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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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
Gina2's picture
2nd Dec, 2016
Tasty! The only addition I made - I sprinkled batter with sliced almonds before putting it into the oven.
Thomas Halpin's picture
Thomas Halpin
20th Mar, 2019
Batter? I mean i like the almonds but BATTER?
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


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.


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