Classic Madeira Birthday Cake Recipe

08/18

A classic birthday cake will have a few elements to it. A soft vanilla sponge, tart seedless raspberry jam, smooth vanilla buttercream and a layer of sugarpaste (ready to roll icing).

Contrary to popular belief, most birthday cakes aren’t a ‘Victoria sponge’. A Victoria sponge is a soft light sponge, baked in two sandwich tins then put together with jam and fresh cream. Lovely for an afternoon tea, but doesn’t lend itself well to be covered in sugarpaste (ready to roll icing). For this, you are better off using a madeira recipe. It’s close textured and firm, whilst still being light and soft to eat. The inclusion of plain flour makes it stronger and better for decorating.

It’s also perfect for carving cakes too, although if you are carving, I recommend popping the cake in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before starting work. This will reduce crumbs and make your life a lot easier! For more about freezing cakes, click here.

Below is my 7″ round (my most popular size of birthday cake ordered) vanilla madeira recipe and vanilla buttercream recipe. It also is perfect to make 12 cupcakes, for more on cupcakes click here. Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature as this will help make a better bake! I also recommend lining your tins. I bake one deep cake and use a cake leveller to cut my cake into there sections (see lemon cake below) as opposed to using individual tins, however, this recipe can be used in sandwich tins, just lower the baking time to 35-40 minutes. I use 3″ deep PME tins that are seamless tins made from professional quality anodised aluminium.

If the cake isn’t baked fully when you cut into it, or it’s squidgy in any way, it needed longer in the oven. Ever oven is different and these timings are an approximation. If in doubt, leave it in a further 10 minutes. Due to the low temperature it won’t dry the cake out and will ensure it’s fully baked. The cake needs to spring back to the touch, be golden brown and a skewer come out clean. This will come with experience, the more you bake, the more you’ll know a fully baked cake on sight.

Should you wish to scale the recipe up or down, a number of helpful charts to work this out are easy to find with a quick google. The convertor on CakeBaker is great and they also have a handy app.  I also like this one found on The Pink Whisk or you can use the water trick I explain here.

To make the cute owl toppers in the above picture, check out my tutorial here.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

Madeira cakes

Vanilla Madeira Cake Recipe

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g Stork/butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream together the Stork and caster sugar.
  2. Add in your eggs.
  3. Add in your flour.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Mix for 4-6 minutes on a high speed.
  6. Pour mixture into a greaseproof paper lined, 7″ cake tin. 
  7. Bake at 140C (fan assisted) for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch. (Check after 1 hour)
  8. Once baked, after 5 minutes on the side, turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave upside down to cool. This ensures a nice flat top.
  9. Once cooled, wrap in clingfilm overnight to ‘settle’.
  10. Once split, filled and iced, this cake will last 7-10 days and will freeze well for 3 months.

NOTE: This recipe is for a 7″ round tin. It is not enough mixture for bigger tin sizes. For this, you will need to convert the recipe here.

For a chocolate madeira;

Follow the recipe above and replace the plain flour for cocoa powder and add 100g melted dark chocolate. For chocolate buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two tablespoons cocoa powder and 50g melted dark chocolate.

For a lemon madeira;

Follow the recipe above and add the zest and juice of one lemon. Alternatively add two teaspoons of lemon extract. For lemon buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two teaspoons of lemon extract and the zest of one lemon.

Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream the butter on it’s own for a few minutes.
  2. Add icing sugar.
  3. Add vanilla.

You can watch me bake this cake in real time on my Facebook page here; PART 1. PART 2.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on, either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Lemon Madeira by She Who Bakes

Topped with Scrumptious Sprinkles Lemon Crunch & Lemon Jelly Squares! I LOVE them!! xo

  • Andrea gardiner

    Hello I’m going to have a go making this recipe but how much ingredients would I need for a 8in cake. Andrea G

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Andrea, I’ve posted a link to a helpful chart above the recipe to scale it up or down. xo

      • Paula Bailey

        Hi Britt, Please could you tell me where you uploaded the chart.
        Thanks

        • Britt Whyatt

          Just above where it says – “Should you wish to scale the recipe up or down, a number of helpful charts to work this out are easy to find with a quick google. I personally love this one found on The Pink Whisk or you can use the water trick I explain here.”

  • Lisa Horton Ne Williams

    could you help me please i have a wedding cake to make and would like to use this recipe but i need to know how to increase ingredients for a 8inch,9inch,10,and 11 please could you help

  • Emmzy

    Hi I am a novice at baking but planning to make my little girl frozen cake for the birthday with Elsa standing on top. After reading this article i think this would be right one. I want to have a practice. Could you help to advice me how to increase the ingredient to make a 9, 10 and 11 inches please.

