Mary Berry Madeira Cake Recipe

Mary Berry Madeira Cake Recipe
Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Mins

Madeira cake, a classic British treat named after the Portuguese wine with which it was often served, is a delightful dessert known for its light texture and subtle lemon flavor. This recipe, inspired by renowned baker Mary Berry, offers a step-by-step guide to creating a perfect Madeira cake.

What is Mary Berry Madeira Cake Recipe?

Mary Berry’s Madeira Cake is a simple yet elegant dessert that combines the delicate flavor of lemon with a light, buttery texture. This cake is ideal for various occasions, from a casual afternoon tea to a more formal gathering. It’s straightforward to make, ensuring a successful baking experience even for novices.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The Mary Berry Madeira Cake is a recipe you’ll cherish for its delightful combination of flavors and ease of preparation.

Here’s why it’s a favorite:

  • Classic Flavor: The subtle lemon infusion provides a refreshing and distinct taste.
  • Ease of Preparation: Straightforward steps make this recipe accessible to all bakers.
  • Perfect for Any Event: Its versatility makes it suitable for both casual and formal settings.
  • Desirable Texture: The cake’s light and airy consistency is a delightful treat.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Madeira Cake

To make Mary Berry Madeira Cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 240 g (8.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 210 g (7.5 oz) self-raising flour
  • 90 g (3 oz) plain flour

For the decoration, you’ll need:

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 115 g (4 oz) granulated sugar

Essential Equipment

You’ll also need the following equipment:

  • An 18 cm (7 inches) round cake tin, greased and lined with baking paper
  • A large mixing bowl
  • An electric mixer or a wooden spoon
  • A skewer or a toothpick
  • A wire rack
  • A small saucepan
  • A spoon

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Madeira Cake

Now that you have everything ready, let’s start making the cake.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan, gas mark 3). In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in gently with a spatula. The batter should be smooth and creamy. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface with a spatula.

Step 2: Bake the cake and let it cool

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. To check if the cake is done, insert a skewer or a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for a few more minutes and check again. Once the cake is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly in the tin for 10 minutes. Then, transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Step 3: Prepare the lemon decoration

While the cake is cooling, prepare the lemon decoration. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon slices and sugar with 100 ml of water. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the lemon slices are tender and translucent. Let the slices cool, then arrange them on top of the cake.

Mary Berry Madeira Cake

How to Serve Mary Berry Madeira Cake

Enhance your serving experience with these accompaniments:

  • Whipped Cream: A light, creamy texture complements the cake’s richness.
  • Fresh Berries: Strawberries or raspberries add a burst of freshness.
  • Lemon Sorbet: For a refreshing, tangy contrast.

Madeira Cake Recipe Mary Berry

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Madeira Cake

To ensure your cake turns out perfectly, consider these tips:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Use ingredients at room temperature for a smoother batter.
  • Gentle Mixing: Mix the batter gently to maintain a light texture.
  • Accurate Measuring: Ensure precise measurements of ingredients.
  • Oven Temperature Check: Verify the oven temperature for consistent baking.
  • Monitor Baking Time: Watch the cake closely towards the end of baking.
  • Proper Cooling: Allow the cake to cool in the tin briefly before moving to a wire rack.

Variations of Mary Berry Madeira Cake

Get creative with these variations:

  • Citrus Variations: Use orange zest and juice for an orange-flavored cake.
  • Almond Twist: Incorporate ground almonds into the batter.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Substitute regular flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Berry Infusion: Add fresh or frozen berries into the batter.

How to Store Mary Berry Madeira Cake Leftovers

  • Cool Completely: Allow the cake to reach room temperature before storing.
  • At Room Temperature: Wrap in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container, keeping it at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigeration: For longer storage, refrigerate the wrapped cake for up to 1 week.
  • Freezing: Wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.

How to Reheat Mary Berry Madeira Cake Leftovers

  • Room Temperature Thawing: Bring the cake to room temperature if refrigerated or frozen.
  • Microwave Reheating: Heat a slice on a microwave-safe plate for 10-15 seconds.
  • Oven Reheating: Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Wrap the cake in foil and heat for 5-10 minutes.

Nutrition value (per slice) approximately

  • Calories: 250-300
  • Total Fat: 12-15g
    • Saturated Fat: 7-9g
  • Cholesterol: 50-70mg
  • Sodium: 150-200mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30-35g
    • Sugars: 20-25g
  • Protein: 3-5g


Can I use margarine instead of butter in Mary Berry’s Madeira Cake?

While butter is recommended for its flavor and texture, margarine can be used as a substitute. However, keep in mind that this might slightly alter the taste and texture of the cake

How can I tell if my Madeira cake is fully baked?

The cake is done when it’s golden brown and springs back when gently pressed. A skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean, without any wet batter.

Can I add dried fruits or nuts to the Madeira cake batter?

Yes, you can add dried fruits or chopped nuts to the batter. It’s a great way to add texture and flavor. Ensure that these additions are folded in gently at the end of the mixing process.

Is it possible to make Mary Berry’s Madeira Cake in a loaf tin?

You can bake this cake in a loaf tin. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as it might differ slightly from the round tin baking time.

How long can I store Mary Berry’s Madeira Cake?

The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months. Ensure it’s wrapped well in plastic wrap to maintain freshness.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry Madeira cake. This is a simple and delicious cake recipe that is perfect for any occasion. It is moist, buttery, and lightly flavored with lemon and vanilla. It has a distinctive crack on top and a golden crust that is sprinkled with caster sugar. It is traditionally served with a slice of candied lemon peel, but you can also enjoy it with some fresh fruit or whipped cream.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading and happy baking!

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