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.

the class was eye opening to pastry in a way that I never thought about it this way. I learned a new thing in each and every class.i would love to see a part 2 where it is more in-depth towards chefs and restaurants. over all amazing master class.

I learned a lot about pastry cooking and feel inspired to try some of Dominique Technics. Also might go to his pastry shop in LA.

Dominique's calmness and love for pastry is really inspiring and comforting. I feel really uplifted with his last 2 lessens about creativity. He is so real and precise. And the way he is happy with his own bakes, his smile with the first bite ... true essence! Thank you Dominique and masterclass! I will practice my croissants! Love and dedication in pastry, that's the main lesson. Petra

Very fun to try all this recipes and watching professionals working on then step by step.


vedant M.

well, when I tried this at home the Madeline smelled like the eggs scrambled. After I started putting less egg and a little milk/heavy whipping cream/ half and half but the are Delicous!

Savannah M.

WOW! Simple. Delicate. BEYOND delicious! I will make these again and again (and again and again....). Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!!! My first batch (pictured) went a little brown around the edges, but your recipe allowed me to make almost 5 batches since it kept in the fridge for a few days, so they were perfection for the last few rounds :)


Some great things to learn: how easy these are to prepare, how they should be served hot from the oven, the idea that baking powder needs to rest for at least 12 hours. I made these once for my friend Leslie's memorial service - they were her favorite. I had no idea what I was doing, but that didn't seem to matter at the time. I will make them correctly next time.

Chengiz J.

Loved it! Baked them with my 6 year old daughter and we both gorged on them after dinner. Thank you!

Moist L.

I made these for Family Christmas and everyone loved them. You could also make lime or Grapefruit additions.


Hello, thanks for this lesson. I just read the workbook to take notes, what I have to by to make the Madeleines. I found the excerpt from Proust. I am learning French and I am so happy you present the part of the novel for us. I will read it when I taste my first Madeleines.


Tried it yesterday and the Madeleines came out tasting delicious. I had them longer in the oven, approx. 6 minutes, maybe because of oven convection and because of the size of the negatives. I had a form with three rows of Madeleines and unfortunately, they did not bake evenly with the ones on the outside being perfect, while the inner ones did not cook fully through and deflated after taking them out of the oven.


Any tips on how to adapt this using a regular Madeleine sized pan, and not a mini one?


Great recipe, they came out tasting delicious and fluffy. The only thing is I set my oven to 375 like the video said and after 4 minutes they were puffy but definitely not cooked. I took them out after 6 minutes and touched the top of one but it was not solid so I put them back in. In total I think it took like 10 minutes to be finished, but they came out perfect. I think just oven temperatures vary differently.


Hello! Should we preheat the upside down sheet tray before putting the Mini Madeleines in the oven, or should the upside down sheet tray be room temp when you put the Mini Madeleines in the oven?