Madeira loaf cake

Madeira loaf cake

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(107 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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…

  • 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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28th Jun, 2020
Great recipe Used Gluten Free Flour as a member of my family is on a gluten free diet. Most gluten free cakes I make are very dry. This cake was lovely and moist. Best Gluten Free Cake that I have ever made. Did not add lemon as I had none but I will include it next time.Thank you for the recipe.
Scarlet Andrews's picture
Scarlet Andrews
20th Jun, 2020
Is there a recipe for this as a sandwich cake?
VanillaSpice81's picture
12th Jun, 2020
I made two of these as per recipe but topped with chopped pecan nuts. Nice lemony touch and buttery. Do be careful not to over bake. Added a few splashes of milk to loosen mix and took about 45 min to bake both. Very easy.
jyotisohal's picture
4th May, 2020
Great recipe, made this twice now and both came out perfectly. Added maybe more than a splash of milk to the mixture but no other changes made to the recipe.
TastyCat's picture
5th Feb, 2020
Delicious cake. Followed the recipe exactly. It did need a splash of milk because my eggs were small. Lovely with a cup of tea ☕️
21st Oct, 2019
Tasty and very easy to make. I cooked mine in an 18cm round tin at 160C for 65 mins. Unfortunately I started checking it from 45 mins and it sank a little in the middle as a result. I'm planning on scaling the recipe up to a 20cm or 24cm round tin for a birthday cake which I will split in two, fill with jam and cover with buttercream and fondant.
Clare Wagner's picture
Clare Wagner
22nd Jul, 2019
Easy and yummy, took me less than 15 min to prepare and an hour in the oven... looks lush
11th Jun, 2019
Love this recipe, easy to make and very tasty. Left out the almond and lemon as I’m not a fan of either and it still came out great!
Thomas Halpin's picture
Thomas Halpin
20th Mar, 2019
This was a great recipe. Big and Chunky! just how i like them. THICC and Juicy! Thanks so much. Kind regards John Peart.
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.


Aleena Anwar's picture
Aleena Anwar
21st Jun, 2020
Can you bake this in a 20cm/8” round cake tin? If so, how many layers will this one recipe make?
lulu_grimes's picture
28th Jun, 2020
Hi Aleena, We haven't tested this in round tins as this style of cake is best made in a loaf tin. It is a rather dense cake to be made in a sponge tin. You could make it in a round tin, make 1 thick layer rather than 2. I hope this helps, Lulu
Aleena Anwar's picture
Aleena Anwar
14th Jun, 2020
I made this cake with desiccated coconut instead of ground almond. It tastes great but the cake is quite unfirm and doesn’t have clean slices
28th Apr, 2020
Hi, How many servings does this make? This does not specify on the nutritional information. Thanks Anna
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
29th Apr, 2020
Hey, Esther from the cookery team here! The cake cuts into 8 slices so the nutritional info has calculated this as 8 servings! :) thanks for your question.
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?


2nd Mar, 2020
Easy to make but took me a bit longer than the stated time to bake. I used both orange and lemon zest and added the juice of half a lemon to the mix. Really light and tasty cake.
Blakeom's picture
9th Jun, 2019
This is my go to recipe. BUT using this recipe I use the all in one method. Throw everything into the bowl and mix. The key to that moisture is the ground almonds. Definitely 1hr and 20 mins at 150C Fan. It has never let me down yet!
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.
Aleena Anwar's picture
Aleena Anwar
14th Jun, 2020
Does it make it less firm?
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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