Lemon Madeleines


These bitesize cakes shaped like a scallop shell are a quick crowd pleaser with a cup of tea. The batter can be prepared in advance and you can bake these little cakes just before your guests arrive. Nothing more welcoming than the delicious smell of fresh baked cakes. Baked in only 6 minutes.

This recipe makes enough for 12 madeleines.

Who connected us?!  Guillaume Brahimi is a French borne Chef, active in Sydney and a regular guest of many cooking shows like “MasterChef” and “Food Safari”. As most  French, Guillaume likes butter and there is plenty of it in this recipe.  I have made a few small twist to his original recipe to make the recipe more accessible for you at home.

To make this little treats, you need a madeleine tray. They are available in most cookware stores. Don’t try to replace the madeleine tin with anything else, like a cupcake tin. It won’t work. Madeleines should by thin, this batter is not suitable to make a cup cake or anything else.


  • 40 g Unsalted butter
  • 100 g plain flour (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g caster sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • extra butter for creasing the tin



  1. Chop the butter in small cubes and melt in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until a nutty brown color. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, caster sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl, stir to combine well.
  3. In a second bowl,  whisk the eggs with the milk.
  4. Cut the vanilla pod in half, lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the egg mixture and whisk again.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until combined (do not over whisk).
  6. While stirring, gradually our in the browned butter and whisk well. Stir in the lemon zest.
  7. Allow the batter to rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  8. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  9. Grease the tin with softened butter. Don’t use a spray because this recipe is all about butter.
  10. Spoon the batter into the moulds. Alternatively you can use a piping bag.
  11. Bake for 6-10 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Take the madeleines out of the tin straight away after baking. I simply turn the tin upside down and place them on a rack.
  13. Tuck in while they are still warm. You can dip them in melted butter and some icing or caster sugar.


  • Nutty brown butter? Beurre Noisette (hazelnut butter) as the french say has a hazelnut like toasty taste. It gives your recipe a richer flavour. You don’t burn the butter, but when you melt the butter over medium to high heat, constantly stirring, the milk solids toast in the hot fat and give the butter its unique taste.
  • Over-whisking! Many cake-like recipes require that you do not over whisk or over stir the batter, why? It means that you stop mixing until ingredients are just combined, as soon as you can’t see the ingredient that you just added. For example, if you are adding flour to the egg & milk mixture, stop mixing once you no longer see any flour.  When you overmix a cake batter, the gluten in the flour can form elastic gluten strands, which result in a more dense texture. When you mix batter by hand, which I highly recommend, overstirring will not easily happen. But when you use a mixer, you have to be a little more carefull.
  • Convection oven. If you use a fan-forced (convection) oven. reduce the temperature to 150°C
  • Vanilla pod’s second life. Do not trough away the vanille pod after you scrapped out the seeds. You can make some vanilla sugar by blending the vanilla pod with about 2 cups of sugar.
  • Give your batter some rest. Some batters need to rest before you cook them. This might sound a little awkward but resting allows it to develop into a delicate instead of chewy batter. Any gluten that might have formed during the mixing of the batter get time to relax and air bubble can work their way out.

The beauty about letting your batter rest is that you can make the batter in advance and pop the madeleines in the oven just before your guest arrive. Creating that beautiful welcoming smell of freshly baked goodies.




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