Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked September 12th 2020

Baking Mrs Jones Madeira Cake

My Madeira cake has ended up with a big dip in the middle. I followed the recipe as Mrs Jones said and putting the mixture in the tin like a donut and covered with the baking paper with the hole in the middle. Not sure what has gone wrong!


In my own experience, it’s unusual for madeira cake recipe to sink unless the oven has not reached to temperature which gives the batter it’s initial lift. There are other reasons such as over mixing the batter or, if the leavening in the self raising flour becoming inactive sometime during its storage life before you even purchased it.

The temperatures given by Mrs Jones are guides. Your oven temperature may be running lower than hers and may require raising to 140c fan or 160c non fan. Each oven is different and temperatures can vary from a few degrees to as much as 20 degrees. Mrs Jones has taken a lot of precaution to ensure a beautifully moist, level cake. However, these precautions can reduce the baking temperature if an oven is slightly out of kilter.

My suggestion is to check that the internal temperature of your oven reads the same as the external dial. Use an oven thermometer to establish this. Bake another cake at the slightly higher temperature to see whether it makes a difference.

To ensure leavening in self-raising flour remains active, store it in a cool dry place and also check to see if the flour hasn’t gone by it’s best or use by date.

A cake which has dipped doesn’t necessarily have to be wasted. The flip side will be flat. As long the centre is baked through, it can still be layered and used. If the sunken centre is still slightly raw, cut it out, fill the hole with some lovely fresh fruit and serve with whipped cream or decorate it like a garland.

Hope suggestions help. Please post again if you require more information. 🙂


I did not create a big dip and it turned out perfectly level and i adjusted the ingredients and used a 6inch x 4inch deep tin. It came out perfectly flat and a full 4inch high


your madeira cake recipe says 5.3 eggs how do i measure that? Sue


what size eggs for your madeira cake ? Sue


Hi sue

Mrs Jones’ recipe uses medium sized eggs. You can download the recipe which is set in the ingredients tab beneath the video tutorial.

When weighing a fraction, anything below .5 should be rounded down to the nearest whole number. In this instance that would be 5.

If the fraction is .5 and over, round up to the nearest whole number. Alternatively , break and beat the eggs to weigh out the required amount.

Hope this helps 🙂

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