Lemon Madeleine Cookies

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Madeleine cookies are delicious cake-like cookies with a crispy exterior and soft interior. This Lemon Madeleines recipe makes French butter cookies with bright citrus flavor. They’re the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea.

homemade lemon madeleine cookies

If you’re looking to brighten up your winter days, bring a little sunshine and citrus in with these lemon madeleine cookies! We’re sharing all about how to make madeleines today…and the history of these little sweet treats.

Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, these shaped cookies are ideal for wedding or baby showers…or a quick Easter treat.

Are madeleines cookies or cake?

If you have yet to taste Madeleine cookies, it can be difficult to understand exactly what this classic French dessert is. Technically a French butter cookie, the lovely Madeleine has an interior similar in texture to pound cake. Madeleine cookies are baked in a special pan to give the cookies their signature shell shape.

Why are they called Madeleines?

According to one story, the name “Madeleine” was given to the cookies by King Louis XV, to honor his father in-law’s cook, Madeleine Paulmier. 
Another story gives credit to pastry chef Jean Avice, who worked in the kitchens of Prince Talleyrand.

Can you make Madeleine cookies in a muffin pan?

To give the lemon Madeleine cookies the classic shell shape, they must be baked in a Madeleine pan. That being said, the cake texture of the cookies will allow them to be baked in a mini muffin pan. Whichever method you use, be sure to grease the wells of the pan to prevent the cookies from sticking.

In addition to a Madeleine pan, you will also need the following supplies:

unbaked cookie dough in a madeleine pan

Lemon Madeleines Recipe Notes

  1. The cookie batter requires chilling time in a refrigerator, for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer the batter rests, the better, so this is a great make-ahead cookie recipe. After you make the batter, transfer it to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days.
  2. To prevent air pockets in the cookies, you will need to release the air. To do this, place the batter into the pan, then rap the bottom of the pan against a hard surface. A countertop works well for this.

white bowl filled with lemon madeleine cookies

Do Madeleines freeze well?

Madeleine cookies freeze beautifully! However, if you plan to freeze them, wait to dust them with powdered sugar until just before serving them.

To freeze the cookies:

  1. Bake the cookies per the recipe directions (shown below).
  2. Allow the cookies to cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Once the cookies are cool, transfer them to a freezer-safe, airtight container or place them into zip-top plastic bags.
  4. Transfer containers to a safe location in the freezer to prevent them from being crushed. For the best flavor, use the cookies within 3 months.

Lemon Madeleines are a fantastic treat alongside a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of Sparkling Raspberry Mint Lemonade. They’re beautiful too, making them the perfect dessert for a bridal or baby shower.

lemon madeleines dusted with powdered sugar

More Lemon Desserts

If you love the lemon Madeleines, be sure to try these lemon dessert recipes, too!

bowl of lemon cookies
bowl of lemon cookies

Lemon Madeleine Cookies

4.84 from 6 votes
Madeleine cookies are delicious cake-like cookies with a crispy exterior and soft interior. This Lemon Madeleines recipe has bright citrus flavor, making it the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea.
Servings 24
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a madeleine pan with butter then sprinkle each section with flour. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a stand or electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and continue mixing.
  • Melt the butter and slowly mix into your wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  • Fold in dry ingredients just until combined. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and allow for the batter to rest for about 30 minutes. 
  • Fill the molds of your madeleine pan about ¾ of the way and tap to ensure no air bubbles form. 
  • Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until edges become golden brown. 
  • Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


The calories shown are based on the recipe making 24 cookies, with 1 serving being 1 cookie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 26mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine French
Calories 70
Keyword lemon madeleines, madeleine cookies

titled image (and shown) Lemon Madeleine Cookies

About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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1 year ago

5 stars
Great recipe! thank you. The only change I did was sugar substitute as we have a diabetic in the house It Turned out fantastic.