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Jan 20, 2019

English Madeira Cake

This English Madeira Cake is moist and lemony. It reminds me of pound cake, only better. 

English Madeira Cake with a lemon glaze and candied lemons on top

This Madeira cake does not include Madeira wine. Instead it is supposed to be served with it at tea time. I'm kind of liking the idea of fortified wine in the afternoon with a little bit of cake.

Madeira cake is kind of a plain cake with a domed top with candied lemons on top, according to Mary Berry of the Great British Bake Off.

I've seen this cake baked as a loaf, as a single round cake, and as two layers, pictured here. This Madeira cake actually stays fresh for up to four days, and is good for breakfast (you have my permission to have cake for breakfast) and afternoon tea... with Madeira (you have my permission to drink fortified wine in the afternoon as well).

English Madeira Cake with a lemon glaze dripping down the sides and candied lemons on top

English Madeira Cake Recipe

To make this English Madeira cake, you will need butter, sugar, lemon, sour cream, flour, and almond flour.

You will also need to make candied lemon slices for the topping and soaking liquid. Finally, you will need to prepare a lemony glaze for topping the cake.

This cake is pretty easy to make and can be made and served the same day. Plus, you don't have to have fancy cake decorating skills to create a pretty cake!

Two layer Madeira cake recipe

This month, the Cake Slice Bakers are baking from a new book, The European Cake Book by Tatyana Nesteruk (affiliate link). The book includes cakes from France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Great Britain, Norway, and other European regions and countries.

Evidently European cakes are less sweet than U.S. cakes, so you can enjoy them as an afternoon treat, and even for breakfast.

This English Madeira Cake is moist and lemony. #cake #lemoncake

cake, lemon, Madeira Cake
Dessert, Cake
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Madeira Cake Recipe

prep time: 20 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 55 mins


For Cake Layers
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil (optional)
  • 1 cup (245 grams) sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cups (219 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (48 grams) almond flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Candied Lemon Slices
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
For the Glaze
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 335 degrees F and line the bottoms of two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Spray the sides of the pans with spray oil. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. You can also use a large bowl and hand mixer. 
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined thoroughly. 
  4. Add the lemon zest, lemon oil (or extra lemon zest), and and sour cream and mix until combined. 
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. 
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack. 
  7. While the cake cools, slice the lemon into thin slices. Place the sugar and water in a skillet and heat the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices in one layer and cook over medium low for 7 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to let the liquid turn golden. Remove the lemon slices and let them cool on a wire rack. Reserve the liquid for brushing the cake layers. 
  8. When the cake has cooled, brush each layer with the liquid from making the candied lemons. 
  9. Mix the glaze ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour half of it over one layer and place the second layer on top. Pour the rest of the glaze over the top layer and decorate with the lemon slices. 
Created using The Recipes Generator
Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures to take you to each of our cakes, or visit our blog where the links are updated each month. If you are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Would you like to comment?

  1. What a soft-looking sponge! Looks terrific, Karen.

  2. I love lemon :) And this cake looks like it would melt in your mouth. Yum!

  3. You did an amazing job with this cake and the crumb looks so tender. Beautiful photos as always.

  4. A true classic indeed! beautiful cake, perfect crumb, you are turning into a fantastic cake baker, my dear!

  5. Gorgeous cake and it looks so light and fluffy. Well done!

  6. Karen, I think I will have some for breakfast! Would be better if I could have gorgeous and delicious looking, with the perfect crumb and those lovely candied slices. Hadn't though about the decorations being easy, but it's true.

  7. I loved this cake! Beautiful pictures, looks like the perfect texture.

  8. Your cake looks so light and airy!

  9. Your cake looks beautiful Karen. I bet it tasted wonderful too!


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