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Lemon Madeleines

Here is another lovely madeleine to add to my repertoire for The Monthly Cookie.  This tender little cakelet is spongy, delicate and wonderfully flavored with lots of lemon zest.  I’ve finally figured out how to achieve that wonderful hump that is characteristic of classic madeleines found throughout the patisseries of France.  Thanks to baker & cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan, the madeleines that come out of your oven can look as if they were baked by a professional pastry chef.  It’s quite simple when you think about it.

Lemon Madeleines

The madeleine itself contains the basics of butter, eggs, flour & sugar.  
To this you add a copious amount of finely grated lemon zest that is beaten with the sugar in order to release all of the essential oil from the rind.  Since the batter has to chill, you have the  luxury of preparing the recipe a full day in advance.  This enables you to bake madeleines a la minute for your friends, family or guests to nibble on after a great lunch or dinner.  It is traditional to dust the little morsels with sifted confectioners’ sugar right before serving, but I find it unnecessary.  Give me two or three perfect little madeleines to have with my tea and I’m instantly in a state of bliss.
Fragrant & Delicate

Gather your shapely madeleine plaques and whip up a batch of my tasty batter.  Decide whether or not you will bake them that day or the following day.  Follow the tips I’ve given you in order to achieve the best looking cookies and voila. C’est tout!  

Lemon madeleines sont parfait! 

The Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons {113 g.} unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups {150 g.} granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons, about 1 tablespoon {15 ml.}
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons {160 g.} all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon {2.5 ml.} baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon {1.25 ml.} fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon {2.5 ml.} pure lemon extract

Equipment: 2 large madeleine pans (with 12 madeleine wells in each pan)

Yield: 24 large madeleines

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute on medium speed, until light and creamy.
  2. Add the granulated sugar and lemon zest and continue to cream on medium speed for 4 minutes, until the mixture is very light, fluffy and pale.  Stop the machine and scrape down the bowl & paddle at least once.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time on medium speed, letting each egg emulsify into the butter/sugar mixture before adding the next one.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl & paddle at least once.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder and fine sea salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixture on low speed and beat just until combined.  Add the lemon extract and beat until combined.
  5. The madeleine batter has to rest & chill for at least 1 hour.  You can chill it in the bowl of your stand mixer or you can transfer it to a smaller bowl to chill.  Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter to prevent a skin from forming and make sure to cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. The batter can be chilled for up to 24 hours before baking.

Center oven racks
Preheat to 375° F (191°C)

15 minutes prior to baking the madeleines, pop the madeleine pans into the oven to get hot.  Don’t let them heat up in the oven for longer than 15 minutes.

When ready to bake, gently remove the madeleine pans from the oven and immediately spray them with a nonstick cooking spray (it helps to use the baking sprays with flour in them).  

Divide your batter evenly between each well.  Place the pans into the oven.

Bake for 10-12 minutes

This is what they should look like when they're ready to come out.  The madeleines will get golden around the edges and have that glorious bump in the middle.  

Remove the pans from the oven and immediately flip them onto cooling racks.  Tap the pans at an angle so that the madeleines pop out.  If there are any that stick to the pans, carefully remove them with a thin knife or a skewer.  It's inevitable, some do stick.

Bring them to the table in a serving bowl and have tea waiting.  I love this Wedgwood drabware pattern of mine.  It gets used many times a week.

As with all madeleines, these are best the day they are baked.  Some may even tell you that they're best the moment you pull them out of the oven.  In either case, enjoy baking my lemon madeleines and savor every tender bite.  You're going to love them.


  1. Hello,

    I try this recipe and it came out moist with a delicate taste of lemon.....hummmmmm
    They were so yummy that I could'nt stop eating them.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. They're truly delicious, so I'm glad you had success with them!

    I know what you mean, you can't eat just one! :)



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