Lemon Madeira Cake

Classic Madeira cake flavoured with lemon zest and topped with lemon glace icing and edible flowers. 

The Great British Bake Off is back and I couldn't be more excited; 12 new bakers and over 30 new challenges. The first show of the season's topic was cake and the first challenge was to make a Madeira cake. This year, I am going to be baking along with the bake off, recreating every "signature" challenge that the bakers face. This is my take on a Madeira cake, simply jazzed up with a zippy lemon flavoured cake, lemon icing and crowned with edible flowers, it is almost too pretty to eat! 

If you have never heard off the Bake Off, you are seriously missing out. The Bake Off is a baking competition (what a surprise!) that has become apart of any baker's culture in Scotland and the UK. This show has been running for 6 years and it is getting more popular year after year. 12 baker bake it out to win the coveted title of Bake Off Champion and receive a trophy. I hope the Bake Off runs for another 2 years if not longer as I really want to enter but this next year and the year after aren't really a prime time for me to enter. 

Talking about the Bake Off, do you remember the bake off I took part in 2 year ago? Well, that same competition have asked me to be a judge! I am going to be Mary Berry for the day! 

This cake pays homage to the first challenge. A sweet and fluffy yet close-textured Madeira cake flavoured with lemon zest and vanilla extract topped with a lemon glace icing and finished with edible nasturtiums, lavender and lemon zest. Each slice of this cake is pure heaven with the tender crumb and delicious flavour, it is exceedingly better than the famous lemon pound cake from that famous coffee chain ;D 

Every great tasting cake starts from a master recipe. A Madeira cake is a classic recipe that is a recipe staple in so many old recipe books; a timeless cake which is easy to create but the taste is unbeatable. Since a Madeira cake uses such simple ingredients, they have to best the best quality that they can be to make the cake taste amazing. 

I chose to flavour this cake with lemon because as you probably know, it is one of my all-time favourite flavours; exhibit a,b,c,d and e! Also, lemon is such a powerful yet subtle flavour, you can adjust how "lemony" you want your cake or cookie to be without making it bland and tasteless. Madeira cake's classic flavour is citrus; either lemon, orange or lime or a mixture of all. Sticking to tradition, I opted for lemon.

The zest of two whole lemons makes this cake on the zippy side as well as the juice from half a lemon in the batter adds a pleasant sharpness to cut the sweetness in the cake. The icing is made with lemon juice as well, just to guarantee a punch of lemon deliciousness. 

This cake is perfect for first time bakers or for advanced bakers; a Madeira cake is a foolproof recipe which everyone will love to eat and enjoy with friends or family. I shared this cake with close family and friends, having afternoon tea while we watched the rain fall. Autumn has already arrived in Scotland; the leaves are turning brown and falling off the trees. We didn't even have a summer! 

I need to go somewhere hot, now!

qotd ~ have you been watching the Bake Off?

Lemon Madeira Cake
Posted by Eve
Makes 1 loaf

For the cake
  • 150g butter, unsalted and at room temperature
  • 150g golden caster sugar 
  • 3 free-range organic eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • juice from half a lemon

For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar
  • lemon juice

To decorate

  • lemon zest
  • edible flowers

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºc/ 150ºc fan/ gas mark 4 and grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment and butter. Set aside while you make  the cake.
  2. To make the cake, put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat for 2-4 minutes until fluffy in texture and lighter in colour. Add the egg, a little bit at a time, while mixing constantly until all of the egg is combined.
  3. Add the lemon zest and sieve in the flour, baking powder and the salt. Mix brief  and add the juice and mix until the batter is smooth in texture and has a dropping consistency.
  4. Put the batter into the tin and level the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and has the Madeira "crack", running through the top of the cake. Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack. 
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add a small amount of lemon juice until the sugar has turned into a thick yet runny icing. Set aside for later.
  6. Once the cake has cooled, put it onto the serving plate and decorated with the icing and lemon zest and/or flowers if desired. 


Store the cake in an air-tight container for up to 4 days at room temperature. 


  1. What a beautiful cake! I love all the flowers on the top!

    1. Thanks Shelby, they add such a "wow" factor! x


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