Foolproof Vanilla Madeleine Recipe

With this Foolproof Vanilla Madeleines recipe I’ll share how to make perfect madeleines every time! Included are all my favorite tips and tricks (including how to get that signature bump), plus flavor and glaze options. This dough can sit in the fridge for several days letting you make these little cakes on demand – how fabulous is that?!?
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I’m so excited to share all of my favorite tips and tricks (including how to get that signature bump) for Foolproof Vanilla Madeleines that are perfect every time!

When I first started baking madeleines I was so completely annoyed and frustrated with the requisite hump that is required (DEMANDED) for the perfect madeleine. WHY oh why did they need this if they taste delicious with or without the hump?!?! Why I ask you!!

But alas I was determined to come up with the perfect recipe that would give us the hump every single time and I DID IT! I’ve adapted the madeleine recipe from The Cookie Book and made it super jazz-handsy and informative, and all of this in collaboration with my friends at C&H® Sugar.

If you’re looking for more fun, classic cookie recipes, check out: Chocolate French Macarons with Marshmallow Frosting, Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Salted Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies and these Fudgy Crinkle-Top Brownie Cookies.

Let’s make my favorite foolproof vanilla madeleine recipe!

Some pretty Madeleines close up

Why Your Wanna Bake These Vanilla Madeleines!

  • Madeleine cookies are a delicious hybrid cookie: half-cake, half cookie.
  • Soft, delicate sponge-like texture. They’re like mini, bit-sized portable cakes.
  • The cookie dough comes together quick and requires zero special ingredients.
  • You can keep the dough in the fridge and bake-off fresh madeleines on demand (aka: best life living).
  • I’m sharing all of my favorite tips & tricks to get perfect, tender madeleines every time
  • You can keep them casual with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or jazz them up with the cranberry glaze (also consider this Strawberry Glaze) and demerara sugar sprinkles. YOU DO YOU.

Let’s make the best vanilla madeleine cookies!

Flavor Variations for Madeleine Cookies

Using Extracts to Flavor Your Cookies

At its core, this is a vanilla madeleine cookie recipe. To flavor the cookie, this recipe also has both extract and citrus zest components, love.

For the vanilla I’m using an actual vanilla bean for incredible flavor and I love the vanilla bean flecks. But you can also use real vanilla extract (see notes) or vanilla bean paste. All three will make a delicious cookie.

You can also sub in different extracts. I’m thinking specifically of almond extract, but the sky’s the limit.

I used orange zest for this particular cookie, but lemon zest is DELIGHTFUL. And grapefruit is not to be ignored.

Both extracts and zest are a great way to layer flavor into your madeleine recipe.

Now let’s talk about glazes…

Adding Glaze to Vanilla Madeleine Cookies

For this recipe I used a super simple glaze of simple confectioners’ sugar and a small splash of unsweetened cranberry juice. I love the bright pink color and the cranberry flavor – it’s perfect.

However, this Strawberry Glaze would be equally delicious!

Make sure you sift the confectioners’ sugar…it’s always a good policy for the smoothest glaze!

Madelelines are best the day they are eaten. Either bake them fresh, just prior to eating OR you can coat them completely in the glaze.

This latter method works in much the same way that frosting or a crumb coat seals moisture in a cake. The glaze seals in the moisture and keeps the madeleines fresh and delicious longer.

Plus, it’s delicious. Did I mention it’s all delicious?

That drippy drip

My Favorite Madeleine Baking Tips

Traditional madeleines are super simple, cake-like cookies comprised of eggs, sugar, butter, flour and salt. I add in some milk, cornstarch and baking powder for of structure, lightness and lift. 

Melted vs Soft Butter

What is the deal with butter? It’s fabulous! It’s delicious! And most madeleine recipes want it melted. I found that I liked the consistent results that I got when I used butter that was softened, but not melted. During my recipe testing I leaned on my experience baking scones for a local bakery (hi Solvang Bakery!). 

I wanted that lift and lightness that you get from small butter chunks interspersed throughout the dough. When the butter is softened it spreads easily throughout the dough, but tiny flecks of butter remain in the batter thus helping create extra lift in the oven. I swear it works.

To soften your butter quickly, you can put it in the microwave for 5-10 second increments. Be cautious as you don’t want it to melt, but you want it to yield when pressed with your finger.

Some madeleines strewn about

This, my friends, is imperative to getting that hump on the tops of your madeleines.

My theory (and I’m no scientist) is that the overnight rest allows the flour to absorb any excess moisture leading to a puffier cookie.

