Home Life & Style Mary Berry's one-bowl Madeira cake recipe has a delicious zesty twist

Mary Berry's one-bowl Madeira cake recipe has a delicious zesty twist

Home baking doesn’t get much easier than a delicious Madeira cake – a recipe that’s favoured for its simplicity.

Mary Berry’s recipe adds something more to the sponge with the addition of candied lemon peel and zest for a citrus punch.

Her method promises an “all-in-one” method for minimal cleaning up and a tasty pay-off in the form of a teatime treat.

As for its unique texture, Madeira cake is made with more flour than a Victoria sponge cake and therefore has a denser texture.

The popular bake even holds its shape when carved and iced, and gets its exotic name from its history; the cake used to be served with a glass of Madeira wine.


First, prepare one of the lemons by cutting it into eight edges, then remove the flesh to leave a 5mm thick peel and pith (the white part of the lemon).

Cut each wedge into four strips and set them aside for later. Now fill a saucepan with 300ml of water, add the granulated sugar and heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the peel to the pan and simmer everything uncovered for 30-45 minutes until the lemon peel is soft and translucent. Drain the contents of a pan in a wire sieve and leave to cool. 

Spread the peel out on a baking sheet lined with parchment and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in the oven on its lowest setting (approximately 110C/90C Fan/Gas ¼) for one hour until completely dry.

For the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4, then grease an 18cm deep round cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

Combine the softened butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and lemon zest in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat for one minute to mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface, then bake for 35 minutes. Decorate with three pieces of candied peel and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre, comes out clean.

Allow 15 minutes for the cake to cool in the tin before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


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