Friday, February 8, 2013

Coconut Madeleines

Last fall I went through a major madeleines phase which hit me suddenly one day while browsing Pinterest.  That same day I bought two madeleine pans and made an emergency trip to the grocery store to pick up some supplies.  This was the beginning of my annual holiday weight gain.  Thank you madeleines.

While most madeleine recipes are the traditional lemon based ones, I decided to do a coconut version since I love all things coconut.  Since then I have made different kinds (e.g., pumpkin and cranberry) and the coconut ones are still my favorite.  So simple and delicious!  Madeleines are meant to be eaten pretty soon after baking and are best served same day.  They last for a few days after but they start to lose their freshness pretty quickly (thought I don't mind as they still taste delicious!). But if you want to save some time, the batter can be refrigerated for up to 12 hour so you can always make it in advance, refrigerate, and then bake them just before serving.  

Yes madeleines are pretty much just pretty decorated mini cakes, but there's just something so magical in having a little bite sized madeleine with that wonderful ratio of outer crispiness and inner sponginess.

Servings: Approximately 36 mini madeleines (24 regular sized)

3 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup flour (plus sprinkling for the pans)
1 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum-free)
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus butter for greasing the pans)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Butter the madeleine pans and then sprinkle with flour.  Tap off any excess flour and place the pans in the fridge or freezer.  You don't have to do this if you have nonstick pans, but I find that when I don't the madeleines brown unevenly.  And chilling the pan helps to create the signature hump.
  • Melt 9 tbsps butter, let cool, and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl whip 3 large eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 tsp salt for 5 minutes until mixture is nice and foamy.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cup flour and 1 tsp of baking powder.  It's important that the baking powder be aluminum free, otherwise your madeleines might have a slightly metallic taste.
  • Gradually fold in the flour mixture into the batter.  Don't mix or stir.  Folding is important as it makes the cake fluffy and airy.  So take your time and fold the dry ingredients in - rotate the bowl as you stick your spatula in the middle, cut it out edgewise and then fold batter towards the center.  Repeat and rotate until all ingredients are just mixed.
  • Gradually fold into the batter 9 tbsps melted and cooled butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/3 cup coconut.  Fold just until these ingredients are incorporated into the batter.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably longer.  Batter can be chilled for longer (I've read anywhere between 12-24 hours).  The cold dough helps make the coveted hump and the resting helps.  The resting is also required so that the gluten has time to relax and air bubbles can work their way out.
  • Remove pans from the fridge/freezer and spoon batter into the molds with just enough that it should fill out 3/4 of the mold.  Do not spread the batter.  It takes practice to get the amount right and I still mess up and do too much or too little.  Just try to estimate as best as you can and plop the dough in the middle of the molds.  It'll even out as it bakes.  If I have the time, then I'll often put the filled pans back in the fridge for a little bit to chill everything.  The hump in madeleines is created by the cold pan and cold batter getting hit quickly by the high heat in the oven.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes or until cakes are lightly golden and browned around the edges, and when you lightly press the cake it springs back (I usually have a tester madeleine near the front that I poke and prod and becomes my first tasting victim).
  • Remove pans from oven and set madeleines on a cooling rack.  If you buttered and floured your pans well in the beginning, the madeleines should slide out pretty easily but if you need to you can use your fingers or a spoon/knife to gently pry them out.
  • If you are using the pans again for another batch, then chill, butter and flour the pans again before using.
  • Let madeleines cool to room temperature and then enjoy the deliciousness!
Sunny looks so sad here.  She hates it when I spend a lot of time cooking/baking, especially since she has to smell all these yummy foods and doesn't get a taste!
Love the humps in these lil cakes!
I arranged the madeleines nice and pretty on my plate for photos and then proceeded to eat half of them.
Poor Sunny didn't get any madeleines.
I love you buttery, coconut madeleine.
Nom, nom nom!
 Sorry Sunny, you can't eat any madeleines, but here's one as a hat!
Nothing's better than noshing on some yummy madeleines on the couch, with a lil pug on your lap.


  1. I have never made Madeleines, but these look delicious! The look on Sunny's face is priceless. If my dogs were that close to cookies, I might not have fingers left!

    1. Madeleines are great because they're basically mini cakes! And they're so cute! But it requires some advance planning to make them to chill the dough properly.