French cooking Lorraine / Grand Est region

Who has invented the Madeleine? It is precisely... Madeleine.

It is a very simple dessert, synonymous with sweetness, softness and memories since to speak of a childhood memory we speak of his "madeleine de Proust". For the writer it was to go to Léonie in the morning and to eat the madeleine that she soaked in her tea or linden infusion ....


A recipe that comes from Lorraine

Some say that the madeleine is very old and that it was already made in the Middle Ages and cooked in scallops, which would explain the shape of the madeleine molds whose bottom reminds a little the bottom of a shell. But the most commonly given explanation takes us to Lorraine in the 18th century at the court of King Stanislas

Portrait of Stanisłas I by Jean-Baptiste van Loo, preserved at the Palace of Versailles.


Born out of an impromptu arrival of King Stanislaus.

Like many European princes, King Stanislaus, Duke of Lorraine and of par in life, owned several residences. The most important one was the castle of Lunéville "the Versailles of Lorraine", but he also stayed in the beautiful castle of Commercy. One day he arrived without warning, his usual cook had not planned anything for dessert, taken by surprise by the arrival of the boss. Very angry at not having been informed of the king's arrival, the cook even resigned and left. 


And created by Madeleine Paumier

So that the king would have something to enjoy for dessert, Madeleine Paumier, assistant cook, decided to replace the resigning chef and to make, quickly, a dessert with the available ingredients and according to a recipe that her grandmother had given her. The king, not knowing what happened in the kitchen, saw these amazingly shaped cakes arrive, with a bump on top. He tasted them and found them very good. He asked where he got what he tasted. He was then introduced to Madeleine, whom he congratulated warmly. He then often asked to eat again the little culinary treasure concocted in the improvisation by Madeleine... And the dessert ended up taking the name of the maid. 

The castle of Commercy at the time of Madeleine

Still a specialty in Lorraine

Commercy continues to make madeleines, which were once sold in hatboxes on the train at the station of Commercy. "La cloche Lorraine" continues to make madeleines of Commercy very soft. In Liverdun, near Nancy, a baker launched another production at the beginning of the XXth century, and it is still current today with the "Madeleines de Liverdun" a little firmer. The two complement each other very well in terms of flavor... 


Des madeleines / Image par Chatham172/Shutterstock

Des madeleines / Image par Chatham172/Shutterstock

Our recipe

ingredients : 


  • 255 grams of flour (rather T55)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 grams of sugar 
  • 125 grams of butter
  • 5 cl of milk
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 1 sachet of baking powder (5g).

The process 

Image by SweetMellowChill from Pixabay 

  1. In a saucepan, melt some butter (be careful not to heat the pan too much, the butter should not cook)
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and yeast 
  3. Add the whole eggs and milk and mix again to obtain a homogeneous paste
  4. Add your 225 grams of melted butter to the previous mixture and mix well for at least one minute. 
  5. Let your madeleine dough rest. At least two hours in the room (not in the refrigerator) covering it with a cloth.
  6. Preheat your oven to 220 °C
  7. Butter your madeleine molds (metal is best). 
  8. Pour the mixture so that it fills half (and half only!) of your molds
  9. To bake: 200°C for 5 minutes, 180 degrees for 6 minutes.
  10. Roughly 10 minutes in total (the heat at the beginning is necessary to make your madeleines puff up). 


You can flavour your madeleines by removing the vanilla sugar and adding the skin of an organic lemon (well washed) or an organic orange (well washed) just before adding the melted butter. 

sorry for the translation errors, our translator stayed in bed, he had an indigestion of madeleines!

fancy other french sweet flavors ? for other recipes click here

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.