Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Matcha Madeleines – Green Tea & Lemon Sponges

Matcha Madeleines laid out on a blue plate.

Are you a matcha fan? Do you know what it is? It’s a wonderful ingredient to use in baking. These green matcha madeleines are little cakes with attitude. They’re flavoured with Japanese green tea powder (matcha) for complexity and lemon for freshness.

What is Matcha?

Matcha powder is made from very finely ground Japanese green tea leaves. It has a distinctive flavour and many purported health benefits. I have more details about this in a matcha hot chocolate post.

Many Japanese drink matcha on a daily basis. CT tried it for the first time when he visited Japan a few years ago and really liked it. He bought me back a couple of packs and the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve been drinking and using it in baking ever since.

Matcha is expensive, but a little goes a long way. There are two types. The highest quality is called ceremonial grade. This is the only one used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. If you want to drink matcha, either with hot water or milk, it’s best to go for this grade. The powder is finer and is generally produced to a higher standard. When it comes to baking, however, you don’t need to have the best quality. If you’re only ever going to use matcha for baking or adding to smoothies, you don’t want to spend more than you need to on it. Look for culinary or baking matcha.

Having said that, the names are less important than the price. Generally, the higher the grade, the more expensive it will be and vice versa. My latest ceremonial batch came from our local tea shop, but you can easily buy it on Amazon. One of the best I’ve ever tried is this one from Matcha Factory*. A little whisking and there were no lumps in my tea at all. This 100g pouch of green tea powder* is pretty cheap, despite calling itself ceremonial. I suspect it wouldn’t make the best tea, but I’d be happy to use it for baking.

Madeleines de Commercy

Madeleines are small French sponges that are particularly well known for their distinctive shell-like shape. Originally, they came from Commercy in the North East of France. When I need cakes at the last minute, they’re one of my go to bakes. Traditionally, they’re flavoured with vanilla or lemon, but the possibilities are endless. They’re soft and buttery with delightful crisp edges. They’re also really quite delicious.

I won’t go on about Marcel Proust’s A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. I’ve probably done so in some of my previous madeleine recipe posts. But it’s impossible not to mention it. The book has immortalised this classic French bake and the two are now closely entwined.

Matcha Madeleines (aka Matcheleines)

I made these matcha madeleines for the first time a few years ago for a friend’s birthday party. CT refers to them as Matcheleines. I based the recipe on these chocolate chilli madeleines. As some of you will have gathered by now, I’m a big fan of using matcha in baking. It works particularly well, not only giving an interesting colour, but adding great flavour too. They were as good as I was hoping they might be; CT would have happily demolished the lot given half the chance. There were certainly none left at the end of the evening.

Small Party Cakes on a 3 tiered stand.

You can find out what other bakes I made for this event in my walnut brownies post. There were quite a few of them as I remember.

These little sponges are quick to make and even faster to bake. They can be on your table in 30 minutes from start to finish. I used to make them with half wholemeal flour and half plain white, but these days I make them with 100% wholemeal spelt. They turn out to be just as light and fluffy as a half and half mixture. They’re best eaten on the day of baking and preferably soon after emerging from the oven.

Matcha Madeleines cooling on a wire rack

These matcha madeleines are dark green in colour. If you’d prefer a lighter green, use less matcha powder. But bear in mind, this will result in a less flavoursome sponge.

Beurre Noisette

For a classic French madeleine, you should brown the butter to make beurre noisette. This means you need to simmer the butter once it’s melted, until the solids separate out and start to turn brown. You need to be careful at this stage as they can easily burn. Done well, this gives a delicious nutty flavour to the madeleines, which I really like. However, for this recipe, I wanted the freshness of lemon and the taste of matcha to shine through, so I simply melted the butter.

It’s All About The Hump

Despite the beautiful clam like shape you get on one side of the muffins, madeleines are all about the hump. Bakers tend to refer to the domed back of the madeleine as a hump, but it’s actually called the “pearl”. There are said to be two processes involved in achieving a good hump.

Beating

The key to getting a beautifully light sponge is to whip the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale, thick and has tripled in volume. This can be done with a hand whisk, but is far easier and quicker if you do it with electric beaters. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature, rather than cold from the fridge. This will help them bind the mixture together and absorb the flour more effectively.

Matcha Madeleines - hump showing, shell side down

Unlike a traditional sponge, when you cream the butter and sugar together, you add melted butter to the whipped sugar and eggs instead. Make sure the butter has had a chance to cool to room temperature, then slowly pour it down the side of the bowl. Fold it in gently with a metal spoon. Lastly, fold in the sieved dry ingredients as lightly as possible. For light sponges such as these matcha madeleines, I discard any bran left in the sieve.

Resting

The general wisdom is that you need to rest the batter for at least 30 minutes before baking. This allows the flour to relax which gives a softer sponge. It may be that wholemeal spelt is relaxed enough, as I don’t always remember to do this bit, but I invariably achieve the requisite hump. Indeed, when I’m in a hurry to get these matcha madeleines on the table, I don’t have time to let them rest. You may like to try both ways and see which you think works best.

