Baking a Madeira Cake

Overview

with Sheila Jones
Skill level: Easy
HD Lessons: 3
Decorating time: 2 hrs

1. Top tips

Mrs Jones shares some tips with us to make sure we get the perfect Madeira cake every time. She also shares the story as to where the name comes from, which might not be as obvious as you first thought!

2. Making the mix

Getting the mixture and consistency just right is crucial to the bake, but you’re in safe hands as Mrs Jones talks you through every stage.

3. Bringing it out of the oven

Now time to bring the cake out of the oven and if only we had smellavision! …the smell itself has the taste buds dancing!

Award winning baker Mrs Jones is here to teach us how to bake a wonderful Madeira cake. Baking the perfect Madeira cake can be quite tricky but Mrs Jones will show you how to bake it stress-free and get it right every time.

Downloadable tools and ingredients list

Grams to lbs

Inches to cm or vice versa

other US to metric and Metric to US

This recipe is for a 6″ Round cake baked to a depth of 3″or just under. Baked in an Invicta cake tin 4″ deep.

Need to bake a different size? Use our Cake Recipe Re-Calculator, find the Maderia recipe then select your new bake size.

175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
175g self-raising flour
80g plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment
Electric mixer
Measuring scales
Plastic spatula
Measuring jug
Fork
Measuring spoon (teaspoon)
1 x 6” round, deep cake tin
Baking parchment or greaseproof paper
Old newspaper or brown paper
String
Oven thermometer
Baking sheet
Ovenproof bowl filled with water
Oven gloves
Wire cooling tray

Sheila Jones

Sheila Jones

Taught by her Mum to bake, many of you will recognise Mrs Jones as our expert baker. She is also an accomplished cake decorator. As a former nurse and midwife, Sheila has turned her passion for creating delicious, elegant, bespoke cakes into a very successful business. Over the years, Sheila's baking skills have been consolidated by achieving a professional diploma of PME Masterclass Certificates in Sugarcraft, Sugar Flowers Royal Icing and Piping, and she has worked with the very best of cake decorators in the country. She is Chair of the Glasgow Branch for the British Sugarcraft Guild, a member of the Scottish Association of Master Bakers and a founding member of the Glasgow Baking Club. You will all recognise her as the baking expert on our online tutorials. It was one of her students who said that 'Mrs Jones' kitchen is where we bake, learn, laugh and indulge'.

Comments

    • Mrs Jones

      Hello Elvi521

      Madeira Cake was never created to have fruit added but what’s to stop anyone from doing just that! I love adding glace cherries to mine and I usually estimate how much I will need. My Mum would be shaking her head in disbelief about me not measuring them first! I would start with 100g of your favourite dried fruit first. Try soaking them overnight in a little lemon juice to plump them up first. Once you have baked off your first Madeira cake with the fruit you’ll be able to work out how much more to add next time. We love our fruit in cakes here in the kitchen and are probably more generous than most hence my reluctance in giving you an accurate measurement.

      Please let me know how you get on with the recipe.

      Sheila

      Reply
    • David Brice

      Shelf life can vary hugely depending on how you store the cake, but Paul’s advice is to bake the cake then store it trying a piece each day until you feel it’s no longer moist enough. This recipe should last around 5 days stored in a cool, dry location.

      Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Hello Suzie

      Madeira cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks once covered in sugarpaste. It is a more dense cake than Vanilla Sponge so will last a little longer than most cakes.

      Sheila

      Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Hello Joannel

      Please forgive my ignorance but are you asking me the weight of a medium egg (in UK this is defined as being between 53g – 63g in their shells) or the total volume for this recipe please?

      Looking forward to hearing from you.

      Sheila

      Reply
  1. meeshers

    Not sure how to post on Facebook but I have just baked a 10″ square 4″ deep Madeira cake, came out perfect following Mrs Jones tutorial. Having to freeze it as I don’t need it until the end of the month so not sure what it looks like inside, but tasted some of the crumbs, and it was lovely – thank you for the tutorial, came just at the right time…….. client does like chocolate cake!! Who wouldn’t like Paul’s chocolate cake – using it for Paul’s tractor cake ??

    Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Thank you very much! Please let me know what it tastes like after having been in the freezer for that length of time.

      For information, I think Paul’s recipe for chocolate cake tastes so much better having been frozen for around 7 days beforehand. It certainly carves better having been in the deep freeze for that length of time.

