Madeleine Cake

by Jan 6, 2015


Tastes buttery like a madeleine, but bakes in a pan.  We call it “Madeleine Cake” at our house, and it is Calvin’s favorite.  Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Quatre-Quarts, a French version of the American pound cake – equal measures of butter, sugar, flour and eggs plus a pinch of sea salt.  If you’re in San Francisco, or other sea level city, reduce oven temp to 350 (use same baking times as specified in recipe below).


Madeleine Cake

Yield: 1 cake, 4 - 6 servings


  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder (less 1/8 tsp. in high elevation, like Bozeman)
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (350 degrees F at sea level.) Butter a 6-inch round cake pan (or use 8-inch, bake time will be shorter, see below) and dust the inside with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites until they hold firm peaks but are still glossy. Set aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks and sugar together in separate bowl (or transfer egg whites to holding bowl and use former egg white bowl) with whisk attachment until they are thick and pale.
  4. Add cooled, melted butter and vanilla to the egg yolks. Whisk together gently.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt then whisk into the egg yolks.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, fold one quarter of the whipped egg whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remainder of the whipped egg whites. Put batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, if desired.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes until center is completely baked and no longer jiggly (test by poking a toothpick right in the center - it should come out clean if the cake is done baking). (If using 8-inch pan, do the toothpick test around 25 - 30 minutes.) Transfer pan to cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Run butter knife knife around edge of the pan and unmold onto the cooling rack. Flip cake again so it is right side up. Let cool to room temperature, then slice and enjoy.

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