Lime and Coconut Madeleines

Sometimes, I find that inspiration can be lurking in the most unexpected places.

And it strikes at the time I least expect it.

I've written recently about my singular lack of baking mojo. So this week, when I got to my day off and had thought that I'd try and get back in the kitchen, I couldn't actually bring myself to bake anything. A weird kind of procrastination  had set in.

I pottered around the house suddenly finding other jobs to do.

One involved sorting through some of my latest cookbook purchases and tidying and reorganising the shelves so I could fit them on. I have a 'system' for storing like books together, and try to keep my baking books easily accessible.

In practice, this meant simply compiling piles of books and moving them around from shelf to shelf until I was reasonably happy with the arrangement. If you have ever read my post for Random Recipes on my cookbook addiction, you'll appreciate that this could take me a while.

But it also meant that I rediscovered a few gems I hadn't seen for a while. Amongst them was Bryn's Kitchen by Bryn Williams.

Thumbing through it reminded me of the Pistachio Cake that a colleague had brought in to work one day, which was so delicious I bought the book on the back of it (and it helped a little that Bryn is Welsh , too, of course).

But I also found a recipe for Madeleines.

"The madeleine (French pronunciation: ​[mad.lɛn], English /ˈmædln/ or /ˌmædlˈn/[1]) or petite madeleine ([pə.tit mad.lɛn]) is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France.

"Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines.

"A génoise cake batter is used. The flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste." Source:  Wikipedia

I've never baked Madeleines before, and intrigued by the recipe, my mind started whirling with the possibilities. So much so that I got straight into the kitchen.

These gorgeous little light cakes were the result.

I decided to use lime and coconut to flavour them, and to finish off with a dipping of dark chocolate and a dusting of some more coconut. They were easy to whip up, and tasted sensational, going down as a hit with Mike and Sam especially. They are something that I can see myself making again and again.

Here's what I did.

Lime and Coconut Madeleines

Ingredients (makes approx 16)

2 large eggs
100g caster sugar
zest from 2 limes
70g plain flour
1 tspn baking powder
15g ground almonds
15g coconut flour *
70g unsalted butter, melted

60g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
a little extra coconut flour to sprinkle

* The coconut 'flour' I used came from an Asian supermarket and I bought it to go in curries - its a very fine powder, finer than dessicated coconut. See an example here.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the lime zest, and then sift the flour and baking powder into the mix. Gently fold in. Add the coconut flour and ground almonds, along with the melted butter and gently fold these in, too. Allow to stand for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 160 Fan / 180 Conventional / 350 Farenheit / Gas 4.

Grease and flour the shells of a Madeleine tray.

Fill each shell about three quarters full. [Mine were, I think, a little overfilled on the first batch (see below), but they still came out great. The second batch, which I didn't fill so much, were better and had the authentic 'mound' in the top - see the link to Wikipedia for a photo of what this looks like.] 

Bake for about 10- 12 minutes in the centre of the oven. The Madeleines should be moist and have a lovely golden colour, without being over baked.

Turn out onto a cooling rack.

To decorate them, I gently melted the dark chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once it had cooled a little, I dipped the Madeleines into the chocolate and arranged to dry on a baking tray, sprinkling over a little more coconut.

Eat and enjoy.



  1. I still haven't tried a madeleine! Love the sound of your tropical twist and the look of the dipped chocolate edge.

  2. These look fabulous and the flavours sound wonderful!

  3. These look lovely, I have a thing for limes at the moment - I am substituting it for lemon everywhere so these are right up my alley.

    1. Thanks Denise - I love lime. I think I almost prefer it to lemon, but strangely I haven't used it as much in baking. Starting to rectify that now! :)

  4. I love a madeleine, fresh from the oven - these look yummy!

  5. I have never made Madeleine, but they look so yummy. I love the lime and coconut combination.

    1. Thanks Dawn - lime and coconut is such a lovely combination. I'm definitely going to try some more bakes with them. :)

  6. Wowser! they look seriously good - so chic too.

    1. Why, thank you Miss Lemony Love - that's very kind. Glad you like them. :)

  7. These look very professional and very tasty! The lime and coconut combination is great too and your dipped chocolate is so neat! :-)

    1. Thanks Laura! Seriosly developing a thing for lime and coconut at the moment. At least it's a change from lemon and blueberry! ;)

  8. Your bakes always look stunning, mine always look homemade - not that I'm complaining. I started making Madeleines at the back end of last year and have been really impressed with them as they taste good, look good and are easy to make. Really like the flavours you've used and they do look so good half dipped in chocolate. I've been meaning to do a post on lime bakes and when / if I get around to it I will include this one for sure - bookmarking now before I forget.

  9. Madelines will forever remind me of our annual camping trips to France as kids! We used to stock up on bags of them at the hypermarkets and chow down on them in the back of our car on the long road trips! I have never made them from scratch though but now that you've suggested lime and coconut ones I'm so tempted! What an awesome idea!


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