If you’ve never baked, this is easy, fast recipe is one to begin with!  Sure you can start off baking chocolate chip cookies, but why not take it to another level?  I was going through the many food magazines stacked up, and among the recipes that I’ve flagged, this baked good caught my eye — the Madeleine.  This is a sponge-like cake baked as cookie, standing out  for it’s shell-like shape. This version features thick, golden honey, and dried fragrant dried lavender..

Traditionally made in a madeline pan, which has twelve pronounced  shell-like wells, not particularly deep.  But fret not; if you don’t have this specific pan, you can make these bites in mini-muffin pans with the understanding your finished product will be different in shape.

The flavor profile of dried lavender in this recipe is really lovely.  The majority of it is mixed with sugar, which the finished cookie is rolled in.  I love the smell of lavender, and do enjoy including it when I cook and bake.  For the batter, the recipe calls to add one teaspoon; next time, I might use a stich less, because it seemed  a bit overpowering.

Making these is a great activity to do with your kids!  Let them decide on the flavor profile.  Great flavors include, chocolate, citrus (lime, lemon or orange), Green Tea or even savory — rosemary or thyme.

There are several madeline recipes out there, baking guru Dorie Greenspan has a great recipe, as does The New York Times and Ina Garten.  My favorite is from the one and only Donna Hay, the Australian culinary goddess who’s recipes use minimal ingredients, all  focusing on flavor.  What I like about her recipe  – the simplicity — sweet,creamy butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla paste (which is thicker than regular vanilla and has a bit of extra sugar), and baking powder.  You can use your mixer, but I just pulled out a large whisk.  It’s a quick bake in the oven, no more than 10 minutes.

Once cooled, the cookie partners well with a cup of coffee or tea.  It’s the perfect dunking cookie.


Lavender and Honey Madeleines, the Easy-to-Bake-Cookie

A one bowl treat that seems like a tiny sponge cake but is a cookie. The perfect treat for sweet or savory flavors. It looks intimidating but it's very easy! This recipe is from Donna Hay, who is known for simple recipes with fabulous flavor profiles. While Ms. Hay's recipe calls for both granulated and castor (superfine) sugar, I only used granulated. Additionally, the initial recipe asks for all dry ingredients to be sifted -- I sifted all dry ingredients together.

 Prep Time 15 minutes

 Cook Time 10 minutes

 Servings 12 Cookies

 Author Donna Hay


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tsp edible, dried lavender

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1/3 cup castor (superfine) sugar

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 tbs honey I used golden honey

  • 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (you can use Vanilla Extract)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

  2. Place the granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of lavender in a medium bowl and rub with your fingertips to combine. Set to the side.

  3. Butter a 12-well madeleine pan (1½ tablespoon-capacity per well).

  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, castor sugar, and baking powder. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, honey, vanilla and remaining 1 teaspoon lavender until smooth.
    Divide the mixture into the wells of the madeleine pan.

  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Remove the warm madeleines from the pan, and add to the lavender sugar, gently tossing.

  6. Let cool completely on wire rack before serving.