Madeira loaf cake

A classic English sponge cake, delicately flavoured with lemon and almond – perfect for afternoon tea

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 397
  • fat 23.6g
  • saturates 12.3g
  • carbs 39.5g
  • sugars 22.6g
  • fibre 1.4g
  • protein 6.3g
  • salt 0.6g


  • 175g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • grated zest 1 lemon
  • few drops vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds


Change tin
The same mix can be used to make a 17cm round cake, you just need to adjust the cooking time to 45-50 mins. It will cut into 6 – 8 slices.


  1. 1 Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Butter and line the base of a 900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the lemon zest and vanilla. Now beat in the flour and almonds until you have a thick batter. The batter should be loose enough that it falls off a wooden spoon, if it’s too thick mix in a splash of milk.

  2. Tip the batter into the tin and smooth over the top. Bake for 55 mins – 1hr until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven then leave to cool for 15 mins then remove from the tin, peel away the paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. The loaf will keep in an airtight container for three days.

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