  • Em

    Hi Britt, wonder if you can help, I’m making a 3 layer cake and keen to use this recipe, but will have to use three 9inch sandwich tins, will this work alright? What would you recommend the cooking time should be? 🙂

  • Colette Finn

    hi britt. how much ingredients would i need for a 12 inch lemon cake i;m doing for a 50th wedding anniversary and what temp and how long to cook..
    thank you
    colette finn

  • Shell Pea

    Hi Britt, I made this cake twice today and both times I had a really high dome. The second time I turned the oven down to 130C and whilst the cake was lighter in colour, it still made a high dome that I will need to cut. Do you know what I might be doing wrong?

    • Britt Whyatt

      I would make sure your oven is telling you the truth! Do you have an oven thermometer?

  • Carmen

    Hi Britt!! Love the cake and wanted to ask if the sponge will still remain moist if I bake it today to decorate tomorrow for the bday on Saturday?? Or shall I bake it tomorrow and decorate it once it’s cooled?? Thank you and love your site!!!!! X

  • Fiona Sibinda

    I’m going to give this recipe a try tomorrow. I’ve always made lemon madeira cake, never tried a vanilla or chocolate one. My daughters party is in 2 weeks and trying to find the right recipe. Any tips on how to use rolling icing as I’ve only ever used butter icing but it’s very sweet. Never made a big birthday cake before so my first attempt. This is going to be my practice run. My birthday is on Sunday so I can use it for my own cake. Fed up buying cakes and kids prefer home baked cakes. Your recipes seem so easy. Will let you know how it goes and what the kids think. Keep up the fab work. Your cakes are amazing.

  • Polly

    Hi Britt,

    I’ve just baked these cakes and (thankfully!) they came out well. What I failed to do was read the part in your recipe that said to leave overnight before decorating. I’m on a fairly tight schedule and would ideally like to decorate it tonight. Do you think the cakes could be decorated within 24 hours of baking? Thanks.

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Polly! It is possible but be aware the cake may be a little crumbly at this stage so just be a big gentle with it! xo

      • Polly

        Thanks, Britt. I decided to go with the advice in your articles and push the schedule back a little to give the cakes the best possible chance of success!

  • brin

    thank you posting this recipe ! i baked this last night and came out fab ! just a quick question: should i drizzle some simple sugar syrup when assembling the cake ? i am planning to cover it with fondant and i am afraid it might become dry after 4 days.

    • Britt Whyatt

      You can do if you want but I’ve never found this recipe to need a sugar syrup as it doesn’t go dry. Make sure it’s wrapped in clingfilm before you cut into it and then crumb coat well to stop air getting in. xo

      • brin

        thank you !

      • Sharon

        Can you reply to my questions please?

  • Sharon

    Is the cake above the 3 layers what you get from the above recipe?

    • Bayan

      she used 7 inch deep tin and layered it

  • Sharon

    Its my sons birthday on tuesday can i make this cake tomorrow and decorate it on monday?

  • Sharon

    What amounts do i need for an 8 inch round cake tin? I have tried with the page you said but i just can’t work it out

    • Verity thornhill

      I used the above recipe for an 8 inch and it worked fine – just wasn’t as deep as Britt’s. I checked after an hour and it was done, so cooks a bit quicker (although my oven is quite fierce!).

      • Debbie Hurst

        I have just baked the lemon version and mine isn’t as deep either. It has also cracked after I turned it out on greaseproof to cool. I’m sure once I’ve covered it in lemon buttrrcream it will look fine. Cooked for 1hr 15mins in 140 fan oven. Very pale.

        • Britt Whyatt

          The above recipe is listed for a 7″ round so if you use it for an 8″ round it won’t be as deep because there isn’t enough mixture. I recommend using the cake calculator I have linked to for the ingredients. Also 1 hour 15 minutes is not enough baking time for this at a 140 fan oven (above I have said at bake for 1 hour 30) and your cake may be undercooked when you cut into it, hence why it looks quite pale.

