Madeira loaf cake

Madeira loaf cake

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(79 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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vintagemunchkin's picture
5th May, 2015
So delighted with this! Was moist, dense and delicious, wih just the right amount of lemon. My fella put away 3 doorstops in one sitting. It rose beautifully and looked v impressive! Will definitely make again...
28th Apr, 2015
This is the first madeira cake I have made and it turned out perfectly. I have made it in a square tin and baked for less. Going to make another one to make another layer to sandwich together as its for a birthday cake. Perfect taste and I lovely moist texture. Thanks for the great recipe :) xx
13th Jul, 2014
I love this cake, have been making it for years, today, however I wanted to experiment with it. If you have a mo check it out.
9th Jun, 2014
I tried this recipe out for my nephews birthday cake with increased quantities and it worked brilliantly! Look about 30 minutes extra than the stated time though. See my efforts here:
Frantic Flapjack
28th Jan, 2014
Easy to make. Mine took about 10 minutes more than the recipe stated. Tastes lovely and keeps well.
10th Jan, 2014
I only made thus cake to use as a base for an apple & ginger Queen of Puddings ! I'd only ever had shop-bought Madeira cake before, & was never impressed. Always thought of it as dry & a bit bland, the sort of thing your granny would serve up during a boring visit ! But my goodness am I converted ! This cake is simple to make & absolutely GORGEOUS !!! Light, moist & with a fantastically delicate flavour. A real English afternoon tea classic. By the way, I managed to grab just enough of it to make that Queen of Puddings...Thanks so much for this fab recipe Barney. Just about to make another one right now. Will be using slightly less lemon zest - perhaps half a lemon this time - at the request of my husband, who thinks it's (quote) "a bit too lemony" !!
vintagemunchkin's picture
5th May, 2015
I totally agree! I thought I'd have a go at it, but was worried I'd end up with some dusty loaf! In actual fact it was deliciousness personified. My boyfriend devoured 3 doorsteps in one sitting!
15th Dec, 2013
Nice easy cake that everyone liked. Mine took 10 mins more than suggested and I've got a fan oven.
24th Sep, 2013
I made this cake yesterday and it was delicious! I can't stop eating! It is the definition of cake!
25th May, 2013
This is outstanding. I used really good quality butter and duck eggs to make it really special and added the juice of 1/2 a lemon. It needed about 10 mins more cooking than suggested. Really good. Yum!


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