La Petite Madeleine, Gluten Free

gluten free madeleine gluten free canteen

A lifetime ago I was that person who paid $1.50 for two stinking Madeleine cookies at the checkout in Starbucks. I coveted those little cakes but always knew that they would disappoint because Madeleines are best served fresh and not in a cellophane package months after baking.

It was a happy accident years later while in Paris that we literally tripped over a display of Sans Gluten foods in our local Monoprix. Among the pickings were Madeleines. Of course they were wrapped in cellophane but I was willing to take a chance. After all, it was France. And I was pleased that they tasted good enough to make me think they were (almost) fresh from the oven. They were chubby with a decent Madeleine hump, and had a buttery flavor that just made them melt in your mouth.

Not only did we eat our way through several packages during our stay but we mailed home many other boxes and stuffed as many as possible into our suitcases. Sans Gluten products in France were nothing like what was available in the United States at that time. It was like the difference between freezer pizza and one that you might eat wandering a Piazza in Italy.

I tried to find a recipe that came close to matching that box of Madeleines from France. But it wasn’t until my fingers tripped over the keyboard on yet another search that I found this recipe here. I want to kiss Ana Sofia for leading me to the right place to recreate this favorite treat.  This is from the Julia Child book – From Julia Child’s Kitchen.

There are some subtle differences in preparation for these GF Petite Madeleines that you must do to make sure they come out with a proper hump and still have a buttery, yet not crumbly texture. I am a big fan of lemon in baking, but lemon was not the flavor that made these sing. Simple vanilla bean let the nutty toasty flavor of the brown butter in the Madeleine shine through. I also wanted to have a deeper flavor so really browning the butter became important. Nutty dark brown, just a hair away from being a carbon experiment is where you want that to be.  Don’t even bother to strain it because all those little brown bits are tasty.

Follow the directions and soon you can have a pan full of La Petite Madeleines for yourself. Give them a little dusting of powdered sugar to dress them up and just eat them warm from the oven. Now when I see those sad little packages at Starbucks for way more than $1.50 these days, I kind of feel sorry for them. And then I go home and eat some really good homemade gluten-free Madeleines.

gluten free madeleine gluten free canteen

La Petite Madeleine, Gluten Free
Adapted from From Julia Child's Kitchen and Hungry Sofia. You will want to use a shiny Madeleine pan. A darker one will make the little cakes way too brown too quickly. The best trick to having them pop right out comes from Ana Sofia. Take a little brown butter and mix it with a touch of GF flour and brush the pan quickly. Nothing will stick and when they come out of the oven, just flip the pan and give it a little whack or two and out they come. The sweet scent of a Madeleine full of vanilla bean will made you very happy.
  • 115 grams unsalted butter, browned and cooled
  • 120 grams GF flour (about ⅔ cup) (evenly divided among superfine brown rice, superfine white rice and tapioca flour/starch)
  • 110 grams white sugar (about ½ cup)
  • 2 whole large eggs (about 110 grams total)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring
  • option: 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted lightly on top of warm, freshly baked cookies
  1. The batter will need at least an hour to chill in the refrigerator so plan ahead.
  2. In a small saucepan, brown the butter over medium low heat until nutty brown and fragrant. Be patient - let it get really nutty brown. You can strain the butter or not. I like it both ways. Take one tablespoon of the brown butter and mix it with about two teaspoons of superfine white rice flour. Brush two 12-count madeleine pans and set them aside. Be sure to get every little nook but don't puddle the butter in the bottom of the shells. Work quickly - at least in my CA kitchen, the butter was starting to set by the time I got the last part of the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl weigh the flour and sugar. Whisk to combine. Beat the eggs in a small prep dish and mix into the flour/sugar. Using a wooden spoon keep mixing until the flour, sugar, egg mixtures goes from clumpy stiff to something like thick pancake batter. You'll see it start to happen rather quickly. Keep mixing a little bit more. Cover the bowl and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Mix in the cooled (but not solid) brown butter and incorporate. You'll have to mix vigorously for a minute and do a dance between folding and beating to get it all mixed in. Sprinkle the salt on top, and drop in the flavoring and mix again to incorporate. Cover the whole thing and pop it into the refrigerator for at least an hour. More chilling is better than less. You want it quite chilly. Sometimes I leave it overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375. Scoop into prepared pans - think heaping tablespoon sized scoops. Don't try to flatten them. They start out looking like little baseball lumps but soon start to fill in the space. Bake about 13-15 minutes or just until the edges are slightly golden. The last few minutes the happy hump should form (yay) which means they are going to look fabulous. Remove from the pan immediately by turning it upside down and giving it a good but targeted whack toward the cooling rack. Cool hump side up. Dust with powdered sugar if you like while just warm. And enjoy La Petite Madeleine with a cup of really great coffee. Makes 24.

