Soft and chewy, this Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Madeleine Recipe is full of flavor and a perfect dessert for holiday entertaining or a cookie exchange! With Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and fragrant vanilla bean paste, these delicate cakes whip up in minutes and feature an extra rich and nutty taste with the addition of brown butter. Delicious!
Is a Madeleine Cake or a Cookie?
A lot of people consider madeleines to be cookies, but did you know they are actually just tiny little cakes?
Similar to sponge cakes, to be exact. Delicate, but simple, and oh so delicious. With a distinctive shell-shape, they are one of my favorite treats to pair with a cup of espresso. Or tea. Or hot cocoa. Or water. I’ll pair it with anything, really!
What Is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is a delightful thing, truly! Brown butter is when you cook down regular butter and allow the milk solids (or butterfat) to caramelize, which results in a deep amber color and a rich flavor with a nutty aroma. So delicious.
If you haven’t tried browned butter before, this a great first recipe to try it with, or with my browned butter pears.
How Do You Make Browned Butter?
A lot of recipes say you can make browned butter in about 5 minutes. I disagree.
Low and slow is the way to go. Why? Because browned butter can turn into burned butter in the snap of your fingers.
I like to take a good 10-15 minutes at medium heat to melt down and caramelize the butter. You want to stir it almost the entire time, and as soon as it turns golden and you smell that delicious nutty aroma, remove it from the stove and pour it into a container so the cooking process stops.
What’s In This Madeleine Recipe?
It’s a very basic recipe that yields such delicious results!
- vanilla bean paste
- Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
- baking powder
- browned butter
How To Make This Madeleine Cookie Recipe
We start with sugar and eggs! Since I swapped out traditional milk with Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk, I reduced the total amount of sugar I would normally use.
Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes pale and thick, which takes about 5 minutes.
After that, whisk in the vanilla bean paste and Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk.
I love grabbing a can of Eagle Brand® because it’s milk+sugar. That’s it. No weird extra ingredients to worry about, and the flavor it imparts is unique in comparison to plain milk. Rich. Lovely. Yum.
Next, we add in the dry ingredients and whip until just combined.
Because baking powder can be temperamental, and if you overwork a dough with it, it becomes dense and tough. No one wants to eat a brick.
Finally, add the browned butter and fold it into the batter gently.
Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but I recommend 1-2 hours at the minimum.
After chilling the dough, scoop out tablespoon-sized portions into a greased madeleine tin and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden around the edges and puffed in the center.
They bake quite quickly, so you definitely want to keep a keen eye on them!
How To Make The Vanilla Bean Glaze
The glaze is kind of my favorite part. Mix together powdered sugar and Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and vanilla paste until a sort of gooey ball forms.
Once it’s all mixed, add water, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach a thinner, drizzling consistency.
Dip your madeleine cakes into the glaze and set on a rack with a bowl or plate underneath to catch the drippings.
Try not to eat it all up immediately, it’s so good.
Can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean paste?
- absolutely! I love using vanilla bean paste though because of its thick consistency, and actual vanilla beans, so if you can, use vanilla bean paste, you’ll love it. I found mine in the health food section of my local grocery store, but you can also find it online.
Do I have to chill the dough first?
- since we are incorporating browned butter, which is melted and liquid, the chilling is essential to firm the butter up. If you already have cold browned butter on hand, you can whip that with the sugar first before adding the eggs, and skip the chilling!
Do I have to use browned butter?
- you can certainly feel free to use plain, unsalted butter instead, but you will lose the rich, nutty, caramelized flavor it imparts. It’ll still be delicious, but just not quite the same. Try it both ways and see the difference!
Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Madeleine Recipe
Whether you consider them a cake or a cookie, this madeleine recipe is perfect for the holidays or for a cookie exchange with friends and family. Full of bold vanilla flavor, the addition of rich and nutty browned butter makes this recipe an instant winner for all who try it, so whip it up today and get ready to share!
Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Madeleine Recipe
For the Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- water as needed
- Add butter to a medium-sized pan over medium heat and cook until browned and fragrant, stirring the whole time, around 10-15 minutes. Remove from stove and pour into a heat-safe bowl and set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar and beat at medium speed until the mixture becomes pale and thickens, around 5 minutes. Add the Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk and vanilla bean paste and beat until incorporated.
- Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour the cooled browned butter into the bowl and gently fold thoroughly incorporated. Cover and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees and grease a madeleine tin with cooking spray. Remove chilled dough from the fridge and add one tablespoon of batter to each shell mold. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the center is puffed. Remove madeleines from tin and cool on a wire rack.
- To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk, and vanilla bean paste until a gooey ball forms. Slowly add water, one teaspoon at a time, until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over madeleines, or dunk madeleines in the glaze, and set on a wire rack with a plate or bowl beneath to catch the drippings. Allow glaze to set before storing cookies, up to one week, in an air-tight container.
- If you don't have any vanilla bean paste, feel free to substitute regular vanilla extract at a 1:1 ratio.
- You can use plain unsalted butter instead of browned butter if you prefer, though the taste and texture of the finished madeleines will be slightly different. To use regular butter, beat it with the sugar for 4 minutes first, and then add the eggs and continue with the recipe as instructed. No chilling is required when you use cold butter versus melted brown butter.
Adapted from Browned Butter Blondie