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Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

If you ever wondered how to make perfect French madeleines, your quest might be over! Today, we’re so excited to introduce Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines!

These madeleines are super tender yet dense, buttery, and infused with vanilla and lime. Yum! Add a crispy chocolate shell on top of that, and here comes a delicious treat!

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

ORIGIN OF MADELEINES

Madeleines are small cakes that have a shell shape and a hump on top. It’s tender, buttery, and infused with vanilla and lemon. The legend says that madeleines first appeared in 1755 in the North of France. A servant called Madeleine Paulmier would have baked these little cakes for the ex-King of Poland. He liked it so much he decided to name the buttery cakes after her. First called “Cake of Madeleine,” it later became just “Madeleines.”

Madeleines always bring me back to my childhood, I remember having it for breakfast on weekends while watching cartoons. My favorites were the ones dipped in chocolate, the crispy chocolate layer combined with the buttery and soft cake…yum!

HOW TO MAKE MADELEINES

Before starting, you will absolutely need a madeleine pan. I do not recommend using silicon molds as they don’t transfer heat well, so use a metal non-stick madeleine pan.

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

To keep this recipe gluten-free, we are using a combination of white rice flour and almond flour. Then, we have sugar for sweetness and vegan butter for richness and flavor.

I highly recommend using white sugar for this recipe. Coconut sugar or brown sugar will overpower the subtle vanilla flavor of the madeleines and make them look darker.

When it comes to flavorings, you want to use vanilla extract and lime/lemon zest if you want the authentic flavor of madeleines.

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

TIPS

Getting a nice shape with the hump requires a few components:

  • Make sure your melted butter is not warm. Once melted, let the butter cool for 10 minutes. If your butter is hot, it will start to activate the baking powder, resulting in flatter madeleines later.
  • Let the batter rest for at least 8 hours. Resting time not only lets the flavor merge, but also allows the flour to absorb the liquids. Your madeleines will have a better shape and more pleasant texture.
  • Do not try to substitute the rice flour. I tried using brown rice flour and the texture was gritty and dry, so stick to white rice flour.
  • Fill the cavities only to the 3/4.
  • Use a hot oven temperature and a very cold batter. It’s the temperature difference that gives the madeleine their nice hump!
  • Bake with the oven fan off.
  • Another thing I noticed is that the hump tends to be more noticeable when using pans with large cavities. Here, I used a medium one (about 2.7-inch long madeleines), but some pans yield slightly longer madeleines.
Madeleine Pan

Madeleine Pan

A metal pan is essential to get a nice shape and the distinct hump. Silicon moulds don’t compare when it comes to baking madeleines.

Please note that I’m sharing this recipe in grams measurements as I could not get consistent results when using cups.

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

You can find above some tests I did by playing with the oven temperature and resting time.

  1. Madeleines were baked after just 3 hours of resting time. As you can see, it didn’t rise much, and the texture was too moist.
  2. Madeleines were baked after 16 hours of resting time in a 350°F (180°C) preheated oven. It rose well but didn’t get a distinct hump.
  3. Madeleines were also baked after 16 hours of resting time in a 425°F (220°C) preheated oven. Before baking, the filled pan was placed in the freezer for 8 minutes. The hump is there, and the texture is great, but it is too brown at the bottom.
  4. Finally, these madeleines were also baked after 16 hours of resting time and chilled 8 minutes in the freezer as well. It was baked in a 425°F (220°C) oven, but the temperature was lowered to 350°F (180°C) after 4 minutes. A baking sheet was placed one level under the madeleine pan, which helped the madeleine bake more evenly without the bottom getting too brown.
Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

Madeleines are delicious as is, but if you want to take them to the next level, making the chocolate shell is highly recommended. The balance of the crispy chocolate with the tender madeleine is so addicting!

To make the chocolate shells, melt dark chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, pour about 1 teaspoon into each cavities and use a spoon to spread the melted chocolate evenly into the bottom. Place your madeleines on top of the melted chocolate and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. For shiny and crispy shells, tempering the chocolate is a must.

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

How cute is that little hump?

Madeleines will stay moist and tender for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

I hope you will love these French madeleines! They are buttery, perfectly dense, and tender, and you definitely won’t guess they are also gluten-free!

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

Looking for more French-inspired sweets? Check out this Vegan Creme Caramel, Vegan King Cake, or this Vegan Pastry Cream!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines
Recipe
Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines

5 from 3 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Buttery and tender French madeleines infused with vanilla and lime zest! Dip in chocolate to take them to the next level!
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cook Time : 10 minutes
Resting Time : 16 hours
Servings 18 madeleines
Calories 69 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 115 g white rice flour
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 80 g white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 100 ml almond milk
  • 40 g vegan butter melted (not hot)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp finely chopped lime or lemon zest add more for extra lime flavor
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the white rice flour, almond flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the almond milk, melted vegan butter (make sure it's not hot), vanilla extract, and lime zest. Whisk until fully combined and smooth. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) with the fan off. Lightly grease your madeleine pan with vegan butter and pipe the cold batter into each cavity, to the 3/4. Transfer the filled madeleine pan to the freezer for 8-10 minutes, or to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Once chilled, transfer the madeleine pan to the oven and bake at 425°F (220°C) for 2 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake for another 6-8 minutes, or until your madeleines have a hump and are golden brown on the bottom. Note: baking time depends on the size of the cavities of your pan.
  • Let the madeleines cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • To make the chocolate shell, make sure your madeleines are cooled completely. Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, pour about one teaspoon of melted dark chocolate into one cavity of your madeleine pan and use a spoon to spread it. Top with your madeleine and slightly press it down. Repeat with the remaining chocolate and madeleines and place the pan in the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate has hardened. Once the chocolate is hard, you should be able to remove the chocolate coated madeleines easily. If not, place in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  • Madeleines will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Serving: 1 madeleine (without chocolate shell) | Calories: 69 kcal | Carbohydrates: 10 g | Protein: 0.8 g | Fat: 2.8 g | Fiber: 0.4 g | Sugar: 4.4 g
Course : Dessert, Snack
Cuisine : French
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
Vegan Gluten-Free Madeleines
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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45 Comments