      Sheila

      Reply
      • jilott

        @meeshers – what recipe did you use for the 10″ as trying to find the link that Mrs Jones said about ‘Made it with love’ and I can’t seem to locate it…TIA

        Jo

        Reply
        • madeitwithlove

          Hi jilott

          Mrs Jones commented on the link in my answer below:

          “Please take a peek at my answer in this link https://www.designer-cakes.com/questions/two-questions
          Mix the cocoa powder with a little boiling water first to make a paste and add it to the cake batter for a more even distribution. As this is a madeira cake, substitute the cocoa powder from some of the plain flour.”

          All queries relating to Mrs Jones’ maderia cake recipe and any comments contributed by her can be seen by scrolling through under the video tutorial. Hope this helps. 🙂

          Reply
  2. Rita-T

    Hi David, just wanted to know if I were to use this recipe as a sponge, that is not for carving, I guess I’m to take off the extra 80g plain flour right?
    And also why was the flour not shared 50/50, but rather an extra 80g? Wouldn’t it alter the final taste?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Hello Rita.

      This tasty recipe is a tried and tested one of my Mum’s and was created as a rich, close textured cake for carving, and which she used to drizzle with a sugar syrup flavoured with any citrus fruits available at the time. In fact, it was often served as a pudding, warm with home made egg custard or even ice cream!

      If you look at other recipes for Madeira cake most include both types of flour and more of it compared to a normal cake. This gives the cake a much stronger structure which is perfect for carving. If I am making a sponge cake, however, even for dowelling and stacking, I simply use my Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe and add 10% extra flour to give that firmness. I have never baked the Madeira Cake without both flours but will give it a go and get back to you in the next few weeks!

      Hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to come back to me if you have any other questions.

      Sheila

      Reply
    • madeitwithlove

      Hi Mellisha

      The weight is in grams. All the ingredients are weighed according to the metric weights and measures. 6.8 eggs as calculated on the site calculator can be translated as 7 eggs as this is the nearest whole number. This approximation will not affect the recipe. However, if you want to be absolutely precise, beat the eggs up together and weigh out 6.8 gms. Not really worth doing it as the difference is so tiny. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  3. Elvi521

    Hello Mrs Jones.
    I love Paul’s chocolate cake. However I would like to use your Madeira recipe for a chocolate cake. Should I substitute the plain flour with coco paowder and add some chocolate ? If so how much chocolate should I use? Thank you.

    Reply
  4. HEW

    Hello Mrs Jones
    I contacted Invicta; they tell me they do not make the 4″ deep, cake tin for this size. Is it essential to have a 4″ deep tin or can I manage with a 3″ deep lined with greaseproof above the rim. Or do I need to purchase another brand. Thank you

    Reply
  5. Elvi521

    Good afternoon Mrs Jones.

    I would like to share with you my experience with the Madeira cake. It was very successful . I used a 3″ deep tin and lined it with parchment about 1″ higher than the tin. I used Wilton strips for the outside of the tin instead of the newspaper. Fan oven 135 for 1 H 1/2 . The finished product is a cake of 4″ tall, flat top. It looks beautiful. I am very happy with the result. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Morning Elvi521

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m so pleased that the recipe turned out well for you. Please keep me posted on all your other baking!

      Mrs Jones

      Reply
  6. tony9286

    most Madeira cakes use some milk, will this cake be moist enough without milk? also do you have a sugar syrup recipie or is it just 50/50 sugar and water,
    thanks

    Reply
    • David Brice

      I can testify that the cake certainly tasted moist enough, but maybe worth experimenting with some milk which would add moisture to the bake.

      The sugar syrup recipe Paul uses is 50/50.

      Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Morning tony9286

      David is quite correct in that my Mum;s recipe does not require milk to be added. For sugar syrup I always use a 50/50 mixture of castor sugar and water.

      Mrs Jones

      Reply
  7. Eileen

    Hello Mrs Jones,
    Thank you for the ingredient converter for a 10 inch round madeira cake, could you please inform me how long do you bake a 10 inch cake for?
    Many thanks
    Eileen X

    Reply
  8. Mrs Jones

    Good morning Eileen

    The 10″ Madeira cake should be baked for around 1.5 hours (90 minutes) – 1.75 hours (105 minutes). It may need to be in the oven for a little longer depending on your oven.

    Hope this helps. Please let me know how you get on with baking this size of Madeira cake.

    Mrs Jones

    Reply
  9. Eileen

    Good morning Mrs Jones,

    I hope you are well.

    The 10 inch Madeira turned out OK! It did require longer in my oven, I baked it at 150 degrees for 2 hours and 15 mins! There was some mixture left over so you don’t really need as much as the converter states. I left that covered and baked it later in a loaf tin – tasted really lovely!!

