A light, crumbly textured cake with a hint of lemon. Often thought to originate from the Madeira Islands this cake is actually named after the Madeira wine that was traditionally served with it.
What makes this cake so special is its versatility – don’t get me wrong it tastes great just as it is, but you can easily dress it up with a lemon glaze or add dried fruit to the mix such as glacé cherries or sultanas.
On top of that, you can use it as the base for so many different cakes and desserts, from trifles to gateau’s.
And if that isn’t enough . . . . . it freezes well too!
175 g butter, at room temperature
175 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
250 g self raising flour
approx 3 tablespoons milk
1 lemon, zest only
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
Grease a 18 cm round cake tin or 450 g loaf tin. Line the base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper with a little butter or margarine.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each one and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture curdling.
Sift the flour and gently fold in, with enough milk to give a dropping consistency (the mixture should drop off a wooden spoon on the count of three). Fold in the lemon zest.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly level the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.