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

Lemon Madeleines

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:

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

Lemon Madeleines

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

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 36 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Mixing, Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

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

Glaze:

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

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

  • Serving Size: 1 madeleine
  • Calories: 117kcal
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Sodium: 91mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 32mg

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

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45 comments on “Lemon Madeleines”

  1. Such pretty madeleines, your lemon glaze is a nice touch!

  2. I have a hot cuppa… just need a couple cookies:@)

  3. Hi Liz, these are just gorgeous! Yum!

  4. Beautiful pictures. You just want to eat them right of the screan. miam miam

  5. Lemon.. these madeleines look so lovely and delicious!

  6. Madeleines are one of my favorite treats. These look super yummy with the lemon glaze. I see my husband and I fighting over the last one 🙂

  7. These are perfect madeleines !!
    They look fantastic and you make wanna make them SOON

  8. Your madeleines look lovely! I’ve skipped the glaze, and use a dusting of powdered sugar instead. I’ll try with the glaze the next time. We enjoyed these madeleines and this is another keeper recipe from Dorie!

  9. Beautiful! Kinda wish I would have glazed mine now…thanks for posting a link to the recipe!

  10. simply damn delicious!!!
    perfect for my morning….
    btw, what a coinsidencem my assistant made it and bring it to the clinic, it’s pretty good too

  11. There is just something about these madeleines that make them my favorite of the madeleine recipes I’ve tried. Your photos are stunning, as usual.

  12. Mmm, love lemon desserts. Madeleines are on my list of things to try making some time…jus tgotta get that pan. These look great!

  13. So I’ve never made madelines before – love the delicate hint of spring in these – they look exquisite!

  14. When Zoe was in 8th grade she got extra credit in her French class for making Madeleines with the recipe, the teacher supplied in French. I still have the pan. Would be a pity not to try these!

  15. Liz, I’m drooling here!!! citrus madeleines.. have never heard of this before.. Looks so tempting.

  16. Your glaze looks so delicate! Impressive!

  17. These lemon madeleine look scrumptious! I love lemon so the lemon and powder sugar glaze sounds perfect.

  18. Perfect, Liz.
    As I made these, I was definitely wondering why I don’t make them more often!

  19. These madeleines are perfect!!! Absolutely stunning! The citrus glaze is a great idea! I always feel like madeleines are a little blah, but I never thought about glazing them!

  20. May I have some nice tea to go with these lovely bakes, Liz?

  21. In my family we love madeleines, we can eat everyday ! yours looks very nice and the citron touche I like very much, it’s refreshing !

  22. Liz, lemon madeleines are like my fave things in the world!!! I love these and YOURS are perfection!!!

  23. I love madeleines with my afternoon tea! This is perfect. Lovely with the lemon touch plus the glaze too. I’m always amazed by their pretty scallop shape. Lift the teacup with the little finger pointed, dahlink! I should try Dorie’s recipe – looks super.

  24. Your madeleines are perfect! I used Bakers joy as well – it’s never failed me.

  25. I agree Liz, these were one of the best Madeleines, that I’ve ever made! The glaze just shot them over the top! As always, yours look gorgeous!

  26. There are many reasons you are a popular blogger, Liz. 1. Your personality. 2. Your cooking/baking skills. 3. Your recipes…And your generous sharing of how to make them divine. Mille foie merci on the Madeline tips! Now I want to make Madelines =)

  27. I don’t think there would be any concern about these not being as good the second day. There wouldn’t be any left! Love the glaze idea, it not only makes them look so pretty but I’m sure enhances the lemony flavor.

  28. Beautiful Liz!!! I’m ready to share a pot of tea and a plate of your madeleines!!!

  29. Liz, these are so pretty light and delicate…and yes, I love the lemon in it…
    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  30. These look beautiful. I’m never made them before. I’ll have to give them a try.

  31. My pans are not non-stick and despite a generous greasing and flouring, I still had to pry them out of the pans.

  32. Love your photo! i loved the glaze as well, but then I love lemon!

  33. Your madeleines look fabulous. I loved these – my favourite madeleines so far.

  34. Yum-yum! The glaze was worth the extra step, I think.

  35. Your madeleines are so pretty, Liz! My best friend brought silicone madeleine molds for me from Paris and I can’t wait to use them. I know that they won’t have the crispy edges but at least clean up will be easy, right?

  36. I love making madeleine’s and yours look absolutely perfect!

  37. Madeleines remind me of my wonderful grandmother, loved sharing them with her. We both would adore this citrus version. really great tips shared too.

  38. Your madeleines look fabulous! Mmm…lemon! And I like that you glazed the shell side, not the hump!

  39. You achieved such beautiful color! The glaze certainly was a nice touch to these treats, wasn’t it?

  40. Lizzy,
    I’ve never made Madeleines but mostly because I don’t want to buy a special pan. The do look yummy though.
    Annamaria

  41. These madeleines look so delicious, love the refreshing lemon taste!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  42. We are HUGE lemon fans over here so I’d definitely go the extra step. I had an idea about a year ago to make a business of making madeleines but then I got out the calculator and decided they were more trouble than they were worth. Your madeleines look like the authentic French kind, loving the crispy caramelized edges, so beautiful. I’ve got enough non-stick madeleine pans to last me a lifetime…perhaps I’ll take a few to the cottage, you can never have enough madeleines around the house.

  43. Do you get “the bump” Dorie writes about in her cookbook. I have made this recipe two times following her guidelines precisely. I don’t get the bump. And my madeleines are not all perfectly shaped. I am an experienced baker. Could it possibly be my pan? I have a lightweight, nonstick Chicago metallic pan.

    • I did get the bump, but I’m no pro when it comes to madeleines. I use a non-stick pan, so think your pan should be OK. I’ll ask around and email you if any of the French Fridays with Dorie group members have any suggestions.

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