Food & Drink Magazine

Classic Lemon Madeleines with Brown Butter

By Sukarah @sukarahblog

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Up until last weekend, I have never had, baked or even saw madeleines. Sad but true. The closeset I ever got to a madeleine was when I splurged and bought this fluted shell shape baking pan, just because I thought it was “cute”. I’ve seen people over the internet rave about medeleines, how biting into their crispy exterior crunches into their spongy interior making it impossible to have just one. They are quite addictive as I read. But I wouldn’t know. Until this weekend.

But trying madeleines wasn’t my only first this weekend. I made  them using brown butter. Let me just say O.M.G.! Where has brown butter been all my life. All my life I thought brown butter was something fancy but useless. But as I was melting the butter into an amber like color, the nutty aroma started to spread around the kitchen, like a cool breath on a warm summer day, I was in heaven. Thank God I still had some sense in my tiny brain to wait for the butter to slightly cool before I tasted it, and… what can I say about it? Should I say that I wanted to sip the whole melted half cup butter straight from the pay? I practiced a lot and I mean A LOT of self restraint not to sip the whole thing. Sometimes I swear that butter will be the last of me, but since this weekend, I can now swear that brown butter will be the last of me. I will have no regrets.

Speaking of self restraint, I almost all twelve. What? Don’t act like am the only one who has ever almost eaten a whole batch of freshly baked lemon madeleines.

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Here’s a great resource on how to brown butter (Link here). I forgat to take photos because my mind was busy dreaming of eating the whole thing. No regrets. Totally worth it.

My madeleines did not have a bump. It seems bumps are a classic look for these cookies, don’t ask me why, cause I don’t know. Personally, I think that they look better without the bump on their back. Why would any one want a bump on their cookie is beyond me. The bump make them look imperfect. But that’s just my humble opinion.

If you are serious about bumps, and like your madelines to have a bump, read this post from Dorie Greenspan wrote the book I adapted the recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours.

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As you can see, I did a horrible job with greasing and flouring my pan. I should have just used my Pam Baking Spray. When will I ever learn that clumsy people like me should not bother with difficult tasks, like buttering and flouring a pan… Never probably.

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We all know where that missing madeleine went to (hint, hint, I ate it)

Print Classic lemon madeleines with brown butter

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 13 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies

Adapted from Baking from My Home to yours by Dories Greenspan

Want to make brown butter? How to make brown butter .


  • 3/4 stick (95g) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (90g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, let it melt watching carefully. Remove immediately once it starts to bubble and the color is amber. If any large solid form, use a strainer to remove them.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer, use your fingertips to rub the sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar fragrant. Add the eggs. Using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and frothy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Stop the mixer. Sift the dry ingredients into the eggs mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients, work in upwards movement, add the melted brown butter to the side of the bowl (or melted butter) fold gently.
  5. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)
  6. Once the chilling period is over. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F / 200 degree C. Butter and flour the Madeleine pan tap out excess flour (tip, PAM is better for this). Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly; the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden (at the edges) and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
  8. Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm, or fresh out the oven.
  9. Serving: The cookies are ready to serve when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature. Dust the tops with powdered sugar and serve with tea or espresso.
  10. Storing: The batter can be covered with a piece of plastic film pressed against the surface and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If they must be kept, wrap them airtight and freeze them, they’ll keep for up to 2 months.


I modified the original recipe by adding brown butter instead of unsalted, I also used lemon juice (not only vanilla)

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Lemon madeleines I love you dearly.

Brown butter, I don’t know how I will ever live without you ever again.

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