This cake is an excellent choice for brunch or whenever you crave a lemony treat. Fresh, vibrant and rich, this Madeira cake is made by carefully creaming butter and sugar, then gradually beating in eggs and folding in the flour and grated orange and lemon zest to make a smooth batter. The baked cake is decorated with citrus glacé icing and curls of candied citrus peel.

The texture is so tender and moist that the cake melts in your mouth. Start by greasing your baking sheet and lining it with parchment paper. Mix your flours. You can use a combination of plain flour and self-raising flour, giving it a little lift. Set that aside. Add unsalted butter to a stand mixer and castor sugar for the batter, then beat that until really fluffy. That will take about 5 minutes.

Once lovely and floppy and white, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one. Once all the eggs are in and mixed well, add the flour and beat at the lowest speed possible.

You only want to mix that briefly until all the flour is fully incorporated. The last ingredients you will add to this recipe are whole milk and a spoonful of vanilla extract. Mix them for a few minutes and pour the batter into the baking tin.

Bake at 170 degrees for 24 to 26 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Madeira cake is perfect for layer cakes or amazing-shaped cakes.


  • 1 3/4 cups (210g/ 7.41 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (175g/ 6.1Oz) butter/baking margarine
  • 1 cup (240g/ 8.4Oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest


  1. Lightly oil and line the sides and base of a loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the tsp of orange zest.
  3. Slowly beat the eggs one at a time, scraping the mix together after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla essence and the two tbs of orange juice with the final egg.
  5. Add the multi-purpose flour and either fold in by hand until just blended or mix slowly for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Turn the cake onto a wire rack, remove the lining paper, and let it cool fully before slicing and serving.
  9. Store in an airtight container.