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.
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.
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.
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…
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Beat eggs together with sugar until you get a smooth and even texture. Beat in vanilla and salt.
- In small portions, add flour to the mixture and blend it right until it looks mixed. Gradually add butter in steady stream, beat only until mixed.
- Spoon batter into each pan well. You don’t need to spread them, as they will melt and spread nicely on their own.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for a few minutes and remove from the pan.
How long can these be stored. Party Saturday and wondering if I can make them ahead of time. Can they be frozen as well and for how long? Excited about trying this recipe,
Hi Gail, Store them in an airtight container or storage bag on the counter for up to two days before they start losing their signature crunch. You can freeze them as well. I talk about the best way to freeze them in the post. I hope this helps! Thank you for reaching out.
Should the dough chilled in fridge for certain time? Or just bake it without chilling it?
Hi Meg, I do not chill the dough before baking it. I hope this clears things up. Thank you for reaching out!
This is a wonderful recipe! Very easy to make, and absolutely delicious. If you want it to be perfectly crunchy on the outside as well as heavenly soft on the inside cook it for about twelve minutes on the second to last top rack of your oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If I want to add lemon or orange do I add zest or juice and how much?
Hey there, thank you very much for those awesome tips! If you are going to add lemon or orange, I would recommend you add the zest. I hope it turns out beautifully! Enjoy!
How many Madeleine's you get out of this recipe
Hi Marilo! This recipe makes about 40 cookies. Thank you for reaching out! Have a great day!
would love to try your recipe but it is near impossible to follow with large ads covering most of it, seeing only 2 lines at a time or needing to scroll through ads or other nonsense. I am not able to print and having never made these before I wanted to see the step images. disappointing.
Hi Amy - Ah, I'm so sorry the ads are getting in the way. Are you able to see the images that are in the numbered steps at the bottom of the post? If you click "print recipe" that should allow you to see the recipe sans ads (but without actually printing it)! I hope this helps and that you are able to give this recipe a try.
Can Almond extract be substituted for one or both tablespoons of vanilla? I just love the flavor of almonds.
Hi Susan! Absolutely you can! Let me know how they turn out! Enjoy!
Can you add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the mix?
Hi Asia, I have not tried adding anything to this recipe. I have done chocolate dipped, but that is as much as I've added to the cookies. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out! Good luck!
Could you make these chocolate
Hi Ann, You absolutely can! I have not made the chocolate version, but I would love to know how they turned out. Enjoy!
Hello! What type of flour is used? Self rising? All purpose? Cake flour?
Hello Emmie- All purpose flour is used for these cookies. Enjoy!
Is it really 2 table spoons vanilla extract? That seems excessive.
Hi Rai- You're welcome to use less, it won't negatively affect the recipe. Enjoy!
Am I able to double this recipe without ruining the end result?
Hey Joanna, yes for sure, you can double it up. Thats a smart move because they do store really well. Enjoy
Hi do we need to butter the pan so the batter won’t stick?
Hi Mishel, most madeleine pans are non-stick so it's not necessary. Enjoy!
Amazing. Tried another recipe from another site and it didn't turn out well. Gave this recipe a shot and they are so good. Light and fluffy and full over flavor.
Hi Erin- I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Hi again, Natalya. Thanks for the recipe and for responding to my early msg. Before receiving your reply, I went ahead and made your recipe. Yum! Tasty! My first madeleines worked out. Full disclosure, I got my madeleine recipes mixed up, and ended browning my butter. I don't know if that helped, hurt, or didn't impact the recipe at all. Thhey are delicious. However,, they seem a bit dry. Can you advise me on what I can do, or don't do, next time? Thank you. Resa
Hi Resa - Yay! I'm so happy they turned out good. That's great to hear. The browning of the butter might have tried them out a bit. I think that could be your problem! Hope this helps.
Quick update on my efforts with your madeleine recipe. My granddaughter and I made them again yesterday. They are perfect and so delicious. I did not brown the butter this time. They are so darned good. Thank you. Resa
Thank you for the update, Resa; so glad you enjoyed them!
I'm curious about the 2 Tablespoons of vanilla. Is that correct?
Yes - that is correct, Resa! Thanks for checking in.
Hi! I'm just curious, what altitude are you at? I'm at a higher altitude, and many recipes I've tried, none of them madeleines, have failed for altitude reasons. Thanks! I'm so excited to make these on Saturday! 🙂
I just made these in Colorado at 5,400 feet, and they worked perfectly with no adjustments. Just make sure you don’t over-mix! Over-mixing is half the problem with collapsing at high altitude.
