The 6 Best Madeleine Pans in 2022

The top baking pans for plump, little French cakes

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Though madeleines are only small sponge cakes shaped like shells, they somehow always have an air of sophistication, and there are a number of reasons for that. The first and foremost reason is the shape, which is delicately molded and detailed to look like a soft ivory fan. Another reason is that when made well, madeleines are incredibly light in texture, almost melting on the tongue.

The other reasons have to do with their history. They originated in the Lorraine region of France in the chateau kitchens of the father-in-law of Louis XV of France, and their name is the same as an elderly cook in that kitchen: Madeleine Paumier. Though basically a form of sponge cake, they’ve become famous in literary circles as the most well-known food to have inspired an author to write a masterpiece of a novel, Marcel Proust’s “Remembrances of Things Past.” Proust writes that it is “a little shell of a cake, so generously sensual beneath the piety of its stern pleating.”

Apart from all that, madeleines are not overly sweet, they’re easy to make, and you can have them at any time of the day: breakfast, snack time, or dessert. If you use the best ingredients and have a good pan, you’re all set to develop a madeleine habit. And that’s actually a good thing.

Here are the best madeleine pans for baking these delicate cookies.

Our Top Picks
This truly gorgeous gold pan makes baking feel like a luxury.
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This sleek steel madeleine pan works well in kitchens with limited counter or storage space.
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This silicone madeleine mold might be one of the best uses of the Silpat material yet.
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This sturdy, well-designed madeleine pan with a total of 12 wells is a workhorse.
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If you bake madeleines as well as other small pastries, de Buyer's silicone molds are perfect for inspiration.
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With a total of 20 wells, this 15 x 5-inch pan is for those times you want to bake a lot of madeleines.
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Best Heavy-Duty Gold-Toned: Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Madeleine Pan

Williams Sonoma Goldtouch® Nonstick Madeleine Plaque Pan

This truly gorgeous gold pan makes baking feel like a luxury! With molds for 16 madeleines, the Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro pan is made of commercial-grade aluminized steel that’s heavy enough to withstand a lot of use. The durable nonstick coating is scratch-resistant and the entire Goldtouch Pro line is better at releasing food than before. This 15.75 x 11.25-inch pan is safe for the dishwasher, though handwashing is recommended to maintain the beautiful gold surface.

Best Nonstick Coated Steel: Wilton Advance Select Premium Nonstick 12-Cavity Madeleine Pan

Wilton Advance Select Premium Nonstick 12-Cavity Madeleine Pan

Wilton's sleek steel madeleine pan works well in kitchens with limited counter or storage space. With a dozen wells for madeleine cookies, this pan is guaranteed to handle temperatures up to 500 F without warping. The surface is made with a silicone-infused DuraLast coating, which is nonstick, scratch-resistant, and can be used with metal cooking utensils. Oversized handles provide a better grip on the 17.75 x 8.39-inch pan. It's also dishwasher safe and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Best Silpat: Sur La Table Silpat Madeleine Mold

Sur La Table Silpat Madeleine Mold

This silicone madeleine mold might be one of the best uses of the Silpat material yet! Silpats are made of a nonstick, fiberglass material that's flexible and lightweight. Easy to store and clean, this 12-well mold does not require any greasing at all and releases pastries easily. This mold should be supported by a metal pan during baking and can withstand temperatures up to 500 F.

Made in France, this 15.75 x 11.6-inch mold is dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, and comes with a lifetime warranty. You do have to take care to not use knives, scrapers, or cutters on the mold.

Best Black Metal Nonstick: Chicago Metallic Madeleine Non-Stick Rectangle Pan

Chicago Metallic Madeleine Non-Stick Rectangle

Chicago Metallic puts as much care into the manufacture of its pans for home baking as it does for its commercial bakeware lines. This sturdy, well-designed madeleine pan with a total of 12 molds is a workhorse.

Measuring 15.75 x 7.75 inches and weighing a little under a pound, the pan comes with a silicone-based nonstick surface. The durable carbon steel allows for superior heat conduction and even baking, and it's oven safe to 450 F. While it’s dishwasher safe, Chicago Metallic recommends handwashing.

Best Silicone Molds: de Buyer Silicone Baking Molds

de Buyer Silicone Baking Molds

If you’re experimenting with baking madeleines as well as other small pastries, de Buyer's silicone molds are perfect for inspiration! Handmade in Vosges, France, the molds are made of a high-tech material: aluminum powder blended in silicone. This means the madeleine pan is exceptional at heat conduction and can withstand temperatures from minus 94 F to 572 F.

The madeleine pan has 20 wells and measures 12 x 7 inches. The high-tech molds translate to razor-sharp details in your final cookies. There's also a muffin and a canelé pan to complete the set, and all are dishwasher safe.

