Easy Madeira Cake

Madeira cake partialy sliced, on top of a black slate board, on a pale blue background, with whisky glass, Baily's drink, fancy knife, red berries, red napkin and Scottish tartin bow.

Easy Madeira Loaf Cake

By Caro


Madeira Cake is a classic British bake & also synonymous with New Year in Scotland. No Scottish New Year (or Hogmanay party), is complete without the addition of our Scottish shortbread and a slice of Madeira cake.  A very simple bake, and not too sweet, this cake is liked by all.



Jump to Recipe

Why Make This Madeira Cake?

There are many reasons why you would want to make this easy Madeira cake:

Madeira cake sliced, with fancy white knife on black slate board, on soft light blue background with small coffe cup, slice of cake and blue napkin.

1.Simple To Make

This is a super simple cake, beginner bakers could make it.  Even kids could help with it.  It pairs beautifully with Nutella chocolate spread!


2.No Special Equipment Required

No fancy baking equipment required, only the basics and if you don’t have a 2lb loaf tin, you can even make in a 8”/20cm round cake tin.


Madeira caked slice din background, with once slice on red and white tissue paper waiting to get wrapped, with bows and tags around it.

3. No Decorating Skills Needed

No decorating required, just eat as is, which is traditional.  Or spread on your favourite jam or even lemon curd would be nice.   


4. Ideal For Food Gifting

Great for food gifting, this Madeira cake transports well as the whole cake.  Alternatively, wrap individual slices in baking/parchment paper, or for a festive feel, wrap in tissue paper and tie with ribbon and add a pretty label.  Be sure to include on the label, instructions to store in an air-tight container.

Check out my Last Minute Food Gifting article.



A Note On Ingredients For Madeira Loaf Cake


Comparison pic showing ground almonds texture & size compared to thinner finer regular flour.

Ground Almonds

Madeira cake has the addition of ground almonds.  This is not to be confused with Almond Flour in the States.  Almond flour is finer. (See my photo below as a comparison of ground almonds to regular flour).  The more coarse texture of the ground almonds, provides not only moisture from the nut oils, but also structure.  And this is why it is included in lots of British cakes.  Makes for a firmer and more close texture of cake, it is great for cakes with heavy fondant and in particular layer cakes.   A closer substitute is Almond Meal.

Make Your Own Ground Almonds

If you can’t source ground almonds or Almond Meal, you can grind your own almonds, skin and all.  There are YouTube videos on how to do this, but essentially you crush the almonds a little in a food baggie, and then process. 



Caster Sugar

This Madeira cake recipe, like most British recipes,  uses Caster Sugar as opposed to granulated sugar.  The equivalent in the US is Extra/Super Fine Sugar.  The finer texture of the sugar helps with the ‘creaming’ process between the sugar and butter to incorporate air into the batter.  You can however make your own Caster sugar by simply grinding granulated sugar just  a little, using a food processor.   Note too that US granulated is slightly smaller a granule size than our granulated sugar.  So don’t grind too much or you will make Icing/Powdered sugar.    See Photo above of the 3 main sugars we use in the UK.


Madeira cake with 2 slices cut, up close, on black slate on top of pale blue background, fancy bread knife, and red berries.

Self-Raising Flour

This recipe uses UK Self-raising Flour, not to be confused with US Self-rising. The amount of baking powder in these are slightly different. I have also tested using Plain/All Purpose flour and added baking powder to get the correct rise. Amounts for that are given in the ingredient list below (note that all my recipes give alternative flour guidance). 


Size Of Eggs

I use 4 eggs in this Madera cake, medium or large sized eggs.  However, in the US the equivalent is Large – Extra Large so bear that in mind, as the eggs provide key protein as structure for the bake.  Make sure too that the eggs are at room temperature.  So if storing in the fridge, take out at the same time as your butter, which will also need softening and bringing to room temperature.


Now on to the full recipe for Madeira Cake. Experienced bakers can skip to the Recipe Card – an abbreviated version of the recipe. Which you can also print. Click below:

Jump to Recipe

Where I Buy My Ingredients

All of the ingredients used for this cake were purchased in Aldi. I am not being sponsored by Aldi, but highly recommend not only their baking ingredients, but their equipment too. Items used in today’s bake included – Butter, Caster Sugar, Ground Almonds, Eggs, Lemons, Plain Flour, Baking Powder, Apricot Preserve (as seen in Photo above), and Frylight 1 Cal Butter Spray for greasing the loaf tin.

The Plum Jam is home-made. Try my Plum & Orange Jam recipe.


