Citrus Madeleines

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Citrus season is here, and there’s no better way to embrace it than with sunny citrus madeleines. Brown butter and a mix of Meyer lemon and Cara Cara orange zest flavor these petite French butter cakes, with golden edges that give way to soft and light centers.

Citrus Madeleines

These cakes remind me of buttery citrus clouds, especially blissful when devoured slightly warm with a dusting of powdered sugar. Here’s to bringing a little sunshine into the kitchen!

Citrus Madeleines

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Citrus Madeleines

Citrus Madeleines


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a medium brown, about 5 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute. Transfer citrus sugar to a medium bowl and whisk in flour. Combine eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together until frothy, about 1 minute. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir with a spatula just until combined. Add the cooled brown butter and stir in just until incorporated. Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and butter and flour a nonstick madeleine pan. Use a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop (or 2 spoons) to fill molds with a generous tablespoon of batter. Bake for about 14 minutes, until puffed and golden, and edges spring back to the touch. Remove madeleines from oven and immediately turn out onto a wire rack or clean tea towel to cool. Just before serving, dust madeleines lightly with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days, or wrap well and freeze.


Baking pan: Madeleine molds available at Williams Sonoma. Adapted from The Kitchn


  • Calories: 130
  • Carbohydrates: 15

Keywords: Citrus, Brown Butter

More madeleine recipes you’ll love:

Lavender White Chocolate Madeleines
Brown Butter Honey Madeleines
Earl Grey Madeleines

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  1. Buttery citrus clouds sounds like the perfect title for these! Great little treats for an afternoon tea! 🙂

  2. Beautiful, Laura! Citrus is just what we need right now and your little sweet classic ‘French butter cakes’ fit the bill!

  3. Ah, I just love the sound of these citrusy madeleines, Laura! I haven’t made any in a while, but your mouthwatering pictures have reminded me how much I adore these bite-sized cakes! Pinning your recipe to try soon!

  4. O, love love love citrus, and always get excited about adding orange and lemon flavorings to my recipes! I love the lightness of madeleines.. and want one now with a cup of tea!

  5. I love lemon madeleines and your combination of citrus sounds even better! You got the perfect “bump” on your cakes. Such a lovely teatime treat!

  6. Ohhh these look delightful, Laura! I love madeleines. I love their little cakey goodness. Sweet and citrusy and picture perfect!

  7. Laura these pictures make me so happy! It’s the white of the sugar and the pop of colour from the citrus 😀

  8. These citrus madeleines are super duper cute! 🙂 I love the flavors in this cute little cakes! My kids love madeleines as an after school snack 🙂

  9. January’s definitely a perfect time to bring a little sunshine into the kitchen and I can’t think of a better way to do that!

  10. Looks like we were thinking along the same lines today Laura! I love the citrus flavor of these. Nothing like some citrus flavor this time of year to remind us all of warmer weather!!