Madeleine Cookies: An Easy Lemon Cookie Recipe

This French-inspired recipe for Madeleine cookies delivers a delicious taste and texture you’ll not get from any other cookie recipe; a combination of crispy yet spongey. With a touch of lemon flavor and white chocolate coating, this cookie is vraiment delicieux! (That’s French for really delicious) Perfectly paired, I think the combination of lemon and white chocolate is just divine.

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These Madeleine cookies are perfect for any occasion whether it be family get-togethers, pot lucks or even cookie exchanges. You can’t go wrong any way you serve these cookies. You can easily change up this classic French Madeleines recipe a bit and dip them in your favorite coating. Or you can double dip with a different coating on either side.

They are a bit delicate so you’ll need to be a little cautious mixing the batter. I’m no pastry chef, so don’t stress out, just try not to over mix it and you’ll be fine.

If you are a lemon and lemon zest fan like me here are a few other yummy recipes below for you to try!

This blog post contains affiliate links. The opinions are wholly my own from my own experience. I may earn a small commission from clicks through to the websites that end in a purchase.

Why You’ll Love This Madeleine Recipe

  • Simple yet decadent
  • Easy to modify
  • Crispy and spongy at the same time

Equipment Needed

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • zester
  • hand mixer or stand mixer
  • shell muffin pan see the Madeleine pan (also known as a Madeleine mold) I picked out below
  • microwave-safe bowl

Ingredients To Make This Cookie Recipe

Madeleine Cookies

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, more for greasing the pan
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

While this French Madeleine recipe calls for lemon, you can always experiment with using vanilla extract or almond extract or even switch out the lemon zest for orange zest in your madeleine batter!

White Chocolate Coating

  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp lemon or orange liqueur
ingredients for Madeleine Cookies

How To Make French Madeleine Cookies

This is an easy-to-follow classic French Madeleine recipe that uses lemon in the madeleine batter but can be varied to whatever flavor you like. I love the idea of using vanilla extract in the batter and sprinkling the tops with powdered sugar or confectioners sugar once they cool!

Cookies

  • In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift the flour and baking powder to break up any clumps.
combine dry ingredients
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar on medium-high speed until very pale yellow, forming ribbons, and more than doubled in volume.
wet ingredients blended
  • Gently stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
adding lemon juice and zest to batter
  • Fold in the flour mixture in four batches, incorporating gently and breaking up any pockets of flour without deflating the air too much.
folding in flour to cookie batter
  • Stir in the melted butter until fully incorporated.
stirring in butter to Madeleine Cookie batter
  • Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours).
  • While batter is resting, preheat the oven to 375°F/190 C. Brush melted butter into a madeleine pan (or mini muffin pan). Dust with flour and pour out any excess. I love this shell-shaped madeleine pan ~ how fun would it be to use it for cornbread muffins, too?
  • When ready to bake, scoop a heaping tbsp (15ml) of batter into each well. No need to level it out, it will do so as it bakes.
adding scoops of Madeleine Cookie batter to baking pan
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes until golden brown at the edges and bounces back in the center when lightly touched.
baked Madeleine Cookies in baking pan
  • Allow cooling for 3-5 minutes in the pan. Use a paring knife, work around the edges and pop the cakes out to cool completely. If you still have more batter and only one pan, clean the wells out and recoat with butter and flour to bake a second batch to golden brown again.
Madeleine Cookies on cooling wire rack
  • Once cakes are completely cool, prepare white chocolate coating.

White Chocolate Coating

  • Break the white chocolate into small pieces and combine with the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-40 seconds until the chocolate starts to melt, then 15-second intervals until mostly melted. Stir to finish melting and to create a smooth texture. Alternatively, you can melt the white chocolate in a double boiler (or a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water). Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. ** If using liqueur, add it now, stirring gently, and add another 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.
melted white chocolate with spoon
  • Holding the Madeleines at an angle, dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate, shake off any excess and set on a cooling rack to dry.
dipped Madeleine Cookies on wire cooling rack
  • Alternatively, you can just drizzle the chocolate over the cookies in a zigzag pattern. These cookies are best eaten the same day but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days.
Madeleine Cookies scattered on a cooling rack

What is a Madeleine?

