Chef Recipes

Madeleine: Unveiling the Secrets of the Legendary French Cakes. Daniel Boulud's Recipe

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina madeleine daniel boulud

"My madeleine? Proust would surely remember it." A sublime interpreter of French cuisine, Daniel Boulud has always served his guests the famous treat at the end of the meal, in a miniature version, flavored with honey and lemon zest.

Cover photo of the chef: @Thomas Schauer

Cover photo of the cookies: @Christopher Testani

The story

Everyone is familiar with the madeleine from Marcel Proust: it's the sweet that Aunt Léonie in Combray offered to Swann on Sundays, after dipping it in her tea, resurrected years later by a similar offering from his mother during a cold winter afternoon, in the first chapter of the first volume of "In Search of Lost Time." Since then, the term has come to designate an object, a taste, a scent, a color that can awaken a dormant memory, subverting the direction of time: what is called "involuntary memory." Daniel Boulud, a master of French cuisine leading a gastronomic empire in America, also wanted to try his hand at a similar icon, dating back to the times of the Dukes of Lorraine.

daniel boulud Goodbelly

Daniel Boulud's Madeleine

"Those from my childhood - he recalls in an interview with Elle Decor - were larger and usually eaten after a nap, at room temperature. We have served a miniature version for over twenty years as a welcome to our guests. I recommend making a good batch for the holidays. It's a versatile dessert that allows personal touches, can be accompanied by jams, or dipped in chocolate. The possibilities are endless. What makes ours unique is the addition of honey, giving it a sweet fragrance and an intoxicating aroma. I think Proust would surely remember it."

daniel boulud madeleine goldbelly

The madeleines were served warm to each of Daniel's guests at the end of the meal. Sommelier Raj Vaidya chose Julian Haart's Mosel Riesling to accompany them, refreshing with acidity and echoing the citrus tone of the cookies; alternatively, La Caravelle Brut Rosé Champagne, with its fine bubbles, balances the rich, spongy structure of the treat.

The recipe

Daniel Boulud honey madeleine recipe Alison Gootee
@Alison Gootee

Recipe for a dozen madeleines

  • ¾ cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 lemon (grated zest)
  • 6 tablespoons warm melted butter
  • Powdered sugar


Sift together in a small bowl the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs with granulated sugar, honey, brown sugar, and lemon zest. Incorporate the first mixture and gently mix.

Pour in the melted butter, incorporating it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Spray madeleine molds with non-stick spray. Pour the batter into a pastry bag with a medium smooth tip. Fill each cavity about 2/3 full, using a couple of tablespoons of batter. Bake for 5 minutes, lowering the temperature to 175 °C. Rotate the molds and bake for another 5 minutes until the center rises, and the edges color.

Remove from the oven and tap the molds gently to unmold the treats onto a work surface. Dust the madeleines with powdered sugar.

daniel boulud THE DINEX GROUP
@The Dinex Group

Latest news

show all

We respect your Privacy.
We use cookies to ensure you an accurate experience and in line with your preferences.
With your consent, we use technical and third-party cookies that allow us to process some data, such as which pages are visited on our website.
To find out more about how we use this data, read the full disclosure.
By clicking the ‘Accept’ button, you consent to the use of cookies, or configure the different types.

Configure cookies Reject