If you do go down this route, cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for up to twelve hours. Spoon the batter into the madeleine moulds just before baking.

Madeleine Moulds

When it comes to baking madeleines, you do need a madeleine mould or tin. They aren’t difficult to get hold of and they’re not expensive either. I use a 12 hole silicone mould* which I bought many years ago and have never regretted. If you have a silicone mould, you don’t need to do anything to it, other than spoon in the batter. The product I’ve linked to is the nearest I could find to the one I have. If you go down the tin route, however, you will need to both butter and flour the holes before spooning in the batter.

Other Madeleine Recipes You Might Like

Follow this link if you’re interested in other Tin and Thyme matcha green tea recipes.

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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these matcha madeleines, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Matcha Madeleines. Pin It.

Green matcha madeleines on a blue plate.

Matcha Madeleines (Matcheleines) – The Recipe

5 from 15 votes
Matcha Madeleines laid out on a blue plate.
Matcha Madeleines (Matcheleines)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
 

Little green cakes with attitude. They're quick to make, soft and buttery. Flavoured with Japanese green tea powder for complexity and lemon for freshness.

Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keywords: lemons, madeleines, matcha, quick
Servings: 18 madeleines
Calories: 81 kcal
Ingredients
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs - I used duck eggs
  • 75 g golden caster sugar
  • 90 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 lemon - grated zest only
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter gently in a small pan then set aside to cool.

  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale, thick and has trebled in volume. You can do this by hand, but electric beaters make the job a lot easier and faster.

  3. Pour the butter in down one side of the bowl and fold this in as gently as possible together with the lemon zest.

  4. Sift in the flour, discarding any bits of bran left in the sieve. Then sift in the matcha and baking powder. Fold in as gently as possible trying not to lose too much air from the eggs.

  5. Place 1 tbsp of the mixture into each of 16 Madeleine moulds. I use silicone, but if using tin ones, you'll need to butter and flour them first.

  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes at 200℃ (400℉, Gas 6) or until well risen and firm to the touch. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool, then dust with caster sugar if desired.

Recipe Notes

Traditional madeleine recipes state that the batter needs to rest for at least 30 minutes prior to going in the oven. I don't always have time to do this and I haven't really noticed much difference. But if you have the time, do cover the bowl and leave it for a while. Then spoon the batter into the moulds just before baking.

If you only have a 12 hole madeleine tin, its fine to bake the madeleines in two batches. See above note re resting.

Best eaten on the day of baking and preferably soon after emerging from the oven.

Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.

Nutrition Facts
Matcha Madeleines (Matcheleines)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 81 Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value*
Fat 4.6g7%
Saturated Fat 2.5g16%
Cholesterol 78mg26%
Sodium 36mg2%
Potassium 37mg1%
Carbohydrates 8.5g3%
Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugar 4.6g5%
Protein 1.8g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sharing

As Madeleines are a classic French bake (mais peut etre pas normalment avec le matcha), I am entering them into Tea Time Treats. This month, the theme is French tarts, cakes bakes and pastries – ooh la la. It’s hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and co-hosted by Kate of What Kate Baked.

These matcha madeleines fit nicely into Bloggers Around the World where Chris has chosen Japan for this month’s national cuisine. Matcha is the taste of Japan for CT who drank it zealously whilst he was there.

I’m also sharing this batch of matcha madeleines with Apply to Face Blog for #BakingCrumbs. It also goes to Casa Costello for #BakeOfTheWeek, JibberJabberUK for #LoveCake and Everyday Healthy Recipes for #CookBlogShare.

This post contains affiliate links. Links are marked with an *. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. 

34 Comments

  1. angiesrecipes

    11th June 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Your matcheleines have beautiful hump!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th June 2019 at 7:43 pm

      Aw, thanks Angie. I do like a beautifully humped matcheleine 😀

      Reply
  2. Louise Carruthers

    11th June 2019 at 6:51 pm

    I love how simple madeleines look but how amazing they taste, These look beautiful and have the perfect hump. I’ve never baked with matcha but I’m definitely going to have to give these a try 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th June 2019 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks Louise. Matcha is a firm baking favourite with me. Your smores madeleines sound totally awesome and I absolutely need to try them.

      Reply
  3. Mandy

    11th June 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Beautiful colour Choclette and a very useful
    Guide to Madeleines. Thanks for linking to my recipe!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 7:53 am

      Thanks Mandy. I just need to remember to get my Madeleine moulds out of the cupboard more often.

      Reply
  4. Corina Blum

    12th June 2019 at 10:30 am

    I’ve never tried making Madeleines but these really do look delicious. They’re such a lovely colour too!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 7:54 am

      Thanks Corina. Madeleines are just brilliant for impressing last minute visitors. Nothing quite like a Madeleine served warm from the oven.

