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Vanilla Madeleines

Vanilla Madeleines – A delicious French dessert! Light vanilla cakes baked in a shell-shaped madeleine pan that can be dipped in white chocolate or topped with powdered sugar.

Vanilla Madeleines

Vanilla Madeleines

Madeleines have been a near and dear treat to my heart for many years. My friends and I used to go get the big container of them from costco and munch on them before I started to make them myself. To my delight, it turns out that madeleines are a wonderfully simple dessert to make right at home with some many different flavors that you can make!

Now the one thing to know about madeleines is that they do require a special pan. I got one of mine (the one used for these madeleines) off Amazon and another (it makes smaller madeleines) from Home Goods. They are quite cheap but necessary if you want them to have the signature shell shape.

To decorate these vanilla madeleines, I like to just melt chocolate and dip part of them in.  You can use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or even dark chocolate but I do suggest that you use chocolate that is high quality.  Totally up to you how to make them look beautiful!

Vanilla Madeleines Recipe

Common Questions About Making Madeleines

What is are vanilla madeleines?

Vanilla madeleines are a light and airy cake baked in a shell shaped tin.  The batter is that of a regular madeleine but with the addition of vanilla bean paste.

Why are they called madeleines?

They are called madeleines because as the story goes, the name was given to them to honor the father-in-law of Louis XV’s cook, Madeleine Paulmier.

Are madeleines cookies or cakes?

While the recipe for a madeleine is much more similar to a pound cake, they are baked in molds with a crisp golden crust which makes them more like a cookie.  So they are kind of a mix between both a cookie and a cake.

Can madeleines be frozen?

Yes, madeleines can be frozen very easily.  Let the madeleines fully cool and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months.

Madeleine Recipe

What other flavors of madeleines can I make?

It’s so easy to customize madeleines! Some of my favorite flavors are –

What should I do if I don’t have a madeleine pan?

If you don’t have a madeleine pan, the next best thing would be a muffin tin.  While they won’t be quite as pretty, it will do the job.

Why do madeleines have a hump?

Madeleines have a hump because of the temperature difference between the madeleines and the oven which causes steam, thus making the hump.

French Madeleines

What is vanilla bean paste?

Vanilla bean paste is essentially the caviar of a vanilla bean in a thick liquid that is made for baking.  It is different from vanilla extract because it has a stronger flavor and will give your dessert the black flakes of vanilla.  I suggest using vanilla bean paste (or vanilla beans directly) if that is the main flavor of the dessert.

Where can I get vanilla bean paste at?

I suggest just ordering it off Amazon or a similar online retailer as it isn’t always carried at grocery stores.

What should I do if I can’t find vanilla bean paste?

No worries! Just directly substitute vanilla extract in or use the caviar of one vanilla bean.

What else can I make with vanilla bean paste?

So many things! Some of my favorite things to use vanilla bean paste for include –

French Madeleine Recipe

Looking for more elegant dessert recipes? Check these out!

Easy French Madeleines
Yield: 20 Madeleines

Vanilla Madeleines

Vanilla Madeleines

Vanilla Madeleines – A delicious French dessert! Light vanilla cakes baked in a shell-shaped madeleine pan that can be dipped in white chocolate or topped with powdered sugar.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick salted butter (melted)


  1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla bean paste until smooth and pale yellow - about 8-10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
  3. Combine the flour mixture with the egg mixture and fold it in gently so that you don't deflate the mixture.
  4. Fold in the melted butter, again making sure not to deflate the eggs.
  5. Let the batter chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Towards the end of the chilling step, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Grease a standard madeleine pan with melted butter or non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Scoop batter into the molds until they are 3/4 full.
  9. Bake until the madeleines are light brown - about 12-13 minutes.
  10. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool and if any batter is left, rinse the pan and re-grease and continue as described above.
  11. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


* I used a 1 tablespoon scoop to ensure my madeleines are all the same size.

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Vanilla Madeleines

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