Madeleines are French, shell-shaped cookies. They are crispy on the outside and soft like cake on the inside. This is a quick and easy recipe you will surely love.

Madeleine cookies in the mold

What Is a Madeleine?

These cookies, sometimes referred to as Classic French Madeleines, are actually small sponge cakes. Over the years, people have started calling them cookies because of their shape. I think it really depends who you ask nowadays.

Legend has it that this beloved cookie got its name from a young girl who served as pastry chef for the Duke of Lorraine. Her name was — you guessed it — Madeleine and the only recipe she knew was her grandmother’s tea cakes. Long story short, everyone loved her treats and they were lovingly named Madeleines after her.

Today, these cookies are eaten during tea time throughout all of Europe. Pair them with a cup of Earl Grey or coffee for a relaxing afternoon treat.

Madeleine cookies are a staple in our home. Quite often I purchase the pre-made ones from Costco — they’re so good! This recipe is a copy cat and, honestly, homemade is always better.

Madeleine cookie pans are sold at many home goods stores. I’ve seen affordable options at TJ Maxx and Homegoods. Amazon also has them for a similar price. Here’s an Amazon link to a Madeleine pan similar to mine.

Madeleine Cookies Video

How to Make the Madeleine Cookies

  • Prepare all ingredients ahead of time. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, vanilla extract and eggs. Continue whisking until you get a fluffy texture.
  • In small portions, fold the flour into the mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, melt butter and let it cool to room temperature. Add butter to the mixing bowl, carefully folding it in.
  • Place all Madeleine dough into a ziplock back and cut out a corner for piping. Pipe small portions of the dough into the Madeleine mold.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the mold size. Madeleines are ready when golden brown.

Get Creative With Madeleine Cookies

There are many ways to decorate your Madeleines. You can even add a bit of crunch by sprinkling them with nuts, coconut flakes or freeze-dried raspberries.

Yes, the cookies are delicious without any bells and whistles, but why not add some flair? Just make sure you allow the cookies to cool completely before you dip them in chocolate and decorate them. Allow them to set at room temperature for a couple hours before serving.

Madeleine cookies dipped in chocolate

Keeping Madeleine Cookies Fresh

Madeleines get rather dry quite fast and it’s best to eat them within a couple days of baking unless you decide to freeze them (see below). Store them in an airtight container or storage bag on the counter for up to two days before they start losing their signature crunch.

Yes, the shelf life isn’t too long, but let’s be real, were they going to last more than two days anyways?

Can you Freeze Madeleine Cookies?

Freezing Madeleine cookies is a great way to have a quick batch on hand at all times. After baking, allow your Madeleines to cool down completely. Transfer them to a baking sheet in one layer and place in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer cookies to a plastic bag.

When you’re ready to eat them, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Take them out once soft and eat cold or allow them to sit at room temperature for a bit.

Other Cookies You Will Love

  • Kolaczki Polish Cookies – These Polish holiday cookie are filled with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Peach Cookies – This unique cookies is served at every Russian or Ukrainian wedding and for good reason — they’re beautiful!
  • Russian Pryaniki Recipe – A simple iced cookie that goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea.
  • Macaroon Cookies – The coconut lovers cookie!
  • Nutella Cookies – Calling all Nutella addicts! This one is for you…

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.