Definition of madeleine in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmad(ə)lɛn//ˈmadleɪn/


  • A small rich sponge cake, baked in a fluted tin or mould and decorated with coconut and jam.

    • ‘One bite in these unassuming madeleines and the hair in your nape will stand to attention, as you suddenly register the intensity of the chestnut honey aroma, and the smooth, moist, melting texture of the crumb dissolving in your mouth.’
    • ‘As we are about to leave, Michel presents us with a small packet of madeleines, the Proustian cake symbolic of the sweet excruciations of the past.’
    • ‘The true madeleines de Commercy are made from egg yolks creamed with sugar and lemon zest, with flour, noisette butter, and stiffly beaten egg whites folded in before baking in little shell-shaped moulds.’
    • ‘Get ready, girl, the lines are drawn,’ her thin lips curled into a smile as she dipped a madeleine in her coffee.’
    • ‘All we really know of Proust is that he ate a madeleine and felt memories wash over him.’
    • ‘With the check comes a gratis dish of crunchy, sugar-dusted madeleines.’
    • ‘In particular, Pascale had baked chocolate hazelnut madeleines, which she insisted were ‘ratées’ (failed).’
    • ‘Two classic French desserts were beautifully combined, the crumbly slightly dryish madeleine making a heavenly match with the oozing creamy brûlée.’
    • ‘Eat hot with warm sponge cake or madeleines or eat thoroughly chilled aside a little mound of equal quantities of thick yoghurt and whipped cream.’
    • ‘Some items were rather commercial-looking (the madeleines that we tried has the depressing taste and aroma of artificial vanilla.)’
    • ‘The past is violently, thrillingly, even painfully restored to us by the texture of a towel, a stumble on a paving stone, the clinking of a teaspoon against a cup and, yes, the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea.’
    • ‘He and Qi share no chemistry - she bakes him some madeleines after he rescues her from the bad guys and suddenly we're supposed to believe this hardened soldier melts like the pastry in his mouth.’
    • ‘I think that is a reasonable excuse to drop what we are doing and bake a batch of madeleines, don't you?’
    • ‘I made ginger and pear madeleines, or more precisely, I baked them.’
    • ‘In Proust's madeleine scene, the convergence of the madeleine and the tea releases a flood of memory and transports Marcel back to the feelings of his childhood that had been inaccessible to him prior to the taste of the tea.’
    • ‘The quantity of brandy in a madeleine would not furnish a gnat with an alcohol rub.’
    • ‘But as Marcel Proust made clear with his madeleine, the visual is not always the most evocative of the senses.’
    • ‘Under a glass bowl there is a cup of tea and a madeleine cookie and the guide explains how Proust as a grown man dipped the madeleine into the tea and recalled his joyous summers in Combray.’
    • ‘For €11 between two, you get a dish of melted chocolate surrounded by fresh strawberries, mango, banana and madeleines.’
    • ‘The summer fruit consommée (essentially beautiful berries in a well - balanced sharp-sweet syrup) went wonderfully with its mascarpone ice cream and tiny honey madeleines.’


French, probably named after Madeleine Paulmier, 19th-century French pastry cook.