Jacob, this is such a great tip. Thank you for sharing your tip with us!
Hi Emmie - We are in Nashville, which is pretty low to the ground. I hope these work out for you!
I read the recipe many times.. where does the salt go?
Hi Kim - It's listed in step #1! Hope you love them. 🙂
After chilling the dough and using the correct size cookie scoop, they surprised me!
Mary, I hope it's a good surprise. Thanks for your feedback!
I followed this recipe to the letter, checking several times that I had the correct measurements. After adding the melted butter, the dough (And I use the term lightly.) was still pourable. It is now in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. If that doesn't work, I have wasted a lot of time and ingredients.
Hi Mary, the dough should be pourable for this recipe. I am trying to understand what you are struggling with? Please let me know how we can help!
I think I'm having the same issue as Mary. I had to mix quite a bit to get all that butter incorporated. It's in the fridge now to bake tomorrow but it feels like I'm going to be eating mouthfuls of butter.
Hey dear, I have never tried refrigerating the batter for madeleines, you want the dough to be pourable. If it stays in the fridge, butter will get hard. I would keep it at a room temperature before baking. Also, the cookie does have a lot of butter, as long as all ingredients are measured correctly, the process will work. Hope this helps.
I have always loved these cookies and decided to do them and they turned out amazing. When I first took them out everyone wanted one.
Hey Isabella, they really are a divine treat 🙂 I am so glad the recipe went well and you enjoyed the results, thanks for your comment!
I was not expecting these to turn out *perfectly* the very first time!!!
These will now (and likely forevermore) be called "Miracle Cookies" in my home. Simple, fantastic recipe: many thanks for sharing!
Aside: I bought a Mandeine pan a while back and put off trying a recipe until I had more time.This is *fast* and easy - just follow the directions. I'm so impressed...thanks again!
Hi Caroline, I love that, "miracle cookie" it shall be 🙂 I am so glad you found this recipe easy to make. We love crazy easy recipes, the simpler, the better! If you get creative with decorating or topping off these cookies please share, I'd love to hear back!
I just tried making two batches of this. One as the recipe stated, and the other with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spiced latte (my own customization).
The original recipe is way too dense, dry, and like crunchy bread when cooled. The pumpkin spiced ones were soft since the puree added moisture to it. I think it's too much flour in this recipe.
There is also no hump, even after I've put both batches of batter in the cooler for 30 minutes. I can't really recommend this recipe if you're looking for a soft madeleine with the signature hump back, unfortunately.
Hello, thank you for your detailed feedback. I love your idea of making fall pumpkin-spiced madeleines, absolutely genius, need to try that myself. In regards to the batter being too dense and too dry, is there a chance the batter was overmixed? I've done that a few times myself and found that it also affects how the cookies are able to form those signature 'humps'. Hope you're able to try again and see better results!
If you want the classic bump on the madeleine, put your batter in the cooler for ~30 minutes so the butter gets firm. Then put it in the mold and bake. The cold butter in the batter makes the bump go up. If you don't do this step, there won't be that pronounced bump.
Check them at 10-minute mark since the batter is not much, so they can burn really easily.
Hey Twee, those are great tips! I am going to try it next time. Love learning from our community! Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
Why don’t you use baking soda?
Hey, this is the recipe we used and it works great just like this. Enjoy
Added zest of one lemon. This is the best madeleines I’ve made by far. Easy and simple recipe. Question- will reducing the amount of sugar affect the recipe? I love the texture and hate to change it.
Hey Jan, I haven't tried using less. If you use a little less, you should be ok but I wouldn't do much less.
Can I add some Grated lemon peel to the recipe?
Hey Dorene, yes, this is such a great idea. Even orange peel will be good too.
They do. Ot stay fresh but a few hours. Very dry. I tried freezing them they are worse. Tips??? Reviews were good.
Hey, I would say warm them up a bit if you freeze them. They do have a lot of butter and frozen butter isn't that great.
Do you butter the pan?
Hey Caryn, no, I dont butter the pan because the cookies are loaded with butter. They wouldn't stick to them the pan.
Can you tell me good fail proof 🍩 recipe? Thank you
Do you mean donut recipe?
Looks delicious! Can't wait to try this one. I think my family will be all over it.
They are such an awesome treat to have with a cup of coffee, and yes kiddos adore them too! These cookies make everyone happy.