Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Madeleines Bad For You?



Short answer

Madeleines are bad for you. They have some ingredients that by themselves may be good, but when mixed with sugar, fat, and cholesterol, they lose just about all nutritional value.



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Long answer

Madeleines are a pastry originating from the Lorraine region of France in the late 18th century. There are many varieties, but the basic idea of a madeleine is that it is Genovese cake batter baked in pans that have shell-like depressions. Genovese cake is much like Spanish cake in that it gains its thickness due to air, rather than leavening. 

Madeleines contain the aforementioned Genovese cake, vanilla, chocolate, sugar, milk, and egg. Often they will also have finely ground nuts such as almond and/or lemon zest. As a finishing touch, madeleines are often coated in jam and dried coconut and given a glazed cherry topping. 

The one good thing about madeleines from a health perspective is that they are low in sodium. Having too much sodium increases your risk of kidney failure, not to mention heart attack and stroke. However, madeleines are also low in every important nutrient. With nearly 9 grams of sugar per serving, eating a few madeleines in one sitting can cause a sugar spike and lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes when consumed on a daily basis. Furthermore, the sugar combined with the well over 100 calories per serving and high amounts of fat and cholesterol can also significantly increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. 

Anyone allergic to ingredients such as milk or eggs (or any of the other ingredients used to make madeleines) will want to avoid this particular food. Lastly, with just 1% of the daily value needed for dietary fiber, madeleines will not aid the body in getting rid of excess cholesterol.

Possible short-term side effects

  • overeating
  • blood sugar spike

Possible long-term side effects

  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • cancer

Ingredients to be aware of

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Trader Joe's Madeleines

  • Gluten-free treat
  • Convenient pack size
  • Rich, buttery flavor
  • Sweet snack option
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 02-24-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Jeff Volling
Published on: 02-24-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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