A Madeleine is typically a small shell-shaped cookie that is similar in nature to a sponge cake. Several theories exist about how they came into existence, however. Though the one thing they all have in common is that they were created by someone named Madeleine.

white chocolate dipped Madeleine Cookies

Variations on this Madeleine Recipe

  • change up the coating by dipping in dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or even milk chocolate
  • roll the cookies in chopped nuts or more lemon zest after dipped in the chocolate
  • sprinkle with powdered sugar instead of dipping in chocolate
  • you could make a quick and easy powdered sugar glaze for the top instead of using chocolate
chocolate madeleine cookies
credit: Amazon

Tips and Tricks for Classic French Madeleines

  • Use fresh lemon juice and not jarred for the best lemon flavor.
  • If you don’t want any coconut flavor make sure to buy unflavored coconut oil.
  • To separate the eggs, break the egg in half and then pass the yolk back and forth between the two halves while the egg white drips into a bowl.
  • Make sure to zest the lemon before you juice it.
side view of Madeleine Cookies

FAQs

What are madeleine cookies?

Madeleine cookies are sponge cake-like cookies that are usually shaped like shells.

How do you store leftover madeleine cookies?

I’m not sure if you made them correctly if you have any leftover madeleines! LOL! However; Madeleine cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. I don’t recommend you freeze madeleine cookies. Freezing these cookies may change their delicate texture.

up close platter of Madeleine Cookies

What can I use instead of a Madeleine mold?

If you don’t have a shell muffin tray or a madeleine mold on hand it may be difficult to get the right texture of these cookies using a cookie sheet. Unfortunately, there aren’t any alternatives.

I hope you enjoy trying out this amazing recipe! You can feel all fancy because you made classic French Madeleine cookies. Be sure to experiment with different flavors in your Madeleine batter and let me know what other Madeleine recipes you create in the comments below!

Madeleine Cookies PIN

Madeleine Cookies: An Easy Lemon Cookie Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 cookies

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup butter unsalted, melted and cooled, more for pan
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup sugar granulated
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp flour all purpose
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

White Chocolate Coating

  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp lemon or orange liqueur

Instructions
 

Cookies

  • In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir to break up any clumps.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar on medium-high speed until very pale yellow, forming ribbons, and more than doubled in volume.
  • Gently stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Fold in the flour mixture in four batches, incorporating gently and breaking up any pockets of flour without deflating the air too much.
  • Stir in the melted butter until fully incorporated.
  • Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours).
  • While batter is resting, preheat the oven to 375°F/190 C. Brush melted butter into a madeleine pan (or mini muffin pan). Dust with flour and pour out any excess.
  • When ready to bake, scoop a heaping tbsp (15ml) of batter into each well. No need to level it out, it will do so as it bakes.
  • Bake for 9-12 minutes until golden brown at the edges and bounces back in the center when lightly touched.
  • Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes in a pan. Using a paring knife, work around the edges and pop the Madeleines out to cool completely. If you still have more batter and only one pan, clean the wells out and recoat with butter and flour to bake a second batch.
  • Once the Madeleines are completely cool, prepare the white chocolate coating.
  • Break the white chocolate into small pieces and combine with the coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-40 seconds until the chocolate starts to melt, then 15-second intervals until mostly melted. Stir to finish melting and create a smooth chocolate texture. ** *Alternatively you can melt the chocolate over a double boiler (or a heat-safe bowl over a pan of simmering water). Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.
    If using liqueur, add it now, stirring gently for 15 seconds. Note If adding liqueur, add another 1-2 tsp coconut oil.
  • Holding the Madeleines at an angle, dip half the cookie in the melted chocolate, shake off any excess, and set on a cooling rack to dry.
  • Alternatively, you can just drizzle the chocolate over the cakes in a zigzag. Best eaten the same day but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these Madeleine cookies last week. I loved them and shared them at work. Everyone thought they were tasty too! Thank you. 🙂

    1. southerncrush says:

      Wow! I’m so glad to hear that! Glad you and your coworkers enjoyed them!

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