Madeleines Recipe

Perfect, golden, scalloped madeleines. From a favorite recipe shared with me by a friend and long-time Madeleine baker.


I've been hearing about my friend Lanha's madeleine recipe for years now - no exaggeration. Madeleines are her go-to cookie - she makes them for parties, she makes them as gifts, she makes them when people stop by her house to visit, she makes them when the wind changes direction. She will talk your ear off about the delicious scent of the browning butter, she frets about the appropriate amount of lemon zest in each batch, and she will expound on the merits of traditional metal madeleine pans versus newer silicon molds in the quest for the perfect golden scalloped cookie. I was visiting LA this weekend and it was baking school time for me as Lanha showed me first hand how she makes the magic happen (in her famous Dwell-worthy kitchen!)....

I had to ask her, why madeleines? Of all the cookies recipes in the world, why these? She tells me, "I enjoy making madeleines for Silvio (her French husband) because they remind him of his life in France. I was tired of paying $5 for a couple of cookies in boutique delis and decided to try my sister Kaly's fail-safe recipe. Now that I've made the cookies so much, I can whip out several dozen in less than an hour (the recipe may seem daunting at first, but I promise you, it's easy). Madeleines stacked in a tin make great gifts and also, I've never met a person that didn't absolutely love them!"

madeleine recipe

I second all of Lanha's sentiments - I made a batch on my own after my hands-on lesson, and her madeleine recipe came together beautifully. And a big thanks to her sister Kaly for originally passing down the recipe to Lanha. I've made a few changes/tweaks to the instructions for clarity.

My madeleine pan makes tiny, baby madeleines, it was another flea market find for those of you wanting one like it I found one very similar here. I've flipped the madeleines in the photo at the top so you can see their pretty scalloped bellies.

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Madeleine Recipe

Lanha and I both prefer metal pans to the newer silicon molds. My metal pan brings a beautiful golden hue to the cookies, and to be honest I don't like the looks of the silicon molds - all those zany colors. Madeleines look better baking in metal, I promise.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar

a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan

Special equipment: A madeleine baking pan, regular or small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) - you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the madeleine molds - get in there and make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour. Lanha uses "cooking spray" with flour to simplify this part.

Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick - you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume - approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony. Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest and vanilla (just until mixed).

Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 -3/4 full. I use a small cup filled with batter to keep things clean and manageable, it is easier than using a spoon.

Bake the madeleines for 12 - 14 minutes (7-10 minutes for smaller cookies), or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Uh oh... one question: how do you keep from eating these as soon as they come out of the oven?? I just made a batch (using regular-sized METAL pans) and ate half of them. Have to admit, they are pretty awesome! Thanks!


:), I actually have a gas stove, and the butter browned in less than 5 minutes on my gas stove. This wasn't a problem, just something to be aware of. I followed the recipe exactly, and the madeleines baked beautifully in my oven at 350, both the buttery ones and the less buttery ones, without adding chilling time. I don't think I need to add extra steps to this beautifully simple recipe; I just need to be aware that the butter browns quickly and make sure it is mixed in better. It was the simplicity of the recipe that appealed to me, and I don't want to mess with that. Thank you though.


Heidi: I'm confused, Is it Lahna or Souris or both?


Deirdre: You are fine with the brown butter. I have an electric range and it takes me exactly 8 minutes from placing the butter on the stove to the time the butter becomes brown on medium heat. I'm thinking that Heidi has a gas stove and it takes a little longer on a gas stove. It does take some practice in folding in the flour and butter mixture. I have made this recipe 6 times already since Heidi posted this recipe. I have finally came up with the perfect way to make them. 1. After browning the butter, it takes about 45 minutes to 60 minutes to cool the butter. The butter must be cooled to room temperature. 2. Sift the flour. Sifting the flour makes folding a lot easier. I would measure the 3/4 cup flour first as recipe calls for, then sift it. 3. When folding the flour into the batter, I would GENTLY fold the flour in 2 additions (meaning I woudl fold in 1/2 the amount of flour into the batter first just until combined, then fold in the remaining 1/2 of the flour into the batter just until combined). I use a large rubber spatula for folding. Previously, I was using a wire whisk to fold, but the last few times, I use a large rubber spatula which works out better because a wire whisk causes a little deflation. 3. Next, I would gently fold in the cooled brown butter in 2 additions, using a large rubber spatula. Make sure you get all the butter that settles in the bottom of the batter because all the butter must be folded into the batter. 4. After gently folding in all the butter into the batter, let the batter rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. The batter will get thicker as it is resting. 5. For standard-size madelines, I use a 1-1/2" diameter ice cream scooper (or about 1-1/2 tablespoons of batter) and scoop a level amound of batter into each greased and flour mold (3/4 full) and bake at 325 degrees for 13 minutes. I have a dark metal non-stick pan so it requires me to bake at slightly lower temperature. For one pan, bake in the center of the oven. Now, I know why Lahna bakes these all the time. I have already baked them 6 times and each time I will just pass them out to my husband's work group, my work group, friends, and they all love them. Each time I practice, I would skip the lemon zest because lemons are pricey lately. It still taste good without the lemon zest. Hope all this helps.


