Madeira Cake

This is a rich, densely textured sponge cake. It is essential that the butter is a creamy spreading consistency before mixing the ingredients together.

175 g (6 oz) softened butter

175 g (6 oz) caster sugar

225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour

50 g (2 oz) ground almonds

3 large eggs

finely grated rind of 1 lemon

a thin slice of citron peel

1 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease an 18cm (7 in) deep round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

2 Measure the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and grated lemon into a large bowl. Beat for 1 minute to mix thoroughly. Turn into the prepared tin and level the surface.

3 Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Place the slice of citron peel on top of the cake and continue cooking for a further 30–45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.


If a fruit or Madeira cake has a slight dip in the centre when it comes out of the oven, turn on to baking parchment on a cooling rack upside down. The action of gravity and the weight of the cake will level the top while it cools.

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