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Easy Madeleine Cookies

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Sweet, vanilla-flavored Madeleine cookies are a classic, French-inspired dessert that’s easy to make at home! Each cookie is light and airy, like a sweet, mini sponge cake in cookie form. With their distinctive shell-like shape, these delicate cookies taste just as pretty as they look! Enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee for a sweet snack or a light, after-dinner dessert. 

Several madeleine cakes on a plate with one of them sliced open.

These delicious Madeleines are one of those treats that tastes like perfection any time of day!

They’re common at the grocery store (always in a shell shape) but making homemade Madeleine cookies is so simple to do and will turn out even better than any store-bought version.

The batter is airy and cake-like and the cookies are lightly sweetened with a touch of vanilla. While this recipe isn’t an authentic French recipe, each bite of these classic Madeleines will remind you of stepping into a quaint, French cafe!

And if you love French-inspired baking and sweets, you will also enjoy our French Coconut Pie, our Dark French Chocolate Truffles and our Easy French Apple Cake Recipe

Why This Recipe Works

Just seven simple ingredients is all you need to make Madeleine cookies!

The recipe is a breeze and this is a fun baking project that experienced and novice bakers alike can enjoy. 

Our Madeleine cookies are:

  • soft, tender and fluffy
  • lightly sweetened with a delicate vanilla flavor
  • the perfect treat for any occasion, any time of day
  • a simple recipe and a fun and easy baking project!

Ingredients for Madeleine Cookies

To make these easy Madeleine cookies, you will need:

  • All-purpose flour. No special flours needed. All-purpose will give you the ultimate fluffy and tender Madeleines that hold their shape well.
  • Granulated sugar. The sweetener for these delicate cookies! the great thing is the entire recipe only calls for 2/3 cup. 
  • Baking powder. Just a little bit will give you the perfect amount of leavening. As the cookies bake in the mold, they rise slightly in the center and form that characteristic Madeleine hump.
  • Salt. A small amount of salt adds extra flavor. 
  • Eggs. You’ll want to make sure your eggs are at room temperature and well-beaten. This helps them mix well with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Vanilla extract. For that sweet and subtle taste of vanilla!
  • Unsalted butter. Melted and cooled to room temperature. 

Other than this basic list of ingredients, you will also need a special Madeleine pan, a pan with shell-shaped molds that form the cookies’ shape. 

Ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla.

How to Make Madeleine Cookies

Our Madeleine cookies recipe is simple to make! It’s the easiest recipe that doesn’t take a whole lot of prep time and it will give you a delicious batch of soft and tender Madeleine cookies.

Here’s a quick look at the steps but be sure to check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page to view the full process and ingredient amounts. 

Combining flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Pouring the eggs into the flour mixture.

Whisk together the eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl and add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.

Mixing the sponge cake batter for madeleines.

Whisk together until it is well combined.

Pouring melted butter into the batter.

Pour the melted butter into the madeleine batter. Fold it in until it’s fully mixed and shiny. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 

Tip: To prevent adding a lot of air into the mixture, don’t mix the batter too vigorously.

Brushing oil into the crevices of a Madeleine baking pan.

Preheat the oven and grease and flour the Madeleine molds. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. 

Scooping cookie dough into the cavities of the baking pan.

Place a level scoop of batter into each cavity of the chilled pan. Bake until the edges look golden brown and slightly crisp and the cakes spring back when lightly touched. 

Remove from the oven and immediately turn them out onto a kitchen towel. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then set them on a wire rack (pattern side down). 

For a delicious variation, try our almond Madeleines.

Tips for Success

  • Chilling the batter will give you a higher dome on the Madeleine cookies/cakes.
  • Do not leave the baked madeleines in the pan as they will continue to cook from the heat of the pan and could turn out too dry.
  • Beware of turning the Madeleines from the pan directly onto a wire cooling rack as they will leave wire-rack markings on the cookies. Wait until they have partially cooled on the kitchen towel before placing them onto the rack. When setting them on the cooling rack, make sure you set them pattern side down.
  • If baking in a 12-cavity madeleine pan you will have enough batter for another partial pan. Keep the remaining batter refrigerated until ready to bake.
  • Wash the pan thoroughly between each batch of cookies and greases/flour as noted in step #1 when ready to bake the remaining batter.
  • Store any leftover Madeleines in an airtight container for up to three days.

Flavor Variations

You can dress up these Madeleine cookies or enjoy them plain! Some fun ideas for other flavor variations include:

  • adding a bit of lemon zest or orange zest for a light citrus flavor
  • dipping them or drizzling them in melted chocolate after they’ve cooled 
  • adding the tiniest splash of almond extract (or other extracts or flavors) to the batter.

You can also check out our lavender Madeleines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s special about Madeleines?

Madeleine cookies are delightful. Their unique shape, delicate texture, versatility in flavor, and nostalgic appeal have contributed to Madeleines’ enduring popularity.

Should you refrigerate madeleines?

You can leave these little tea cakes at room temperature if you store them in an airtight container. If you want to store them for longer than 2 days, we suggest you freeze them.

A plate filled with madeleine cookies with a cloth napkin in the background.

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? Some More Recipes You Will Love:

Coconut Cake Roll: This dreamy, fluffy and heavenly dessert is bursting with coconut flavor! The vanilla cream cheese frosting is sprinkled with sweet coconut flakes and it pairs beautifully with the coconut-y taste of the tender sponge cake.

Lemon Meringue Cookies: They’re light, lemon-y and melt-in-your-mouth GOOD! These sweet and crisp meringue puffs are easy to make and a great way to end any meal.

Chewy Pistachio Cookies: Real pistachio flavor takes center stage in these irresistibly delicious cookies! They’re extra rich and chewy with the perfect fudgy texture.

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A plate filled with vanilla madeleines.

Madeliene Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 27 minutes

These petite vanilla-flavored Madeleine cookies are a French classic treat! As they bake the tops rise to give it a classic hump. They are tender, cake-like cookies and perfect for a sweet snack or light dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1-⅓ cup (160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature and well beaten
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Instructions

  1. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk well to blend the ingredients.
  2. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together and stir into the flour mixture until well combined.
  3. Pour the melted butter into the batter and fold until fully incorporated and shiny (To prevent adding too much air, do not mix the batter too vigorously).
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to fully chill.

To Bake the Madeleines: 

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and grease and flour the madeleine pan.  Alternatively, you can use a baking oil/flour spray, brushing into the crevices. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
  2. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, place a level scoop of batter into each cavity of the chilled pan.  
  3. Transfer the pan to the center rack of the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges look golden and crisp and the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  4. Remove from the oven and immediately flip them onto a kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes, then place on a wire rack, pattern side down to finish cooling. 

Notes

  • Chilling the batter will ensure a higher dome on the cookies/cakes.
  • Do not leave the baked madeleines in the pan as they will continue to cook from the heat of the pan and risk being dry.
  • Beware of turning the madeleines from the pan directly onto a wire cooling rack as they will leave wire-rack markings on the cookies. Wait until they have partially cooled on the kitchen towel before placing ,pattern side down, on the wire rack to finish cooling
  • If baking in a 12-cavity madeleine pan you will have enough batter for another partial pan.  Keep the remaining batter refrigerated until ready to bake.
  • Wash the pan thoroughly between each batch of cookies and greases/flour as noted in step #1 when ready to bake the remaining batter.
  • Store any remaining cookies in a covered container for up to three days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 71Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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