Madeira Cake

Growing up, I don’t recall too many cakes. I know we ate them, my mum is great in the kitchen, but only one cake really sticks in my mind. It’s a light lemony cake, usually with a glaze on top. It’s sweet, tasty & perfect for afternoon tea.

Every so often I see a recipe that reminds me of it & I think about giving it a go. Having my own home filled with sweet treats for when people just drop in is my ideal. My Nonna’s house is like that & so is my mum’s, it’s only reasonable that I continue the tradition. Fancy ass cakes aren’t for every day. The light lemon tea cake is.

But this is not that cake. This is different. It’s dense, rich, buttery & moist. A small slice for afternoon tea would tie you over til dinner, I’m sure of it!

Want some in your house? Here, I’ll show you.

I took a leaf out of Mr ColPanna’s book & got all my ingredients ready.

And, you know the drill. Cake = creamed butter and sugar.

Beat in half a dozen eggs, then the lemon zest & juice.

Then you carefully fold in the combined flour and baking powder and almond meal. Spoon it into a loaf tin & bake. I scored some mixed spiced nuts so I sprinkled them all over the top before popping it in the oven. This step is entirely unnecessary.

Bake it for an hour and fifteen minutes, turning once. You can use the skewer test or a light press on the cake, if it springs back it’s done.

Cool, slice & serve.

Lemon Madeira Cake

Adapted from Little & Friday

  • 350g butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 C (250g) caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • zest and juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1 1/4 C (250g) plain flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 c (100g) almond meal
  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C (fan forced).
  2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Use a single length across the base to make removing the cake easier.
  3. Beat butter and sugar until like and fluffy. Add each egg, making sure the previous one is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
  4. Add in the lemon juice and zest and mix well.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder together then add to the batter with the almond meal.
  6. Stir until just combined.
  7. Pour into your prepared loaf tin and bake for half an hour.
  8. Turn the tin and bake for a further 45 minutes, checking after 30.
  9. Remove the cake from the tin while it’s still warm.
  10. Leave to cool, serve in half slices.


– Top with a lemon glaze, the juice of 2 lemons, 1 C caster sugar, 1 C water, boil until sugar dissolves & spoon over the cake while it’s warm.

– Top with spiced nuts before baking. Finely chop 50-60g of your choice of nuts (eg almonds and pistachios), mix in 2 T brown sugar, 1/2 t cinnamon. Sprinkle all over the top. After the first 30 minutes, cover with baking paper to stop the nuts from burning.

– If I made this again I would reduce the eggs to 4 or 5.


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