Mary Berry's Madeira Cake, a classic dessert recipe for your afternoon tea party. It's a light and fluffy sponge made with simple ingredients, and the lemon touch makes the cake flavourful and fresh.
It's summer, which means it's the season of afternoon tea parties, picnics and family gatherings. And nothing goes down better on such occasions than a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake.
It's a well-known fact that I am a big fan of Mary Berry's desserts, they really are the very best when it comes to baking a traditional British dessert. From Lemon Drizzle Cake, to Victoria Sponge Cake, or Coffee and Walnut Cake, there is always a great treat to bake from her fabulous recipes.
This madeira cake is another example that simplicity can mean perfection too. There is no cream, or expensive toppings, or anything like that, and yet, you get a beautiful dessert that everybody will ask for seconds.
All you need is a cup of tea, and you are set. Forget about ready-made cakes, the homemade ones are not only cheaper to make, but also more flavourful, and impressive too.
- sugar - I used granulated sugar, but caster sugar can be used too
- butter - soften, but not melted
- eggs - make sure they are at room temperature
- self-raising flour - it works better than plain flour to achieve a fluffy texture
- ground almonds
- lemon zest
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Before you start baking, make sure the ingredients are at room temperature and the oven is well-preheated, it helps massively if you want to achieve a perfectly-baked cake.
- add the soften butter and sugar to a large bowl, and mix well with an electric mixer until creamy
- add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition
- in go the self-raising flour and almond flour, plus the lemon zest
- mix well to get a smooth batter
- grease and flour a cake tin (mine is 23cm in diameter, or 9 inches), and spread the batter well in the pan
- bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean
- leave to cool completely before serving
This cake can't be any simpler to make, but there are some easy steps to follow if you want a perfectly light cake to lick your fingers clean. As mentioned, the ingredients must be at room temperature, if the butter is cold and hard, it can't be creamed well.
I haven't added any baking powder, since I used the self-raising flour, but this must be added if regular flour is added, or the sponge won't rise and it will be too dense.
I added only lemon zest for a more mild kick, but lemon juice can be added to if you are after a stronger citrussy touch. You can also garnish the cake with more zest if you wish.
The cake can also be decorated with icing for a more impressive look, and sweeter feel, although left as it is it's good enough to me. And that's all, enjoy a delicious cake for every occasion, be it a great celebration, or just whenever the sweet tooth strikes again.
The madeira cake uses more flour and ground almonds for a much denser texture.
If the ration flour: butter is off, the sponge will be too dense and dry.
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Mary Berry's Madeira Cake
- 175 g granulated sugar
- 175 g butter, soften
- 3 eggs
- 225 g self-raising flour
- 50 g ground almonds
- zest from one lemon
- Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat everything well until creamy.
- Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
- In go the flour and ground almonds together with the lemon zest.
- Mix everything well to get a smooth thick batter.
- Grease and flour a 23 cm/9 inch round cake tin, and spread the batter evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then carefully remove from the cake tin, and transfer to a cooling rack to be cooled down completely.
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.