Easy Madeira Loaf Cake


Equipment

  • Digital Scales or Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Stand/Hand Mixer
  • Sieve
  • 2lb Loaf Tin (900g, 23 x 13 x 7cm/9 x 5 x 2 ¾ “)
  • Baking/Parchment Paper
  • Cake release spray, cooking spray, etc for greasing
  • Timer
  • Wooden Cocktail Stick
  • Cooling Rack

Ingredients

  • 175g Butter – unsalted, cubed and softened. 
  • (6 oz, ¾ cup)
  • 175g Caster Sugar*
  • (6oz,  ¾ cup Extra/Super Fine)
  • 4 Medium – Large Eggs*
  • (US – Large – XLarge)
  • 225g Self-raising Flour* (8 oz, 1 ¾ cups)
  • OR Plain/All Purpose Flour + 2 ¾ tsp Baking Powder)
  • 50g Ground Almonds*
  • (1 ¾ oz, ½ cup)
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice (or ¼ tsp extract)
  • *See ingredient notes in paragraphs above.

Ingredients for madeira cake in their bowls.

Instructions For Madeira Cake


1.Begin by preparing the 2lb loaf tin (see above for dimmensions).  Grease and line with baking/parchment paper cut to fit.  See my Lining article on how to cut the paper with more photos, or refer to Photo 1 below. Alternatively, you can use an 8″/20cm round cake tin, and be sure to line up the sides too with some strips of paper. (From Photo 1 you can see I used a spray – Frylight 1Cal Butter spray, but often also use home-made lining paste – similar to cake release spray).


2.  Make sure your butter is softened and the best and quickest way to do this is by cutting into smaller pieces, about ½” (1.3cm).  Not only does it incorporate into the bake easier, but a smaller surface area will soften and come to room temperature quicker.  If you forget to take out in time, or are just short on time, try this hack I tried, for Softening Butter In About 12 Minutes. See Photo 2 below.


adding sugar to cubed cream then creaming together, photo 2.

3. Heat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan Oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4.

4. Once soft enough, add the butter to your mixing bowl, add in the sugar and beat till soft and fluffy and paler in colour.  This is known as ‘creaming’ and helps trap air pockets in the mixture.  This may take a few minutes depending on the power of your mixer. See Photo 2.


5 Next add in one egg at a time, mix just till combined, before adding in tbsp worth of your flour. Mix together. Repeat this until all 4 eggs are incorporated. See Photo 3 below.


Sieving in flour over bow, then after mixing together, photo 4.

6. Add in the ground almonds & lemon juice & sieve over the flour (and baking powder if using).  Mix a little by hand at first, or place a clean tea-towel over the mixer and mix until fully incorporated.  Don’t over-mix, only mix until no flour is visible.  The batter will be thick. See Photo 4.

7. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and level out as best you can with the back of a spoon.  Give the cake tin a few taps on the counter/worktop to expel any trapped air. See Photo 5 below.



tin foil tent over cake tin, then removed and half bake cake, photo 6.

8. Make a tent with  tin foil/aluminium foil, making sure the foil is raised up and not sitting on top of the batter. See Photo 6.

9. Pop in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.  See Photo 6, right pic. Then remove the foil and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes until golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean of crumbs.  If still not ready in the centre and has coloured enough, place the foil back on top and continue baking till another cocktail stick comes out clean of crumbs.

Leave To Cool

10. Remove from the oven and place on the cooling rack to cool down for about 20 minutes. See Photo 7 below.  Then turn out the cake onto the cooling rack to cool completely. See Photo 8 below.


Madeira cake baked and cooling in tin, over cooling rack, on top of pale blue background, photo 7.

11. Slice with a sharp bread knife and enjoy as is or if you like something a little sweeter, spoon your favourite jam/preserve on top.  Click to go to my Home-made Plum Jam recipe. Or why not try my Lemon Curd recipe?

12. Store left-overs Madeira cake in an airtight container – I use cake tins and the cake will be fine for about 3 days. 


Join My Facebook Group

Why not also join my Facebook group – Easy Online Baking Lessons, dedicated to this baking lessons website, as well as providing one-on-one support with myself & my team? Be sure to answer all security questions when requesting to join. Click to join the group.


Madeira cake, out of tin & cooling over cooling rack, photo 8.

SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER – I would love it so much if you could sign up for my newsletter. I will send out monthly emails, showing the latest recipes and articles, and latest info. Being a site without ads, building a following, is even more important and will keep it up and running and for free to everyone.

