Philippa Davis' elderflower and vanilla madeleines are the perfect picnic treat. Or, if the temptation gets too much, enjoy them straight from the oven

Philippa Davis’ elderflower and vanilla madeleines are the perfect pud for picnics, best packaged up and enjoyed al fresco. But if temptation proves too much, our favourite way to enjoy them is straight from the oven.

With the sun shining and picnic season certainly upon us, read how to make the ultimate point-to-point picnic for The Field’s best finger food recipes. Choose from sausage rolls, scotch eggs, soups, pies, pasties, sweet treats and a few cheeky hipflask tipples. Or for another perfectly bite-sized gift, try our gooseberry, lime and elderflower travel cakes.


My favourite way to serve these is straight from the oven after dinner but they also make a great picnic treat. It is important that the batter rests and is chilled before cooking as it helps give that bump shape.

Elderflower and vanilla madeleines

Package up in a hamper and serve at a picnic.

  • 75g butter plus 20g extra
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial plus extra for finishing
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour plus 1 tbsp for dusting tin
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Icing sugar to dust

Melt 75g butter then cook until it turns golden brown (beurre noisette), scrape into a small bowl and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, mix the eggs and sugar until pale and doubled in volume then whisk in the cordial, honey, vanilla and butter.

In a separate bowl, whisk the baking powder and flour together then fold into the egg mix. Lightly cover with cling film and place the batter in the fridge to rest for at least one hour and up to 12.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Melt the 20g butter and brush madeleine moulds then dust with the extra flour. Fill the moulds with batter about three-quarters full and bake on the middle shelf for 11-12 minutes. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes then take out.

Dust the madeleines with icing sugar and serve straight away or leave to cool and box up for a picnic. They are best eaten within 24 hours.