Madeleines like these from Le French Dad make a great Valentine’s Day sweet. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

Food writer Steven DeSalvo has a degree in Hospitality Business Management from the University of Delaware, and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels. If there’s something you want to know how to make, or you’ve eaten a dish at a local restaurant you’re dying to make at home, drop us a note at

Madeleines are a traditional French sponge cake that is baked in a specific molded pan. They’re great for Valentine’s Day because they’re easily decorated, dipped in chocolate for example, made in heart shape molds, dyed red.

For Valentine’s Day you should definitely consider investing in a heart shaped Madeleine pan. They exist, I promise! This recipe was provided by Le French Dad Boulangerie & Café located at 10 Church St.

They have a vast selection of Freshly baked French pastries, breads, coffees, and teas. Be sure to stop by and sample the variety that they offer, few things can beat a madeleine alongside an espresso. The owner, Arben, mentioned that the key to the madeleines coming out perfectly is to allow the batter to cool, as well as use a cold mold so that it creates a thermal shock that will keep the cakes beautifully moist and help in the development of the famous “hump.”


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Silicone brush

Madeleine mold (can be found on

Microplane grater



1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of all purpose flour (they use
    King Arthur’s unbleached,
    unbromated all purpose flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

Lemon zest (use your judgement)


3 eggs

1 tablespoon honey

1 1/2 sticks of melted butter (6 oz)


  1. Melt the butter in microwave oven and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Use a pastry brush to coat the madeleine molds with butter and place it in the freezer/fridge (depending on how pressed for time you are).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the eggs and honey and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Add the melted butter and whisk again until you have a smooth batter.
  6. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 375F (350F if using convection).
  8. Prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Once your batter has cooled off, either pipe or scoop the batter into the molds and bake them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  9. The madeleines are baked when the sides are browned and the famous “hump” is a golden color.
  10. Using oven mitts, take the madeleines out, hold the mold horizontally and tap against the sheet pan to release them.
  11. You can let them cool off on a grill for a few minutes before eating!
  12. Enjoy!

Note: For an added bit of Valentine’s Day fun, you can dip your madeleines in melted chocolate!


In this article

  • Le French Dad Boulangerie & Café
    10 Church St.