Occasionally there will be the odd seasonal emails, but is really a means of reaching you, if you are not already in one of the Facebook groups I admin. Please note too, that these email addresses are not shared or sold onto another party. Thanks so much Caro xxx


Madeira cake slice up extra close, with apricot jam, a bute and a fork on a white plate.

New Recipe Coming Soon

If you like the recipe, look out for a new Madeira Cake version, coming soon!

More Scottish Bakes

Why not try my very popular Traditional Scottish Shortbread, or some other Christmas bakes?

Share The Love

Please see the sharing options or even printing, at the right/bottom of your screen (bottom of your screen for mobiles, and down the right-hand side on computers). You can even pin this to your own Pinterest page. Alternatively, you can print the abbreviated Recipe Card below. You could also leave some feedback if you like and rate the recipe – to do so scroll all the way to the bottom of the recipe post.


DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy, beginner

Rating: 1 out of 5.


Abbreviated Version – Recipe Card

Print

EASY MADEIRA LOAF CAKE

Madeira Cake is a classic British bake & also synonymous with New Year in Scotland. No Scottish New Year (or Hogmanay party), is complete without the addition of our Scottish shortbread and a slice of Madeira cake.  A very simple bake, and not too sweet, this cake is liked by all.
Course Dessert, High-tea, Snack
Cuisine British, Scottish
Keyword beginner, BRITISH BAKING, Easy, Hogmanay, Loaf Cake, Madeira Cake, New Year, Scottish, Simple Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 Slices
Author Caro
SAVE RECIPE Share on Facebook

Equipment

  • Digital scales or measuring cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Stand/Hand-mixer
  • Sieve
  • 2lb Loaf Tin (900g, 23 x 13 x 7cm/9 x 5 x 2 ¾ “ or 8"/20cm Round tin
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • Cake release spray, cooking spray, etc for greasing
  • Timer
  • Wooden Cocktail stick
  • Cooling rack

Ingredients

  • 175 grams Butter – unsalted, cubed and softened.  (6 oz, ¾ cup)
  • 175 grams Caster Sugar (Extra/Super Fine Sugar, 6oz,  ¾ cup)* See above
  • 4 Med-Large Eggs (US – Large – XLarge)
  • 225 grams Self-raising Flour     (8 oz, 1 ¾ cups OR Plain/All Purpose Flour + 2 ¾ tsp Baking Powder) * See above
  • 50 grams Ground Almonds (1 ¾ oz, ½ cup) * see above
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice (or ¼ tsp extract)

Instructions

Prepare Cake Tin

  • Begin by preparing the loaf tin.  Grease & line with baking/parchment paper cut to fit.  Alternatively, use an 8″/20cm round cake tin, and line up the sides too with some strips of paper.

Prepare Cake Batter

  • Heat your oven to 180°c/160°c Fan Oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4. Once butter is soft enough, add to your mixing bowl, add in the sugar & 'cream' together.
  • Next add in one egg at a time, mix just till combined, before adding in tbsp worth of flour. Mix together & repeat this until all 4 eggs are incorporated.
  • Add in the ground almonds & lemon juice & sieve over the flour (and baking powder if using).  Mix only until no flour is visible.  The batter will be thick.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared loaf tin, level out & give the cake tin a few taps on the counter/worktop.

Bake The Cake

  • Make a tent with tin foil/aluminium foil, making sure the foil is raised up and not sitting on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil & bake for another 20 – 25 minutes until golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean of crumbs.  If the cake has coloured enough but is not ready, place the foil back on top and continue baking.
  • Remove from the oven & place on the cooling rack to cool down for about 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Slice with a sharp bread knife & enjoy as is or if you like something a little sweeter, spoon your favourite jam/preserve on top. 
  • Store left-overs Madeira cake in an airtight container – I use cake tins and the cake will be fine for about 3 days. 

Notes

* Please see ingredient notes on the main recipe blog for alternatives.
Great for food gifting – transports well as the whole cake. Alternatively, wrap individual slices in tissue paper & tie with ribbon & add a pretty label. Be sure to include on the label, instructions to store in an air-tight container.
Try with my Home-made Plum Jam recipe. Or why not try my Lemon Curd recipe?
Please see the main recipe blog for more information.
To rate the recipe or leave feedback, please scroll all the way to the bottom of the main recipe post.  Thanks.
Print Recipe

Follow me on social media:


Thanks for reading

Happy Baking & Making

Happy Tummies & Memories!

Caro xx



My Privacy Policy


Leave some feedback if you like:)


Caroline’s Easy Baking Lessons

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Please Rate This Post/Recipe

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating