Madeira cake is my all-time favourite cake. If I could only eat one cake for the rest of my life, this would be it. This might surprise those of you who know of my passion for chocolate, but I’m firmly of the belief that the classics are classics for a reason – and you don’t get much more classic than a madeira cake!
I baked this last night as a Mother’s Day treat for my mum. Conveniently, this is also her favourite cake, so I get the pleasure of baking it several times a year for Mother’s Day and her birthday (and for my own birthday, too!). I’ve only ever tried one recipe for madeira cake (from Baking by Martha Day), and it’s always worked brilliantly – and yesterday was no exception.
It’s really quick and easy to prepare – the recipe calls for an electric mixer, but I’ve always made the batter manually with no problems. What elevates this recipe above other recipes that I’ve seen is the combination of vanilla extract and lemon zest, which really turns the cake into something utterly delicious (I rarely see madeira cake recipes that call for lemon). The texture is perfect – the crumb is very fine, yet lovely and moist. The cake rises wonderfully during baking and you know it’s turned out perfectly when you get that straight ‘slash’ in the middle on the top.
I’ve been using this recipe for a few years now and it’s never failed (apart from when I made it for my birthday last year after downing a large celebratory vodka and coke – there was slight, er, browning, shall we say) – so if you’re looking for an easy madeira cake recipe that delivers brilliant results, this is the one!
On a side note, you might notice that the pics in this post are of a better quality than usual. My brother very handily acquired a Sony SLR camera this week, so I appropriated it to take photos of the finished cake (I used my phone as normal for the batter pic, as I didn’t want to get the mix all over the lovely new camera!). Hopefully you can get a good idea of the loveliness of the cake from the SLR images.