These madeleines are lightly flavored with lemon and vanilla and their light and airy texture is hard to resist. In this post, I’m sharing all of my tips for making homemade madeleines.
I love Madeleines, especially classic ones flavored with lemon and vanilla. They are so pretty and soft and taste delicious but until recently I’d never made them myself.
What are Madeleines?
Madeleines are spongy little cookies that have a similar texture to cake, although most people refer to them as cookies. They are light, airy, and lightly flavored with lemon zest and vanilla although there are many flavor variations.
Madeleines are baked in a special pan* which gives them their scalloped edges and seashell shape. As they bake they develop lightly crispy golden edges.
Update: Since making these classic madeleines I’ve also made Chocolate Madeleines and Matcha Madeleines!
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon zest
Madeleines are made with simple ingredients, but it’s in how you combine them that makes a big difference! Be sure to follow these tips to ensure your madeleines bake up light and airy.
Tips for Making Madeleines
You will want to melt the butter and keep it warm before you add it to the batter. I like to melt the butter on the stove and, once it’s melted turn off the heat and cover it. This will keep the butter warm while you make the batter.
It’s a good idea to whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. After you whip the egg whites it makes it so much easier to fold the dry ingredients in once they’re already mixed.
Whipping the Eggs and Sugar
This part of the recipe is critical because you want to whip the eggs and sugar so they are full of air. The whipped eggs are what give the Madeleines their airy light texture. You will want to whip the eggs and sugar for five to eight minutes or until the mixture turns pale and has thickened. At this point, you can add the lemon zest and vanilla.
Incorporating the Dry and Wet Ingredients
Once you whip the eggs you will want to use a sifter to add the dry ingredients. It’s easiest to do this in batches and gently fold each batch of dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture. You want to fold instead of stir so you don’t deflate the eggs.
Adding the Butter
Instead of just dumping the butter into the batter, it’s better to take about 1 cup of the batter and fold it into the warm butter. Once combined, you can take that butter mixture and gently fold it into the rest of the batter. This process will ensure you don’t deflate the eggs.
Chill the Dough
Once the batter is made cover it and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two, ideally overnight. You can actually make the batter up to three days in advance!
Baking the Madeleines
I find that a non-stick madeleine pan works best and you will want to grease them well before adding the batter. Drop about one tablespoon of the batter into each mold. Make sure it’s in the center and don’t spread it out to fill the mold. You want a small mound because as the madeleines bake, they will puff up in the center giving them the signature domed look.
Once they are baked, remove the madeleines from the pan and cool them completely on a baking rack. They are best served the day they are made, but they will keep for a few days at room temperature if you store them in an airtight container. You can also freeze madeleines for up to a month tightly wrapped.
The recipe I used recommended dusting the baked madeleines with powdered sugar, but I skipped it because they were delicious all on their own. Now that I know how to make them I’m excited to try out different variations!
*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
- 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest optional
All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then keep it warm. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
In the bowl of your electric mixer beat the eggs and sugars at high speed for 5 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and pale in color. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and beat until combined.
Sift about one-third of the flour mixture over the whipped eggs and fold it in using a rubber spatula. Sift and fold in half of the remaining flour, and repeat with the rest. Be sure not to over mix otherwise you will deflate the batter.
Take about 1 cup (240 ml) of the batter and fold it into the warm melted butter. Fold the butter mixture completely into the egg batter. Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least an hour or two, preferably overnight. You can actually make this part of the recipe up to three days in advance.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously grease the molds of two - 12 - 3 1/2 inch (8.5 cm) Madeleine pans (preferably nonstick) with very soft or melted butter and dust the molds with flour, tapping out the excess flour. Refrigerate the pans for about 10 minutes or until the butter harden. You want to make sure your pans are well greased otherwise you may have trouble releasing the madeleines from the pan.
Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center so you madeleines will have the classic domed appearance.
Bake the Madeleines for about 8 to 11 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Be careful not to overbake them otherwise they will be too dry.
Remove the pans from the oven and immediately tap each pan against the counter to release the Madeleines. Place Madeleines on a wire rack to cool. Best served immediately but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days or frozen for up to 1 month.