Best for Bulk Baking: Gobel Madeleine Pan 20 Cavities

Gobel-Madeleine-Pan-20-Cavities

With a total of 20 wells, this 15 x 5-inch pan is for those times you want to bake a lot of madeleines! The manufacturer, Gobel, has a long history of making classic French bakeware since its beginnings in 1887, and it continues to keep its standards up to the level professional pastry chefs appreciate.

Made of heavy-gauge tinned steel, this pan does not have a nonstick coating, which some believe makes the final product more authentic when baked. It can only handle temperatures up to 425 F and should be washed by hand and thoroughly dried before storage. This is a serious tool for committed bakers.

Final Verdict

If you’d like to have a no-muss, no-fuss madeleine baking experience every time you make them, the Sur La Table Silpat Madeleine Mold at Sur La Table (view at Sur La Table) is the best choice on the market. For a basic, yet sturdy and reliable madeleine pan, the Chicago Metallic Madeleine Non-Stick Rectangle Pan (view at Amazon) has everything you’ll need. And if you’re looking to expand into making some little cat’s claws and shells along with your regular madeleines, the Beasea Three Pack Nonstick Madeleine Pans (view at Amazon) is really different and fun to have on hand. These shapes will delight children and grownups of all ages!

What to Look for in a Madeleine Pan

Material

Every baker develops a personal preference for pan material. Some like the classic all-metal designs, others go with nonstick coatings, and many are fond of silicone bakeware. If you're not committed to one type, there are advantages to each.

Aluminum and steel pans conduct heat well and offer even baking results. Since madeleines are prone to sticking, many pans are coated with silicone or similar material as well. Nonstick coating can lower the pan's maximum temperature range, but madeleines are typically baked around 375 F, so this is generally not an issue. Darker surfaces may require a minute or two less in the oven.

Silicone pans are often dishwasher safe, won't stain or rust, and produce nice baked goods but need to be set on a baking sheet. Not all of these are top-quality products that will last as long as metal pans.

Capacity

The average madeleine pan has 12 mold cavities, and you can find pans that bake 16 or 20 cookies at once. You may not use all the molds in a high-capacity pan because most madeleine recipes are designed for multiples of a dozen cookies, so one or two 12-mold pans may be the best choice.

Price

Madeleine pans are designed specifically for these cookies (though the mold is useful for other foods), so consider how often you'll use them when determining how much you want to spend. When you're just dabbling and want a classic madeleine shape, you can certainly save some money. Experienced bakers who make madeleines regularly might want to spend a bit more on a pan that will last for years.

FAQs

What is a madeleine pan?

A madeleine pan is a one-piece baking pan with shell-shaped cavities to create the traditional look of this French cookie. Each mold is about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long; the cookies shrink slightly as they bake. The cookies are baked upside down, so one side (the bottom while in the pan) has ridges that resemble a seashell, while the top expands slightly to give the cookie its signature hump.

How do you remove madeleines from the pan?

Releasing baked goods from any molded pan can be tricky, and madeleines are notorious for sticking. When using metal pans, be sure to grease them thoroughly—butter is traditionally preferred—to coat all grooves evenly. Sprinkling flour on the butter helps as well. Silicone may not need greasing; check the manufacturer's recommendation.

Remove the madeleines as soon as they come out of the oven to prevent soggy cookies that might stick: Invert the pan over a wire rack, and they should slide out of an adequately greased pan. If the cookies need some help, use an offset spatula to pry them out. Avoid using metal utensils with nonstick and silicone pans.

What's the best way to clean a madeleine pan?

Handwashing is often recommended for madeleine pans. Silicone pans and some other materials are dishwasher safe, but even then, many manufacturers recommend handwashing to avoid scratching or damaging the surface. Avoid abrasives and metal tools, especially on nonstick coating. Use a soft dishcloth or sponge to get in all the crevices after letting the pan soak for a few minutes in warm soapy water. Be sure to let the pan dry completely—or dry it by hand, then let it finish air-drying to remove all traces of moisture—before putting it away for storage.

What can I use instead of a madeleine pan?

Since madeleine pans are a specialty kitchen tool, it's understandable that not everyone wants to add one to their kitchen. If you'd like to try these home-baked goodies without the commitment, pour the batter into a mini muffin, tart, scone, or popover pan. You can also set cupcake liners out on a baking sheet, add the batter, then gently fold the liner so the cookie bakes into a diamond shape. Of course, none of these alternatives will create the madeleine's charming shell shape, but they'll still taste great.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Karen Resta is a writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic pastries along the way. She now spends a lot of her free time baking at home and recommends quality within your given budget. Having the right tools available and knowing how to use them well (it can take practice, like anything else) makes all the difference, and she curated this list with that in mind.

Updated by
Colleen Graham
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Freelance writer and cocktail book author Colleen Graham is a seasoned mixologist who loves sharing her knowledge of spirits and passion for preparing drinks.
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