This post may contain affiliate links for products and ingredients I use and recommend. For more information, see my affiliate disclosures.
- What are Madeleines?
- Tips for Making the Best Sourdough Madeleines
- 🛠 Tools Needed for Sourdough Madeleines:
- 🛒 Ingredients Needed for Sourdough Madeleines:
- 🍵 How to Make Sourdough Matcha Madeleines:
- How to Store:
- Sourdough Matcha Madeleines FAQs:
- Sourdough Matcha Madeleines
- Other Recipes You Might Like:
It’s hard to stop eating these Sourdough Matcha Madeleines. The classic French cakes are light, spongy, and excellent served with coffee or tea.
I love the mellow matcha green tea flavor brightened with a hint of lime zest in this matcha madeleine recipe. For serving, you can keep it simple and dust them with powdered sugar or dip them in matcha white chocolate to make them more decadent.
My recipe walks you through each step to help you get the best matcha madeleines, including lots of tips and tricks to obtain the elusive madeleine hump or bump on the back.
What are Madeleines?
While sometimes confused with or considered cookies, madeleines are technically mini French cakes with a light, spongy texture. The cakes are distinctive with their shell shapes and humps.
Several legends exist behind the history of madeleines, but one overall consensus is that they’re delicious and a French favorite!
Tips for Making the Best Sourdough Madeleines
While generally easy to make, a number of specific steps are taken to get the best madeleines and get the unique madeleine hump.
- Chill the Batter
- It’s essential to chill madeleine batter for a few reasons. First of all, it hydrates the flour and allows the flavors to meld together (like Sourdough Pie Crust or Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies). Secondly, the chilling process creates steam when the madeleines bake, creating their signature humps.
- The batter should chill for at least one hour or up to four hours. Any longer, and the butter will solidify. This can affect the hump slightly, but if it happens, stir the batter slightly before scooping it into the pans.
- Delicately Mix the Batter
- Madeleines are technically a genoise sponge cake. With foamy and well-whipped eggs, gently fold the dry ingredients and butter to keep them airy. This results in a less dense madeleine (like this Sourdough Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake.
- That being said, baking powder is in the recipe so that they will rise regardless.
- Watch Closely During Baking
- Madeleines are notorious for burning. Each mold has only a tablespoon of batter, so they bake quickly. Once the edges brown, remove them from the oven.
- Use a light-colored madeleine pan to reduce burning. Furthermore, you can place the madeleine pan on another baking sheet.
- Butter Pan if Needed
- Like any mold, the ridges can stick to a pan if not buttered and floured beforehand. While I use this USA Pan that doesn’t stick, most madeleine pans must be brushed with butter/non-stick spray before baking.
- Use Cake Flour
- Cake flour has less protein than all-purpose flour, resulting in less gluten development and a more tender cake. While gluten development is essential to baking bread, it’s not ideal for light cakes, fluffy biscuits, or scones.
- Nevertheless, you can still use all-purpose flour in these madeleines, and they’ll still turn out well.
🛠 Tools Needed for Sourdough Madeleines:
Click the links below for my tool recommendations.
- Baking Scale
- Madeleine Pan
- Use a madeleine pan with shell molds for the distinctive madeleine shapes. However, you can use a muffin pan instead if you’re not ready to invest in a madeleine pan.
- My favorite madeleine pan is from USA Pan. It’s made with aluminized steel and has a non-stick silicone release coating. I don’t flour or butter this pan and the madeleines never stick! Otherwise, you need to butter your madeleine pan.
- The other consideration for a madeleine pan is how dark the pan is. A darker pan will bake faster, hence the range in baking times.
- I use a whisk to hand-mix this batter, but you can also use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.
🛒 Ingredients Needed for Sourdough Madeleines:
Click on the links below for my ingredient recommendations.
- Cake Flour
- Cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, creating a lighter madeleine. However, you can also use an equal amount of all-purpose flour here for great results.
- Baking Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Matcha Powder
- No need to splurge on expensive ceremonial matcha powder for this recipe. Use any culinary matcha powder.
- Granulated Sugar
- Lime Zest
- Lemon zest is a common ingredient in most traditional madeleine recipes. I use lime zest to add a bit of brightness to the madeleines and for the green color. A little goes a long way, though, so the zest of half a lime is enough.
- Sourdough Discard
- You can use an active sourdough starter in this recipe; however, it is unnecessary since the batter isn’t leavened.
- If you don’t have a sourdough starter, learn how to make one in a week with my day-by-day guide.
- Vanilla Extract
- Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
- Optional: White chocolate for a matcha white chocolate dip
🍵 How to Make Sourdough Matcha Madeleines:
Follow this visual and detailed recipe guide as you bake these sourdough madeleines.
1. Mix Dry Ingredients
Add 65 grams of cake flour, ½ tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Sift in 1 TBS of matcha powder to reduce clumps and whisk the dry ingredients together.
2. Whisk Wet Ingredients
Rub 100 grams of granulated sugar and 1 tsp of lime zest until fragrant in another mixing bowl.
