Philippa Davis' elderflower and vanilla madeleines are simple to make at home and best enjoyed straight from the oven

Try Philippa Davis’ elderflower and vanilla madeleines for a slightly different bake to attempt this weekend. They are perfect packaged in a pocket for a mid-walk sustenance stop. Or if temptation proves too much, enjoy them our favourite way – straight from the oven.

For more bite-sized spring treats perfect for spring, try our gooseberry, lime and elderflower travel cakes. And put the pink stems to good use with The Field’s recipes. Rhubarb crumble is an essential spring pud, or add chocolate for our irresistibly fudgy chocolate and rhubarb brownies.


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.