Chocolate Madeleines

16 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Chocolate Madeleines are classic shell shaped French butter cakes made with cocoa powder for a soft buttery chocolate sponge and crispy edges.

These classic Bakery Treats have the flavor of Chocolate Cake, the French elegance of Palmiers, and the dunkability of Biscotti. It’s like three favorite coffee shop snacks in one fancy Cookie-sized Cake with a melt in your mouth fluffy texture and dark chocolate flavor. 

Sabrina’s Chocolate Madeleines Recipe

As fancy as they look, the perfect Madeleines recipe is made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. With just eggs, butter, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, sugar and flour you can make a delicious chocolate version of a classic French Madeleine recipe. Our fluffy Chocolate Madeleines are easy and quick to make with one bowl and less than 45 minutes.

Instead of specialty ingredients or complicated techniques, you just need a sea-shell mold pan and stand mixer. Technically you don’t even need the stand mixer, you could use an electric mixer to beat the eggs in a bowl until they are light and airy. The stand just keeps your arms from getting tired while you whip the eggs to the right consistency. The pan though is crucial but the great news is that a Madeleine pan is pretty inexpensive and once you get one, you can make these easy French cakes all the time.

What are French Madeleines?

Chocolate French Madeleines are buttery sponge cakes that are baked in a special sea shell shaped mold pan. They have a light, tender and fluffy center and crispy thin edges. One of the signature parts of the madeleine is the hump that forms on the top as they puff up and bake. They are a classic french tea cake that’s enjoyed like a cookie, often dunked in coffee or tea.

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  • Eggs: Getting the right consistency for the eggs is crucial to creating lift and volume since this madeleine recipe doesn’t have baking powder. The egg mixture needs to reach the “ribbon stage” which is when you lift the whisk out and swirl it over the batter, a ribbon stays on the surface for a few seconds.
  • Sugar: It might seem like a lot of sugar for the amount of flour, but keep in mind that it is also balancing out the bitterness of the cocoa powder. These cookie-cakes end up being only slightly sweet, letting all the chocolatey buttery goodness take center stage.
  • Flour: Madeleines are made with a small amount of all-purpose flour compared to other cake recipes. The right amount of flour to liquid is key to making them light and moist, so measure the flour carefully.
  • Cocoa Powder: There is a pretty equal ratio of cocoa powder to flour in this recipe, so the type of cocoa powder you use will affect the flavor. Unprocessed cocoa powder will have a fruity, bittersweet chocolate flavor, dutch process cocoa powder is more woodsy, smooth chocolate flavor, and black cocoa powder will make your Madeleines super dark brown but will have the mildest chocolate flavor.
  • Butter: Using melted butter makes these puffy treats softer and slightly denser than regular chocolate cake without weighing them down. Melted butter also enhances the chocolate flavor in cocoa powder.
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Kitchen Tools & Equipment

Madeleine Pan: This is one of the few times where yes, you absolutely need a specific pan to make this recipe. The shell-shaped indents of the pan are what create the pillowy soft centers and crispy eggs that make Madeleines so special.

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How to Make

Time needed: 35 minutes.

  1. Prep for Baking

    Preheat the oven. Grease your madeleine pan very well with baking spray. If you don’t have baking spray, use spray oil then dust the pan with cocoa powder, shaking off any excess cocoa powder.

  2. Whisk the Eggs

    Whisk eggs and vanilla in a stand mixer until they are light yellow and reach the ribbon stage. If you lift the whisk out and make a figure 8 with the thin dripping egg mixture, it should leave a ribbon on top. If it doesn’t, continue to whisk 2-3 more minutes until it gets the right consistency.

  3. Mix the Batter

    Mix in the salt and sugar. Sift the flour and cocoa powder onto the egg mixture, then mix on low until just combined. Finally, slowly stir in the cooled melted butter until just combined.Chocolate Madeleines preparing batter collage

  4. Bake the Cookies

    Use a small cookie scoop to add batter to the center of the molds, leaving a small border. The batter expands so don’t fill them all the way to the edges. Bake until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed.

Can Madeleines be made ahead of time?

You can make the Chocolate Madeleine batter up to 2 days ahead of time and you don’t need to bring it to room temperature to bake it. You can spread the batter in the Madeleine pan and chill it for a couple of hours before baking too. A cold pan and cold batter will actually give you extra fluffy madeleines with big humps.

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Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Madeleines
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 33mg1%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 121IU2%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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What to Pair With Chocolate Madeleines

Even though Chocolate Madeleines are considered cakes, they are eaten like cookies so basically you get the best of both worlds! They are perfect for dunking in Hot Chocolate on a cold winter night or with a cup of coffee as a sweet morning snack. These little cookie cakes are lightly sweetened so you can even add them to a special holiday brunch. Make them even sweeter a light dusting with powdered sugar, drizzling with melted dark chocolate, or dipping them in warm Salted Caramel Sauce.

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How to Store

Serve: Let them cool a few minutes before serving but they taste amazing when warm! Cool cookies before storing to prevent soggy cookies. Steam releases as cookies cool down and if it’s trapped, moisture collects and you get soggy cookies.

Store: Store Chocolate Madeleines in an airtight container after they have cooled completely. They will stay fresh at room temperature for about 3-4 days, but they are best the day you bake them. You can also keep them in the fridge for 1 week, just warm them before serving.

Freeze: Baked Madeleines can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap them in wax paper or plastic wrap and then in foil before storing in a freezer safe airtight container. Thaw unwrapped at room temperature before serving.

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Ideas to Serve Chocolate Madeleines

Chocolate Dipped: For Double Chocolate Madeleines, dip them halfway in Chocolate Ganache or melted chocolate chips. Try white chocolate or dark chocolate, depending on what kind of chocolate lover you are!

Toppings: For some crunch, dip chocolate covered madeleines in crushed nuts like pistachios, almonds, or hazelnuts before the chocolate sets. During the holidays, you could use festive sprinkles or crushed hard candies.

Sugar Coating: Let the madeleines cool for 5-10 minutes, so the sugar doesn’t melt, then toss them in a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar for a light, sweet coating. You can use granulated sugar or powdered sugar, depending on the texture you want.

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Frequent Questions

Why are my Chocolate Madeleines dry?

If you use too much flour, your madeleines will be dry and dense. Don’t pack the flour into a measuring cup by scooping the flour, instead use a spoon to fill the measuring cup and gently level with the flat edge of a knife.

Are Madeleines Cookies or Cakes?

While they are the size of a cookie, technically madeleines are considered little cakes. Cakes are made with more wet ingredients than dry ingredients, which forms a batter that needs to be baked in a pan with walls to hold it in. Cookie dough is thick and will hold its shape if baked on a flat sheet. Madeleines have a thin batter that needs to be baked in a mold pan, so therefore they are cakes and not cookies.

Why do Madeleines have a hump?

The heat of the oven reacts with the cool Madeleine batter as the cakes cook, creating moisture that escapes as steam. As the steam releases it causes the batter to puff up in the shallow pan indents, and a hump forms.

Can Chocolate Madeleines be frozen?

You can freeze baked Chocolate Madeleines for up to 2 months! Once they’ve completely cooled, wrap your batch of cookie cakes in wax paper then wrap the bundle in aluminum foil. This prevents moisture and freezer burn. Store your wrapped cookies in a large freezer safe bag and thaw at room temperature to serve.

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Recipe Card

Chocolate Madeleines

Chocolate Madeleines are classic shell shaped French butter cakes made with cocoa powder for a soft buttery chocolate sponge and crispy edges.
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled for 3 minutes


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a madeleine mold with baking spray.
  • Add eggs and vanilla to your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  • Beat for 5-7 minutes until the eggs are very light yellow and leave a ribbon then you lift the whisk attachment out of the stand mixer.
  • Add in the salt and sugar and beat for 30 seconds.
  • Sift in the flour and unsweetened cocoa powder on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Add in the melted butter and stir until just combined.
  • Add batter to the molds until almost full.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes until the cookies spring back when touched.


Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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Candy Cane Mocha: Add a ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and ¼ teaspoon of instant espresso powder for a peppermint mocha flavor. Dip the baked cookies halfway in melted white chocolate and top with crushed candy canes for an elegant Christmas treat!

Spicy Cinnamon: For a Mexican Hot Chocolate flavor, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne powder. Dust them with cinnamon sugar while they are still warm.

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More Amazing Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Madeleines baked piled on plate, recipe name across bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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