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Authentic French Madeleines

Updated: Mar 10

In typical French fashion, these cookies are mostly butter and an absolute crowd-pleaser! Their traditional scallop shell design makes them a show-stopper and beautiful addition to any plate.

A French classic traditional served with tea these cookies are more like bite-sized cakes. They are mostly egg and butter (French) so they don't overpower the palette with flour and sugar.

“The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.”- Julia Child

There isn't a lot of ingredients so use good butter and good vanilla and you should be all set for success.

Traditional French Madeleine Cookie


Include everything your reader needs to make this recipe perfectly, with measurements, optional additions, or alternatives. For example:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest (or lime/orange)

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract ( I am a devoted Nielsen-Massey Fan)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ salt

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (for dusting or to make a glaze)


  • Madeleine Pan (I have used mental pans which brown better but you must butter and flour them before use and silicon pans)

  • Fine Mesh Sieve

  • Stand mixer or whisk

  • Ice cream scoop or spoon


  1. Cut butter into small chunks, about a tablespoon each, and melt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep your heat low and brown butter in a pan until a rich golden color has appeared (this can take 10-15 minutes). Strain browned butter in a fine mesh sieve. Add Vanilla and lemon zest (or other zest of choice)

  2. Place your eggs (at room temperature) in your stand mixer and attach the whisk or use a hand whisk to beat the eggs. Gradually add the sugar increasing your speed as you incorporate until the eggs and sugar have turned into a pale yellow. This should be a fairly thick mixture.

  3. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) together in a small bowl.

  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg/sugar mixture. I do this in the stand mixer using the whisk. This batter is fairly wet so you don't need to change whisks. Ensure that you are using the stand mixture to scrap down the sides of the bowl while incorporating the dry ingredients.

  5. Add browned butter mixture to batter with either a plastic spatula or on the low setting of your stand mixture.

  6. Pour ingredients into a mixing bowl if not already and cover with plastic wrap

  7. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. If your seal is strong it can stay in the fridge for up to two days.

  8. When you are ready to bake pre-heat oven to 375 degrees (F).

  9. If using metal molds butter and flour to keep cookies from sticking (no need if using silicon)

  10. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop drop 2-3 tablespoons of batter into each mold. There is no need to spread the batter out in the mold. The heat will take care of that!

  11. Bake in oven at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown (silicon takes longer than metal).

  12. Remove from molds, allow to cool, and dust with powdered sugar or make a glaze to finish cookies.

  13. Optional **To make glaze simply combine powdered sugar and milk, half and half, or a bit of water. You can add vanilla or other flavors or food coloring for color.

This is a base recipe. Once you master this feel free to go on an adventure. Lemon poppyseed Madeleines, Earl Grey lavender Madeleines, Orange Zested and chocolate Madeleines. Master this basic then play!

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