  • Laura

    Hi, how long will the cake keep if I’m only covering with buttercream rather than fondant?
    P

  • Bayan

    when I bake a cake that has butter, I always has an issue that not all the cake is well baked.. i can see few spots where its underbaked.. this happened with me when i was baking using 10′ square tin and i baked @ 150 c for 1;45 hrs @brittwhyatt:disqus

    • Britt Whyatt

      Then it needed to be left in longer to be fully baked. For a 10″ it needs to be left in for at least 2 hours. Also, /: I’ve written above I recommend baking at 140. Xo

      • Verity thornhill

        Hi Britt – I made an 8″ version of this and it made a brilliant Dipsy birthday cake 🙂 Am now planning on making a 12 x 9 oblong version. I’ve converted the ingredients, but just wondering about the cooking time. Would you say 2 hours at 140? Thanks!

        • Britt Whyatt

          I would say at least 2 hours 15. It may need a little longer, check regularly after 2 hours 🙂

  • Joanne Jennings

    Hi There, Quick question, how tall should the cake be when it comes out of the oven? I made a lemon version to your exact recipe in a 7″ by 3″ spring bottomed tin, and the cake has come out beautifully, but it’s just over 2″ tall, and I’m worried it’s going to be a little bit too small for the decoration I have in mind. I know that cutting it in three and filling will add some height, but I just wanted to check how tall it should be – and if it is on the small side – how this has happened? Many thanks xx Jo

  • Moira

    Can anybody help me asap with the recepie for a 10″ round ? Im having a wee nervous breakdown here lol

  • Pamela Craig

    For anyone looking to convert their cake size, I used this website today and it looks (to me) like it has worked perfectly. My cake is cooling right now and looks great. I made the assumption that Britts tin was 7″ x 3″ and went from there. So easy. Can’t wait to ice and eat! 🙂

    http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html

    • Anita Lonergan

      Thanks for this…so handy ☺

  • Anita Lonergan

    Hi Britt, what are the dimensions of the cake tin you used 7″ diameter by what height?

    • Britt Whyatt

      3″

  • Sharon Bradley

    Hi Britt, I always thought a Madeira cake had more plain than self raising flour i.e. 200g plain & 50g self raising. I tried a different recipe yesterday (similar to yours) and it definitely turned out more like a Victoria sponge 🙁 not good for crumb coating at all. Help…. I’m really struggling to find the perfect recipe for the naked cakes I’m making at the moment x

    • Britt Whyatt

      The best advice I can give you is to try the recipe. It’s never failed me or the hundreds of other bakers who have used it. 🙂

  • Kimberley Hawkins

    I want to make this cake but in a giant cupcake tin, what should I do?

  • Charlene Thomas

    Hello do you use a fan assisted oven thanks

    • Britt Whyatt

      Yes.

  • Sue T

    Is your oven standard electric or fan? I have Gas oven, so am cooking at Gas Mark 1 – it’s been in for nearly 2 hours and still not ready!!! Gulp! I have used your recipe in a tin that was sold as an 8″ tin but when I checked it measured marginally over 7″ so I just followed your recipe as is. Any idea why it is taking so long to bake?

    • Britt Whyatt

      It’s a fan oven. I don’t have any experience with baking in a gas oven but from what I know it takes ages. Don’t be worried about the time, just make sure it’s baked through.

  • kathryn bramley

    Hi, I have just used your recipe and whilst the texture is good the cake has developed a ‘waist’ as it has cooled, have you any explanation for this, it was cooked to your time spec and the skewer was clean as I tested it.

    • Britt Whyatt

      If that has happened, it has been left in the tin too long. I turn it out within a few minutes of it coming out of the oven.

      • kathryn bramley

        Thanks Britt, I did leave it in the tin longer than I have done before.

  • Britt Whyatt

    A blog on this is coming. 🙂

  • Kellie Bradley

    Hi Britt, could you please help me with a measuring query. I need to make an 8″ birthday cake for my daughter who wants a Ladybug cake. I want to follow your recipe but don’t want to “split” the cake layers – I need to make each layer separately as I need to put the spots inside the cake at a different position on each layer. Do I just halve your ingredients – or will this cause a problem with the depth of each layer? Thank you. Kellie.

    • Britt Whyatt

      This is quite a robust recipe that can be split into individual tins. You will need to bake it for less time, around the 45 – 60 minute mark. 🙂

  • Vivienne Buckton

    Hi Britt, I want to use your recipe, but need to make a 10″ christening cake, do you have weights chart for larger cake and will it need to be baked longer, found your video useful. Thanks Viv

  • Melanie Murray

    Hey Britt hope you are well. How would I convert this receipt for a 12 x 8 inch rectangular cake pan. Also how do I change timings. Many thanks x

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Melaine, I’ve linked above to a recipe converter I use! B xo

      • Melanie Murray

        Thanks x

  • Vivienne Buckton

    Hi Brit, my husband is diabetic can your recipe be made with less sugar. Thanks

    • Britt Whyatt

      I’ve not made this recipe with anything but sugar I’m afraid so I wouldn’t know. I assume you could make it with sweetener but I’ve not tried it personally.

