Culinary Arts

Mini Madeleines

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 11:10 min

Chef Dominique believes that there is a precise moment in which a dessert is at its best. Learn how to make mini madeleines, pillowy cakes that can be baked and served within five minutes—when they are at their peak.

Dominique Ansel
Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals
James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.
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So much of the success of a pastry depends on proper timing. In Chef Dominique’s opinion, the perfect example of this is the madeleine, the exquisite small French cake that elicited the most often-referenced memory recall in modern literature. The History of the Madeleine in French Literature Marcel Proust immortalized them in his appropriately titled novel In Search of Lost Time—tasting one of the tiny cakes brought back a rush of memories from his childhood, virtually transporting him to his past life. For Proust, it was the taste of the warm cake—not the mere sight of it—that triggered his sense memory, and he was the first writer to capture this ethereal relationship among taste, time, and memory. Why Madeleines Are Best Eaten Fresh Time is an essential ingredient in Chef Dominique’s madeleines. For him, a madeleine eaten immediately after it comes out of the oven, still piping hot, is the only way it should be appreciated. As such, he only makes them fresh to order in his bakeries (reassuring impatient customers that the time it takes the little cakes to bake is the same as the wait for a latte). When you bite into a fresh madeleine, he explains, that last puff of steam escapes and it’s as if “it’s taking its last breath.” Madeleines that are cooled have lost their magic. Thus, it is imperative to make and serve the madeleines in quick succession. The Classic Madeleine Shape The small hump that appears on top of the madeleines is called the “pearl.” This hump is characteristic of madeleine, in much the same way a crease on the top of a loaf or poundcake is iconic. This hump is achieved through two variables. 1. First, the baking powder in the batter gives rise to the center of the madeleine when the heat of the oven hits the pan. 2. Second, the shape of the mini madeleine pan itself promotes doming on top of the cake, since it sits on a non-level, convex surface. The Two-Step Madeleine-Making Process Chef Dominique’s recipe makes the process seamless and easy. 1. First, you make the batter and allow it to rest for 12 hours, or overnight, so the baking powder in the batter has time to relax, which will in turn give the cake its characteristic light, spongy texture and not that of a dense, crumbly cake. 2. Secondly, because the batter only takes 4 minutes to bake, you can prep the mold, pipe the batter, and bake the madeleines in the same amount of time it takes to clear the dishes at the table and ready your guests for a delightful dessert. The Secret Ingredient to Making Perfect Madeleines When making the batter for madeleine cookies, it is important to have all your ingredients be at room temperature so they will combine more easily. The most important of these ingredients are the eggs. Eggs are magical emulsifiers, or binders, that marry fat and liquid into a smooth mixture. If you’ve ever made mayo, you’ve seen how they bind the oil and lemon juice tog...

The Art of French Pastry

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I loved the course. Dominique did a great job explaining his techniques, and walking the student through the process step by step. He provided a variety of classic pastries. And inspired the student into attempting to make his recipes. Great class.

It has brought a lot of inspiration to baking. The instructor was very engaging and informative.

Dominique is a great instructor. His explanation of his techniques if cogent and hard to mess up. I knew nothing about him and very, very little experience with pastries. This class was wonderful.

Now this is what I call masterclass! incredible <3 I want more lessons from Dominique! thank you!



I can't wait to try those. My grande-tante Adrienne used to make them with orange blossom extract and maman always made them for school trips.

A fellow student

Do they have to be mini or can you make them the normal size? If so, how long do I need to bake them for?

Mihaela N.

Merci, Dominique! Miam miam les madeleines! Great receipe, I am very grateful to you for these gorgeous masterpieces that I loved baking with my kids! We read Proust for breakfast, hence literature plus cookink...Grand merci.💜

laura J.

This was my morning, what a wonderful way to start my day! Love this class, next to fruit tart lesson, fabulous for me, never traveled to Europe until now, everything I wanted to do is here.

Ramona W.

Wow! I made these little puffs of air and they are delicious! You're so right about they don't last long, not sure about them hardening after they cool, because they were gone before they had a chance to cool! hahaha

Chengiz J.

In Lesson 2: Fruit Tart Base you use a beautiful steel mixer/blender. What make is it?

laura J.

I actually bought Masterclass this time to take writing classes and photography, give my son the course for cooking but here I am loving this class, what a great gift to me!

Karen H.

I have baked madeleines previously but I was unaware of the need to eat them straight from the oven. I did not know about allowing the batter to rest for 12 to 24 hours. So many things to add to my knowledge base. Simple, beautiful ingredients. I can't wait to make these for my granddaughters as an afternoon treat!

Stella C.

I love that Dominique explained the 'why' of refrigerating the dough overnight for a better flavor/texture of the madeleines. It was a wonderful little cake and exceeded my expectations. I have many times made other chef's madeleines recipe and they were good but these were great! I used my large non-stick madeleines pan with a little cooking spray (wondering if this is absolutely necessary since I don't normally like using the cooking spray on non-stick coating) and cooked for 12 minutes. Also used all lemon zest since I didn't have an orange handy. Spectacular flavor.

Nancy B.

I finally tried these mini madeleines and what a great surprise they were - light as a feather and still tender 15-20 minutes after baking. The combination of lemon and orange zest is a very nice touch. After mixing the batter I baked 2 pans after only 4 hours of rest in the refrigerator and they were lovely and had a nice bump. The rest of the batter I left in the refrigerator for over 24 hours and they were perfect too. Definitely a keeper!