You’ll have the same experience if you rest your cookie dough (chocolate chip cookie dough, snickerdoodle dough); it will always yield a puffier cookie than if you’d baked the dough straight away.

DH TIP: When you stash your dough in the fridge for the overnight rest, be sure to place your madeleine tins in the freezer at the same time so they’ll be nice and chilled.

Now that you’ve rested your dough, you’re well on your way to getting that all-important hump.

What’s the next step? Perfectly placed dough in your perfectly prepared madeleine tin (see below for tips on that!).

It’s important that the batter is placed at the deepest part of the well and that you don’t even it out or make it tidy. Just scoop out your one tablespoon of dough, place it in the deep side of the madeleine well and that’s it.

No smoothing, no fussing, no nothing. This is a less is more situation. You’ve nailed it.

Madeleines dusted in confectioners' sugar
A tray o' madeleines

How to Pick the Best Madeleine Pan

Who would have thought we lived in a world where I would have this much to say about madeleine tins, but here we are! Go nonstick! I never say that about anything, but it’s imperative with madeleines. Read for more tin facts, including what to look for and how to prep them.

How to Choose a Madeleine Mold

Madeleine pans are typically rectangle pans with that signature shell shape well where you bake these classic french cookies. Use a nonstick madeleine pan. Invest in some really good nonstick madeleine tins.

I don’t like to have you buy extra equipment, but you’ll save yourself some heartache, as I’ve found even the most painstakingly perfectly prepared pan can produce madeleines that stick. 

How to Grease Your Madeleine Pan

Since nonstick madeleine tins are darker in color than stainless-steel tins, they bake at a lower temperature.

If using a stainless-steel tin that isn’t nonstick, use a pastry brush to butter and flour the crap out of it and increase the oven to 400°F (204°C) and bake for several additional minutes. 

When you add the flour over the brushed butter on the tin, shake it about to get every crevasse and then invert the madeleine mold to get rid of excess flour.

Additionally, I’ve found baking spray works really well for greasing up madeleine tins if you can’t be bothered with butter and flour.

It’s Crucial to Chill Your Madeleine Tin

Chill your pan and batter and don’t skip either step. I mean it. 

The Pan Fine Print

Madeleine tins vary in size and depth. If your tin is slightly larger or smaller than 3 1⁄4 x 1 1⁄2–inch (8.3 x 3.7–cm), adjust your batter per cookie and also adjust your bake time. 

Glazes and sprinkles yo

TIP: Use Demerara Sugar to make DIY sprinkles. Simply mix with gel food coloring or edible shimmers or dusts and sprinkle over the top of the glazed madeleine. I love how it looks on these madeleines!

A bunch of madeleines

Baker’s Timeline for the Best Madeleine Recipe 🥳

Ever since I was first served warm madeleine with cocktails, it’s one of my most favorite things to have on hand for entertaining. If I was having friends over on a Friday, I would…


Prepare the madeleine dough, cover airtight and stash in the fridge. Also, stash your madeleine tins in the freezer now so they’ll be perfectly chilled. If making demerara sprinkles, do them now and store in an airtight container at room temperature.


Once you pop the madeleines in the oven, whip up your glaze (if using). 

Madeleines are delicious fresh from the oven with a dusting of powdered sugar or let them cool, dip in the glaze and serve.

A Madeleine sitting on a plate in a pool of glaze

More Baking Recipes

For more fun recipes, see: Fresh Strawberry Scones, this beautiful Chocolate Brownie Meringue Cake, Mega Delish Lemon Olive Oil Cake, Chocolate Pavlova with Berries & Whipped Cream or my absolute FAVORITE Crinkly Fudgy Brownie (with a shiny top!) recipe!

Enjoy your Foolproof Vanilla Madeleine Cookies!

Rebecca Firth

Foolproof Vanilla Madeleine Recipe

With this Foolproof Vanilla Madeleines recipe I’ll share how to make perfect madeleines every time! Included are all my favorite tips and tricks (including how to get that signature bump), plus flavor and glaze options. This dough can sit in the fridge for several days letting you make these little cakes on demand – how fabulous is that?!?
5 from 5 reviews
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Overnight Rest: 12 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Keyword: Madeleines, Cookies, Orange, Vanilla, Dessert
Servings: 24 Cookies


For the Madeleine Cookies

  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, really softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2⁄3 cup (128 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) orange zest
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped ( or 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) whole milk (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (101 g) all-purpose flour (how to measure flour)
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Cranberry Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g) confectioners' sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsweetened cranberry juice

