Verbena Madeleines


Ah, so we woke up to some snow flurries yesterday, with more expected for today. Mr. Weather, you’ve made me a fool, believing that spring was here! Now, I just want to curl up in a ball underneath my blanket! But alas, the kids are calling…

I’m so over winter…oh-ver! When will I see warmer days? Very soon, I pray. I am longing for apple blossoms, peach blossoms, cherry blossoms…any blossoms!

But let me tell you about this woody plant that always makes an appearance at our community garden: the lemon verbena (also known as lemon balm). Always by its lonesome at the edge of the field, it attracts none but a few who know its identity. As I am one of them, I usually get first pick of the buds and leaves. I gather them by the sprigs, run home to my kitchen, put the kettle on, and make me some tisane (a brew made with steeped herbs and flowers as opposed to tea leaves).

But this time, I wanted a break from my afternoon brew and create a tea confection instead. I’ve always taken a keen interest in baking with tea and herbal infusions, like this Earl Grey and Pink Grapefruit Tart I made. This Verbena Madeleine recipe couldn’t be any more simpler – the only additional step is to steep the verbena leaves (or tea bags, if using) in nicely warm, melted butter before mixing it in the batter.

I’m sure most of you know the story of the famed madeleine already – thus cherished by Parisian high society then and now – so we’ll skip that part and go straight away to the delicious stuff. Sorry, my gluten-free friends, this one’s made with regular wheat flour (my weekend cheat). I have yet to develop and test a good gluten-free version, but when I do, you can bet that I will be posting immediately. But for now, enjoy these splendid French treats…because as you can see, even my littlest one have Proustian tendencies!

5.0 from 10 reviews
Verbena Madeleines
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Inspired by a base madeleine recipe found in Short and Sweet cookbook by Dan Lepard. Published by Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, London, UK in 2011.
Recipe Type: Sweets, Dessert
Serves: 12 regular-sized madeleines
  • 50 grams whole egg (2 large), at room temperature
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) fine granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 loose verbena leaves or 1 bag verbena tisane (Kusmi brand is a good one)
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing and to finish
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  1. Warm the mixing bowl over simmering water or in low heat in the oven.
  2. Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl and rub them together until well combined.
  3. Break the eggs with the sugar and lemon mixture and beat with an electric whisk or stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat until thick and doubled in volume, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the verbena leaves or tisane. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain the butter and discard the verbena sprigs or tea. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C) and butter 12 regular madeleine tin pockets.
  6. Sift the flour and baking soda together, then sift them again into the egg mixture and gently fold it in.
  7. Next, pour the butter into the batter mix in a thin, steady stream, and continue folding gently until just combined.
  8. Spoon or pipe the batter into each madeleine mould, filling them about three-quarters full.
  9. Put a thin, flat piece of butter (about ¼ teaspoon) onto the centre of each madeleine to get that characteristic bump.
  10. Place the tray in the oven and bake about 9 to 10 minutes until well risen and slightly browned at the edges.
  11. Remove tray from oven and loosen up each madeleine from the tray. Let it set on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.



  • What a fun, creative treat you’ve come up with and a lovely description of warmer days to come!

  • Yum! These sound so perfect for spring. Would love one of these with my cup of tea right now!

  • Reply April 2, 2013

    Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Lovely madeleines, I like the way you infused them with flavor! Hope spring comes to you soon, the blossoms have been in abundance here!

  • Reply April 2, 2013


    Such beautiful photos Jen, I just love looking at them. Your madeleines look wonderful and I’m sure they are tasty too.

  • It’s just begin to get a little warm here in Florida after so many months of cold-front. I’m sending some sunshine your way!!

    Delish madeleines and perfect to comfort wintery chill!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    La Torontoise

    I love this recipe! The experience is so profoundly French:-) it all brings warm memories from the South of France (where I am now is so cold:-( )

    Can not wait for the weekend to do madeleines again!!
    Your pictures are amazing!!
    All the best!

  • I have always wanted to make madeleines! Your gorgeous post has inspired me to get on it ASAP!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Katie Brigstock

    Such beautiful photos! They look delicious- I can’t wait for the gluten free version:) x

  • Reply April 3, 2013


    Your photos are so phenomenal! And those cookies…yum!!!!!!!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Alison Dulaney

    Simply stunning photos and styling!

  • Reply April 3, 2013


    I didn’t know the lonesome lemon balm was so versatile! *Noted* :)
    Yes, winter can feel free to leave any time now, shesh. These madeleines might help take my mind off the chill in the air! Your photos are stunning, Jen! (I’m crushing on that vintage “cookie” tin!)

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Choc Chip Uru

    Haha our winter is finally coming through and I am loving it after our intense heat!!! I’m sure it’s on its way over to you now my friend!
    Love these Madeleines and your photography of them!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • I’m so tired of winter as well. It’s been so cold here, they said the temperatures haven’t been so low in 7 years. Now, after looking at your sunny pictures I’m looking forward to summer even more.

