Delicate and soft classic French cookies flavored with matcha powder, these Green Tea Madeleines make the most delightful sweet treat. Invite your friends over and enjoy it with Japanese tea like sencha, hojicha, or genmaicha.
Calling all the matcha fans! The new green tea dessert recipe is (finally) in, and today I’m sharing a delicate and tasty Green Tea Madeleines (or Matcha Madeleines) recipe. If you love these delicious and soft classic French cookies and the unique flavor of matcha, then these delicious madeleines are definitely for you. Why Matcha? Well, it’s my favorite ingredient for sweets and it’s also becoming a popular ingredient here in the States.
The Classic Madeleines
Madeleine is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun in northeastern France. They are small sponge cakes with a shell-like shape, traditionally flavored with just vanilla, but some also include lemon zest, which is also one of my favorite.
I’ve been making these classic French Madeleines for some time. Most recipes you see are very similar as it’s rather a simple recipe, and I have tested different recipes to see which one my family likes the most. When I tried the recipe from Julia Child’s From Julia Child’s Kitchen, I really liked how perfectly the Madeleines turned out. Since then, I always come back to this recipe, but I changed the ingredients and methods a little bit over time.
There’s no reason to be intimidated by these French tea cakes. Madeleines are probably one of the easiest baking recipes I’ve made, and since my son loves them it’s also one of the cakes that I make most frequently.
Helpful Tips for Making Green Tea Madeleines
Here are some tips that will help you make good Madeleines.
- Use room-temperature eggs as they expand in volume when beaten. If you forget to take them out of the fridge, submerge chilled eggs in warm water for several minutes.
- Rest the batter in the refrigerator for at least one hour. I usually just refrigerate the batter overnight. By chilling the batter, it helps to give the madeleines their distinctive bumps (the bulging shape of the cookies).
- Don’t be shy about butter when coating the molds. It helps you take Madeleines out of the pan after baking as well as achieving nice golden color.
- Use a 1 Tbsp measuring spoon to transfer the batter. It’s the easiest way to measure the exact amount for each mold and not overfill.
- Use good quality matcha. The good quality matcha should have a bright green color, not dull green. By the way, you can’t grind regular “green tea leaves” to make matcha. More about matcha below.
- Use metal pans as I think they conduct heat better than silicone molds, but I’ve seen some people make beautiful Madeleines with silicon molds, so it’s up to you.
Where to Get Matcha for Green Tea Madeleines?
If there is a Japanese supermarket nearby, try checking their tea section for culinary use matcha. In my local Japanese supermarkets, they carry several grades of matcha powder including this Maeda-en brand matcha powder. In my local Asian supermarkets, I haven’t found 100% matcha powder yet. Be aware of some packages that are labeled “matcha”. Unfortunately, it’s not real matcha and it’s most likely a package for a cold drink that contains matcha and sugar. When it’s 100% matcha, the price should be around $8-10 for 1 ounce (28 grams). Yes, matcha powder is considered very expensive even in Japan. And get a small bag because you will need to use it within 2-3 weeks.
How to Enjoy Green Tea Madeleines
From all my taste test for this recipe, I got to enjoy Green Tea Madeleines as the afternoon snack with my children. Instead of European tea, I recommend enjoying these madeleines with Japanese tea, like sencha (煎茶), hojicha (ほうじ茶), or genmaicha (玄米茶). The Japanese teas go much better with matcha flavored snacks and sweets. I am getting hungry just talking about this dish, time to go open my snack container and enjoy one before my family eats them all. Till next time…
Green Tea Madeleines
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 4 oz, 8 Tbsp; plus 1 Tbsp for coating the pans)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (plain flour) (plus 1 Tbsp for dusting the pans; If you use a measuring cup, follow this method: fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off. Otherwise, your flour ends up with more than 120 g.)
- ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp matcha (green tea powder)
- 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) (at room temperature)
- 1 Tbsp whole milk (at room temperature)
- 1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar (optional for dusting)
- Gather all the ingredients. You will need two madeleine pans.
- Melt the unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Be careful not to burn the butter. Once melted completely, transfer to a small bowl and let it cool.
- In a large bowl, add ⅔ cup (133 g) sugar. Then sift 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 Tbsp (6 g) matcha (green tea powder).
- Whisk all together to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 Tbsp milk till frothy.
- Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir until just combined.
- Slowly add half of the cooled melted butter. Make sure to blend the butter and mixture well before you add more butter. Mix until just blended and do not over mix.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest the batter for 3 hours, or if you have the time, overnight (highly recommended). If you don't bake it soon, put the batter in an airtight bag and store it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
- Melt the 1 Tbsp butter in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush butter in the molds of two 12 full-size shell-shaped madeleine pans. Then using a fine-mesh strainer, lightly dust 1 Tbsp flour over the molds.
- Remove the batter from the refrigerator and fill each mold in the madeleine pan with 1 Tbsp. of the batter. I scoop the batter with a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon and transfer the batter into each mold with a mini rubber spatula. No need to smooth out the batter in the mold as it’ll melt in the oven.
- Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 11-13 minutes, or until the madeleines’ edges looks done and the tops spring back when touched.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 3 minutes. Using a fork, gently release the madeleines from the molds and transfer them onto a cooling rack.
- The madeleines are ready to serve when they are slightly warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops with confectioner’s sugar if desired. If you are storing/freezing the madeleines, do not dust with sugar until you are ready to serve.
- Madeleines get dry rather fast and are best eaten within a few hours after they came out of the oven. To store them longer, let the madeleines cool COMPLETELY. Then you can freeze them (they'll keep for 2 months) or place them in a Ziplock bag (and enjoy within 48 hours). Defrost the madeleines at room temperature first before dusting with confectioner’s sugar. The nice crunch they have right after being baked will slowly fade away and the madeleines will become soft.
2. Using the spoon, sprinkle the flour into your dry-cup measure (the one that measures exactly a cup at the top).
3. Scrape off the excess with a knife. Recipe adapted from Julia Child’s “From Julia Child’s Kitchen”. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.