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French classic butter madeleines ready to serve on a plate.

Brown Butter Espresso Madeleines Recipe

Emma Duckworth
These Brown Butter Espresso Madeleines are the perfect accompaniment to your cup of coffee. Buttery rich sponge with a nutty undertone is then dipped in an espresso glaze and sprinkled with chopped toasted walnuts. I don’t think you will stop at one!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Refrigeration 2 hrs
Total Time 40 mins
Method Cakes
Cuisine French
Servings 24 Madeleines
Calories 117 kcal



  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs - room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 15 ml milk
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 110 g plain flour (all-purpose) - plus extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt

Espresso glaze

  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 30 ml hot water
  • 180 g powdered icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 g walnuts - toasted and chopped finely



  • Brown the butter. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt your butter. Continue to heat until the butter foams up and the melted butter below turns golden and then to a golden brown colour and has a nutty fragrance. This takes about 4-5 minutes.  Note, the butter turns very quickly from golden to burnt. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, and cool to room temperature. Set aside 1 tablespoon worth of butter, this will be used to brush the pans with later on.
  • Whip the eggs and sugar. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the eggs and sugar and beat on medium for 5 minutes until pale and thick.
    Add the flavouring. Decrease the speed to low and add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Sift dry ingredients into the batter. Sift into the bowl the flour, baking powder and salt and mix on low until a few flour streaks remain.
  • Pour in the melted butter. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and slowly pour in the melted butter. Make sure to scrape in all the brown bits that will have settled at the bottom of the butter bowl. Gently fold in the butter with the rubber spatula ensuring that you don't knock out all the air.
    Refrigerate Batter. Cover the batter with cling film and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or ideally overnight.
  • Prepare the Madeleine pans. 30 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Using the brown butter that you set aside earlier, melt in the microwave if it has solidified. Using a pastry brush, grease all the moulds of your Madeleines pans with the melted butter. Lightly dust each mould with flour and tap out any excess. Place the pans in the refrigerator until the oven has come to temperature and you are ready to fill them with the batter.
    Fill pans and bake. Once the oven is at temperature, remove the batter from the fridge and one Madeleine pan. Fill the deepest part of each well with 1 level tablespoon of batter. Do not level the batter out. Remove the other pan from the fridge and fill it in the same way.  
    Place madeleines pans in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, check after 8 minutes and rotate the pans. They are ready when the ‘humps’ have risen, and they‘re browned on the edges.
  • Turn out onto wire rack. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before removing them from the pans and allowing them to cool. (Tip: give the pans a little jiggle, and they should pop out. If they stick, run a knife around the edges to loosen them.)

Espresso Glaze

  • Make the glaze. Add the hot water to the espresso powder and mix until the coffee is combined. Add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, and two tablespoons of coffee in a separate bowl and whisk the ingredients until a smooth and drippy glaze forms. If the mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon at a time of milk (or more coffee if you want a stronger taste) and whisk till combined. Or, if too thin, you can thicken it by adding a ¼ cup of icing sugar and whisking until the desired consistency has been reached. The icing mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Dip the shell side. Dip the madeleine's shell side into the espresso glaze until coated, and then dip the bottom half of the madeleine into the chopped walnuts. Place on a wire rack until set. Serve immediately.


Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.
How to store: They are best served fresh on the same day as baking. However, store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. 
To freeze: Allow the Madeleines to come to room temperature, wrap in baking paper and store in an airtight container. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before glazing and serving. 
TIP 1: Weigh your flour. Use digital scales for an accurate measurement. Too much flour will lead to a dry sponge.
TIP 2: Whip eggs for long enough. They need to aerate to help create a light and tender crumb. 
TIP 3: Slowly pour in the melted butter. Adding in the melted butter too quickly into the whipped eggs will cause them to deflate.
TIP 4: Refrigerate the madeleines pan. Doing this helps the madeleines rise in the oven.
TIP 5: Don’t overbake the sponge. If you do, you’ll end up with dry little rocks!


Calories: 117kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 40mgPotassium: 29mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 141IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Brown Butter Madeleines, Madeleines
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