I'm new to your blog. Your photo of madeleines was so beautiful, I ran out and bought a mini madeleine pan the next day. A few weeks ago I tried some madeleines made by a baker who sells at our farmers market, and they were delicious, but so popular that they always sell out before I can get there (and quite expensive!), so I was excited to try my own hand at them. I tried them this morning, and mostly they were a success. They were simple in a lovely way -- simple ingredients, simple to make, simple to look at. I did find that my butter browned MUCH faster than 20 minutes. It was less than 5. I wondered if I'd done something wrong, but when I read up on brown butter (otherwise known as beurre noisette), I found most recipes say it takes just a few minutes. My other issue, easily solved I believe, was that the dough was so light that I had trouble mixing in the flavorings, flour, and browned butter. I didn't want to overmix, but I had trouble finding it all. In fact, I discovered, after making my first batch, that there was a whole patch of browned butter at the bottom of the bowl that I'd missed. The madeleines with less butter came out delicious but not as browned as I'd hoped for. The ones with way too much (after I'd mixed the extra in), were pretty greasy, but still yummy. I could taste the "brown" better in them. What I think I will try next time to avoid this is add the flour and flavorings at the same time instead of separately and mix them for a moment at a very low speed, in the mixer with the whisk attachment still on instead of using a spatula. Then I'll add the brown butter and continue mixing at a very low speed, just until mixed. I only had one madeleine pan and a lot of batter, and these were more of an experiment than anything else, so when I grew tired of waiting to refill the one pan, I pulled out my mini muffin pans. I baked the mini muffins for 15 minutes, and they came out great. I could see them with a dollop of whipped cream and a sliced strawberry on top. Other things I may try in the future is playing with the flavoring. I'd like to try rose water, lavender flowers, and earl grey tea (separately, of course!). One question, and it's the same as :)'s question: What do you mean by "butter mixture"? I assumed you just meant cooled browned butter and went from there. Thank you for a beautiful blog full of inspiration.


I love having special pieces of kitchen equipment that are just for 1 thing: sushi mats, jello moulds, madeline pans. If I only had a madeline pan, I would make some! B Hand to Mouth


I love the first photo! It is so gentle and beautiful, and yet simple and neat... :) sth to make one smile. I can even see it framed on my kitchen wall


I'm so excited about eating food from reading all you enthusiasts! Thank you everyone for recipe discussion and flop prevention advice, especially Joanne for the chocolate drizzle suggestion! This sounds like a great "cookie" to turn into a standby. Now, to find pans . . .


I made these twice today. The first batch that I made, the madelines did not turn out for me. It was a total disaster! BUT WAIT AND READ... The second batch I made, the madelines turned out OK. Here is what I learned from my experience: FIRST, I have a metal nonstick pan (purchased from Williams-Sonoma). Because the pans are darker, I had to reduced the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Baking at 350 degrees, the madelines turned out too dark and shrunk in size considerably. Into the garbage! SECONDLY, I was baking with one pan at a time so I was placing the pan in the middle rack position of the oven. Even though I reduced the oven temperature to 325 degrees, the madelines were still too brown and shriveled too much. Thirty-nine madelines later, I decided to bake the madelines in the upper third rack of the oven and it baked beautifully. THIRDLY, after folding in the butter, I let the batter sit in the fridge, covered, for about 30 minutes before baking. I realize as the batter sits, the batter gets thicker. FOURTH, I FOLDED in the flour into the egg mixture in two additions, using a wire whisk. FIFTH, In folding in the butter. I fold in one cup of batter into the butter in a SEPARATE medium-size bowl, using a wire whisk. When the batter and butter got incorporated, I then fold the batter/butter mixture into the REMAINDER of the batter, using a wire whisk. That worked out a lot nicer. SIXTH: I filled each mold more than 3/4 full. I filled each mold until it was almost filled to the rim (about 1/16-inch of space from the rim. The texture of the madelines is cake-like. It is not a cookie, but resembles a butter, sponge-like cake. This recipe does work and since I was able to make this recipe work for me, this is a keeper. Thanks for allowing me to input my experience.