    Thanks again for your advice.
    Eileen X

    Reply
  10. franwaters

    Hi Mrs Jones, am baking a 12in maderia and was wondering what temp, time you would bake for, made with love suggested 130 at 2.30 to 3 hours. Thanks

    Reply
  11. Mrs Jones

    Hello franwaters.
    Yes, Made it with Love is correct. 130C fan for 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours. Please don’t be disappointed if it takes longer. You need to get to know your oven, by using an oven thermometer.

    Please et me know how you get on.

    Mrs Jones

    Reply
  12. deb112

    Hi Mrs Jones,i’ve just made yr madeira cake and its smelling lovely in the oven+,i’m testing out cakes for my daughters wedding cake next year,would this be suitable for it? i’m using fillings and sugar paste,many thanks x p s she want sizes 12 inch,10,8,6 and 4! scary as i’ve only made and decorated 12 cakes so far!

    Reply
    • Mrs Jones

      Morning deb112

      Yes, this Madeira Cake is ore than suitable for your daughters’ wedding cake. I always use sugar syrups which keeps our cakes moist and tasty. Good luck with that wedding cake and please come back to me I you have any issues with it.

      Happy Christmas!

      Mrs Jones

      Reply
  13. Hassall2004

    Hi Mrs Jones
    Just starting a cake business and so a lot of experiments with recipes. I would really like to try your Madeira cake but when I looked my time are all just 2inches deep (trying to save money and got them cheap) anyway would I be able to use 2 of these and split the batter do you think? I would have been filling the cake anyway so do you think this ok and will it alter cooking time?

    Reply
  14. madeitwithlove

    Hi Hassall2004

    As long as your pans are 6″ in diameter, it will be fine to split the batter between the 2″ deep pans. They will probably rise to approximately 1.5″ deep each. As it is madeira recipe, you may get a little doming. Level the layers off by trimming the dome. The trimmings can be crumbled up and used inside the cake to give it a little extra height. Alternatively, the recipe can be scaled for your pans using the site’s cake calculator here:
    https://www.designer-cakes.com/cake-calculators

    Mrs Jones’ recipe is already loaded into the calculator, just select it from the drop down menu.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    Reply
  15. Tracey Tracey

    Hello Mrs Jones,

    I wondered if you could please help me, this may sound like a silly question. When using the cake calculator, how can I work out the length of time to cook a cake using the cake calculator. When I have typed in 3 eggs it says use 8.3 eggs. Should I use 8 eggs? I’m converting a 6 inch madeira round to a 10 inch madeira cake

    Tracey xx

    Reply
    • madeitwithlove

      Hi traceyf

      The site’s cake calculator does not calculate baking times. All ovens bake differently and timings are just a guide rather than a given.
      Generally a 10″ round madeira cake will take between 2hours 15minutes – 2 hours 30 minutes at 150c conventional oven or 130c fan oven. You will know how your own oven bakes. It’s a good idea to keep a close eye and nose on your baking when making a different size for the first time. Good indicators that the cake is well on it’s way to being baked is the aroma of deliciousness and also how it looks. Madeira cakes have a classic dome forming as the middle of the batter begins to set. Once you see this, which will be around two thirds of the way through baking, check the cake with a wooden skewer. If the skewer comes out with wet crumbs, continue baking until done. your best friends are your eyes and nose!

      When the calculator gives weight fractions, anything below .5 should be rounded down and anything above .5 round up. In the case of your eggs, 8 eggs should be used.

      You can also post your questions on the site’s Q & Q page here: https://www.designer-cakes.com/questions
      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  16. Jo1974

    Hi Mrs Jones

    I have a bride who wishes a champagne flavour tier, can you advise how much to add to an 8in Madeira

    Joanne

    Reply
  17. Nicoletta Mythillou

    Hello this is the best madeira cake ive ever used.I was wondering whether i coul use the recipe and make a rainbow cake 5 thin layers and cover it in sugarpaste in ghe end.Thank you

    Reply
    • David Brice

      Thank you. Mrs Jones’ Maderia cake is brilliant and can easily be baked to make a rainbow cake using food colourings. Once you have the cake layered best to give it a coating of ganache to secure the structure and make the cake air tight, then cover in sugarpaste.

      Reply
  18. Jh50

    What is recipe for the syrup please will cake still be strong enough to stack and can I still freeze the cake thanks

    Reply
  19. Vicky1234

    My oven only Accommodates a 12 inch square so what is the best way to make it up to a 14 inch square (is the only way to do it , to make 4 x 8 inc squares cakes which will be more time consuming)
    Please advise if there is another way
    Thank you

    Reply
    • David Brice

      Paul wouldn’t bake a 14″ cake as it’s difficult to get an even bake throughout unless in a baker’s oven. Definitely safer and a better bake if you have the patience for 4x 8″ 🙂

      Reply

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