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A Madeleine Tea Cake Broken in Half on a Teal Napkin with Other Cookies Nearby.

Classic Madeleines Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 32
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: French


Buttery madeleine cookies are light and airy tea cakes dusted with powdered sugar. Make them for an everyday treat, or for the holidays – either way works!


  • 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar, optional


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until you see the browned solids form and sink to the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the butter from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool to about room temperature. You don’t want it to get too cool/solid or it’ll be harder to incorporate later.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. Add the eggs and sugar to a large mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture has thickened and is pale in color, about 7-8 minutes. It should reach the ribbon stage where it drizzles off the whisk in one continuous, smooth stream/ribbon, rather than being clumpy.
  5. Gently fold in the flour mixture in three parts, taking care not to deflate the eggs.
  6. Fold in the browned butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  7. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. If you’re looking for that nice rise in the center, I found that the rise was best starting after about 6 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your madeleine pan with non-stick baking spray or brush the molds with melted butter.
  9. Spoon roughly a tablespoon of batter into the center of each mold. No need to spread it out, it will spread as it bakes.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the centers have risen.
  11. Allow to cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.


  • You do need a specific pan – I used this one.
  • After testing these many different ways, the best flavor by far comes not only from a little bit of lemon zest and vanilla extract, but also from the browned butter. I wouldn’t tell you to add that step if it didn’t truly make a difference in flavor. Definitely don’t skip it.
  • To store. Madeleines are best if eaten within the first few hours after they’re made, but you can definitely store leftovers for a day or two. Just keep them in an airtight container in the fridge and wait to top them with powdered sugar. The texture won’t be the same after you refrigerate them, so I recommend reserving some of the batter if you want to save some madeleines for the next day.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 79
  • Sugar: 6.6 g
  • Sodium: 25.8 mg
  • Fat: 4.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.8 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 27 mg