Lemon Thyme Madeleines

Small and delicate, these classic madeleines have just the right balance of lemon zest and thyme. The perfect treat for summertime afternoon tea!


Serves 12

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For the Cakes:

  • 2 cups (500ml) cake flour
  • 1 tsp (5ml) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) thyme leave, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp (10ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (500ml) sugar
  • 6 eggs

For the Lemon Syrup:

  • ¼ cup (60ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60ml) sugar
  • ½ cup (125ml) fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (60ml) thyme leaves, finely chopped (divided)


For the Cakes:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Generously grease the madeleine pan with butter and flour, knocking out excess flour.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, zest, and thyme.

In another bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter, lemon juice, and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and add flour mixture, beating until just combined.

Spoon some of batter into prepared madeleine moulds and with a spatula smooth the surfaces, scraping back and forth over moulds and returning excess batter to the bowl. (This will eliminate any air pockets and ensure that moulds are not overfilled.) Wipe excess batter from edges of pan.

Bake madeleines in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are browned and tops are golden. Loosen edges and transfer madeleines to a cooling rack set over a baking tray. Bake more madeleines in the pan, cleaned, buttered, and floured, with remaining batter in the same manner.

For the Lemon Syrup:

While the first batch of madeleines are baking, in a small saucepan bring water, sugar, lemon juice and half of the thyme leaves to a boil, stirring, and remove from heat.

Brush warm madeleines with some of hot syrup, sprinkle with fresh thyme. Repeat with remaining madeleines as they are baked, keeping syrup warm.