Madeleine Cookies with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

A few years ago, I was at Williams Sonoma and I picked up a madeleine pan.  I’m really not sure why, as I’ve never had a madeleine and the pan has been sitting in my cabinet for at least 3 years, unused.  I have a terrible habit of doing that- buying all kinds of crazy baking pans and one use kitchen gadgets, I just had to have, but then don’t use.  I came across a recipe for madeleines with vanilla bean buttercream frosting and I decided it was about time I finally use that pan.  Now I am sad that it took so long, because I discovered that madeleines are delicious!  They look really time-consuming and impressive.  But, the batter is really easy to make and then you just spoon it into these molds.  What you get is a buttery cake, that has a slight crust to the outside and a tender inside, in the cutest shell shape.  If that isn’t delicious enough, you then spread it with vanilla bean buttercream.  I just love to see those black specks in contrast to the white frosting.  There is just something about it that makes me happy.  😀

Madeleine Cookies with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Yield: 48 madeleines (I got 36)

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter, melted and cooled

Optional: I added 1/2 of a vanilla bean scraped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a twelve well, 3-inch madeleine mold and set aside. (I used Pam Baking with flour)

In a large bowl combine eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 4 minutes. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and satiny.  Remove the bowl from the mixer stand.

In a small bowl stir together flour and baking powder. Sift about one-fourth of the flour mixture over egg mixture; fold in gently. Repeat, folding in remaining flour mixture by fourths. Gently stir in melted butter. Spoon batter into prepared molds, filling each mold about three-fourths full.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in molds on wire racks for 1 minute. Using a knife, loosen edges of cookies from molds. Invert cookies onto racks; cool. Frost with Vanilla Bean Buttercream.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream:

1/4 of a vanilla bean, scraped

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

3 – 4 tablespoons milk

Scrape out seeds from vanilla bean with the tip of a small sharp knife. In a large bowl combine vanilla seeds and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in milk to make of spreading consistency.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Helpful Hints:

  • Store the cookies at room temperature for up to 3 days- in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers
  • They can be frozen up to 3 months
  • The buttercream can be stored in the fridge up to 1 week, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Leave a comment


  1. Looks yummy and pretty,great post 🙂

  2. Those look incredible, would love to have a few with my cup of tea 🙂

  3. Sara

     /  February 10, 2012

    Never even heard of these much less knew that there was a pan to make them.Wow! They look so yummy.

  4. I am making lemon madeleine cookies and I am finding that they are turning out a little too cakey. Can I increase some ingredient in the recipe to make them more dense? I realize they wont be like cookies but these came out pretty spongy. Also the flat part, not the shell side, was just a little bit sticky. So what went wrong? How can I make them more dense?

    • Hmmm. I’m not too good at adjusting baking recipes. This was the first time I have had a madeleine and from what I have read about them, they are supposed to have the texture of a sponge cake. So it sounds like yours are right on track.

      Mine were a bit sticky on the bottom too. I think that happened to me because I packed them up while they were still warm and it was steam.


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