These chocolate cherry madeleines with their dense crumb redolent and moist with cherry juices and gooey chocolate chips were a big hit at my home. Dipping them in chocolate was just the “cherry” on top!
They’re tender, tiny, soft tea cakes and look fancier and fussier with the stunning chocolate glaze crowning them. They’re not. The recipe is as unfussy as it gets. Even left in the fridge for a couple of days, the madeleines remain super soft with the fresh fruit flavor intensifying.
What are French madeleines?
Madeleines are very similar to sponge cakes but have a more compact crumb. They’re light, buttery, ideal with tea or coffee, and recognizable by a hump on one side and a sea-shell-like design on the other. Because they likely came from 2 communes in France (Liverdun and Commercy), they’re known as French madeleines.
There’s nothing better than relaxing with a cup of coffee or pot of tea and a good book on a late Wednesday evening. But some hump days deserve a little something to pick you up. For those days, I recommend these cherry madeleines dipped in chocolate.
Step 1: Melt your butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. You’re melting, not browning.
Step 2: While the butter cools, sift all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
Step 3: Stir in sugar. I used coconut, but regular white sugar works equally well.
Step 4: To these dry ingredients, add milk and vanilla extract. Again, I used coconut milk, thanks to a digestive system that does not want to be friends with lactose.
Step 5: Slowly stir in the melted and cooled butter and finally fold in chocolate chips and chopped, pitted fresh cherries.
Bake and coat the cherry madeleines with chocolate
Step 6: Cover the batter in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The chocolate cherry madeleines are also a great make-ahead recipe as you can chill the batter for up to 2 days.
Step 7: If you’re using a metal mold like me, grease it with a liberal hand and then sprinkle with flour. Pipe the batter ¾th of the way in each cavity and then bake. But if you’re using a silicone mold, no prep is needed.
Step 8: Bake the cherry madeleines for 12 to 14 minutes in a preheated oven, or until the tops are golden and a skewer or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
3 ways to serve French chocolate madeleines with cherries
These tiny, buttery tea cakes with crisp edges can be served in three ways:
- As-is, fragrant and warm right out of the oven.
- Just slightly cooled, dusted with icing sugar.
- With a shiny, glossy coat of dark chocolate.
If you’re in the mood for something posher (without making any effort), use this cool technique (TBH, it’s more of a trick) to make chocolate-covered madeleines.
- Wash the madeleine mold so it’s completely clean. and dry it well. Any traces of grease or water will mess up your chocolate layer.
- Pour a teaspoon (or 2) of melted chocolate into each cavity and spread it around, making sure it’s completely covered.
- Place your baked and cooled (the last is very important) madeleine with the shell design facing towards the chocolate.
- Press it down gently, so the melted dark chocolate covers it nicely.
- Repeat for all and then pop the mold in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Check if the chocolate has set. The edges would have hardened. Give it an additional 5 minutes, if need be.
- Bring out the mold, tap it on your kitchen counter 3 or 4 times, and then turn it over. The madeleines will pop out easily.
- Don’t overmix.
- Chill the batter. Along with baking powder, it helps the madeleine rise like a phoenix, forming that signature hump on one side and a seashell on the other.
- Don’t even out the madeleine batter in the cavities.
- You don’t need hot chocolate. Just melted and cooled a tad, so it forms an even shiny finish.
- Keep the chocolate coating of the madeleines thin. Too thick and it’ll crack.
- Don’t tap the mold too hard on the counter when you’re taking out the madeleines, as it may break the set chocolate. If there is an odd, fussy cherry madeleine, use a butter knife to loosen the edges.
- Use a deeper shell mold, like my matcha madeleines, not my lemon madeleines.
This is one recipe where I won’t recommend a lot of ingredient substitutes. You can use regular milk. It works like a charm every time.
My family likes dark chocolate, so that’s my personal recommendation. 60 to 70% is a fantastic choice.
To make vegan chocolate cherry madeleines, any plant-based milk will do. Switch butter for coconut oil. It’s the only oil I’ll suggest. Or try coconut butter, if you can get your hands on it.
Make sure it’s (oil or butter) melted and cooled because it hardens when you refrigerate the batter, and that lends these small, feather-light, almost spongy cakes the characteristic, lovely texture.
Why should you try chocolate cherry madeleines?
Easy to make
Cakes that you can eat like cookies
The fabulous chocolate shell makes them alluring for occasions
Store well in the refrigerator (you don’t want the chocolate to melt)
Other madeleine recipes you can try
Chocolate Cherry Madeleines
- 1 1/4 cup (175 gms) All-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 1.5 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 cup ( 55 gms) Coconut sugar You can use regular white sugar too
- 2/3 cup ( 160 gms) Coconut milk You can use regular milk too
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup ( 75 gms) Butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup ( 65 gms) Cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1/3 cup (54 gms) Dark chocolate chips
- Dark chocolate, melted for the glaze
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a bowl.
- Stir in the sugar.
- In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, and vanilla extract.
- Now gently fold in the flour mixture. Please don't over-mix.
- Gently stir in the melted butter.
- Fold in the chopped cherries and chocolate chips.
- Cover the batter and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or for up to 2 days.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180C. Grease and flour the madeleine molds. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed.
- Spoon the batter into the molds, about three-quarters of the way. There is no need to level the batter. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until tops are springy to touch and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Turn them out on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- To glaze the madeleines – drop a spoonful of melted chocolate into each of the madeleine molds. Use a spoon and pastry brush to coat the mold properly. Make sure the coating is a bit thick. A thin coating will crack/break easily.
- Place the cooled madeleines into the molds, design side down. Press lightly so all the madeleines get a nice chocolate coating.
- Place the tray in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate hardens.
- Tap the tray a couple of times on the kitchen counter to loosen the madeleines and take them out.
- Repeat with all the madeleines. Place on a serving dish and enjoy!