Madeira Cake is traditionally flavoured with lemon zest and juice and is decorated with candied citrus peel. It does not originate from Madeira, but was served to accompany Madeira wine, which was popular in the 19th century. In texture it is similar to a pound cake. Large pieces of sliced citrus peel are pushed on to the top prior to baking. This recipe is flavoured with orange and cinnamon, instead of the more expensive citrus peel.


Melted lard or oil for greasing tin

Unsalted butter180g

Caster sugar 180g

Grated zest of 1 small orange

Orange juice2 tbsp

Ground cinnamon½ tsp

Eggs, beaten3

Self-raising flour120g

Ground almonds60g

Dried apricots120g


1.Grease a 20cm/8in cake tin and line the base with a baking parchment.

2.Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and cinnamon.

3.Add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition. Add a little of the flour if necessary to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add the orange juice.

4.Fold in the remaining flour and the ground almonds.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly with a palette knife. Press the apricots onto the surface of the cake.

6. Bake in the centre of a 170C oven for 1¼ hours or until the top springs back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.

7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then gently ease it out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.