These Chocolate Madeleines dipped in dark chocolate are the perfect French delicacy. In its recognisable shell shape, the tender sponge is packed full of chocolate, making them rich, delicious and beautiful.
My fascination with Madeleines knows no bounds, so much so that I've written a comprehensive guide on How to Make Madeleines! They are becoming a firm favourite recipe for developing and sharing here on my website, as there are so many fantastic flavours that they can be made into.
For spring, you have Classic Orange Madeleines, or for summer, you can try my Lemon Poppy Seed Madeleines. Autumn holds my Brown Butter Espresso Madeleines, and then you have these Chocolate ones that can, quite frankly, be eaten all year round!
The sponge inside is light in texture and ever so devilishly chocolatey! By preparing Madeleine's pan with a brush of butter, the outside of the shells develops a slightly crispy exterior. It makes a gorgeous contrast to the soft sponge inside. I dipped these in dark chocolate and sprinkled grated white chocolate over the top. Gotta love those triple chocolate madeleines vibes!
Think Chocolates Madeleines are tricky to make? I’m here to say that they are not! Throughout my post, I hold your hand the whole way through with plenty of process shots and all the hints and tips I could muster. You’ll realise that these are super easy to make, and the only fancy thing you’ll need is a Madeleines pan (there’s no getting around that, I’m afraid!)
Why you'll love this recipe
- Rich and Indulgent. Every bite is packed with chocolate flavour. It's rich, luxurious, and one hundred per cent perfect for a flavour-packed treat.
- Amazing Texture. Made using a genoise sponge, the result is a light and airy, buttery sponge in the middle with crispy edges.
- Prep ahead. The batter is best if left for at least two hours. I make the batter the night before and leave it to rest in the fridge until I’m ready to bake the next day.
- Butter: Helps add flavour and add moisture to the Madeleines. I prefer unsalted butter, but if you use salted, then omit the salt in the recipe. Melt the butter and set it aside to cool to room temperature.
- Eggs - 2 large eggs at room temperature. If you've forgotten to take them out of the fridge ahead of time, don't worry. Simply submerge the eggs into a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Sugar - I specify caster sugar in the recipe as I find it dissolves into the eggs during whipping, that bit quicker. But if you don't have any on hand, don't worry; use granulated instead.
- Vanilla extract and milk - Vanilla extract adds the perfect sweetness and flavour. Vanilla bean paste can also be used. And the milk loosens up the batter just enough.
- Plain flour (All-purpose)- Don’t use self-raising flour. The tender crumb of the Madeleines comes from the small amount of baking powder and aeration of the whipped eggs. These two, plus the thermal shock created by the heat difference, is enough to cause the Madeleines to rise.
- Cocoa Powder - Here in the UK, the popular brands of cocoa powder tend to be Dutch-processed.
- Baking powder - Just a touch to help the sponge become light and aerated.
- Salt - Use fine salt. Only add if using unsalted butter.
- Dark Chocolate - I use Lindt 70% dark chocolate bar- it's my favourite dark chocolate, but feel free to dip the madeleines into milk chocolate if you don't want chocolate with bitter notes.
- White Chocolate - I've grated it and sprinkled it onto the dark chocolate for a sweet kick, but also the visual contrast looks great too! This is an optional step, but you could decorate with chopped nuts, flaked sea salt, sprinkles, desiccated coconut or even rose petals.
How to make chocolate madeleines
At the outset, you may think that these Madeleines are tricky to make. But once you follow my instructions, hints and tips, you'll find that they are, in fact, quite simple to make.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Make the chocolate madeleines batter
1. Whip the eggs and sugar. To create a light and airy genoise sponge - the eggs and sugar must be whipped until pale and airy, and a ribbon of mixture forms when the stand mixer whisk is lifted up. (Image 1) This is a super important part of the process, so don't scrimp on the time!
Add the flavouring at this point - in this recipe, vanilla extract will add to the sweetness of the chocolate, and the milk helps to loosen the batter as the cocoa powder thickens it up. (Image 2)
2. Sift dry ingredients into the batter. I'm all about shortcuts, and sifting the dry ingredients into separate bowls feels like dirtying another bowl for no reason. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt directly over the top of the whipped eggs. (Image 3) Gently fold the dry ingredients into the whipped eggs until a few streaks remain.