gluten free madeleine gluten free canteen


  1. This looks so good – can’t wait to give these a try. Know my 11 yr old (who isn’t W/F) will love them too!

  2. kathy hardy says:

    I was wondering if you could top these with chocolate and if so how would you do that?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Kathy. I have not made them that way but I might use tempered chocolate and dip the when they are completely cooled.

  3. Can I use a muffin pan if I don’t have a Madeleine pan? Or do you have another suggestion?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Meredith. This recipe is designed to be made in a Madeleine pan so I can’t say how it work in any other pan. You could always experiment.

  4. cannot wait to make these. they look perfectly, prefect!

  5. Kristine says:

    Can you mail madeleines?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Ah, wish I could! But you could make them faster than I could package them up – really.

      • Kristine says:

        🙂 That would be nice. However, I wanted to try your recipe and send it to a friend 😛

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Oh – Got it! If I were mailing them this is what I might do – Make them really early in the morning. Let them cool completely. If they get packed while they’re still warm at all they’ll get all soggy and fall apart. Package them up carefully in little cellophane packets, a few in each one. Then place those in a really good tin tightly together along with lots of padding. Then I’d place the tin inside a larger box with a good amount of packing peanuts and get it off to the post office pronto. I’d mail it overnight or 2 day at the most. It might be a little costly, but they’d arrive pretty fresh. However, all that said – I’ve never tried to mail them, but if I were to try, this is how I would do it.

      • Kristine says:

        Yaye!! Thanks for the tip!

  6. Hi,
    This will be the first gluten free anything I am making. I am going to the store to buy the ingredients. What GF flour should I buy? Is there a brand you can recommend??

    Thanks so much! Dawn

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Dawn – there are many good GF flours out there. I don’t have a specific recommendation but you can check the About Flours page for more information about various flours and AP flours. Hope that helps.

  7. I was so excited to make these and then they came out tasting like egg souffle. They also kind of curled up after baking and instead of looking like adorable madelines, they looked like tiny little brains 🙁 I tried both King Arthur GF blend and Cup4Cup and got the same results each time. Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong? 🙁

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Renee. That must have been frustrating! So sorry it worked out for you that way. I had an extra bag of C4C in the cupboard so I decided to try it side by side along with the regular recipe. In my opinion, it’s the C4C, or in fact any AP flour blend that contains too much starch (gummy and silly putty-like) and xanthan gum. The C4C version came out exactly as you described though they didn’t taste like egg souffle. But they sure were funny looking and slightly too sweet and gritty. The ones made with just brown rice, white rice and tapioca starch (our mix) looked exactly like they should, and even had happy little humps. I like the superfine flours for this because you can taste the grit in regular rice flours, but you can use any brand of brown, white and tapioca and it should work (but just might taste a bit gritty). Just don’t use an AP mix with additives. Not sure what the egg flavor was from, but the first stir with flour, sugar and eggs should come out rather loose looking and not be gummy. That rests for 10 minutes. Once the browned butter is added you have to mix like crazy to get it all worked in. Then it gets chilled for at least an hour before baking. Also, be sure to take out one tablespoon of brown butter for brushing the pan or you’ll have just slightly too much butter in the batter. I hope this info helps and thank you for letting me know so I could experiment. It probably wasn’t anything you did other than to use a mix. Sadly, AP mixes are not great for every purpose.

