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Madeira cake is something I’ve never tried, let alone made!  But on last weeks first episode of The Great British Bake Off this was a basic cake bake for the competing bakers.  Under the watchful glare of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.  So I turned to my copy of Mrs Beeton’s Cookery book to see whether she had a recipe. 

So here we go! I’m even going to make it as she asks, with a wooden spoon rather than the Kitchenaid! 

You will need:-

  • 12oz / 350 g flour
  • 6oz / 175g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg or 2 medium
  • 225g / 8 oz butter
  • Grated rind of half a lemon
  • A little milk
  • A slice of candied peel


Put the sugar, butter and lemon into a clean bowl


Mix ingredients with a wooden spoon and just keep mixing until its light and creamy. Mix a bit more!


Add the egg and a little milk mix in , keep mixing until totally mixed in and really creamy.


Fold in the flour with a metal spoon , slowly and not all at once. I tend to make a mess with flour!!!


Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over.  Sprinkle some candied peel across the top.

This is a heavy cake and needs a slow bake.  My fan assisted oven was set at 140.  I also put a Pyrex ramekin of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam so I could try and keep the cake moist.  

And I have to say, I will never make it again! Three efforts at making all ended in disaster.  It is a heavy cake but mine was like a biscuit!  Each time I turned to the Google God to help me explain.  I lowered the temperature on the oven.  I put a pot of water in the oven.  I wrapped the tin in newspaper. Each time I was true to Mrs B’s recipe and each time was a car crash!  I had a slice of the Victoria sandwich whilst I worked and that was truly divine.  The Queen’s cakes have a fan base.  This is destined for the food recycling bin! 

The two Mrs B’s (including me) will be back next week.  I shall lick my Madeira wounds and make something glorious next week!  

Verdict – Epic Fail 😦

Love Wish Vintage xx