Vanilla muffins (madalenas)

So these vanilla muffins is what we call madalenas in Spanish or madalenes in Catalan. Kids grow up eating them and after many years of failed attempts I finally came across a recipe that is close to the ones you can buy in bakeries and supermarkets in Spain and I grew up eating (maybe even better than the ones in the supermarkets).

vanilla muffin in an orange cupcake liner

The recipe is from no other than Carme Ruscalleda, a Michelin star chef based near Barcelona (Spain). It’s from her book La magia de la cuina (The kitchen’s magic) which I’m not sure it’s translated into English, but it’s a great book with many simple delicious recipes. So anyway, after having the book sitting in my kitchen for a long time, I decided to try the vanilla muffins (madalenas) (which by the way, I have to confess that her original recipe does not call for vanilla…) and we absolutely loved them! They don’t last more than two days…

seven vanilla muffins, one cut in half on top of a flowered cloth

These muffins are originally from France and the French call them madeleines. They are in the shape of a shell and made with butter (hello France…). According to her book, in Spain they became popular in a round shape and the butter was substituted by olive oil.

four vanilla muffins, one cut in half on top of a flowered cloth

These vanilla muffins are very easy to make and the results is magnificent! Totally worth making them!

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vanilla muffin in an orange cupcake liner

Vanilla muffins (madalenas)

  • Author: Carla
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: baking


These vanilla muffins are as good as they get in a professional bakery. They are extremely easy to make, you would not believe it!


  • 3 eggs
  • 180 g (6.3 oz) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 65 (2.2 oz) ml milk
  • 20 g (0.7 oz) honey
  • 200 ml (6.8 oz) olive oil
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) vanilla extract *
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 8 g baking powder
  • brown sugar to top


  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and salt until pale and fluffy, 2 min aprox.
  3. Add milk, oil, honey, vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix again.
  4. Slowly add the flour and baking powder and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners, sprinkle brown sugar on top and bake for 20 min.
  6. Let them cool in a rack.


  • The original recipe is in metric units, I did the conversion and that’s why the strange numbers in oz.
  • The original recipe does not have vanilla, so you can omit it and they are amazing too.

Keywords: vanilla muffins, madalenas, baking

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