These French madeleines Easter shaped bunnies are perfect sweet treat for Easter. Soft and strawberry flavoured butter cakes dusted with confectioner sugar will forever be your Easter sweet treat.
I have been thinking of baking French madeleines for such a long time and was never able to get myself into it. Having my doubts after watching plenty of video instructions, pictures on Instagram and many discouraging comments as it is hard to achieve the right fluffiness and airy teacakes, I finally encouraged myself to make madeleines, when I saw this cute bunny pan at the store.
What is Madeleine?
Madeleines are little French individual butter cakes (some might call them cookies) baked in scalloped shell shape pan and are served as afternoon teacakes with sprinkle of confectioner sugar. Madeleines appear to be simple to make, but actually require a fair amount of patience and careful following of instructions. And I will share all the secret and helpful advice how to achieve soft on the inside and nice firm outside shell of madeleine.
What pan to use for French madeleines
There are many sizes of classic madeleines pans. I went for the unconventional size and shape, because I have spotted this beautiful pan in a shape of an Easter bunny (Easter is approaching fast) and I have decided, that I will make French madeleines in shape of a bunny. And it looks adorable. My kids loved the shape so much, that they taught me even colour the batter in colour pink, and I did. My daughter tells me, that it looks even cuter in pink.
You can find the shell shaped madeleines pan in any cooking/baking stores or online. Go with the nonstick version, it will be easier to get the madeleines out of the pan. Before spooning the batter into the pan, remember to butter it and flour it, to make sure it won’t stick. The worst experience, is when your batter comes out so well and then the French madeleines are stuck in your pan, because you didn’t butter and flour the pan.
How to make the batter for french madeleines
In this batter, usually french recipes do not call for any rising additives, such as baking powder or baking soda. But I find that with slightly 1/2 tsp of baking powder, madeleines raise just in a perfect height. We also want to use the eggs to help the batter rise and to have it fluffy and airy.
It is called genoise batter technique, where you have to whip for long time the eggs with the sugar, for about 10 minutes. It is to get enough air in the batter. The batter will become completely pale, almost white and that is the sign of having enough air in the batter.
I personally like, when I add a bit of zest of lemon in my batter, it gives a little zing and nice scent to the batter. If you’d like, you can also add a teaspoon of lemon juice (optional), if you like to have your madeleines with real lemon flavor. Another usual aromatic liquid I am using in this madelein batter is vanilla extract. We can miss this one 😉
Delicate folding technique for French madeleines
So once these ingredients are in the batter, we can go to crucial step no.2. You have to delicately fold in flour mixture, into the beaten eggs mixture. You really want to take the wooden spoon or spatula and fold the flour in very gently. Next step is melted butter.
In a small bowl melt the butter and add to it one third of the eggs/flour batter. Gently fold in, until well combined. Now, the batter mixed with melted butter needs to be gently poured on the side of the bowl with the rest of the batter. Fold in delicately with spatula.
Time is everything, let madeleines to rest
Madeleine batter needs to be chilled out before baking. More time you give it more flavour and rise up it will have. And more it rises up, taller it is, and it means fluffier texture. I personally chilled the batter for hour and a half, but some french recipes calls for overnight chilling. I haven’t tried that yet, but if you want to prepare the batter the night before, there is definitely nothing wrong with that, and you might end up with better results, then mine.
Scooping or pouring the batter?
You will not be able to pour the batter for french madeleines. Remember we chilled it for an hour in the refrigerator, so scooping it is. The batter will be thicker and will have plenty of bubbles in it, similar to sourdough. I used simple tablespoon to spoon the batter inside the Easter bunny pan.
Because you might not be using the same bunny pan, try to fill your pan approximately to 3/4 of the pan. Then I used small spatula to even it, because as I said the batter is thick and my bunny pan was large. I wanted to make sure, that the batter will be well spread all over the pan.
It’s time to bake it! Preheated oven 190 C/ 375 F for 8-11 minutes. I baked them on convectional program (with fan), and it took 8 minutes. When I baked them in conventional program it took little longer, around 11 minutes. They have risen up pretty well.
I have used strawberry purée to get the pink colour to these french madeleines, but you can colour the madeleines with Wilton red food colour. Or if you wish to have them coloured like the Easter eggs, choose the colour you like.
More Easter recipes
- MINI EASTER TARTS WITH CHEESECAKE FILLING
- MY Favourite HONEY CAKE RECIPE
- FRENCH STYLE LEMON TART
- EASTER TRADITIONS FROM MY HOME TO YOURS
- KEY LIME CHEESECAKE TART RECIPE
EASTER BUNNY MADELEINES
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 2 tsps brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 cup (150 g) sifted flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp strawberry purée or few drops of red food colouring
- Melt the butter in medium bowl and set aside for later use.
- In a standing mixer beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for 10 minutes. The mixture must be thick, pale, almost white. Add in the lemon zest, strawberry purée (or red food colouring) and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Sift a flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl and mix it together. Using a spatula gently fold half of the flour mixture into egg mixture. Once incorporated, fold in the other half of the flour mix.
- Pour ⅓ of the batter into the melted butter and gently fold in with spatula or wooden spoon. It will take a while to perfectly incorporate it. But take your time and incorporate well. Now, gently pour back the mixture with butter on the side of the bowl with the rest of the batter. Fold in delicately with spatula.
- Cover the batter with food wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. You can let it chill overnight.
- Preheat the oven on 190 C/ 375 F, middle rack and prepare madeleine pan by brushing it with butter and powder with flour.
- Spoon the batter into the centre of each opening and gently spread (flatten) with small spatula.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes. The madeleines are done when the top is lightly golden, you can also try with your finger to push gently on and if it springs back, it’s done. Invert the pan onto the counter and transfer the madeleines onto a wire rack to cool them down.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar, before serving. Enjoy it as soon as you can, otherwise madeleines tend to become spongy after one day of baking.