3. Pour in the melted butter (Image 4) and fold it in so as not to knock out all the lovely air incorporated earlier on. (Image 5)
Once the batter is made, cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate. The flour can hydrate, and the butter has time to chill. Between 1-2 hours is ideal. When the cold batter hits the warm oven, steam is created, which helps the batter to rise and results in fluffy madeleines with a signature hump.
TIP: Want Madeleines for breakfast?!
Yes, please!! By preparing the batter the day before and refrigerating overnight the next day, you'll have fresh madeleines in 15 minutes or under! A great option for breakfast or quick afternoon tea.
TIP: Step closer to achieving that hump.
Place Madeleine's pans in the refrigerator along with the batter. Cold pans help with the 'hump’ formation.
Prepare the madeleine pan for baking
4. Prepare the Madeleine pans. Melt a tablespoon of butter and use a pastry brush to work that butter into all the nooks of the shell mould (Image 7). Mix the teaspoon of cocoa powder and flour together, then dust each shell mould lightly all over and tap out the excess. (Image 8) This helps give the outside of the Madeleines a crispy exterior but also stops them from sticking. Very important!
Spoon into pans. Once the batter has chilled for the required amount of time, remove the batter from the fridge and give it a quick stir. Divide the batter into the deepest part of the 12 large shell moulds. (Image 9 )
TIP: Even-sized madeleines.
Some recommend spooning the batter into a piping bag and piping the batter into the shell pan. I find that two-level tablespoons of the batter in the depressions make for perfectly sized madeleines for this size pan.
Note: If using a regular madeleines pan, then only fill with one tablespoon, making 24
Once in the mould, don’t flatten the batter or tidy it up. (Image 10) The oven's heat will allow the batter to fill each depression in the mould and allow the signature ‘hump’ on the back of the madeleine to rise.
Now bake and decorate!
5. Bake the madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes- but everyone's oven runs differently, so keep an eye on them. My oven has a hot spot, so I tend to rotate the pans at the 8-minute mark. They are done when the middle is puffed up and springs back when gently pressed.
6. Turn out onto wire rack. Once baked, set the madeleines pan onto a wire rack for two minutes to cool slightly, then tap the pan to dislodge the madeleines. This usually does the trick of releasing them. If you find they need a helping hand, run a butter knife around the edge, which will pop them right out. (Image 11) You'll see your madeleines have amazing humps - this is normal and the signature 'look' - they are meant to be there! (Image 12)
7. Dip in chocolate and decorate. Melt the dark in the microwave on 10-second bursts, stirring in between. Once melted, add the butter and stir until melted and combined. This adds a beautiful shine to the chocolate once it sets. Dip each madeleine into the melted chocolate to coat either the full or half of the shell side and let the excess drip off. (Image 13) Then sprinkle with the grated white chocolate. (Image 14)
Rest the chocolate-dipped madeleines on a piece of baking paper or a wire rack and wait for the chocolate to set ..... or just tuck in right away!!! They are best eaten as soon as possible!
Recipe pro tips
- Weigh your flour. Use digital scales for an accurate measurement. Too much flour will lead to a dry sponge.
- Slowly pour in the melted butter. Adding the melted butter too quickly into the whipped eggs will cause them to deflate.
- Refrigerate the madeleines pan. Doing this helps the madeleines rise in the oven.
- Don’t overbake the sponge. If you do, you’ll end up with dry little rocks!
- Chocolate Orange Madeleines: My favourite flavour combination of all time! Replace the milk with freshly squeezed orange juice, and add the zest into the batter. There are many delicious chocolate orange bars in the supermarkets; melt one down to dip these in for a flavour bomb!
- Mint Chocolate Madeleines: Let's get festive with this variation. Add ½ a teaspoon of peppermint extract into the chocolate batter and crush some candy canes to sprinkle over the melted chocolate. Santa would be happy to receive one of these on his snack plate!!
- Chocolate Espresso Madeleines: This would be my husband's favourite, hands down! Replace the milk with boiling water mixed with one teaspoon of espresso powder. Dip the madeleines into an espresso glaze, just like I did with my Brown Butter Madeleines.
