2 In afternoon tea/ cake/ French/ Recipe

Madeleine – bake a French favourite cake

Sing for Syria

Afternoon tea, songs and a cake auction at Sing for Syria

Afternoon tea, songs and a cake auction at Sing for Syria

I have just come back from an event in my village. It was the seventh such event held locally. Each event was organised by word of mouth by three amazing women who sing a capella. They wanted in some small way to help the people affected in the Syria conflict. Their idea was to host an afternoon tea with song. Each invitee was asked to bake “something indulgent” and bring it along. The team behind the scenes made tea and heaped cakes onto cake stands which we then sampled. Each person was asked to donate what they could afford. There was also a cake auction. More than £600 was raised in a short hour and a half event. The songs were beautiful and cakes delicious. A strange idea, to ask someone to make cakes, then “pay’ to eat them but it worked!

Madeleines – a French Favourite

Fill the mixture to 9/10th of the Madeleine mould

Fill the mixture to 9/10th of the Madeleine mould

So when pondering what my contribution should be, madeleines popped into my mind. I had a lot of egg whites to use up and this recipe would be perfect.

A madeleine is a small very buttery cake with a crisp edge. They have a distinct shell like shape from the tin in which they are baked. The story says that they were first baked in the Lorraine area of France in 1755 by a young cook, Madeleine Paulmier. The Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leszczynski was angry as there were no cakes for his guests. Madeleine came to the rescue with cakes based on her Grandmother’s recipe. So happy was he with the result, he named the cakes after the young baker.

Alternative shapes for Madeleines

Madeleines are best eaten on the day the are made – as if you need any excuse. I topped mine with chopped pistachios and a few pomegranate seeds for colour. Make sure you butter the moulds very thoroughly indeed. Whilst you can bake them in a madeleine tin, they work in other small tins just as well.

Pistachio and Pomegranate Madeleines

Pistachio and Pomegranate Madeleines

A buttery cake in a unique shape topped with pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Key tips are to fill 9/10ths and check after 12 minutes. They edges should be golden brown and crispy. This makes approximately 12 madeleines. 
Course Afternoon Tea
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Author breadbakerdanielle


  • 130 gr egg whites (from approximately 4 eggs)
  • 150 gr caster sugar
  • 65 gr plain white flour
  • 65 gr ground almonds
  • 130 gr butter
  • 5 ml vanilla essence
  • 25 gr chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 whole pomegranate - seeds separated
  • Extra butter to prepare the tin


  • Pre heat your oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6
  • Butter your madeleine pan very well and set aside
  • Melt the butter in a pan or microwave until the solids disappear
  • In a bowl, mix the sugar and egg whites together. There is no need to beat the egg whites. 
  • Add the flour and almonds and mix well. 
  • Add the vanilla essence and butter and mix
  • Using a spoon, fill the madeleine shell shapes equally, to about 9/10th. Do not over fill. Sprinkle with a few chopped pistachios and 3-4 pomegranate seeds. 
    Fill the mixture to 9/10th of the Madeleine mould
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes until the centres are risen and the edges are golden brown. Mine took 15 minutes but your oven might vary. 
    Bake until the edges are golden and the centre well risen
  • Take the cakes out of the mould whilst they are still warm and let cool. Eat on the day they are made. 


You might think this recipe calls for self raising flour rather than plain. It doesn't. If you've not got any pomegranates simply leave them out. 

French baking, patisserie, Madeleines, Pomegranate, Pistachio, Afternoon Tea

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  • Reply
    Su (Ethan And Evelyn)
    29/03/2018 at 10:40

    These look really light and delicious!

    • Reply
      29/03/2018 at 18:32

      Thank you! I hope you will try them

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