French Madeleines At Home

A tray of recently baked madeleines with the closest madeleine flipped over showing the browned shell side.

As you may have come to suspect, I love all types of French desserts. Certainly, macarons are on the top of the list but so are French Madeleines. On one side they have these beautiful fluted lines, and as you bite into them they taste like light fluffy butter cakes. I recall making a batch of these for dessert for friends that came over. After eating one of the madeleines, our friend's 3 year old asked if he could have more "shell cookies". Yup, I guess that is what you could call them! Thankfully, french madeleines happen to be very easy and quick (about 30 minutes to prep and bake) so making more batches of these "shell cookies" for the 3-year old in all of us isn't too hard at all. 
A green ceramic egg tray with three white eggs in it.

In terms of equipment, having a stand up mixer or hand held mixer helps mix the madeleine batter. Also, a madeline cake pan (at least 2) to bake the batter in. I also find that having a piping bag with a tip helps get the batter into the madeleine pan in a more even and smooth way. 
Pieces of vanilla bean in a jar filled with vodka. The vodka is tinted brown from the vanilla bean and seeds.
I have also recently been making my own vanilla extract so I put some of my homemade vanilla extract into this recipe. 

Ingredients for French Madeleines
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon zested 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Juice of one lemon
  • pinch of salt
Directions for French Madeleines
  1. Turn on the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. To ensure your madeleines come out of the pan after baking, generously butter and then flour the madeleine pans.
    A buttered madeleine pan dusted with flour.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest using a hand held mixer or in the bowl of your Kitchen Aid. Beat at medium speed (4 or 6 on the KA). The creamed butter mixture should look light and fluffy after 8 minutes.
  3. Add in eggs one at a time and slowly mix in. Then add in the vanilla extract. 
  4. Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt). Slowly add the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture alternating dry ingredients with the milk until it is just combined. This should take about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and then slowly add in the lemon juice. 
  5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a tip. Pipe the batter into the madeleine pans in a zip-zag pattern.
    Madeleine batter piped in a zig zag pattern into the madeleine mold in the pan.
  6. Bake the madeleines for about 9 to 10 minutes; until they are golden brown. Allow the madeleines to cool in the pan for another 2-3 minutes before removing them from the pan.
    Madeleines freshly baked from the oven with its signature hump.
  7. Using a small plastic spatula gently remove the madeleines from the pan. They should be golden brown on one side and have their tell tale bump on the other side.
    A tray of freshly baked light honey-coloured madeleines with one flipped over showing the caramel brown shell side.
  8. Place the madeleines on a cooling rack and allow them to cool.
    Madeleines resting with the shell side up on a cooling rack.
Once the madeleines are cooled, store them in an air tight container. Prior to eating them from the air tight container, I normally lightly toast them in the toaster oven to get a warm and slightly crispy madeleine.  I like to enjoy mine with a cup of tea or coffee as they make the perfect breakfast or even afternoon snack. 


  1. They look beautiful! I love madeleines, too, making them and eating them :-) . So nice that you make your own vanilla extract, and great idea to use a piping bag to fill the madeleines pan. Thanks!

  2. Yes! I need to make more of these now before work starts again! Yes, I have found that using a piping bag makes it way more easier to fill the pans. Also, it makes the whole process cleaner! :)


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