- Chocolate Chip Madeleines: Omit the cocoa powder and reduce the milk to 15ml (1 tablespoon), and add in chocolate chips. The kids will love this option - they always adore the chocolate chips bake!
Frequently asked questions
Whilst the ingredients of madeleines and cake are much the same, it's the size and shape that stands out as a differentiating factor. The Madeleines' famous scalloped shape from being baked in the shell moulds is what makes them instantly recognizable globally.
If you feel the batter has too many bubbles, then once the shell moulds are filled, tap the pan on the countertop several times to release the air bubbles.
Yes, of course, you can. It's all the same. You'll get 24 from the recipe instead of 12 in a large shell pan. In the images below, I used a regular pan - you can see the difference in the shape of the shell depression and its size of it. How cute do they look, right?!
How to store and freeze
To store: Madeleines are best eaten the same day they are made, ideally within a couple of hours. They are at their freshest and fluffiest and melt in your mouth this way.
You can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature. Wait for the glaze to set before placing them in the container.
To freeze: Yes, they can be frozen if need be. Wait for them to cool fully, wrap in baking paper and then place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight, then allow to come to room temperature before glazing and serving.
I tested freezing these and found that the sponge becomes denser after it defrosts. A quick blast in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds warms them up, which makes a difference. To be honest, Madeleines don’t last long enough to be frozen in my household. With three children, they are gone overnight!
Equipment you’ll need
- Madeleines Pan: To get those signature-shaped designs.
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment: The eggs and sugar need a good amount of whipping to increase their volume, and a stand mixer does this effortlessly. Handheld beaters can be used if necessary, but you'll need to whisk for quite some time to get that volume.
- Pastry brush: To get melted butter into all the nooks of the Madeleine pan. It will save you later when they haven't stuck to the base...trust me.
More Chocolate filled recipes that you'll love!
If you tried these Chocolate Madeleines dipped in Dark Chocolate or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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This post was originally published in February 2020 but has been updated with new photos, new content and a revised recipe
Chocolate Madeleines dipped in Dark Chocolate
- 115 g butter, melted and at room temperature. Plus 1 tablespoon extra for preparing the madeleines pan.
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 100 g caster sugar (super-fine), or granulated sugar
- 30 ml whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 95 g plain flour (all-purpose), plus 1 teaspoon extra for preparing the madeleines pan.
- 22 g cocoa powder, plus 1 teaspoon extra for preparing the madeleines pan.
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 100 g dark chocolate 70%, chopped
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 25 g white chocolate, grated (optional decoration)
- Whip the eggs and sugar. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the eggs and sugar, and beat on medium for 5 minutes until pale and thick. Add the liquid ingredients. Decrease the speed to low and add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Sift dry ingredients into the batter. Sift into the bowl the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and mix on low until a few flour streaks remain.
- Pour in the melted butter. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and slowly pour in the melted butter. Gently fold in the butter with the rubber spatula ensuring that you don't knock out all the air.Refrigerate Batter. Cover the batter with cling film and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or ideally overnight.
- Prepare the Madeleine pans and fill with batter. 30 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Using the tablespoon melted butter, using a pastry brush, grease all the moulds of your Madeleines pan.In a small bowl add the teaspoon of flour and cocoa powder and mix together. Then lightly dust each mould with the mixture and tap out any excess. Place the pans in the refrigerator until the oven has come to temperature and you are ready to fill them with the batter.Fill pans and bake. Once the oven is at temperature, remove the batter from the fridge and the Madeleine pan. Fill the deepest part of each well with 1 level tablespoon of batter. Do not level the batter out. Remove the other pan from the fridge and fill it in the same way.
- Bake. Place madeleines pans in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, check after 8 minutes, and rotate the pans. They are ready when the ‘humps’ have risen, and they‘re browned on the edges.
- Turn out onto wire rack. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before removing them from the pans and allowing them to cool. (Tip: give the pans a little jiggle, and they should pop out. If they stick, run a knife around the edges to loosen them.)
- Dip in chocolate and decorate. Melt the dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave on 10 second bursts. Stir intermittently until chocolate is melted. Add in the butter and stir until melted. Dip each of the madeleines, into the dark chocolate and set onto a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle grated white chocolate over the melted chocolate. Wait 15 minutes for the chocolate to set or enjoy right away!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.