Vegan Madeleines with Apple-Cinnamon Glaze

Vegan Madeleines with Apple-Cinnamon Glaze

Don’t let the elegance and daintiness of this classic French cake deceive you: It’s just a small scoop of vanilla cake batter plunked into a shell-shaped mould and baked in the oven. Simple as that. No tricks. But a madeleine’s real dirty little secret is that its characteristic ‘hump’ – so crucial, says Paul Hollywood and every pastry finger-wagger ever – doesn’t actually matter. There. I said it! 

OK, actually two more dirty-little-Madeleine secrets. First: The butter and the milk give these delicacies a whopper of a carbon footprint. (Did you know that butter is pound-for-pound more carbon-intensive than pork? Jeesh.) Second, that’s easily remedied. Because they’re essentially a simple sponge, they can easily be made vegan by swapping vegan butter and a plant-based milk. 

Just be sure to dip these cakes in something delicious, like this spice-and lemon-packed apple cinnamon glaze. A cup of coffee would also do.

Recipe: Vegan Madeleines with Apple-Cinnamon Glaze

Time: 2 hours total. (15 minutes prep, 15 minutes bake, 90 minutes cooling and glazing.)

Makes: 12 madeleines


For the batter

  • 100g (¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 5g (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 100g (7 tbsp) vegan butter, melted
  • 80g (5 tbsp) applesauce
  • 50g (¼ cup) sugar
  • 10g (1 ¼ tsp) honey
  • 30g (2 tbsp) soy milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla (or pinch of vanilla powder)
  • Zest of ½ lemon

For the glaze

  • 1 cup (100g) powdered sugar 
  • 250g (1 cup) apple juice (will reduce down)
  • Slice of lemon (for squeezing)
  • Pinch cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
  • Prepare madeleine mold by buttering well with a vegan butter into all the crevices with a pastry brush, then flouring lightly.
  • Melt vegan butter in a bowl in the microwave, or on the stovetop. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and lemon zest and whisk well to combine completely.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce and sugar.
  • Add honey, milk, and vanilla to the applesauce mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisk until combined, then add the remaining dry ingredients and whisk again. 
  • Add the reserved bowl of melted vegan butter and whisk until fully combined.
  • Spoon an equal amount of batter into each mold, eyeballing it as best you can to keep them consistent.
  • Bake 4 minutes at 375F (190C) and then lower to 325F (160F) and bake an additional 10-13 minutes, until cakes are well browned at edges and beginning to brown across the middle.


The glaze is what really makes these madeleines taste like pure fall. Reducing apple juice on the stove and then adding a tablespoon or two to powdered sugar, along with a pinch of cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon, makes these snacky cakes taste like an apple orchard with just a little pucker. Or if you like a lot more pucker with your autumn leaves, omit the reduced apple juice and combine the juice of half a lemon with powdered sugar and cinnamon. 

  • Pour a cup of apple juice into a saucepan, and cook over medium heat until reduced to a couple of tablespoons.
  • Add 1 cup (100g) powdered sugar to a small or medium bowl. 
  • Once the reduced juice is cool, add a spoonful, a squeeze of lemon, and a small pinch of cinnamon. Whisk well to combine.
  • Depending on the consistency, add more reduced apple juice, lemon, or powdered sugar.
  • Once madeleines are cool, dip them in the glaze to your heart’s content! Optionally also roll them in pecan pieces for even more fall feels. Then let the madeleines drain and dry on a cooling rack with a paper towel under it.

Once dried…. eat them all at once. Or be moderate. Whatever suits you.

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