These buttery homemade French Madeleines are light and airy tea cakes dusted with powdered sugar. You can keep them simple for a casual treat or dress them up for the holidays!
- 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (155g) sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar, optional
- 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.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- 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.
- Gently fold in the flour mixture in three parts, taking care not to deflate the eggs.
- Fold in the browned butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your madeleine pan with non-stick baking spray or brush the molds with melted butter.
- Spoon roughly a tablespoon of batter into the center of each mold. No need to spread it out, it will spread as it bakes.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and the centers have risen.
- 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.
Keywords: madeleine cookies, tea cake, mini cakes, best christmas cookies, french dessert, tea cookies, brown butter cookies, butter cookies