      • thanks so much for your reply! It sounds like I did everything else appropriately so it was probably the mixes. I will try it again with just the plain flours I have in the kitchen as you suggest. You’re the best!

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        Let me know how it works!

        Left them to refridge. while I was away at yoga and popped them in after dinner. No more egg souffle brains!!! Adorable little cookies that taste like brown butter and heaven. My celiacs husband says the only thing wrong with them is that there aren’t 100 more. Thanks SOOOOOO much! xo!

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        So glad they worked for you! That brown butter is great, isn’t it? Enjoy!

  8. So…I adapt all your recipes when I make them to be dairy free as well. Here comes the crazy question…can spectrum shortening or coconut oil BE browned?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi CJ – don’t think so – they have a much higher heat tolerance. But then again, I’ve never tried. You could experiment, but I think it would just burn rather than brown into a nutty flavor. Madeleines can be made without browning the butter, if that helps. Also – use a little bit less than butter when using shortening or coconut oil because butter also contains water weight (like me) and the others are just fat. Try about 10% less.

  9. Since going gluten-free, I’ve missed madeleines. Love your pans and need to buy some shiny ones. Where did you get your pans?
    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Thank you for the pan info and your GREAT site.

  11. Patricia Ann says:

    Hi Lisa,
    A question on Kosher salt…what type do you use in your recipes?…Morton’s, Diamond Crystal, something else?

  12. I make them last night and the mix was never like pancake mix. I used GF King Arthur flour. You have in your proportions 120 GF flour and 115 g sugar when I mix that with the 2 eggs is already very liquid?? Can you help me I am gluten free and I love Madeleines!!!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Liliana – I’m afraid our recipes are developed using exactly the flour you see in the ingredients list. While many of the recipes will work with other GF flours, this one will not. I’m not sure which KA flour you are using (the baking mix or the AP flour) but both have additional ingredients that will not work in the recipe. If you can’t locate the superfine brown and white rice flours (see About Flours on the home page and click there) then just use plain brown rice, white rice, and tapioca starch as indicated in the recipe. As long as you are using the same ingredients listed in the recipe, and following the instructions, the recipes will work. In this case the flour type matters, a lot. Hope that helps.

  13. For all the australians reading this recipe and contemplating it, i just used white wings all-purpose gluten free flour and they turned out perfectly delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  14. I made these the other day and they were delicious. I used the America’s Test Kitchen Gluten Free cookbook main flour recipe and it worked beautifully. The cookies were so amazing straight out of the oven and even the next day they were still great…not the same texture, but more like what you would get at Starbucks packaged. I will definitely be making these again. I used a large madeleine pan from Chicago metallic and it made 12 perfectly. The steps to follow are vital and making the browned butter is all the difference. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      So glad you enjoyed them, Karin. Thanks for the feedback – great to know what flour mixes work well with the recipes.

  15. How many does this recipe make?

  16. Hi! I am eager to try your recipe for a GF friend, but I’m a little confused with the flour. Ingredients list says “evenly divided between…”, but your flour recipe says 2:1:1! What ratio should I use for best results? Thanks! 🙂

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Clarissa. Yes, the Canteen blend is 2-1-1. But this recipe doesn’t use the usual Canteen blend. It’s just a simple equal amount of the three flours to measure a total of 120 grams – so 40 grams of each. You can always count on a recipe to say Canteen blend if it uses the 2-1-1 blend. Hope that helps. Enjoy the cookies.

  17. I’m NOT gluten free, but have a request to make my madeleines GF. Do they taste as good with GF flour? Sorry, just not familiar with GF products, so curious…

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Michelle – read through the comments. You’ll see that some GF flours don’t work well with the recipe, especially those with too much starch and gum. I can tell you that bunches of people who are not GF ate all the test madeleines we made and liked them very much – but you’ll have to try them yourself to see. I highly recommend the flours indicated in the recipe (click on About Flour for info on GF flours). The superfine flours are what you want to use if you want them to taste like those made with wheat flour – other GF flours are not milled as finely as superfine. You can order the flour from Authentic Foods and mix it up yourself. Also, the flour stores well in the freezer and you’ll have some handy when you want to make other GF goodies. That’s what I would do – but read through the comments to get a better idea of how it worked for other folks. Hope you enjoy them.