      Reply
  5. Michelle Rolfe

    12th June 2019 at 11:54 am

    I love Madeleines and make them often but I always end up just going classic lemon, not that I’m complaining! But I love seeing all the different flavours here to try. Thanks for including our recipe too. Michelle

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 7:56 am

      Nothing wrong with a classic Madeleine. I much prefer lemon to vanilla, so my thumb is up 😀

      Reply
  6. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    12th June 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Well I have never eaten or made a madeleine but they do seem quite a fascinating challenge and yours look perfect – I love Matcheleines

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 7:59 am

      Haha, I’m glad someone appreciates CT’s wit 😀 I’m surprised Madeleines haven’t reached Oz. Maybe they’ve put their own twist on them and renamed as they have with friands?

      Reply
  7. Lucy

    12th June 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Love the sound of these, matcha is a favourite here though I always find it very strong, but here with the lemon juice I am sure they are very light and refreshing! Thanks for including my apple and cinnamon Madeleines.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 8:00 am

      I’ve put a whole tbsp in these matcheleines. If you don’t like it too strong, just use half the amount or maybe only a teaspoon. This will give a much lighter green colour too.

      Reply
  8. Sylvie

    13th June 2019 at 1:14 am

    What an interesting twist on a classic recipe – I love that you used wholemeal spelt flour AND duck eggs! Definitely a recipe to try 🙂 Thanks for including my almond raspberry madeleines too!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 8:02 am

      My pleasure Sylvie. I use wholemeal spelt flour in most of my baking, but sadly I no longer have a ready supply of duck eggs.

      Reply
  9. Monika Dabrowski

    13th June 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Wow, such an unusual bake, sounds very interesting and full of healthy delicious ingredients! Thank you for bringing it to #CookBlogShare

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 8:04 am

      I use matcha in baking quite a lot. It’s one of those ingredients that just seems to work.

      Reply
  10. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    14th June 2019 at 8:39 am

    Your madelines look absolutely perfectly baked! And the flavour combination sounds delicious!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 8:03 am

      Thanks Kat. As you know, I’m a big fan of matcha. And I really like small cakes too.

      Reply
  11. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    14th June 2019 at 10:27 am

    I must admit I’m quite new to matcha and only ever had it in a latte which I really enjoyed! I love madeleines and yours look simply perfect. Can you recommend a good matcha powder for a newbie like me? Thank you for bringing these beauties to #BakingCrumbs 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      14th June 2019 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks Jo. It really depends what you want the matcha for. If you want to drink it, you need a high grade one, but if you’re only going to use it for baking, it’s fine to have a much cheaper one. Matcha is quite expensive. I drink it as well as bake with it, so I tend to go for a good one. CT bought my current batch from a local tea shop. But Teapigs do a perfectly acceptable drinking one. When I drink it, I have it incredibly weak, but I have all of my teas weak, so I think it’s just try it and see how you get on.

      Reply
  12. Rebecca - Glutarama

    15th June 2019 at 11:20 am

    I adore madeleines but have always been boring and made the traditional kind, I had no idea there were so many possibilities out there (well, of course I realise it’s possible, never imagined so many) I have some match powder and have been scratching my head thinking what I can do with it…now I know.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th June 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Not sure I’d advise scratching your head with matcha powder unless you’re going for a green look 😀 But it is a fab ingredient for cakes and various other bakes.

      Reply
  13. Donna

    16th June 2019 at 9:29 am

    My daughter absolutely loves madeleines, she discovered them in France and is obsessed! We’ve never made them ourselves though so thanks for sharing! #CookBlogShare

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th June 2019 at 1:40 pm

      Oh Donna, you absolutely must get a Madeleine mould so you can give them a try. They really are quite easy. Just think of your daughter 😉

      Reply
  14. Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    18th June 2019 at 11:38 am

    Matcheleines – pahahaha – BRILLIANT! I do like matcha tea, so I’d be very interested in trying it in madeleine form! Eb x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      19th June 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Glad you like the name. If CT had his way, there’d be no recognisable names on this blog 😀 Matcha is one of my favourite baking ingredients – there are quite a few!

      Reply
  15. Jenny Walters

    22nd June 2019 at 8:36 am

    How beautiful they are! I keep meaning to christen my madeline tray. So these are really inspiring me although I have to admit, I too am rather uneducated in the ways of the matcha. Fantastic guide for baking madelines too. Thank you so much for sharing with #BakingCrumbs

    Reply
    • Choclette

      23rd June 2019 at 11:03 am

      You have a madeleine tray Jenny? You need to use it. They make brilliant last minute bakes. Unless you’re after a really beautiful hump, in which case resting it for half an hour is recommended.

      Reply
  16. nessjibberjabberuk

    25th June 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I keep meaning to have a play with matcha tea. My husband loves madeleines so I’m sure he would approve of these as well.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Matcha is such a fun ingredient for baking. It has an interesting flavour and such a glorious colour.

      Reply
  17. Helen at Casa Costello

    30th June 2019 at 11:55 am

    Wow you have achieved the perfect form with these – loving the hump! Thanks so much for joining in with #BakeoftheWeek once again x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      1st July 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Helen. Well they wouldn’t be madeleines without the hump 😉

      Reply

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