Lemon & Vanilla Madeleines

Susan, AKA Kiwicook
Susan, AKA Kiwicook

Susan, AKA Kiwicook

In her days as a recipe developer, Susan has created over 450 recipes. Her Dutch and New Zealander roots serve as a basis for her culinary inspiration.

Last updated:

Some of our posts contain affiliate links. If you buy through our links, we may receive compensation - at no cost to you.


There’s something so lady-like about these sweet little scallop shaped French cakes. Up until a few years ago, I’d never heard of Madeleines let alone made them. But as soon as I did, I hot-footed it to the nearest bake-ware shop and bought my first Madeleine pan and promptly made Double Chocolate Madeleines.

If you’re new to making Madeleines, you’ll be happy to know that they’re actually very easy to make. There are a couple of baking tips though – firstly, don’t over-whisk the mixture and, secondly, chill the mixture before you bake – which hopefully gives you the signature ‘bump’ they’re known for. Other than that, it’s all pretty simple though it may take you a couple of goes before you are completely happy with them.

I found this nice little recipe (complete with helpful video) from Guillaume Brahimi on SBS.com.au. I recommend you watch the video to get a sense for how the batter should look, as personally I found the recipe made a much thicker batter which I had to thin down with a little extra milk.

I particularly liked the use of the beurre noisette (browned butter) which gives a more rounded and nutty flavour. The cake is also flavoured with vanilla bean and lemon zest, though it’s all quite subtle – perfect, I think, paired with a cup of your favourite tea or coffee.

These Madeleines can be served as they are straight out of the oven, or you can get a bit fancy and brush over some melted butter and dip them in caster sugar. The second time I made these I actually made up some lemon sugar and dipped them in that, just for added tang.  If you like the idea, you’ll find a recipe for lemon sugar here.  Enjoy!



These dainty, shell-shaped cakes are a delightful treat! Light and airy, they melt in your mouth with a burst of bright lemon and sweet vanilla. Easy to make and so elegant, they're perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea or for a special occasion.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 92 kcal


  • 1.4 oz unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3.5 oz plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3.5 oz caster (superfine sugar)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 tbsp milk (you may need a little more)
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • Zest of 1 lemon

To serve:

  • Optional: Melted butter and caster (superfine sugar or lemon sugar)


  • Melt the chopped butter in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until nut brown (this will happen quickly, so don’t take your eye off it!). Take it immediately off the heat and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a medium sized bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg with the milk (you may find as I did that it needs a touch more milk in order to make the batter less thick and gluggy). Pour this into the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (you’ll want a large whisk as the mixture easily clogs), then add the vanilla seeds and whisk just to combine (try not to over-whisk).
  • Gradually pour in the browned butter and whisk well, then finally whisk in the lemon zest.
  • Allow the mixture to rest for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  • Brush softened butter into the madeleine moulds, coating well (if you’re worried that your cakes will stick, you can also sprinkle over flour and shake out the excess).
  • Spoon level tablespoons of mixture and place the mound of mixture into the middle of the madeleine moulds (don’t spread or level out the mixture) and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden (they should just be turning slightly browned at the edges).
  • Tap the madeleines out of the moulds (you may need to use a palette knife to loosen the edges) onto a rack to cool briefly.
  • You can brush over some melted butter and dip in caster sugar (or lemon sugar) if desired.


There’s absolutely no reason you can’t make these Madeleines gluten-free. Simply exchange the standard flour for a gluten-free blend.


Calories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 24mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 105IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword Cake, Lemon Vanilla Madeleines
Tried this recipe?Let us know how if you liked it in the comments below!

Did you find this post useful?

Give it a star rating and let us know!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Recommended Posts
Susan, AKA Kiwicook
About The Author
Susan, also known as the Kiwi Cook, hails from Levin, New Zealand, and has a unique Kiwi-Dutch-British heritage that influenced her culinary upbringing. As an artist, tutor, writer, and editor, Susan dedicates her weekends to creating delectable dishes. Her food philosophy embraces moderation and listening to her body's needs.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

The maximum upload file size: 100 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.