Cooking Class {Madeleines from Scratch}

Bestie M and I attended our first Williams-Sonoma in-store cooking class a couple of weeks ago and had THE best time! It was a lot of fun and we learned to make something we had neither tried previously: French madeleines. Madeleines are shell-shaped sponge cakes that are eaten like a cookie. The recipe our instructor used was adapted from Chuck Williams’ original recipe.

These cakelike cookies are baked in a special pan with shell-shaped molds. Madeleine pans, also called plaques, were among the first baking pans that Chuck Williams brought to America in the late 1950s, and they were the most popular items for a year or two in his store. 

Madeleines from Scratch

Adapted from Chuck Williams (Williams-Sonoma) original recipe


  • 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) cake flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. orange juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Generously butter AND flour a 12-mold madeleine pan.
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the egg, granulated sugar and orange juice and orange zest for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture has quadrupled in bulk and is very thick, about 10 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, carefully the flour mixture and the butter into the egg mixture a little at a time. Alternate flour and then butter until fully combined.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared molds, filling each one about three-fourths full.
  • Bake until the madeleines are lightly browned around the edges and on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the madeleines from the oven and immediately turn them out onto a wire rack.
  • Using a fine-mesh sieve or a sifter, dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.


  • These madeleines get their delicious orange flavoring from the zest and juice. To make different flavors – like lemon or almond – our instructor said you can replace that with 2 tsp. of extract.
  • This recipe should just barely make 1 pan. I doubled it because 11 or 12 madeleines is not nearly enough!

Williams Sonoma Cooking Class

We signed up for the cooking class online at Wiliams Sonoma. The instructor was full of great tips that could be applied in most baking scenarios and we had a great time. There is standing room only. Everyone did get to try one of the cookies. The cost for this class was $30 and included the gold touch madeleine pan to bring home. You also receive 10% off of any in-store purchases after the class. I was so excited afterwards that I stopped at the store for the oranges, having everything else already, and made them at home!

I definitely agree that the madeleines are best served warm and fresh! I brought them to my prayer group the following morning and they were still delicious, but I preferred them the night before.

Hope you and yours have a sweet Sunday!

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