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Simple Madeira Cake – Iced

Madeira Cake Recipe 

Simple times call for simple cakes. This Madeira Cake is just that, plain, simple and delicious and so so easy! 

I think sometimes we all get a bit carried away with weird and tacky/wacky flavours and difficult cakes.

Well let me tell you it doesn’t get much simpler than a basic Madeira cake with a simple icing 

Just look at it – and it’s flipping delicious 



Why is it called a Madeira Cake?

So why is this cake called a Madeira Cake?  

Well according to Wikapedia

It is a rich sponge cake that, contrary to its name, does not include Madeira.  

Nor did it originate from the Madeira Islands.

Historically, it was a popular cake to serve alongside glasses of the fortified wine in the 19th century in England.

And if you do decide to have a go at my Madeira Cake recipe then please drop me a note below the recipe, I love to hear your comments.

When people try or make something using the recipes I create and LOVE it, my heart is filled with tremendous joy.

I can’t quite explain why?


What flavour is Madeira Cake? 

People often ask what’s the flavour of a Maderia Cake? 

Well, a Madeira cake is traditionally flavoured with lemon, but not too much. My recipe has the zest only of one lemon 

This is why the cake is so simple, quite plain with butteriness and sweetness and the lemon at this small level just cuts the sweetness a little 


Maderia Cake Ingredients

All really simple ingredient and you’re probably got then in your store cupboard and fridge 

  • Butter
  • Caster sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Self raising flour
  • Baking powder
  • Milk

Full quantities are on the recipe card at the bottom of this post 


How to make a Madeira Cake

It really is a super simple cake to make, very traditional – here’s your step by step Maderia cake recipe 

Step by step 



Just look at the baked Maderia Cake 

It should have a crack alone the top post baking



Can I make this Madeira Cake without an electric whisk?

Using an electric whisk or Stand Mixer to cream the butter and sugar together is fantastic and really quick.

 When you then add  the eggs it’s super   as it gets the job done quickly and incorporates lots and lots of air.

However, it can obviously be made using a wooden spoon too.

It might take a little longer and it’ll just take a little more elbow grease.

But think of those lovely toned arms


Iced Madeira Cake – yum 

You don’t have to, but I think this cake is really good with a simple icing sugar and water icing

It’s so easy to make and no faffing with fancy icing

Just pour and use a knife to spread! Easy Peasy 

Madeira Cake


Fancy Maderia Cakes 

If you’d like to fancy your plain cake up a little

You could cut it down the middle and add a vanilla buttercream, it also makes the cake a more ‘moist’ eat 

It’s perfect plain, but also lovely split and filled with butter cream – yum 


Other Madeira Cakes, namely Cherry Madeira

Look at those cherries 🙂 flipping lovely 

Cherry Madeira Cake , sliced on a plate


My Cherry Madeira Cake recipe is a perfect I promise, soft, moist and delicious cake 

It’s so good and it’s one of my personal favourites!

It’s also super popular on the website 


Loaf Cakes not just Maderia cakes 

I have a lot of loaf cakes on Easy Peasy lemon Squeezy, have a look around

I also have a lot of classics 

My Easy Ginger Loaf Cake is also very popular 

Easy Ginger Loaf Cake


So let’s have some fun and get baking 

Please let me know if you bake this cake  or any of my cakes for that matter and let me know what you think 

I’d love that 

Big love as always, Clare x


  • 175g butter, at room temp
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 220g self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preparation Method

Double the mix for 2 – one will never be enough…..

  1. Pre-Heat the oven to Gas 4 / 180C
  2. Grease and line a 2lb / 900g loaf tin – I use those loaf liners they are fantastic
  3. Cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg at a time beating well, don’t worry if it curdles a little just keep mixing and add a tablespoon of the flour. Then add the vanilla extract and grated lemon zest and beat
  5. Finally add  the baking powder and flour, mix well
  6. Finally add the two tablespoons milk to slacken the mix and stir
  7. Spoon the mix into tin, smooth top and bake on the middle shelf for approx. 50-60 Minutes  – watch the top make sure it doesn’t burn – if it browns too quickly pop a piece of foil loosely over the top
  8. Test with a skewer – if it comes out clean it’s baked
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack!
  10. To make the icing pop your icing sugar into a small bowl add the water and mix to a smooth icing Pour your icing over the cake using a knife to spread it over the top
  11. Slice and enjoy


Patricia says:
Really easy and lemon Madeira was excellent
    Clare x says:
    So lovely to hear x