  1. Seriously, your work is incredible!

    Thanks for not only the recipe, but also sharing the various results of your testing. Who knew so much technique goes into those little Madeleines!

    Happily, I have all the ingredients except the pan, which I’m buying today and will be cooking them this weekend.

    Thank you!

  2. Thomas, the video clip takes this next level! Thank you so much 🙂
    Cartoons on the weekend and madeleines for breakfast – what a lovely childhood.
    I’m thinking you have a post on tempering chocolate? I’ve never done that.

  3. How did you get the chocolate to be so perfect? I assume you poured it straight into the madeleine pans, but how did you get the chocolate to then pop out so nicely?? Very excited to try making these!

    1. Yes, you can see it in the video. You pour melted chocolate into the madeleine pan, then top with a madeleine and let it cool. Then transfer to the freezer for a few minutes and your madeleines will pop out easily 🙂 For shiny chocolate shells, I recommend tempering the chocolate, you can find more info on how to do it online.

  4. You mention,’ Bake with the oven fan off’. please explain why. Does fan off mean no hot air circulation? Thanks!

    1. I only tried this recipe with one oven, but in my case I got better results (a nicer hump and more even browning) with the fan off (with the static heat). All oven are different though, so you might want to try both methods and see which one gives you the best results.

  5. 5 stars
    Trop délicieuses ! J’aime les madeleines, mais car je mange vegan et sans gluten, c’est pas facile de les trouver. Moelleuses et parfaite; merci pour la recette !

  6. Hi Thomas, can you suggest measurements of using regular white flour, if you do not need or desire to make these gluten free? Thank you!

    1. Hi Melissa,
      I don’t have measurements for regular white flour as I worked on this recipe to be gluten-free. I will try next time with all-purpose flour and update.

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks Thomas, I was too impatient to try your recipe so I used the equivalent weight of cake flour (low gluten flour) for both the almond and the rice. I have a teeny tiny madeleine pan so the recipe made dozens-we dunked them in some vegan lemon curd I made and they were lovely. Strangely they cooked all the way through before they browned at all so they were a bit beige, not sure why, but still great. Thanks again!

  7. 5 stars
    These were so incredibly good. My husband didn’t even notice they were gluten free. My issue, and it’s just me I am sure, is when I did the chocolate in the pan and let it harden they wouldn’t come out.. I ended up dipping the bottom of the pan in warm water to loose them but it lost the pretty scallop design but they were a tasty treat with coffee anyhow. Maybe it was the chocolate I used. I don’t know. Great recipe, thank you!!

    1. Thanks so much Shelly! 🙂 You should place your pan in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, the madeleines will come out easily 😉

  8. I’m excited to try these. There are few things I miss, but madeleines are one of them. I’ve tried to make them before and the results were tasty but not madeleines. Any chance you want to make vegan malted milk balls next? 😉

    1. To be honest I have no idea. This recipe is not super versatile, especially if you want the hump. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

  9. I have tried these without white sugar, they turned into brown of course 🙂 what do you recommend instead of white to make them white? 🙂 thanks in advance.

    1. I’m afraid I don’t have any recommendation. White sugar is best for this recipe, in term of flavor, texture, and look.

    1. Hi Lorena,
      This recipe is not super versatile if you want a nice texture and hump, so while other flours might work, it would need testing and adjusting.

  10. Very interesting to read the different results you got depending on the method used. Can I use regular oil or coconut oil instead of vegan butter?

  11. Hi
    I tried cooking this in conventional oven and past20 mins also they were not cooked.
    I followed as per instructions but didn’t get it cooked.
    Do you have any thoughts to share?

    1. Hi Sinu,
      After 20 minutes in the oven and still not cooked? I am really surprised as any small cake will be baked after that amount of time.

  12. Hi
    I followed exact same instructions and my batter is extremely thick as compared to yours and they baked thick as well
    The recipe measurements are incorrect

    1. Hi Sinu,
      I have tested and re-tested this recipe a large number of times, and the measurements are correct (that’s actually why I gave them in grams vs cups). Plus, the video uses those exact measurements.
      Are you using white rice flour? Did you make any substitutions?

  13. Thank you for the nice recipe! May I ask why you have to refrigerate the batter overnight and also have to chill it before baking?

    1. Hi Leed, as noted in the post: Resting time not only lets the flavor merge but also allows the flour to absorb the liquids. Your madeleines will have a better shape and more pleasant texture.
      Regarding chilling before baking: It’s the difference in temperature (hot oven vs cold batter) that gives the madeleines their nice hump!