Madeira loaf cake

Madeira loaf cake

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(65 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr


Cuts into 8 slices

A classic English sponge cake, delicately flavoured with lemon and almond - perfect for afternoon tea

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal397
  • fat23.6g
  • saturates12.3g
  • carbs39.5g
  • sugars22.6g
  • fibre1.4g
  • protein6.3g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • grated zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • few drops vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almond


  1. 1 Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Butter and line the base of a 900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the lemon zest and vanilla. Now beat in the flour and almonds until you have a thick batter. The batter should be loose enough that it falls off a wooden spoon, if it’s too thick mix in a splash of milk.

  2. Tip the batter into the tin and smooth over the top. Bake for 55 mins – 1hr until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven then leave to cool for 15 mins then remove from the tin, peel away the paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. The loaf will keep in an airtight container for three days.

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Comments, questions and tips

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willow .'s picture
willow .
16th Feb, 2019
Incredibly easy and delicious, I didn't have almond meal but I used 2 cups of flour and splash of milk and honey and it turned out great.
Caroline Gathercole's picture
Caroline Gathercole
29th Oct, 2018
I have noticed that no-one here has suggested adding the juice from the lemon, Well I did (cos I don't like throwing stuff away), instead of milk.Turned out perfect, lovely and moist with an extra zingy lemon flavour.
5th Feb, 2017
Really simple. I had to add milk at the end as my mixture was quite dry but my eggs weren't the largest so that was probably why. The cooking time was increased to 1 hr 10. Really tasty cake though and will definitely make again
Gina2's picture
2nd Dec, 2016
Tasty! The only addition I made - I sprinkled batter with sliced almonds before putting it into the oven.
6th Aug, 2016
Very easy and reliable recipe. Cake came out exactly as the picture shows.
3rd Jun, 2016
I love baking but I do not always want anything to sweet ie with cream with chocolate etc so I made this Madeira cake -it is absolutely delicious. Its perfect with a cup of tea- not to sickly sweet it has a beautiful buttery lemon flavour& a wonderful soft texture. This shall be a regular bake. Thank you 5 star recipe
stacey.louise's picture
26th May, 2016
My first time making a Maderia cake. It was really easy and the results were great. I had to add a couple of drops of milk as my mixture wasn't dropping off the spoon at all. I also had to leave out the lemon due to allergies but this hasn't seemed to effect anything, it's still yummy! I checked the cake at about 45 minutes and my knife came out clean so I took it out and it is a nice and moist. I would make this again in the future.
10th Mar, 2016
Lovely, easy, and light recipe with a lovely mild Lemon flavour. It wasn't as buttery tasting as I'd expected and although the batter dropped off a wooden spoon perfectly, and was given the allotted 55 mins in the oven, I found the cake a bit drier than I'd like. My hubby loves it though and I will be happy to fiddle with oven timings (think I'll try 45 mins next time) or maybe add a drop of milk to the recipe to try and perfect the cake in the future.
17th Jan, 2016
this was very easy to make - mine was done in 30 minutes though
Barneys baking
17th Jan, 2016
Just made this.. Wow! it looks exactly like a bought one. I'm so proud,, tastes AMAZING. I only made a 1lb loaf as it was the only tin I had, but I'm going to buy a 2lb tin & do another one. Delicious with a latte at lunchtime :-)


10th Jul, 2018
Hi, can this cake be frozen as I'd like to make it in advance? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, this can be frozen. Freezing information appears above the nutrition at the top of the recipes, where applicable. Hope that helps in future.
Keith Taylor's picture
Keith Taylor
17th Jan, 2018
For my first cake in over 40 years I was really pleased.Added ingredients according to direction, excluding nuts. Mixed well, consistency great, smelled wonderful and rose perfectly. Took it out to rest for the 15 minutes, went back to it and it had gone flat so instead of the 4 inches plus that it had gone to it was down to 2 inches. It was not a problem as I was stacking two on top of each other, but why did it sink? No draught or banging doors, just resting on wire rack
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Jan, 2018
We're sorry to hear the cake sank. It sounds like it was not cooked sufficiently in the middle. The skewer test (see last step) is a good way to ensure that a cake is cooked all the way through and will not sink when it comes out of the oven. Hope that helps in future.
2nd Jan, 2015
do you think this could be baked used a brownie tin tray and how long would I bake it for?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Jan, 2015
Hi nannysandra thanks for your question. That really depends on the dimensions of the tin - but, assuming your tin is shallower it would be a good idea to reduce the temperature check it after the first 20 mins. We haven't tested baking this recipe in a shallower tin so we cannot guarantee perfect results, do let us know how you get on.
3rd Apr, 2017
The issue with this recipe is the switch from SR Flour to Ground almonds. It detracts from the texture of the sponge. Recommend using full quantity of SR flour and no ground almonds.
23rd May, 2015
Could the people who maintain this website please add a way of adding, changing ingredients, or adding comments on my saved recipe.
23rd May, 2015
I used coconut instead of almonds and added 10g of dried pineapple soaked in Malibu.
22nd Feb, 2018
Not a madeira then.
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