Lemon Madeleines

Classic Lemon Madeleines

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
The origin of the madeleine, the shell-shaped sponge cake eaten as a cookie, is disputed, although most food scholars believe it originated in the Lorraine city of Commercy. It traveled first to the court of Louis XV at Versailles and then on to Paris, gaining converts at each stop. Today, the pâtissiers of Commercy are still considered Frances premier makers of madeleines, and boxes of madeleines de Commercy are sold throughout the country. You will need a madeleine pan, made of tinned steel and with a dozen molds, to bake these little cakes.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
     and cooled
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)


Preheat an oven to 375°F. Using a pastry brush, heavily brush softened butter over each of the 12 molds in a madeleine pan, carefully buttering every ridge. Dust the molds with flour, tilting the pan to coat the surfaces evenly. Turn the pan upside down and tap it gently to dislodge the excess flour.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar and salt. Using a wire whisk or a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat vigorously until pale, thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Sprinkle the sifted flour over the egg mixture and stir or beat on low speed to incorporate.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the lemon zest and half of the melted butter just until blended. Fold in the remaining melted butter.

Divide the batter among the prepared molds, using a heaping tablespoon of batter for each mold. Bake the madeleines until the tops spring back when lightly touched, 8 to 12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a wire rack, then rap it on the rack to release the madeleines. If any should stick, use your fingers to loosen the edges, being careful not to touch the hot pan, and invert and rap again.

Let the madeleines cool on the rack for 10 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the tops with confectioners sugar and serve. Makes 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World Series, Paris, by Marlena Spieler (Oxmoor House, 2004).
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eat Them While They're Hot Years ago the boys were watching a movie in which Madeleines were made. Since that time we make them just about every time the family is together for breakfast or brunch. I have made a few tweaks over the years...cake flour, salted butter instead of the unsalted, and lemon extract instead of the almond. They are soft inside and delicately crisp on the outside. They bring smiles to your breakfast table!
Date published: 2016-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Silicone pan I just made this, and they are wonderful, I made 2 bunches , one lemon and the other one I divided, half with coconut and the other half with chocolate, hummmm good.
Date published: 2015-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a lovely madeleine! Now I know why madeleines are so beloved! What a perfect summer mini-treat when one is watching one's weight and yet this madeleine whets one's desire for a light but tasty treat. I bought the beautiful WS Goldtone non-stick madeleine baking pan and these cakelets came out without any difficulty. However, the recipe only yields 12 for a 16 cakelet mold. This is an absolutely divine lemon flavored madeleine!
Date published: 2014-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simple and absolutely delicious! This recipe is so quick and easy. I whipped up a batch in 10 minutes or less and the taste is just outstanding. This is my first time making a Madeleine recipe and I will definitely be back for more. To me this is a very impressive dessert & I would never have guessed it was so simple to make. I did not have a Madeleine pan, so I used one of my cakelet pans (made 16) from Williams Sonoma and they turned out great.
Date published: 2014-03-07
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