Brown Butter and Almond Madeleines

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These classic French cookies (or are they cakes?) gets a fun twist with the addition of brown butter and cinnamon

When I travel, I love experiencing the flavours unique to a particular place. I was doing some research on different sweet treats to enjoy in Paris when I first came across madeleines.

Browsing local supermarkets on holidays is a nice way to spot unique items when I came across a bag of madeleines. I was very disappointed to be met with a very dry and crumbly cake-like biscuit – I could not understand what all the rave was about! It was not until I decided to give them a second try, at a quaint little corner bakery, that I understood what all the fuss was about.

I subsequently learnt that the pillowy light texture of the cake is derived from all the air whipped into the beating of the eggs and sugar, so they dry out very quickly – which explains why the supermarket version tasted the way it did ! They are thus best eaten as fresh from the oven as possible.

I have given this traditional madeleine recipe my own twist by browning the butter, which achieves a really caramel nutty flavour, swapped out a bit of the normal flour for ground almonds and added just a touch of cinnamon to complement the nuttiness.

I decided to decorate mine a bit, dipping it in dark chocolate and adding a sprinkling of almonds, but that was purely for theatre – usually, they go straight from the baking pan into my belly. I hope you enjoy them 🙂

PS: Resting the batter in the fridge for a few hours is a necessary step to achieve that signature hump which madeleienes have.


  • 110g butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 90g castor sugar
  • 5ml vanilla essence (1 tsp)
  • 2.5ml cinnamon (1/2 tsp)
  • 80g cake flour
  • 10g ground almonds
  • 5ml baking powder (1 tsp)
  • 2.5ml salt (1/2 tsp)


  1. Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue to cook until the butter is foaming, gently swirling the pan from time to time. This allows the solids to brown more evenly. Continue to let the butter bubble away until it turns a rich golden brown and smells of toasted nuts and caramel. Remove from the heat and strain, discarding the solids.
  2. Stir the honey into the butter and set aside to cool a bit.
  3. Whilst the honey and butter are cooling, place the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and, with an electric mixer, beat on high speed until thick and pale. The batter dropped from the beater should leave a trail on the batter (ie. ribbon stage).
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and by hand, gently fold the dry ingredients into the sugar and egg mixture.
  5. Lastly fold in the butter until just incorporated.
  6. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and let it sit in the fridge for at least two hours, but ideally overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius. Brush your madeleine moulds with melted butter and dust with flour, so that the entire mould is coated. Make sure to tap out the excess flour.
  8. Spoon the batter into the madeleine moulds. It should rise two thirds of the way up the sides of the moulds.
  9. Bake for around 10 minutes, until the madeleines begin to brown around the edges and spring back when tapped lightly in the middle.
  10. Once they are out of the tray, you can allow to cool for a bit and brush with honey, dip in chocolate or enjoy as is 🙂

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  • Reply
    9 June, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    These were delicious!

    • Reply
      9 June, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      Thank you 🙂

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