Madeira loaf cake

Madeira loaf cake

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(108 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


  • 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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16th Sep, 2012
Nice fluffy cake ..... wonderful recipe .... easy to cook ..... thk u v much
22nd Jul, 2012
Made this cake yesterday - really delighted with the result, going to make another today as my family demolished it in seconds! We all agreed that whilst lovely and subtle - the lemon flavor could be ramped up a bit so planning to add a little fresh squeezed lemon juice as well as the rind of the lemon to the cake mixture this next time. Still - it was delicious, very pleased indeed :-)
2nd Jul, 2012
Just waiting for my cake to cool down. I was really impressed by the result. I needed to add a splash of milk to mine as I thought it was a little too thick. I also cooked mine in a 7" square cake tin and it cooked nicely. It needed an extra 15 mins to what was stated for the round cake suggestion. I will definitely be amking this again. Especially if it tastes as good as it looks! :)
24th Jun, 2012
Wow - I just took this out the over about an hour ago and my husband has demolished half of it already! I made it into a lemon drizzle cake by mixing lemon juice and icing sugar, pricking some holes in the cake with a fork and then pouring the lemon icing over. It's divine. The cake is moist and tastes beautiful. I used the zest of 2 small lemons, I might add a little more next time as it's quite subtle. This is a fantastic recipe and so easy to make. YUM!!
21st Mar, 2012
I found this cake had nice flavours especially from the ground almonds, however it seemed a little dry. I've checked a few other recipes and these have sunflower oil in them, which presumably makes it more moist. Not one I will be making again.
20th Mar, 2012
I have not made this particular recipe, but made Mary Berry's version, not much difference in measurements of ingredients. My cake was done in 30mins, notice the time of this cake is nearly an hour, my cake came out very hard on top, is tis meant to be like this? want to do this version but if its going to come out the same a bit reluctant to do, cant get my head around this one and it seems so easy too? any advice anyone please!
15th Mar, 2012
This is a lovely cake, I always try Barney's recipes and up to press have not been disappointed! Just the right amount of lemon and so light and moist - delicious! Thank you Barney!
10th Mar, 2012
Has anyone tried making this in two smaller loaf tins?Think I,ll give it a try next time
8th Mar, 2012
Hi, could you tell me what mixture I'd need to make a 7 or 8" round madeira cake? thanks
7th Mar, 2012
Lovely cake - made a couple of times, and liked by all. Have even turned one into a drizzle cake with lemon juice from the lemon, and caster sugar/


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