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Brown Butter Madeleines

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Elegant Brown Butter Madeleines are perfectly golden, delicate French cakes infused with the rich, nutty aroma of browned butter. Each bite offers a sublime taste, ideal for pairing with your afternoon tea or as a refined dessert. Bake these sophisticated treats to impress at any gathering!

Madeleines on board.

Brown Butter Madeleines Recipe

Indulge in the classic French delicacy of brown butter madeleines, where simple ingredients transform into exquisite, light-as-air cakes.

Infused with homemade browned butter, these madeleines offer a rich, nutty depth that elevates them from a simple treat to an exquisite confection, perfect for elegant teatimes.

The browned butter imparts a complex flavor profile, enhancing the delicate, spongy texture of the madeleines with its caramel-like undertones.

Whether served alongside a steamy cup of tea or as the finale to an upscale dinner, these madeleines bring a touch of French culinary luxury to any occasion.

Bite taken out of one brown butter madeleine.

How are Madeleines Different From Cakes?

Madeleines are distinct from typical cakes due to their unique texture and shape. They are small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape, thanks to the special pans in which they are baked.

Unlike regular cakes, madeleines have a lighter, more genoise-like texture, which is airy and slightly springy. They are typically drier than most cakes and are often enjoyed dipped in tea or coffee.

How Difficult Are Brown Butter Madeleines to Make?

Madeleines are considered to have a moderate difficulty level in baking. The challenge mostly lies in achieving their classic texture and the characteristic “hump” on the back, which requires precise mixing and resting of the batter. However, with careful attention to the recipe steps and proper technique, even novice bakers can successfully make madeleines.

Expert Tips

  • Choose the Right Pan: For authentic, beautifully shaped madeleines, use a high-quality nonstick madeleine pan to achieve the classic shell shape and even baking.
  • Monitoring Brown Butter: Watch the butter closely as it transitions from frothy to golden brown to avoid burning.
  • Batter Consistency: Do not over-mix the batter to keep the madeleines light and fluffy.
  • Even Baking: Fill each madeleine well similarly to ensure uniform baking.

Why Did My Madeleines Not Have Their Typical Bump?

This issue often arises when the batter hasn’t had sufficient time to chill. It’s crucial to let the batter rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This chilling process helps to firm up the batter, ensuring that the madeleines develop their characteristic texture and shape when baked.

Madeleines grouped together.

Day of Baking

Delight in a day of baking with these hand-picked recipes designed to bring variety to your day including these brown butter madeleines for afternoon tea!

Breakfast: Fruit and Nut Granola

Morning Snack: Chocolate Dipped Macaroons

Decadent Dessert: Rustic Apple Tart

Refreshing Sip: Rosé Mimosa

How to Store Madeleines

Store madeleines in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.

Brown butter madeleines on board.

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

Brown butter madeleines recipe.

Brown Butter Madeleines

Samantha Pickthall
Perfectly golden, delicate French Brown Butter Madeleines infused with the rich, nutty aroma of browned butter. These madeleines are perfect for elegant teatimes or as a sophisticated dessert!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 24 madeleines
Calories 85 kcal



  • 110 g unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup (150g/5.3 oz.) all-purpose flour, scoop & leveled
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter, to grease pan
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, for dusting pan
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar, to dust once baked


  • Prepare Brown Butter: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Increase to high until boiling, then reduce to medium until it browns with a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof container to cool.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium-size mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk through the salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk Eggs and Sugar: In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes until pale yellow.
  • Combine Ingredients: Gently fold half the flour mixture into the eggs until just combined. Fold in the remaining flour.
  • Mix in Butter: Pour the cooled brown butter into the batter and gently fold until well combined, until the batter is thick, do not over-mix.
  • Chill Batter: Cover and refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat Oven and Prepare Pan: Preheat oven to 356ºF (180ºC). Brush madeleine pan wells with melted butter, dust with flour, and tap out excess.
  • Transer Batter: Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into the middle of each well. Leaving the batter untouched, it will spread out into the wells during baking.
  • Bake: Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve: Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!


  • Store madeleines in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.


Calories: 85kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 32mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 144IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

First published in 2021, this recipe was updated in May 2024 to include new information and easier to follow method steps in the recipe card. No ingredients have been changed.

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