I love these! In fact, I named my daughter "Madeleine"! She's 14 and I've finally run across another "Madeleine"...a 5-year-old in my kindergarten class this year! It's taken me 14 years! Sure, I've met plenty of "Madelines" over the years, but not "Madeleines"!


What is the texture of these cookies? I made them this morning for the first time and they are quite soft. Maybe I'm used to buying cookies that are stale, I don't know. Also the side of the cookie without the ridges has large air bubbles. Too much mixing or too little mixing?


I'm confused. Read the recipe 3 times now. Don't see what "butter mixture" is refering it just the strained butter? I worry about these things before I try a new recipe I have high hopes for...


I have one issue thats a big one. I am gluten/wheat intolerant. I would love, love to modify this recipe so I can make these Madeleines. I usually substitute rice flour for quite a few baking items..but there are many, many flour choices out there to try. Is anyone wheat/gluten free and has made a flour substitution? I hate to give up on all the wonderful things I love... Thanks much!


i too prefer the metal molds!! heidi, the best madelines i ahve made comes from a financier batter....for this, i use almond flour and when you want to give it a twist.use a little bit of lemon zest or rose water. sometimes, i substitute pistachio flour for powdered almonds. i also add orange blossom water or zest for that andalusian flavour. i wanted to say something else..but i forgot..i'll be back!


I bought a royal blue madeleine silicone mold (ahem..) for $3.99 at a discount store a few weeks ago with the intent of making them someday. And ta-da here is the inspiration I needed! What good timing, I have a going away party to attend this weekend. He's Italian, but he'll have to settle for French inspired cookies :).

Amy Beaird

Thank you Gokkusagi! I will pronounce it with confidence when I ask for pans.


Nice! I've never seen a recipe calling for browned butter. I bet that's the secret to why the French ones tastes so much better and different than the others. I'm very grateful that I bought these pans today through the Amazon link you posted with a great deal - buy 3 get 1 free and free shipping!!! I'm so excited right now, but it's going to take "1-2 months" to reach me. I seriously can't wait!!


ok! Sorry, i'm a little slow these days. David L. just pointed out to me that Lanha might have that shot set to "friends only"......I'll pull the link. Just know, her kitchen is amazing ;) -h


Nope! Link definitely does not work. In fact, it requires a log in. Flickr photo I am guessing? With regards to pronunciation, I guess it would sound closest to "mad-len" in French, for those that had asked! It's not a 'mad-e-line', nor 'mad-e-leen', but, quite simply, a 'mad-len' (in a French sort of way!).


i never made madeleines now i decide to try to do it


The kitchen link doesn't work for me either :) This post inspired me to buy a madeleine pan, and I'm making them this weekend :)


Bill, it is working from my end. Let me know if you are still having trouble - anyone else getting a broken link. I should also mention how much I appreciate when some of you weigh in with responses to other readers questions, it is really helpful. Thank you. Kiki, the pistachio Kitchen-Aid looks great in Souris' kitchen. Nice choice. -h


Not to be TOO much of a nitpicker -- that 'dwellworthy kitchen' link doesn't work. Sorry!


I passed up the opportunity to buy some madeleine pans on sale a while back but now I really wish I had purchased them! Maybe next time. :)


When I first made madeleines, I bought 2 pans, and made only one batch. After that first batch, it was love. I ended up picking up two more pans, and decided to double my batches. I bake 4 pans at once and rotate them in the oven. Since they go no longer than 12 min, the remaining batter is fine, if you let the batter rest more than 30 min, the cakes don't rise as well, and get tough. I like my madeleines without the bump. I have read some say a true madeleine has the bump, and others say no. I like mine on the light golden side and I use cake flour to get a more tender crumb. Also to help them last a little longer than a day, I use tupperware containers and I put the cakes between layers of wax paper. The powdered sugar sinks into the moist cakes and you can't tell it was sugared. I tend to avoid the powdered sugar for that reason. Also if they have gotten stale, say after 3 days, then you dip them in chocolate, and it becomes another lovely treat. Try placing madeleines on a cooling rack over a jelly pan, and drizzle ganache or melted chocolate over them, then sprinkle finely grated sweetened or unsweetened coconut on top and let harden. Lovely treats that last a little longer over the holidays. Buy those inexpensive treat bags at the dollar store or Oriental trading, bag and tag!