To Garnish

  • Demerara sugar (optional)
  • Gel Food Coloring (optional)
  • See notes in blog post regarding Demerara Sprinkles


For the Madeleines

  • To make the cookies, grease two 3 1⁄4 x 1 1⁄2–inch (8.3 x 3.7–cm) nonstick madeleine mold pan and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. If your room temperature butter isn’t soft enough to easily smear on a plate, then give it 10 seconds on high in the microwave to give it the correct consistency. Set aside.
  • In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until pale yellow and thick. Add in the milk, orange zest and vanilla and run the machine on low for 1 minute more.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients and softened butter to the egg mixture and run the mixer on low for about 40 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well blended.  The mixture will be smooth and creamy with some small butter bits visible. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least several hours or ideally overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of batter to each madeleine well. Place the batter in the deep end of each well, not the middle. Do not smooth or flatten.
  • Bake one tin at a time in the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes. When done, the madeleines will be golden brown around the edges and puffed up in the middle. Let the cookies cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack. Place some parchment underneath the wire rack.

For the Glaze

  • To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cranberry juice. Dip each madeleine in the glaze, letting the excess glaze fall back into the bowl, and then place the cookie back on the rack for the glaze to set. If using the demerara sprinkles, sprinkle some over the glaze. Enjoy asap!! xo


Important Note

Do not skip resting the dough nor chilling the madeleine tin.

Mixer vs Your Arms

I mention a mixer in the instruction, however, this is definitely a recipe that can easily be made with an electric hand mixer, stand mixer or a large bowl and spatula. Make sure you really cream your butter and sugar so that you get that awesome madeleine cake-like texture.

Demerara Sugar

This sugar adds texture (and natural sprinkles!) to the finished cookie. If you don’t have any on hand, simply omit it from the recipe. 

Chilling Your Madeleine Dough

I usually transfer the cookie dough to an airtight container. If there is lots of space between the dough and the top of the lid, than I will press some plastic wrap over the top of the dough to keep it from drying out.

Leftover Madeleines

Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. As note above, I think these are best the day they are made. And since the dough benefits from overnight fridge time, this helps to make them fresh as needed (and they are a need).
*If* you really want to make them ahead of time, I recommend glazes. They’re fabulous as noted in the Glaze section above the recipe.

Want More Cookie Tips?

Head over to My 10 Favorite Tips for Better Cookies!
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

This post + these Foolproof Vanilla Orange Madeleines with Cranberry Glaze were created in collaboration with C&H® Sugar!! A big THANK YOU to them + you for supporting the brands I work with! 


Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox

Recipe Rating


  • Parichart Kittitheerapornchai September 29, 2021 at 2:39 AM

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. Really looking forward to trying it. Though i have one question about the measure metrics here it is quite different from what I know when converting to grams. Eg. 2/3 cup of sugar is 128g (I used to learn 1 cup = 128g). I’m pretty new to baking so not sure if there are different rules about measuring ingredients. Really hope you can advise. Thanks a bunch!

    • Rebecca Firth September 29, 2021 at 7:34 AM

      Hi Parichart,
      Thanks so much for your question! One cup of granulated sugar is equal to 200 grams…that’s a pretty standard conversion (I use the book, The Baker’s Appendix for a lot of my conversions).

      At the time of writing this recipe, I was using 1 cup of granulated sugar = 192 grams. You’ll notice for more recent recipes (and my upcoming cookbook!) that I use 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar.

      I hope this answers your question. Please reach out with any more questions. Have fun!! xoxo

  • Willah January 6, 2021 at 8:06 AM

    5 stars
    I just made these for my family and they were sooo good!! Everyone agreed they were the best madeleines I’d made, hands down. I think this will be my go-to madeleine technique :) Thanks for the recipe!

    • Rebecca Firth January 9, 2021 at 4:20 PM

      Hi Willah! I am sooo happy you liked them!!!! xoxo

  • Dad December 23, 2020 at 5:13 PM

    5 stars
    With coffee for breakfast. With milk for lunch. With cocktails in the evening. So very very good. I remember the C&H ad from when I was a kid. “Pure Cane Sugar from Hawaii”. Life is good.

    • Rebecca Firth December 23, 2020 at 5:40 PM

      I remember it too!!! I can still hear the tune exactly!!! I’ll bring some to you soon!!! xoxo

  • Sally December 23, 2020 at 5:04 PM

    5 stars
    You make them so beautiful! I’m going in the kitchen now to make them.

    • Rebecca Firth December 23, 2020 at 5:09 PM

      I hope you do! You will love them!! xox