Cheryl Day’s Cornmeal Madeleines

Excerpted from Cheryl Day's Treasury of Southern Baking by Cheryl Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2021. Photograph by Angie Mosier.

These delicate little butter cakes are delightful. Eat them topped with scoops of ice cream or simply dusted with confectioners’ sugar to accompany a cup of your favorite tea. Starting the madeleines in cold pans helps give them greater lift. You can bake these in cast-iron corn stick pans or madeleine pans. If you use corn stick pans, you might have to bake the madeleines in batches; let the corn stick pans cool completely and clean and prep the pans between each batch. The remaining batter will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days. Read more about Cheryl Day of Savannah’s Back in the Day Bakery here.

Cornmeal Madeleines
Makes about 24
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup medium-grind white cornmeal
  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Position oven rack in middle of oven, and preheat oven to 350°. Spray cast-iron corn stick pans with baking spray with flour; place pans in the freezer.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugars, and zest with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat for 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In another small bowl, combine milk and rose water, if using.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until just combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pans, filling each well about three-fourths full (1½ to 2 tablespoons per well).
  6. Bake until madeleines are lightly browned and spring back to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Gently turn out madeleines onto a wire rack, and let cool slightly.
  7. Sift confectioners’ sugar onto madeleines; serve warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.