  18. I made this recipe to the T and it turned out perfectly. One little edit…there isn’t a quantity listed. I doubled the recipe because I wasn’t sure how many it would make.

    These were perfect! Everyone at the party said they are better than any madeleine they’ve ever had. Thank you!!

  19. My son loves your petit madeleine recipe! I have made these almost twice a month for the last year and he never tires of these. They are moist, and perfectly balanced. Thank you so much for posting this!

  20. Hello! We were just in France and had the Gerblé Sans Gluten madeleines – that are also dairy free – do you have a recipe for that?

  21. Kathleen K says:

    Can you freeze them?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Kathleen, not sure why you couldn’t but they might become mushy. I would wrap them individually after they are baked and thoroughly cooled and then again in something very airtight. Plus thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in a low oven once they’re thawed to freshen. You’ll have to experiment to see what happens. We usually eat them the same day. Hope that helps.

  22. Hi,
    Can I use a different type of salt? Also can I replace white with brown sugar?
    Thank u,

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I always advise folks to make the recipe the first time, using the ingredients listed so they know become familiar with it and know what to expect. Then it’s always fine to change it so long as they realize once the ingredients are changed, so is the recipe and it becomes a new recipe. Brown sugar will melt differently with eggs than superfine baker’s sugar, so you’ll have to mix it longer plus the flavor and texture will be different. Also, kosher salt is coarse and melts differently than any other salt so be aware. If using finer salt, use less. Hope that helps.

  23. Rebeca Fuchs says:

    Thank you!!
    We have just started to go GF, and so far the breads I tried were bricks (2WW Germany looking kind of thing), the muffins or madeleines were tasty but looked awful …
    This is the first recipe I find that works FANTASTICALLY!
    I have two toddlers, so I really need to find sweet substitutes to make the transition to GF easier on them.
    Not only this is good, is really close to the real French madeleine ! (yes, the one in France with wheat)

    Anyone has any ideas on how to make something as close as possible to a french baguette GF?

  24. Katherine kilgallon says:

    Even better than normal Madeleine’s, I can’t make them fast enough for my hubby

  25. Do you leave the prepared madeleine pans out at room temperature while the batter sits in the fridge for up to maybe 10-12 hours (“overnight”)? Or could you store the 1 Tbsp of browned butter-and-some-flour mixture in a small jar (at room temperature, I guess) during the chill time, and prep the pans shortly before baking? Thanks!

    • Going back to Step 2 of the recipe, I see you need to use the butter-flour mixture right away to coat the pans before the mixture sets, so I guess the pans do need to sit out overnight. Should have read more carefully before I asked!

      • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

        You can leave the pans out overnight but preferably in a cool kitchen. If you think there is any chance for the butter to melt, refrigerate the pans, too.

  26. Kamishiro says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve made this countless of times, experimenting with the oven temperature, cooking time, and my pans. The batter is very easy to screw up (by over stirring). So I always remember to look at the part of the recipe when mixing the flour with eggs.

    Do you recommend sifting the flour and sugar together? Or just mix them as is? I have always sifted them and noticed no healthy humps form. 🙁

    Thank you! I love that this is gluten-free!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Thanks for the kind comment. Glad you enjoy them. And they are easy to mess up. I don’t recommend sifting anything. It really serves no purpose in most recipes unless your sugar is lumpy or the flour has clumps. Other than that, just weigh it out (always the preferred method). Hope that helps.


  1. […] you want to find the best tasting stuff around. That would require making it yourself. The Madeleine recipe here is just what you want to begin the project. It works so well I don’t think I will ever […]

  2. […] the recipe. I took it from Gluten-Free Canteen, so credit goes […]