Get your holiday baking off to an amazing start with these beautifully baked Brown Butter Madeleines with a soft, sponge cake center and crisp, browned edges and a delicious buttery flavor! Here I give them an even more flavorful twist with nutty brown butter and a sweet, tangy passion fruit glaze. If you don’t have access to passion fruits, substitute with oranges, tangerines or lemons or leave out the glaze altogether. I have also included a few tips to make sure you get perfectly baked madeleines, every time! 🙂
I love passion fruit. It grew in abundance in Sri Lanka and I used to love eating that very juicy, very tart, very fragrant fruit out of hand. Recently, I bought a few of these gorgeous fruits online and used them in a couple of great recipes. There were still a few left in the fridge before Mr. K and I went off on a mini-vacation a few weeks ago, and I did NOT want to leave them behind. I wanted to do justice to this fruit which I never get to taste in this part of the US, so I decided to make some easy Brown Butter Madeleines and then dipped them in an amazing Passion Fruit Glaze! 🙂
I’m sure Madeleines need no introduction. If you guys love those little French butter cakes, then you’re just like me… and everyone else in the world who has ever tasted ’em! They are known just as much for their unique scalloped shell shape with ridges on one side and a smooth hump on the other, as for their pillowy-soft, light texture in the middle with browned, crisp edges! They are a little similar to genoise sponge but has more butter – giving them a beautiful buttery taste as well. And since they are made in that special scallop shell shaped pan, they also get those delightfully crisp edges while still being light as air. To elevate the taste even further, I browned the butter to add another dimension of nutty flavor, turning these into the MOST ADDICTIVE madeleines you’ll ever have! 🙂
These soft sponge cakes with those crisp edges are absolutely perfect on their own (maybe with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top?), but of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone. So I coated them with this sweet, tangy passion fruit glaze!
That combination of buttery and nutty with a little sweet and a lot tangy, makes these brown butter madeleines with passion fruit glaze honestly addictive, and I’m not using that word lightly. We literally cannot stop until the whole batch disappears. They are a perfect tea-time snack, or great for the holidays too to serve your guests! And if you don’t have access to passion fruits, no worries, just use an orange or lemon or tangerine glaze instead. Or leave out the glaze altogether or simply dust them with some powdered sugar.
Here are some tips to make sure your madeleines come out perfect every time.
While madeleines are very easy to make, they do require some time, patience and of course the special madeleine pan.
Once the batter has been made, it tastes better if you let it rest in the fridge, covered for a few hours (up to overnight, or even upto 2 days).
This works out fine because the madeleine pan also needs a little bit of attention to make sure the little sponge cakes don’t stick to it. I coat the cavities with TWO thin melted layers of butter (or one thick layer), and a dusting of flour and then let the pan sit in the fridge (overnight) or freezer (for an hour or so).
So take your time to do these two things. Sure, it may make you a little restless, but if you want to enjoy the most incredible soft, buttery, sponge cakes aka brown butter madeleines, this is all worth it! Those madeleines will thank you for your patience, and they’ll pop right out of the pan when they’re done, all too eager to share with you their silky soft deliciousness! Ha!
Which brings me to my last tip. These babies are best eaten fresh, warm, on the same day you make them! You could keep them in the fridge and maybe they’ll be OK the next day, but then you start losing that soft center – crisp edges contrast which is about half the reason why these brown butter madeleines are so addictive. But one thing I often do is to make a double batch of the batter and then bake one batch (12 madeleines) or as many as I need, and then cover the rest of the dough and keep it in the fridge if I know I’ll be using it the next day, or in the freezer if I want to keep it for a few days. This way I can enjoy fresh, warm madeleines every time! 🙂
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 125g / 1 cup AP flour, sifted
- Rind of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 1 stick of butter (melted and browned)
- 1 cup of sifted confectioner's sugar
- 3 tbsp passion fruit juice/pulp
- Place the butter in a non-stick pan and heat until it melts and turns a golden brown and smells like roasted nuts. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Crack the two eggs into a clean bowl. Add the brown sugar and whisk until the eggs-sugar mix is pale, frothy and thick.
- Add the salt, lemon rind, lemon juice, vanilla and fold through to mix.
- Add the sifted flour and fold through until just combined.
- Add the cooled brown butter and fold through until the butter has mixed well with the batter.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight or up to 2 days).
- Prepare the madeleine pans (prepare 2 madeleine pans for 1 batch as this makes about 16 madeleines). Melt some butter, and using a pastry brush, brush each cavity thoroughly with a thin layer of melted butter. Keep the tray in the freezer until the butter has hardened. Apply another coat of thin butter and dust the cavities with some flour.
- Keep the prepared tray in the fridge or freezer to completely set (keep it in the fridge if it's for more than 1 hour).
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C. Fill each cavity about ¾ of the way with cake batter - about 1 heaped tbsp.
- Bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown and the center is puffed up. (the precise time will vary based on your oven temperature).
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. While the cakes are still warm, pop them out of the pan (they should come out easily, but use a spoon to loosen them up gently if needed).
- Eat while still warm or at room temperature with a dusting of sugar OR with the passion fruit glaze.
- While the brown butter madeleines are baking, whisk the confectioner's sugar and passion fruit pulp together until you have a thick, pourable glaze. Add more passion fruit as required to thin out the glaze, or more confectioner's sugar to thicken the glaze.
- Dip half of each madeleine in the glaze to coat, and place them on a parchment paper or cooling tray.
- Eat while warm, or let the glaze set and serve at room temperature.
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