • About

It is possible that the legendary little cakes baked by Françoise and offered the young Marcel Proust by his aunt Léonie at Combray were made to this recipe from the popular nineteenth-century cookery book, La Cuisinière de la campagne et de la ville by Louis-Eustache Audot. It’s an appealing notion because this version is both simple and delightful. Serve the madeleines freshly baked – with lime tea, of course.

Oven: 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4


  • 60 g / 2 oz butter
  • 150 g / 5 oz caster sugar
  • ½ lemon, finely grated zest
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp orange flower water
  • 120 g / 4 oz plain fine white cake flour, preferably French
  • 1 tbs clarified butter, melted for brushing cake tins


Madeleine tin with shell-shaped moulds, preferably non-stick – brushed with clarified butter


Cream the butter in a warmed bowl and gradually beat in the sugar with the lemon zest. Beat in the egg yolks with the orange flower water. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture alternately with the sieved flour.

Brush the shaped moulds of the cake tin with clarified butter. Place a rounded teaspoon of the mixture in each and smooth fairly level.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the little cakes are just starting to shrink from the tin. Cool in the tin for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack. Wash the tin with hot water only, dry and brush with more clarified butter and make the second batch of cakes with the remaining mixture.