Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines

One of my favourite desserts from my gluten-eating-days-of-yore was a madeleine, the perfect little French cake.

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

The French author, Marcel Proust, waxed poetic about his madeleines and how they evoked involuntary memories, but I just love how they taste.  And they’re best when they’re light and fluffy, and you can dip them into a cup of tea.

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

Last summer, Mr. KitchenOperas’ stepmum gifted me a teatowel with a Parisian madeleine recipe on it, and right then I knew I needed to figure out a recipe for a gluten-free madeleine. (Stay tuned, Nora — I owe you a batch of these!)

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

When I was poking through my latest cookbook obsession (Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga), I saw a recipe for lemon, buttermilk & olive oil madeleines.  And I had leftover buttermilk in the fridge from some chickpea crêpes I’d made, so fate brought me to making Aran’s madeleines.

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

I learned my new favourite baking technique from Aran’s version of this recipe.  She instructs the reader to rub the lemon zest into the sugar between ones fingers — this works so well to infuse the sugar with the lemon oil!  I did the same thing with orange zest and sugar for a pineapple cake I made last night, and it adds so much flavour to the finished baked goods!

I’ve changed up the flours that Aran used in her madeleines.  I can only get the superfine brown rice flour she calls for by mail order, so instead I used a combination of sorghum, millet, and arrowroot flours, and sifted them to get a finer textured flour.  I still can’t quite believe these are gluten-free!

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

Madeleines are best eaten warm from the oven, so it’s better to make small batches from batter you’ve got in the fridge.  Luckily, this batter lasts for up to 2 days in the fridge, so you can have almost-instant madeleines when you want them!

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

I have an aluminum madeleine pan, which makes dark golden-brown madeleines.  If you prefer your madeleines lighter in colour, silicone molds will do the job.

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines |

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines
These are my new favourite sweet treat for tea time.  I love that when I make a bowl of batter it makes freshly baked madeleines for the next couple of days — perfect for when you need to whip up a quick hostess gift or something for unexpected guests.  The lemon flavour here is strong and sunshiny from the zest of 3 lemons rubbed into the sugar.  Adapted from lemon, buttermilk & olive oil madeleines from Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga; Makes 3 dozen (3″ tall) madeleines.

  • 200g (1 cup) organic crystallized cane sugar
  • the zest of 3 lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 105g (3/4 cup) sorghum flour
  • 45g (1/3 cup) millet flour
  • 30g (1/4 cup) arrowroot flour (aka. arrowroot starch)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) buttermilk
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 80g (6 Tablespoons) salted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • extra butter for greasing

Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Use your fingers to rub the oil from the lemon zest into the sugar.  Add the eggs and whisk on high speed until thick, about 5 minutes.

Sift the sorghum, millet, and arrowroot flours into a small bowl.  Add the ground flaxseed, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine.

Run the mixer on low speed, and pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Pour in the buttermilk, olive oil, and melted butter, while the mixer is still running on low speed.  Whisk on high speed until everything is combined, about 30 seconds.

Refrigerate the bowl of batter, covered with plastic wrap, for a minimum of 2 hours (and a maximum of 2 days).

Once the batter has chilled, preheat the oven to 425F and grease your madeleine pan.

Spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, until they are just full.  Tap the pan down to level out the batter.

Bake the madeleines at 425F for 8 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350F and bake for 3 minutes more, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and let the madeleines cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before removing and enjoying warm from the oven!


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Categories: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian


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4 Comments on “Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines”

  1. May 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    These Madeleines looks very yummy! 🙂

  2. May 31, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    love madeleines 🙂

  3. June 1, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    Will surely be baking these for the coeliac hubby soon!

    • June 3, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Awesome – let me know what you think!

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