slice of Madeira cake

Madeira cake dates back to the 19th century. A traditional Victorian style sponge cake, flavoured with vanilla. It was popularly served with Madeira wine during the 19th century, from whence came its name.

Not to be confused with 'Bolo de Mel' the traditional cake from the Island of Madeira, made with sugar cane (Molasses).


Ingredients and Utensils

  • 115 grams (4 oz) butter or cooking margarine
  • 230 grams (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 140 grams (5 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (medium)
  • 5 drops of vanilla essence
  • milk to mix
  • slices of lemon peel
  • 6 inch round cake tin
  • grease proof lining paper
  • large mixing bowl and wooden spoon (or mixer)

How to Make Madeira Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla essence.
  4. Fold in a little of the flour at a time, then add a little milk and mix to produce a soft, smooth mixture.
  5. Grease and base line the cake tin and pour in cake mix.
  6. Bake initially for 50 minutes, remove from the oven, arrange the slices of peel in the centre and return to the oven.
  7. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool and turn out onto a wire rack.

Serving Suggestions

Cut into slices and serve with a cup of English Tea, a glass of Madeira wine or other liquor.

Other recipes to try: Victoria Sponge | Hevva Cake | Lardy Cake | Recipe Index

Recipe by Susanne

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