This cake improves with time, so can be made in advance. It also freezes well.
- 170g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 170g caster sugar, plus extra to serve
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 eggs
- 170g plain flour, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 50g chopped candied peel (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Butter a 225g non-stick loaf tin (about 12 x 20cm) or a 20cm-diameter round cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
- Put the butter, sugar, orange and lemon zest in a food processor and whiz until fluffy. Still beating, add one egg at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the lemon juice, then the flour, salt and baking powder, followed by the chopped candied peel, if using. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about an hour or until golden and springy. If the cake is browning too quickly, loosely cover the top with foil but remember to remove it shortly before the end of cooking. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
- Put the cake tin on a wire rack and leave for 15 minutes. Then remove the cake from the tin and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Leave to cool. Madeira cake tastes best if not eaten on the day of cooking, so when cold, tightly wrap in foil and leave for a day or two.
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 1 hour plus cooling
- Total time: 75 minutes, plus cooling
Average user rating Based on 321 ratings
This recipe was first published in September 2003.