Madeira loaf cake

Madeira loaf cake

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(99 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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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.
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.
Thomas Halpin's picture
Thomas Halpin
20th Mar, 2019
Thanks so much carol. You're a hero for doing that. Good on ya! Kind regard John Peart
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


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?
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.
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.
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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