Whisk in two eggs for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow, full of bubbles, and slightly larger.
Then, whisk 50 grams of sourdough discard and 1 tsp of vanilla extract into the frothy mixture until the discard is not visible.
3. Make the Batter
Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and use a flexible spatula to fold the ingredients gently.
Try to be delicate with the batter to keep the wet mixture full of air.
Lastly, pour in the melted and slightly cooled butter all at once and lightly fold it into the batter until incorporated.
When finished, the madeleine batter will look like a big bowl of matcha tea and be quite wet and shiny.
4. Chill the Batter
Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and press it down to the surface of the batter. This will prevent a skin from forming while the batter chills.
Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to four hours.
Chilling is necessary for the flour to hydrate, the flavors to meld, and to get the classic madeleine hump.
The batter can chill overnight, but the butter may solidify. If so, whisk it gently before baking. The madeleines will still be delicious.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC). The high temperature will create steam and increase the likelihood of the traditional madeleine hump. If you’re not using a non-stick pan, brush melted butter into the molds and crevices of the madeleine pan to prevent sticking.
Scoop the batter, one tablespoon at a time, and divide it among the molds. You want the molds to be filled up about 90% so they don’t overflow.
This batter makes 16-18 madeleines. My pan holds 16 madeleines, so if there’s any remaining batter, I keep it in the refrigerator to bake more later.
Chill the pan with the madeleines in it for at least 10 minutes. Once again, the cold pan and batter will increase steam and oven spring.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. As soon as the edges brown, remove them from the oven. The tops should have a hump or dome and feel spongey to the touch.
Cool slightly before serving. They’re best eaten with coffee or tea.
6. Optional Matcha White Chocolate Dip
Once the madeleines have cooled, you can dust them with powdered sugar or dip the ends in a simple matcha white chocolate dip.
Melt 57 grams of chopped white chocolate (2 oz or half a chocolate bar) in a small bowl in the microwave or over a stovetop. Stir in ½ tsp of matcha powder. You can add more or less for different shades of green.
Dip the ends of the cooled madeleines into the chocolate and place them on a platter, baking sheet, or plate lined with parchment paper.
Finally, chill them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden.
How to Store:
Unfortunately, madeleines don’t keep well and are best eaten shortly after they’re baked.
However, you can keep them in an air-tight container for a day and they’ll still taste delicious. They will be denser and less spongey.
Sourdough Matcha Madeleines FAQs:
How do you get the madeleine hump?
The distinctive madeleine hump is caused by many factors, including chilling the batter and pan before baking. For a list of tips to help you get the madeleine hump, please refer to my tips section.
What does matcha powder taste like?
Matcha is a finely ground green tea that stems from East Asia. It’s full of antioxidants and amino acids. Matcha may taste slightly grassy, bitter, savory, and sweet depending on the quality.
Many pair matcha with sweet desserts such as these madeleines, ice cream, mochi, or the popular matcha tea latte.
Can I use milk chocolate instead of white chocolate for the dip?
Sure! Melted milk or bittersweet chocolate would be excellent dips for these matcha madeleines.
Sourdough Matcha Madeleines
- Add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Sift in the matcha powder to reduce clumps and whisk the dry ingredients together. Set aside.65 grams Cake Flour, ½ tsp Baking Powder, ¼ tsp Kosher Salt, 1 TBS Matcha Powder
- Rub the granulated sugar and lime zest until fragrant in another mixing bowl.Whisk in the eggs for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow, full of bubbles, and slightly larger.Then, whisk the sourdough discard and vanilla extract into the frothy mixture until the discard is not visible.100 g Granulated Sugar, 1 tsp Lime Zest, 2 Eggs, 50 g Sourdough Discard, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and use a flexible spatula to fold the ingredients gently.Try to be delicate with the batter to keep the wet mixture full of air.Lastly, pour in the melted and slightly cooled butter all at once and lightly fold it into the batter until incorporated.99 g Unsalted Butter
- Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and press it down to the surface of the batter. This will prevent a skin from forming while the batter chills.Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to four hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC). If you’re not using a non-stick pan, brush melted butter into the molds and crevices of the madeleine pan to prevent sticking.Scoop the batter, one tablespoon at a time, and divide it among the molds. You want the molds to be filled up about 90% so they don’t overflow.This batter makes 16-18 madeleines. My pan holds 16 madeleines, so if there’s any remaining batter, I keep it in the refrigerator to bake more later.Chill the pan in the refrigerator with the madeleines in it for at least 10 minutes.Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. As soon as the edges brown, remove them from the oven. The tops should have a hump or dome and feel spongey to the touch.
Optional Matcha White Chocolate Dip
- Once cooled, melt the chopped white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave or over a stovetop. Stir in the matcha powder. You can add more or less for different shades of green.Dip the ends of the cooled madeleines into the chocolate and place them on a platter, baking sheet, or plate lined with parchment paper.Finally, chill them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden.57 g White Chocolate, ½ tsp Matcha Powder
- See more sourdough discard recipes here.