  • First Jen – my mouth is hanging down to the ground looking at these stunning photos. Second, madeleines are among one of my favorites and then you throw in lemon verbena – that is a masterpiece. These are a must make soon!!!! (I am sure Spring is around the corner for you my friend:-))

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Suzanne Perazzini

    That tin and the posy are gorgeous and just meant to be together. Great photos and lovely little cakes.

  • We have tons of lemon verbena growing at our place on the coast and a patch or two here at home. I love, love their fragrance! You know how much I love madeleines. I bet these were a breath of fresh spring air. Hope you get warmer weather soon!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Coffee and Crumpets

    I love madeleines ! These are even more special with the lemon verbena. A nice burst of spring time in your kitchen even with snow outside. It’s the same story here…it snowed yesterday. Hope it warms up for you soon.


  • I’m lucky to live in San Francisco…so no real winter here! But the summers are typically cold and foggy. So, best to get out of the city when you can. Anyway, love the beautiful photos…they are truly lovely. And what a great recipe! Funny that I am reading it right now as I have a madeleine in my mouth at this very moment! Such wonderful treats. I will have to try this version for a tasty twist!

  • Reply April 4, 2013


    Lovely Jen! I so hope you see your Spring blossoms soon 😉
    I grow lemon verbena, it actually grows like a weed here and it’s fun to use fresh as well as dried. Thanks for sharing your madeleine recipe-they look so good in the sweet vintage tins;-)

  • I’ve been over winter since December 26th. :)

    And oooh, these look like the most delicious little buttery bundles of joy. I’ve never made homemade madeleines (or even had them?) but now I want to!

  • Jen: I am so glad that winter is over. Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons…
    And these madeleines is the perfect treat to welcome spring because of their soft texture and flowery aroma. I have always been crazy for madeleines and these ones with verbena make them even more interesting. It’s something that I’ll have to try!

  • Stunning styling! I have madeleines on my to-bake list! These are huge and sound so delicious! PS: I hope Spring will appear in your neck of the woods soon. It’s here, finally! :) Have a fabulous weekend, Jen!

  • Love your beautiful madeleines…they puffed up so nicely and their pretty edges are brown and crispy. I’m with you about wishing for blossoms…at least the snow is mostly gone from our apple orchard now.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Jen @ Savory Simple

    The styling here is exquisite!

  • Reply April 7, 2013


    Your Madeleines looks perfectly made, nice little treats

  • Jen these cookies are so gorgeous that they look like they came out of a cookie factory or high end bakery! They are drop dead stunners! And your photography always blows me away. And I would give my right arm for your props. That box!! If you ever have a garage sale or want to sell stuff, email me :)

  • Wow, your madeleines look sooooooo good! I always have a hard time which picture to pin when I come to your posts. Everything looks pin-worthy!! I love your styling and learn so much from your post every time. You create such a lovely dreamy space that makes us feel so good to be here.

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    dishing up the dirt

    What a lovely recipe. The photos are stunning!

  • I’ve never made madeleines, but your photos are making me really want to! They look gorgeous!

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    Amy (Savory Moments)

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a madeleine (and I don’s have a pan for them – perhaps I need to remedy that). These look so pretty though and I love the use of verbena!

  • Reply April 9, 2013


    Great minds think alike – for sure!! Love your photos, box, flowers – everything! Your madeleines must be so delicious-) Just gorgeous!!

  • Reply April 10, 2013

    Sandra's Easy Cooking

    Oh wow..your pictures are like from magazine pages, really! I love them…so shabby chic! Now your medeleines are perfectly made…yummy and beautiful! I hope the snow and the cold is gone by now…and you have some sunshine! Have a lovely warm and sunny week! 😀

  • Reply April 10, 2013

    Lora @cakeduchess

    Such cool tins you have for your very French and delicate cookies. Love the whole vintage vibe and they are so perfect for a cup of tea or for me with my coffee tomorrow morning:)

  • Reply April 11, 2013

    wok with ray

    I love madeleines. I think it is a perfect snack with hot cup of tea. Beautiful photography too! I hope you and your family are having a beautiful week, Jen! :)

  • I think these may be the prettiest madeleines I have ever seen, Jen! Beautiful photos! LOVELY!!!

  • Reply April 23, 2013


    There’s something magical in your photos, Jen. Really. These are just breathtaking, you would never know that spring has been slow to bloom in your part of the world. I just love the idea of infusing the butter with verbena!

  • Reply April 28, 2013

    Debbie laudani

    Didn’t try recipe just wondering about the box the name on it is my maiden name. Wondering if its yours too

    • Reply April 28, 2013


      Debbie, I just picked up that tin at a vintage flea market! It’s a tobacco tin, actually! LOL! Maybe your ancestors were tobacco makers? :) What a beautiful coincidence…

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