VICKY: You could use salted butter but it will change the taste a bit as well as perhaps increase the leavening. However you really cannot use self rising flour, do not even try. The leavening in this recipe comes from the steam and the air beaten into the batter (as well as the bit of salt). Table salt is fine for this recipe. -dr


We love madelines and always buy them at the supermarket. I've always wanted to try making them myself but never get around to do it. You've inspired me to try it out. :)

The Cooking Ninja

The lines will only appear only on one side (think of a bundt pan). In the photo above, the madelines were turned over, line-side up (which is how the madelines should be presented) for the sake of the photography.


The grooves will only appear only on one side (think of a bundt pan). In the photo above, the madelines were shown on the groove-side up (which is how the madelines should be served) for the photo.


I'm guessing they don't count as Madelines if I don't buy a Madeline pan, right?


This is going to sound crazy... but how do you get the sea shell look on the part of the Madeleines that isn't in the tin form?

The Queen

What a wonderful treat. I love simple and tasteful cookies with a nice cup of coffee or dessert wine. Thanks—I can't wait to try.




They are such cute little cookies.


Anyone have an idea of how well the batter holds up if it sits a while? The leavening looks to come from the air beat into the eggs at the start, so i am wondering if the batter will "deflate" if it isn't baked right away (Relevant since I have only one madeline mold, and this recipe looks as if it will make at least 2-3 dozen....)

Bella Blue

i can only imagine the smell these give off while baking... so beautiful and classic too!


I feel dumb asking this question. How do you pronounce this Madeleen, Madeline, Madelain, Madelinn? Thanks.


I've had the madeleines at Starbucks. They're just not anywhere near as good. I tried making them once with different citrus zests, (some lemon, some orange, and some lime) and they were delightful. I learned how to make them when I was in college, studying French, and when I tend to take them to gatherings, they get identified as "cornbreads" by people who don't know. I have to tell them "No, they're madeleines... more like cupcakes than cornbread". I think I may have to pull my pans out again...


Oh thank you so much! My whole family loves madeleines, and I love baking, this is perfect, I can't wait to try it. Plus, I saw a madeleine pan at the thrift shop down the street just yesterday. I hope it's still there!


Madeleines are sold at Starbucks for a dollar each.... According to one story the name "Madeleine" was given to the cookies by Louis XV to honor his father in-law's cook Madeleine Paulmier. Louis first tasted them at the Chateau Commercy in Lorraine in 1755. Louis' wife, Marie introduced them to the court and they soon became all the rage at Versailles. Whatever the origins, they have become inextricably linked with the author Marcel Proust, who described them as "...little shell of cake, so generously sensual beneath the piety of its stern pleating."


Eva - Thanks for the info :)


I used to work in a coffee shop and I was amazed at how many people would pay loads of $$ for little pkgs. of the suckers. It's so much more fun ( and cost-effective) to make them yourself!


Can someone clarify the part where you strain the butter? If the butter is completely melted after 20 minutes, is it necessary to strain?


Yea!! This recipe couldn't have had better timing as I was just thinking I should find myself a recipe for these little beauties after eyeing some pricey madelines in the store. Perfect excuse to buy the pan too. Balaji - a great trick if you don't have a stand mixer is to let the butter soften (but not melt) enough that you can "cream" it with the sugar with a wooden spoon.


I'm excited to try this madeleine recipe. They are beautiful and look absolutely delicious. I love the story behind this recipe. My favorite recipes are those that come from people who have made the same recipe for years- passionately and with love.


Balaji -- The substitute for the electric mixer is elbow grease. I don't have one, either, and it makes madeleines a labor of love -- well worth it, but quite a workout on the arms! I actually enjoy my silicone molds, which is rarely the case for me (I almost always prefer more traditional methods and tools). The one I have produces the same teacake as the ones I've achieved with metal molds, but without the need to butter the molds. At all. Not to be ridiculous, but madeleines aren't really "cookies"... they're small cakes. I know, I know, there's no real definition of "cookie", but I thought I'd point it out, because the process is entirely different to most cookie-baking. In this sense, you could definitely bake the batter in a different type of mold (a few people asked)... it would probably be great in small muffin/patty-cake tins. However, a madeleine is only a madeleine when baked in that shape. You can't even call it an alternatively-shaped madeleine... it's just a tea-cake at that point. Finally.. Heidi, could you show us a picture of your non-scalloped sides? The real trick with madeleines is getting that quintessential "bump", which is difficult. The best way I've found is to lower the temperature partially through baking (a pain, especially in an electric oven), which provides an initial burst of a rise, then a slower completion.


