Madeira cake recipe

Madeira cake recipe

A good classic sponge cake is hard to beat.  This simple Madeira cake recipe bakes a soft and moist cake which will last for 7-10 days after baking.  It therefore makes for a perfect wedding cake flavour as there will be plenty of time for decorating.  It can also be adapted easily (see Notes at the bottom of the recipe).  And don’t worry if you can get self-raising flour as this cake is made with plain flour only.

Madeira cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 10 - 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 slice

Madeira cake


  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g softened butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsps milk (semi-skimmed or full fat)
  • 4 tsps baking powder


  • In a large bowl or food mixer, cream together sugar and butter.
  • Beat eggs and add vanilla extract. Add egg mixture in small quantities, alternately with sifted flour. Mix well on each addition.
  • Add 2-3 tbsps of milk to soften the batter
  • Add sifted baking powder and fold in lightly with a large spoon
  • Spoon into 2 x greased and bottom-lined 20cm (8" round) tins and smooth the top
  • Bake at Gas Mark 3/electric oven 160oC/fan oven 140oC for 45 minutes.
  • Check cake with skewer to ensure cooked through - skewer should come out clean
  • Allow to cool completely in tin.
  • Sandwich layers together with generous dollop of strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream


To make an almond madeira, swap vanilla for 1 tsp almond extract.

For a lovely lemon drizzle, omit vanilla extract and add zest of 1 lemon to flour. Mix juice of 1 lemon with 2-3 tbsps sifted icing sugar to form a paste. Pour over cake as it comes out of the oven.

I prefer to use plain flour and add baking powder (I feel it gives a lighter texture) but you could use 300g self-raising flour instead and add 1tsp baking powder if using a food mixer. I also like to bake in two halves as I think it allows for a better rise.

If you like this recipe, please check out our other recipe for vegan chocolate mud cake – the easiest and tastiest chocolate cake recipe you will ever make.  Or perhaps our sticky toffee pudding cake, a moist and rich cake filled with a homemade caramel.


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