Mary Berry inspired Madeira Cake

Indulge in the delightful flavours of Mary’s Madeira Cake, a classic treat that never fails to impress. With its buttery texture, subtle hints of lemon, and optional touch of citron peel, this cake is sure to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or simply treating yourself, this Madeira Cake recipe is a must-try.


  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 3 large eggs
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • A thin slice of citron peel (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease an 18cm deep round cake tin (or a 2lb loaf tin) and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the softened butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour, ground almonds, eggs, and grated lemon rind. Beat for 1 minute using an electric mixer or by hand until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  4. Place the tin in the preheated oven and bake for 60 minutes. If using the slice of citron peel, remove the cake from the oven after 30 minutes. Place the slice of citron peel on top of the cake and put it back into the oven to finish baking.
  5. After 60 minutes of baking, insert a skewer or toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is batter clinging to the skewer, bake for a few more minutes and test again.
  6. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Helpful Hints:

  • For an extra touch of citrus, you can substitute the lemon rind with orange or lime rind. Experiment with different citrus flavors to suit your preference.
  • If you prefer a more intense lemon flavor, add a small amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the batter along with the grated rind.
  • When adding the ground almonds, ensure they are finely ground to achieve a smoother texture in the cake.
  • To check if the cake is fully baked, rely on the skewer or toothpick test. If the skewer comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, the cake needs a bit more time in the oven.
  • Once cooled, you can dust the cake with powdered sugar for an elegant presentation or glaze it with a simple lemon icing for an added tangy sweetness.

Enjoy the wonderful flavours and buttery goodness of Mary’s Madeira Cake. Whether enjoyed as a teatime treat or a delightful dessert, this cake is sure to become a favourite in your baking repertoire.

Cake Baker