British Recipes Recipes from Great Britain British Cuisine

Madeira Cake

A delicious sponge cake with a lemony tang. The name of this cake comes from the Victorian habit of serving it with a glass of Madeira.


• 8 ½ oz. butter, softened
• 8 ½ oz. plain flour, sifted
• ½ lb. castor sugar
• 5 eggs
• 1 tsp. grated lemon rind
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 2 slices candied citron peel


1) Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

2) Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch bread tin with ½ oz. of the softened butter, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the tin with ½ oz. of the flour, tipping it from side to side to coat it evenly. Then invert the tin and rap it on a table to remove any excess. Set aside.

3) Cream together the remaining butter and 7 oz. of the sugar in a large bowl by mashing and beating them against the sides of the bowl with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, add the grated lemon rind and continue beating until smooth.

4) Mix the remaining ½ lb. of flour and the baking powder and sift them into the egg and sugar mixture about 2 oz. at a time, beating well after each addition.

5) Pour the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top with a palette knife, and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Put the two slices of candied peel in the centre of the cake and dust the entire surface with the remaining ounce of sugar.

6) Return the tin to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

7) Let the cake cool completely on a cake rack.

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