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Lemon Madeleines

Lemon Madeleines Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood This post may contain affiliate links.

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Warm weather calls for a light, flavor-packed bake. These Small Batch Lemon Madeleines are one of my favorite things to bake when I’m in the mood for a citrus dessert that feels fancier than you might think it is to bake.

Before developing this recipe, I thought baking madeleines was something I would never be able to do. For whatever reason, it seemed like an impossible bake that only the greatest and most talented of bakers could accomplish. 

But then, I heard my own voice in my head, telling me – “Cece, anyone can bake if they know the science behind the bake”. So off I went researching what makes a madeleine and how to get that characteristic bump out of the bake. 

After many recipe trials and a few other taste varieties, I was walking around the store earlier this week and saw Lemon Madeleines sitting out in the bakery section. Once again the voice in my head said “Cece, you can make these”. 

So, I created the Small Batch Lemon Madeleines. She is light, full of citrus goodness and the perfect bake for anyone to create.

With some simple baking hacks, you’ll get that characteristic bump out of the madeleines every time!

Let’s dig in together, shall we?

The Process 

As always, prepare your work station by pre-measuring the ingredients and preheating the oven to 400 degrees. 

After that, melt your butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stay close by because as soon as it is just melted, reserve 1 tbsp of butter. Continue heating the rest of the butter until it turns slightly brown and smells a little toasty. Remove from the heat to cool slightly. 

Using the reserved 1 tbsp of butter, coat your madeleine tray. Place the tray directly into the freezer. 

Next, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg, lemon juice,vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Keep whisking until it is all nice and foamy. 

In a separate bowl, combine the lemon zest, flour and baking powder using a rubber spatula. Then slowly add your wet ingredients to that bowl and stir to combine.

Finally, fold in the slightly cooled butter, being careful not to over mix. 

Remove madeleine trays from the freezer and fill each mold ¾ of the way with batter. Then, place the filled trays back in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Immediately place the trays into your preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. 

Once baked, remove the madeleines from the trays, cool slightly and if you’d like, dip or glaze your madeleines with my simple vanilla glaze!

Or enjoy plain because trust me… they don’t need anything else.

The Tips 

What is superfine sugar? Do I need it?

Superfine sugar is exactly as it sounds. It is a very fine grain type of sugar. You may see it at the store labeled as “castor sugar”. But, if your store does not have this sugar, no worries!! You can pick up regular granulated sugar at the market and either use it as-is (although it won’t dissolve as easily) or throw it in a food processor for a minute to further grind up the sugar crystals. 

Can I skip freezing my trays before and after filling them?

Do not skip either freezing step! The freezing of the butter in the madeleine trays is what helps give the madeleine its characteristic bump. When you pop the frozen butter into the oven, that will give the madeleine batter the extra “oomph” it needs to rise and rise! 

Do I need to use melted butter to line my madeleine trays? 

Yes! Do not use pam or skip this step. As noted above the melted and then frozen butter in the madeleine trays will help give it the characteristic bump we all know and love. 

Why is this recipe in grams? 

Baking is a science and in science you want things to be exact and precise. The best way to do this is by weighing out your ingredients using a simple scale. Ever baked a cookie using the same recipe, yet somehow it turns out slightly different each time? That is because when measuring by volume, you can’t be as precise. It is vital that your ingredient ratios are accurate for a reliable bake every time.

The Lemon Madeleines Recipe

Special Equipment needed: Madeleine Trays

Lemon Madeleines

A close up photo of the baked Lemon Madeleines

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  • Author: Cece
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 38
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 65 grams of unsalted butter
  • 40 grams of superfine sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 50 grams all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees

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Baking By Cece is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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