Key Lime Madeleines

Key Lime Madeleines are classic bite sized French sponge cakes baked in shell pans and topped with a citrusy lime glaze.
Key Lime Madeleines

Key Lime Madeleines

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Key Lime Madeleines are my recipe of the day with the blogging group Baking Bloggers. We get together on the second Monday of the month to post recipes on a topic everyone votes and agrees upon.

This month the group voted to bake up madeleines, which are small French sponge cakes that are sort of like cookies. They are quite light and tasty.

You might recognize them by the combination of their shell shape and the bump that appears on one side.

Key Lime Madeleines

To make these you mix up a batter and allow that to rest and chill. Then put the batter in the pan, and give it a short time in the freezer. From there you put the pan into a hot oven until the “bumps” form, then reduce the oven temp for the remainder to make sure these little cakes bake all the way through.

After they have cooled, spoon a key lime glaze over and allow them to set up. This all results in a light little cake with crisp edges and bright citrus flavor.

Pan Size

I used a nonstick pan with a two tablespoon shell capacity. There are other size pans, but only fill them with half the capacity (measure with water). The bake time will likely change with other sizes too. But the idea is to bake until you get the bump risen, then turn the pan and reduce the oven temp, baking further until browned at the edges and spongy-firm.

Temperature  Control

I  can’t say the pan turn is absolutely necessary, but actually more important to fan the oven doing that and letting out some of the heat. The bump is from the cold pan and hot oven. Besides, the lower temp later is to make sure it is perfectly cooked and not burned. If you follow that reasoning.

Some chefs will monkey all sorts of ways with the temps and times. I don’t really buy into the turning the oven off theory as some do. My method works for me. I am confident it will work for you as well.

We all want the bumps on the cakes. If you want the madeleines to actually look like madeleines it is de rigueur.

Baking Bloggers


Baking Bloggers

Key Lime Madeleines

Key Lime Madeleines

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Key Lime Madeleines

Key Lime Madeleines

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 18


  • Madeleine Pans= nonstick with 2 tablespoon capacity


Madeleine Batter:

  • 1/3 cup superfine caster sugar or Baker's sugar (not powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pure lime oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Key Lime Glaze:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice


  • Whisk together the caster sugar, lime zest, eggs, vanilla, lime oil and honey.
  • Stir the heavy cream into the melted butter to help make sure it is cool, then add that to the egg mixture and stir again.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, then add gradually to the batter, stirring to keep the batter smooth.
  • Cover batter and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • About half hour into that, start preheating your oven to 425F, with the rack in the center.
  • Spray madeleine pans with Baker's Release spray.
  • Take the batter out of the fridge and use a one tablespoon size cookie scoop to scoop the batter into the molds.
  • Tap the pan lightly and place in the freezer for ten minutes.
  • Remove pan from freezer and bake in the hot oven for six minutes or until bumps have formed.
  • Turn the pan around and reduce the oven temp to 325F.
  • Bake for six minutes more or until browned at the edges and spongy-firm.
  • Cool in pan five minutes then finish cooling them on a wire rack.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter. You should get 18 (I got 17.5 but probably could have squeaked that other one out).
  • Whisk together the glaze and drizzle the undersides and allow to dry.
  • They are said to be best eaten fresh, so eat within one day. Day one will have crisp edges. Day two will be soft but still good. We had none left after that to say.


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Key Lime Madeleines

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