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Lemon Madeleines | A perfect, citrusy tea cake from Dorie Greenspan

Lemon Madeleines

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These scrumptious Lemon Madeleines were the ideal nibble with my afternoon tea. With their bright citrus flavor, these shell shaped sponge cakes were mini in size, but not in flavor! 

Lemon Madeleines on a small white plate with lemon slices

Tips for Making Dorie’s Lemon Madeleines

I’ve made madeleines a number of times before, many of which utilized a Dorie Greenspan recipe. But I learned a few new tricks with this latest recipe from Baking Chez Moi.

My nonstick madeleine pan still needed to be greased and floured, but lately I’ve been using Baker’s Joy, a nonstick baking spray with flour, to save a step. I had previously learned Dorie’s technique of rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar to release the fragrant citrus oils, but a few new tips made these the best madeleines to date.

  • You must chill your batter.
  • Your baking pan must be cold as well.
  • Place your filled, cold baking pan onto a hot baking sheet for the best rise.
  • This lemon madeleine batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days!
  • Once baked, madeleines are best on the day they’re made.

Lemon Madeleines in a square white bowl

A Boost of Citrus

After the madeleines cooled, I brushed on a mixture of powdered sugar and lemon juice and then popped these gems back in an extremely hot oven for just a minute or two to melt the glaze. If you are a lemon fan, you’ll definitely want to go the extra mile with a double dose of citrus, otherwise a dusting of powdered sugar will suffice.

Lemon Madeleines on a square white ceramic plate

Check out Dorie’s recipe from WNYC radio (refer to this more detailed recipe if you have questions about the procedure).

To see what the other Doristas thought about these Lemon Madeleines, check the LYL page on the Tuesdays with Dorie site.

More Lemon Desserts:

Lemon Madeleines

Lemon Madeleines

Lovely lemon madeleines sweetened with honey and iced with a lemon glaze!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Yield 12


Madeleine Batter:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of one lemon, finely gratd
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional


  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (may need slightly more or less)


To make the madeleines, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl;. Set aside.

In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips to release the oils in the zest. Add the eggs and whisk well, until pale and slightly thickened.. Beat in the honey and vanilla.

Then gently fold in the dry ingredients, just until they are incorporated. Fold in the warm melted butter and then the milk. Chill for 1 hour with plastic wrap pressed over the surface of the batter.

Butter the molds and dust with flour or use non-stick flour and oil cooking spray.

Spoon the batter into the molds and refrigerate at least an hour.

Place a baking sheet on the center rack in your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the madeleine pan on the hot baking sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and the cakes spring back when pressed with a finger.

Remove the pan from the oven and immediately release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter.

Transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool to room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar or glaze if desired.

To glaze,  preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil and put a cooling rack on it.

Put the powdered sugar in a bowl that will let you dip the madeleines into the glaze. Whisk in the lemon juice a little at a time until you get a glaze that’s about the consistency of heavy cream.

Quickly dip each madeleine in the glaze (rounded side) and put them bump side up on the cooling rack. Place them into the oven, and leave them for 1-3 minutes. Remove from the oven as soon as you see the first little bubble develop in the glaze. Let cool to room temperature and serve.


Serve warm or at room temperature.
The batter can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Once baked, they taste best on the day they're baked.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 madeleine

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 91mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 16g Protein: 2g

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