Lemon Vanilla Madeleines and I go way back. I can’t believe I haven’t made them myself until just now! They used to sit in a little basket by my register at the Starbucks where I worked in high school. Oh man, I loved that job!
Especially at break time – just me at the cozy corner table with a green apron, Grande hazelnut latte, and a little package of madeleines. And a 15 minute timer… then back to work!
If you’ve never had a madeleine before, they are small, sweet, buttery cakes shaped like shells. The batter is easy to make, but you do need a special pan to make them. Don’t let that stop you though.
You can find the pans on amazon and they are not expensive.
I think the key to making really delicious madeleines is to avoid over baking them. Because they are so small, 30 seconds in the oven will make a big difference in their bake.
You’ll know they are done when the edges are golden brown, and the little bulge in the center is dry and springs back when you touch it. It took a little experimentation with my oven temperature to get the timing just right.
The lemon and vanilla flavors go so well together. A light dusting of powdered sugar makes them look so pretty – they almost sparkle! Although these aren’t traditionally thought of as a Christmas cookie (remember, they are technically cakes) I think they should be enjoyed all year round.
They go very well with a nice hot cup of tea on a cold winter day.
They are also an impressive treat to serve at a party. Most Americans are familiar with them but might not have ever eaten a homemade madeleine before. Such a treat!
I’m so glad I decided to finally give these a go! I hope you’ll try them too – and let me know if you have any tips or tricks.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 2 eggs, plus one egg yolk
- 3/4 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) melted butter
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the wells of the madeleine pan with butter.
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs with an electric hand mixer until they are pale yellow and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add sugar and blend. Add vanilla paste, lemon zest, and lemon juice and blend again.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the batter and gently fold it in by hand.
- Slowly pour in the melted butter and fold the batter gently by hand until completely incorporated.
- Spoon the madeleine batter into each of the prepared wells, filling them 80-90 percent full. Or you can fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe them through a large tip into each well. Tap the pan on the countertop to settle the batter and release air bubbles.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes or until edges are golden brown and tops of the cakes are just dry and springy to the touch.
- After cooling in the pan for 1-2 minutes, invert the pan and cool the madeleines on a cooling rack before dusting with powdered sugar if desired.