Coconut And Lime Madeleines

Posted On: June 16th, 2020 - In: Recipes

I found this recipe in a magazine a couple of years ago. Madeleines are little French shell-shaped cake confections dating from around the 19th century, and the details of their origins and name are slightly unclear, but this air of mystery makes them all the more charming to me. I had been meaning to bake them ever since I cut out the recipe, and even bought a madeleine tin at the time, but for some reason just never got round to making them.

I love to make tiny confections to gift to friends and family when I visit them. It’s such a special and glamorous gift. I always adorn them with fresh rose petals to add to their glamour. In Ayurveda, the sweet taste symbolises love and kindness, and all things related. Love is soft, unctuous, healing, grounding and stabilising.







Too much sugar, of course, is not good for our health, but denying ourselves a little bit of a sweet treat every so often is equally damaging for our emotional health. That’s why I love to make individual cakes like these. They are a bite-sized dessert to be enjoyed with a glass of mint tea at the end of a meal, offering all the goodness of the sweet taste and its transference of love, without causing us any ill-health effects. Don’t worry if you don’t have a madeleine tin; I made my first batch in a mini cupcake tin, as I couldn’t find my two-year-old, still unused madeleine tin, and they turned out perfectly formed and delicious. So, if you have a mini cupcake tin, don’t go out especially to buy a madeleine tin, unless you think you’ll be making these little beauties regularly. Having said that, I do think you will, once you realise how easy, yet hugely impressive they are. Once I’d located the tin, I made the correct shaped ones the following week, which I have to say, were exquisitely perfect, both in taste and form.

Makes around 18

You will need a 12 hole madeleine tin or mini cupcake tin

2 large eggs

50g soft, light brown sugar

50g golden caster sugar

Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 a lime

100g plain flour, plus extra for the moulds

40g desiccated coconut plus more for dipping

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp runny honey

100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for the moulds

For the syrup:

20g golden caster sugar

Juice of 1/2 a large lime


Put the eggs and sugars in a large bowl, using an electric hand whisk, mix until fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients, and whisk again or mix well with a wooden spoon. You should have a thick batter; if it is too thick, add a splash of milk. Leave the batter to rest for 20 minutes, and in the meantime heat the oven to 170C fan, or 190C non-fan. Brush the moulds of the madeleine tin with a little melted butter, and coat with a very light sprinkling of plain flour (I put a teaspoon of flour in a tea strainer, and then tap it lightly over each mould, adding a little more flour as required).

Spoon the batter into each of the 12 moulds( you will need to bake them in 2 batches). Place the first batch in the oven for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown. When slightly cooled, remove onto a cooling rack.

While the second batch is cooking (there will be enough batter for around 6 more cakes), place the sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan over a low heat. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes or more until it becomes a thickish syrup. Remove from the heat.

Once all the madeleines are cooked and slightly cooled on the rack, brush the rounded ends with some syrup, and dip into desiccated coconut.

The madeleines should keep for around a week in an airtight container, but are best enjoyed on the day they’re baked.