Earl Grey Lemon Madeleines

5 from 2 votes

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Traditional French butter cakes get an upgrade with these tea-infused lemon madeleines! These pillowy soft mini cakes feature an earl grey flavor and a tangy lemon curd filling.

a plate of earl grey lemon madeleines.


 

What are madeleines?

Madeleines are French mini butter cakes baked in a special seashell shaped madeleine pan.

These delicate cookies have light and airy texture and rich buttery taste.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

I love this twist on classic French madeleine!

These delicate little cakes are flavored with earl grey infused butter and then filled with homemade lemon curd.

  • Subtly sweet with hints of citrus and orange
  • Perfect alongside a cup of tea
  • Made with simple ingredients & pantry staples
  • No mixer required – just one bowl and a whisk are all you need!
a lemon madeleine with a bite out of it.

Key Ingredient Notes:

  • Earl grey tea is a black tea blend with a citrusy flavor and notes of bergamot orange. My favorite tea brand is Tea Forte (not sponsored, but it’s my rewards link. I love the quality of their teas!) If you don’t like earl grey tea, you can omit it and you’ll end up with delicious lemon madeleines instead.
  • Unsalted butter gives these delicate cakes a tender crumb and rich, buttery taste. I use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt. If you only have salted butter, omit the salt from this recipe.
  • Eggs – You need two room temperature large eggs! Room temperature eggs whip better and create more volume for a lighter-textured cake.
  • Sugar – Madeleines are lightly sweetened. A half cup of sugar is all you need.
  • All-purpose flour – It’s best to weigh the flour on a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements. If you don’t have a scale, use the spoon and level method. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level it off with the flat edge of a butter knife.
  • Baking powder along with the whipped eggs, give the cakes their signature bump.
  • Salt – A little bit of salt enhances sweetness.
  • Lemon curd is where lemon flavor comes from! Nothing compares to the sweet tang of homemade lemon curd. If you’d like, you can add fresh lemon zest in the batter and omit the curd filling.
ingredients for earl grey madeleines with lemon curd

How to make this madeleine recipe:

Don’t be intimidated by their fancy shape and delicate texture, they’re easy to make too!

Before you get started, preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray the madeleine pan with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted butter. (I skip buttering and flouring the pan, non-stick cooking spray works perfectly!)

1. Melt and infuse the butter

  • Melt the butter, then add the loose leaf earl grey tea while it’s still hot.
  • Let it infuse and cool while you make the batter.
earl grey tea leaves in melted butter.

2. Whip the eggs and sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium high until thick and pale in color, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract.
eggs and sugar in bowl, whipped eggs in bowl.

Tip

The mixture should fall into a thick ribbon when you lift the whisk out of it. (This is why it’s called a ribbon stage!)

This step is crucial for light and airy texture!

3. Fold in the dry ingredients

  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg mixture and gently fold the batter with a spatula.
whipped eggs with flour in a bowl.

Tip

Do NOT stir or whisk the flour into the eggs! You don’t want to deflate them.

4. Stir in butter

  • Strain the butter through a fine mesh sieve into the batter and discard the tea leaves.
  • Gently fold the butter into the batter until combined.
Side by side images of straining the melted butter into the madeleine batter.

5. Shape and bake the cookies

  • Divide the madeleine batter among the greased madeleine mold, about one heaping tablespoon per well.
  • Bake the cookies for 3 minutes at 400°F, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 7 more minutes.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pan for at least 3 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
unbaked madeleines, baked madeleines

Tip

Baking the madeleines at high temperature first helps to develop that iconic madeleine hump on top!

6. Fill the madeleines

  • Scoop the lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with small round tip.
  • Pipe the curd into the center of each cooled madeleine.
piping lemon curd into baked madeleines

Tips for Success:

  • Buy a madeleine pan! It’s the only way to achieve the classic scalloped shell shape and caramelized edges.
  • For best results, let the eggs sit at room temperature first. Cold eggs won’t gain as much volume as room temp ones. The more volume, the lighter the cake!
  • Fold the flour into the batter, don’t stir! It’s crucial to gently fold the dry ingredients into the whipped eggs. You don’t want to deflate the eggs you spent five minutes whipping!
  • No chilling required. They rise beautifully in the oven without the need to chill the batter first. One less step? Yes please!
  • Don’t fill the wells all the way full. If you do, the madeleines will be too big and lose their hump. A heaping tablespoon is plenty!
madeleines dusted with powdered sugar on a glass platter.

Storing Tips:

Madeleines are best enjoyed the same day they’re made, as they dry out quickly.

  • Leftover madeleines can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Leftover madeleines are especially great when dunked in a cup of tea or coffee!
  • Since these are filled with lemon curd, they must be refrigerated. Unfilled madeleines can be stored at room temperature.
  • Freeze madeleines for longer storage. Transfer the cooled earl grey madeleines to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let them sit on the counter until they’re room temperature.

FAQs:

What does a madeleine taste like?

A madeleine tastes like a light and airy vanilla cake! It has a rich, buttery taste, and delicate texture. Since they’re baked in special pans with mini scalloped wells, the edges are slightly crisp.

How are madeleines different from cakes?

A madeleine is a type of sponge cake made with whipped eggs and sugar. This gives it a light and delicate texture, compared to a traditional cake which is slightly denser with more moisture.

Can I bake madeleines in another pan?

Technically yes, but they won’t look like traditional madeleines with scalloped edges. If you don’t have a madeleine pan, use a mini muffin pan instead.

a bowl of earl grey lemon madeleines
5 from 2 votes

Lemon Earl Grey Madeleines

Traditional French butter cakes get an upgrade in these tea-infused lemon madeleines! These pillowy soft mini cakes feature an earl grey flavor and lemon curd filling.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 madeleines

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon loose earl grey tea
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup lemon curd for filling, Note 1
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Equipment

  • madeleine pan
  • small saucepan
  • fine mesh sieve
  • electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Spatula

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°F). Spray the madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt the butter and stir in the loose earl grey tea. Steep while you mix the batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium high until nice and thick, about 5 minutes. This mixture should fall into a thick ribbon when you lift the whisk.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into the egg mixture and gently fold the batter with a spatula until no dry flour is visible.
  • Strain the butter through a fine mesh sieve into the batter and discard the tea leaves.
  • Gently fold the batter to combine.
  • Divide the batter into the madeleine pan, about one heaping tablespoon of batter into each well.
  • Bake the madeleines for 3 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F for 7 minutes.
  • Let the madeleines cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then transfer them onto wire rack to cool completely.
  • Put the lemon curd in a piping bag, cut a small hole in the end, and pipe the curd into the center of each cooled madeleine. Serve right away.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Infusing the butter with earl grey tea leaves adds very subtle tea flavor to the cakes. It’s not overpowering at all. I highly recommend high quality loose earl grey tea. My favorite brand is Tea Forte.
Note 2: If desired, you may omit the lemon curd filling and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon zest in the batter instead.
Storing Tips: 
– Madeleines are best enjoyed the same day they’re made, as they dry out quickly! Leftover madeleines can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
– Since these are filled with lemon curd, they must be refrigerated. Unfilled madeleines can be stored at room temperature.
– Day or two old madeleines are especially great when dunked in a cup of tea or coffee.
– Freeze madeleines for longer storage. Transfer the cooled earl grey madeleines to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.
– Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let them sit on the counter until they’re room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 123kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 95mg, Potassium: 18mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 205IU, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    These were so easy to make! I like that I didn’t have to grind up the tea; infusing the butter is brilliant! I’m making the cookies for my daughter’s wedding (they don’t like cake) and this will definitely be one of the cookies… hopefully they freeze well