This recipe for lemon madeleines uses a hint of lemon in both the cookies and the glaze, taking this dessert to the next level. They are a chewy and delicious cake-like cookie.
There are two reasons I decided to whip up these lemon madeleines:
- Have you been watching The Great British Baking Show? I absolutely adore this show. I have to admit, not everything they make looks appetizing (I'm looking at you, Beetroot Black Forest Gateau), but some of the stuff looks so tasty. And it does put me in the mood to do a little baking myself. Immediately after I watched this past week's show, I channeled the inner baker in me and started the batter for these cookie-cakes.
- The second, and most important reason, is that I recently came across the madeleine pan I bought several years ago (and never used...oops). I decided it was finally time to put it to use!
What are madeleines?
If you've never had madeleines before, they are kinda like a cross between a cookie and a cake. And I would say more cake-like than cookie-like. They are almost like mini-cakes. They use a special pan to make, which gives one side a shell-like appearance. The other side gets a hump classic on madeleine cookies.
I wound up trying these two different ways. I just dusted powdered sugar over some of these, and for the other half I made a glaze. I'd recommend both! The powdered sugar is probably slightly easier, but I love the look and flavor of the dipped madeleines.
I found this recipe from Martha Stewart for vanilla madeleines, and then adapted it to make a lemon version. The lemon is pretty subtle, but it does add a nice hint of flavor.
Ingredients for making the lemon madeleines:
For the cookies:
- All-purpose flour - This is your typical white flour
- Baking powder - Make sure your baking powder isn't expired, as that can affect the chemistry of the baking powder and how fluffy your cookies get.
- Salt - Simple table salt is what you need for this recipe!
- Eggs - You'll need six large eggs at room temperature! So prepare ahead.
- Sugar - White granulated sugar is what I used.
- Light brown sugar - Another kind of sugar! That means you know this recipe is going to be delicious.
- Unsalted butter - Some of this will be softened, and some melted. Prepare ahead and take your butter out of the refrigerator!
- Honey - You'll need just a touch of honey.
- Lemon - You'll need both the juice and zest of a lemon! (If you're not familiar with lemon zest, it's just the outside yellow part of a lemon. You basically grate it off of the lemon with a microplane or zester).
For the glaze:
- Confectioners sugar - aka powdered sugar
- Whole milk - I used regular whole milk for this, but you can probably use almond milk
- Lemon juice - this helps give the madeleines even more lemon flavor!
- Orange - You could substitute out lemon juice and zest with orange juice and zest and make these orange madeleines.
- Lemon raspberry - You could keep the lemon in the cookies, but take it out of the glaze and instead make a raspberry glaze similar to the one used in these cookies.
- Coconut lime - You could use lime zest and juice in the place of lemon zest and juice. And you could toast up some coconut and once you've glazed the cookies, sprinkle or dip in the toasted coconut for a pina colada flavor.
How to make the cookies:
First, prep all the ingredients! Like having some room temperature eggs.
Next, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar until pale and very fluffy. Then, sift the flour mixture into the batter.
You'll carefully fold in the flour mixture.
Then, fold in the melted butter. Once that's done, add the lemon juice, zest, and honey and fold that into the batter. Set aside and refrigerate for two hours.
Once you take the batter out of the refrigerator, preheat your oven and get your madeleine pan ready and butter the molds! You'll let the mixture sit at room temperature for ten minutes, then put into a piping bag.
Pipe into the madeleine molds and then bake!
Once the cookies are baked, remove them from the pan. One side will have the lovely shell pattern and the other side will have the typical madeleine bump. Either top with powdered sugar or a lemon glaze.
- Madeleine Pan
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar packed
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened for greasing pans
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh - for the cookies
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1 1/2 Tbsp whole milk
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice fresh - for the glaze
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a stand mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar until pale and very fluffy, about 10 minutes.
- Sift the flour mixture in two additions, folding in after each addition. Fold the melted butter in two additions, and then fold in the honey, 1 tsp lemon juice, and lemon zest. Refrigerate for at least two hours, covered with plastic wrap.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let batter sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Take your madeleine pan and prepare by buttering each mold with a pastry brush.
- Place the batter into a pastry bag, and pipe into each mold, about 3/4 full.
- Bake the madeleines in the oven about 8-11 minutes until nicely browned.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Rebutter molds for each new batch of cookies.
- For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Dip each cookie into the glaze and place back on the wire rack while the glaze cools and hardens.