I have been poking on your site for a little over a week now and absolutely love it!! I am at the moment enjoying myself a nice bowl of your homemade muesli which is delicious! Beautiful photos too. My sister will be spending a semester abroad in France next year I will be saving this recipe to make her some in the coming months. I am always inspired when I come here Thanks!

Christina Todd

On your glowing recommendation I will give these a try and maybe I'll finally get what all the fuss is about. I've tried many a madeleine over the years, including from Miette and Bay Breads, and they always just taste like dry cake to me. I've had nothing but good luck with your recipes in the past, so I'll give these a whirl!


I adore Madeleines, and I make them often. They are my go to cookie also. I find that Meyer lemons, preferably homegrown are the best. I don't care for silicon pans either. Silpats are another story! I bought my pans from Williams-Sonoma. I have 4 pans in both sizes! When I make Madeleines, it's always at least 6 dozen. Blasphemy or not, I use Cook's powered vanilla. I just love the product. Also I cheat and use cooking spray with flour. I have tried Gale Gand's method of buttering-freezing and repeat of the pans to get a crisper shell. That works well, but I don't really see too much of a difference, but more prep work and time.


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I fell in love with madeleines when I lived in Paris for a year in 1992, and have been paying through the nose for them ever since...

Ray O'Leary

The cookies have ridges only on one side. I also prefer the metal trays, they are a little expensive, but I don't think you can substitute them with anything else. Madeleines are a classic, I adore it :-))


Ohhh, I haven't made madeleines in ages! I wish I hadn't just made a peach pie, or else I'd whip up a batch. I don't like silicon molds at all, for anything-- I can be stubbornly traditional like that sometimes. Lisa, I'm pretty sure she flipped them just for the sake of the picture. Mine only get the ridges on one side.


exquisite! As a french woman, I can tell you: 1) that's a great recipe. 2) I'm fond of your tips 3) I've just ordered your book but it's so long to have it sent from US to France.... I also love your photo tips


Thanks for sharing this recipe! Looks easy enough! I need some cookies for a presentation I am giving tonight, so I think I will run into town to pick up the molds. I remember seeing them at a restaurant supply store and never knew what to do with them. I appreciate you taking the time to share these.


Heidi, Do you prefer the regular pan to the non-stick? I checked out your link and I want to order a pan...but I usually prefer the non-stick version...thoughts please? P.S. I LOVE your cookbook ;-} Gail


MMM,,,, I love this recipe, it sounds mouth watering! Now, is the flour plain, or self-rising? And, I don't have silicone or Madeleine pans, so what would be the best alternative?


Thnx for the recipe Heidi! I have missed these little babies so much since leaving Singapore where 'Deli France' and a local bakery used to have a steady supply of these everyday :)


Thank you! My grandfather have had me looking for good Madeleine recipes for as long as I can remember. Just like for Silvio -It reminds him of France!


This may be a silly question: How do the cookies get the ridges on both sides? Do they just rise that way? Do you have to flip the cookies in the mold, or is it a two sided mold?


is there a substitute for the pans?? i'm asking in this sense: can one use (say) patty cake tins to try the recipe -- and then if it's a success, go and buy the purpose-built pans? thank you, e


Is there a substitute for the electric mixer? If I am mixing by hand how much longer should I stir? I am a student, so I can't carry a lot of stuff around when I move (frequently).


Awesome, Heidi. Guess what we're making for the family reunion this weekend for Dad's 75th birthday party?! BTW -- how does Lanha's new KitchenAid mixer look? Kaly and I were kind of concerned about the color...


What a beautiful shot! I agree with you, silicone just doesn't have any style to it. :)


I am sad to hear you say that you do not like the silicone molds...especially after hearing that Lahna's husband is French! However, I would agree with you if you are using the molds that you can buy at the variety stores. If you use the kind that French chefs have been using for years, I would imagine that you would change your mind. Because the browning effect with Demarle products is precisely the reason bread artisans and pastry chefs use them almost exclusively! A French chemist, named Guy Demarle invented them for just such a purpose about 40 years ago for his family's bread baking business. The knock off brands in the stores give the real thing a bad name. Contact me if you would like more info. Thanks for taking this post.


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