Best Vanilla Madeleines

Best Homemade Madeleines

Madeleines, those elegant little French tea cakes, are a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds. With their distinctive shell shape and delicate flavor, they make any occasion feel special. So if you are planning to bake these Madelines for the next potluck party you are hosting, this is the right recipe you can make at home.

Today we’ll be exploring the art of making these delectable confections, step by step. From understanding the ingredients to mastering the baking process, you’ll soon be serving up your own batch of Madeleines that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Why would you love the vanilla madeleines?

The madeleines are easy to make and you can make and store them for an everyday tea-time treat. If you don’t have anything to fix up in today’s lunchbox, madeleines are here. They also make a quick and healthy snack and a mini dessert after meals. You can take these to any potluck parties, casual family get-togethers, outdoor picnics, and trips, and also as a gift! Isn’t it cool?

Although the recipe calls for eggs, making an eggless version is also possible. Having said that, you can modify it into a vegan dessert by using a few alternative ingredients. You can also use Almond or hazelnut flour to make the gluten-free version. Or, you can try these gluten-free desserts and almond flour cookies.


  • 113g (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 120g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100g (½ cup) fine sugar

Ingredients Notes and Variations:

Unsalted Butter: Butter provides the rich, buttery flavor that defines Madeleines. It also keeps them in a soft texture. If you prefer a dairy-free option, you can use coconut, peanut butter, or almond flour for these cookies. The taste will become nuttier though.

Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds a lovely, aromatic note to the vanilla madeleines. For a twist, try almond or orange extract for unique flavor profiles.

Lemon Zest: Lemon zest brightens the cakes with its citrusy freshness. Orange or lime zest can be used for a different citrusy twist.

All-Purpose Flour: Flour forms the base structure of the cakes, madeleines, cookies, etc. I never made it with any other flour, but you can experiment with almond flour for a gluten-free version.

Baking Powder: Baking powder gives the madeleines a delicate rise and soft crumb. Baking soda can be used in its place but in smaller quantities.

Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the overall flavor. Sea salt or kosher salt can be used interchangeably.

Eggs: Eggs provide structure and moisture, and keep the madeleines bouncy and soft. For an eggless version, use unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas as a substitute.

Another option is to mix 1 tbsp of flaxseed with 3 tbsp of water. This takes the place of one egg. Make the mixture in quantities according to the recipe.

Fine Sugar: Sugar sweetens up the Madeleines and that’s what we are here for! Brown sugar can be used for a deeper flavor.

How to Make The Best Vanilla Madeleines at Home?

  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Servings: Approximately 20 Madeleines

Step one: Melt the butter

Madeleines - melt the butter

Begin by melting the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Let it simmer for about a minute until it turns a lovely brown color. Strain and set aside to cool.

Grate the zest from a lemon and add it, along with the vanilla extract, to the cooled brown butter. Give it a quick mix and set it aside.

Step two: Mixing dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

Step three: Mix wet ingredients.

Madeleines - mix wet ingredients

In a large bowl, start mixing the eggs with an electric mixer at medium speed.

Gradually add in the fine sugar. When the mixture triples in volume and forms ribbons that hold their shape, you’ll know it’s ready.

Step four: Mixing the dry and wet

Madeleines - add melted butter to the batter

Now, add the sifted dry ingredients in two batches, gently folding them into the egg mixture.

Next, add the brown butter mixture in two batches, incorporating it until the batter is well combined.

Cover the batter and refrigerate it for 30-60 minutes to allow it to rest and firm up.

Step five: Baking:

Madeleines ready for baking

Preheat your oven to 180°C (355°F) and grease your Madeleine molds.

Transfer the chilled batter into a piping bag and pipe it into the prepared molds. Give the molds a gentle tap on the table to settle the batter.

baking the homamde Madeleines

Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until the Madeleines turn golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.

Remove from the molds and let them cool on a wire rack.


Best Homemade Madeleines

For an extra touch, you can dip the cooled Madeleines in melted chocolate and sprinkle crushed pistachios or a dusting of powdered sugar on top.

Serve these delightful treats with a cup of tea or coffee for a perfect pairing.

Best Tips For Madeleines

For that classic hump in the center of Madeleines, refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight. This allows the batter to rest and ensures a perfect rise.

Invest in good-quality non-stick Madeleine molds to ensure easy release without sticking. Even if you don’t have one, you can make sure to grease the pan very well before setting the batter.

Experiment with different extracts like almond, orange, or lavender to create unique and aromatic Madeleine variations.

Precision matters in baking. Weigh your ingredients, especially the flour, for consistent results every time.

When folding the dry ingredients into the batter, mix only until combined. Overmixing breaks all the air bubbles and can lead to tough Madeleines.

When zesting citrus fruits, avoid the bitter white pith. Grate only the colorful outer zest for a vibrant flavor.

Create stunning dual-flavored Madeleines by dividing the batter and adding different extracts or zest for each half. Trust me, the kids are going to love these for their lunch times.

For a professional touch, dip the tips of your Madeleines in tempered chocolate, allowing it to set before serving.

Try various toppings such as chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or edible flowers to add visual appeal and texture.

How to Store and Refrigerate Madeleines?

Store your freshly baked Madeleines in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Ensure they are fully cooled before sealing them to maintain their texture and flavor.


For longer storage, place your Madeleines in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to a week. The cold environment will help preserve their freshness.


Madeleines can also be frozen for an extended period. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw them at room temperature when ready to enjoy, or warm them briefly in the oven for that freshly baked taste.

What to serve with Madeleines?

Madeleines are versatile treats that can be served with a variety of dishes and beverages. Here are some delightful pairings:

  • Tea or Coffee
  • Ice Cream
  • Fresh Berries
  • Chocolate Fondue
  • Lemon Curd
  • Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Custard
  • Whipped Cream
  • Yogurt Parfait
  • Fruit Compote
  • Champagne or Sparkling Wine
  • Cheese Platter
  • Nutella or Peanut Butter

Other Cookies / Cakes Recipes You Can Try at Home

Best Homemade Madeleines

Best Vanilla Madeleines

Adalynn Ward
Madeleines, those elegant little French tea cakes, are a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds. With their distinctive shell shape and delicate flavor, they make any occasion feel special.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Breakfast, Cakes
Servings 20 Madeleines


  • 113 g or ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 120 g 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 g ½ cup fine sugar

How to Make?

  • Melt and brown the butter, then mix with vanilla and lemon zest.
  • Sift dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Whip eggs and sugar until tripled in volume.
  • Fold in dry ingredients and butter mixture.
  • Refrigerate batter for at least 30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F), grease molds.
  • Pipe batter into molds, tap, and bake for 12 mins.
  • Decorate as desired.
  • Enjoy your homemade Madeleines!


Serving: 6MadeleinesCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4.2gFat: 16.5gSaturated Fat: 11.2gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 121mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 17gCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
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Hello!! My name is Adalynn I love to eat, travel, and eat some more! I am married to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful little girl whose smiles can brighten anyone’s day!