Sticky Madeleines with lemon, poppy seeds & honey

madeleines with dried flowers

Recently, I had to bake small cakes for an advertisement of organic flours by Your Organic Nature. I decided to make these sticky madeleines with lemon and poppy seeds. A favorite in our house.

I think madeleines are best consumed as soon as they come out of the oven. Since my ‘family of four’ does not eat 24 cakes within an hour nor even within one day, I decided to make them more moist by brushing them with a honey-lemon syrup. They’ll get a bit sticky, but the syrup intensifies the lemony flavor, plus the madeleines don’t dry out so quickly. This way, they still taste great the next day or even the day after.

Madeleines with lemon, poppy seeds, and honey

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time9 minutes
Resting time20 minutes
Servings: 24 madeleines
Author: Tal Maes – Kitchen Table Food


  • 2 madeleine pans (metal or silicone), see note
  • electric handheld mixer
  • sieve
  • pastry brush


  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz very soft butter plus extra for greasing
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz white sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz self-raising flour see note
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 3 tbsp clear (runny) honey
  • dried rose petals and marigold leaves (optional) for the garnish


  • In a bowl, cream the soft butter with the handheld mixer for 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until the eggs are well incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt if the self-raising flour doesn't contain salt.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the flour in batches to the egg mixture. Beat well, but do not overmix the batter. Mix in the poppy seeds.
  • Zest half of the lemon and add the zest to the batter. Juice the lemon and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the batter (reserve the rest for the syrup). Cover the bowl and let rest for 15-30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C/ 350°F. With a pastry brush, brush the interiors of the shells with some butter so that they are well coated. Dust with some flour and shake off the excess (silicone pans just need to be brushed lightly with some butter).
  • Spoon a tablespoon of batter into the center of each shell of the pan (do not spread the batter to the edges). Bake the madeleines for 9-10 minutes in the oven until they are golden around the edges and puffed up a little in the middle. The madeleines are done when the tops spring back after you've lightly pressed them with your finger. 
  • Let the madeleines cool a little and release them (if using a metal pan, go around the edges with a knife).
  • Make the syrup. Place the honey with 3 tablespoons of the reserved lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the mixture is very runny. Brush the syrup over the shell side of the madeleines. If you like, sprinkle over some rose petals and/or marigold leaves. Eat them right away or store them in an airtight container.


-Instead of self-raising flour you can use all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt.
-If you only have one madeleine pan, place the remaining batter in the fridge while baking the first batch. 
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