    • Kirsty Nair

      have you tried sugarly…..its a very fine sugar substitute that i can be good for baking too, good thing about it is that it tastes just like sugar and not an artificial sweetner, but its expensive….around £3 for 200g can be found in the supermarkets with sweetners

  • Britt Whyatt

    Add two tablespoons of desiccate coconut to taste. If it’s not coconut-y enough, add more! Experiment. 🙂

    • Sarah

      Thank you! I ended up adding 50g which I soaked in milk and tasted lovely 🙂

  • Ruthie

    Hi Britt,

    I made the chocolate Madeira last night and it tastes great (I’m doing a piñata bcake so I’ve eaten the middle!). However I got a dome and a crack in the top and it’s only two inches high which I think is less than yours. Any ideas of how to lose the crack and get it taller please? I’m ordering an oven thermometer to check that but is there anything else I could be doing better? I’m getting more friends asking for cake and I want to find that perfect go to recipe that works every time

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi! A madeira is meant to crack, it’s part of their charm. Chocolates seem to crack more than vanilla. You will get a slight dome too, which is why I leave to cool upside down. Can I check you were using a 7″ round tin? Any bigger and the sponge won’t be as deep as there isn’t enough mix unless you scale it up. B xo

  • Charlie

    Hi Britt,
    I’m having trouble with the lemon madeira 🙁 Do you usually bake that one for the same time and temp?
    The plain one comes out fab every time but the lemon one is underbaked and sinks in the middle, what am I doing wrong???

    • Britt Whyatt

      If it’s under baked and sinking in the middle it simply needs more time in the oven. Do you have an oven thermometer? I would leave it in for an extra 15-20 mins at 140. The baking times above are guidelines rather than rules. Basically, leave it in until it’s done 🙂

  • Philippa Thompson

    I have a 25cm square cake tin. Would you lower the temperature and cook for longer with the madeira. I normally just do a Victoria sponge cake which has never failed me, but it’s my little boys 2nd birthday and am icing and have read a madeira will ice better. Thanks in advance ☺

    • Britt Whyatt

      Madeiras do ice better in my opinion. I think 25cm works out to be a 9″ tin. You will need more cake mix than my recipe above but there is a link to work out how much you will need. 140C is my recommended temperature regardless of size but as it’s a bigger cake it will need longer in the oven. About 2 ½ hours I would guess.

  • Michelle Talbot

    Hello, couple of questions:
    1/ Is the temperature for cooking your cakes fan temp or Normal?
    2/ For your butter icing do you add any liquid at all should if be not spreadable?

    Hope both questions make sense.

    thank you
    Michelle

    • Britt Whyatt

      1. I list all of my recipes based on my fan oven.
      2. I don’t add any liquid usually as this makes it too soft. Instead I whip the butter until it is soft and if I want my buttercream to be super spreadable I will pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds. 🙂

  • Karen Evans

    Can I check I have not misunderstood. The chocolate version contains no flour just cocoa powder? Am I correct

    • Britt Whyatt

      No. Just replace the plain flour. You will still need the self raising as described. 🙂

  • Stacey

    So sorry but I’m not a cake baker but just making a cake for a friend, the vanilla in your recipe, is that vanilla extract or vanilla pod? Sorry I’m a bit thick haha x

    • Britt Whyatt

      Vanilla extract 🙂

  • Laura Ann

    Good morning Britt, 7.00am and I’m already thinking about baking lol

    Could you advise me on wether this recipe will take food colouring okay? I’m baking my daughters 6th birthday cake next week and want to colour the layers with Wilton food colouring..

    Thank you in advance.
    Laura.

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hello! Yes, I use Sugarflair colours to colour this recipe 🙂

  • Julie Anne Nash

    HI there 🙂 Please could you tell me what quantities i would need for an 8″ round tin that i need to rise to the top 4″ as i cant seem to make my fondant look smooth unless its just one piece of cake! Thank you

    • Britt Whyatt

      There is a link above to scale up the recipe for larger tin sizes. B.

  • Jenny

    Hi there, made your Madeira recipe a couple of weeks ago and it was lovely! Do you personally use stork or butter or a mix? And also, do you still need the vanilla in the chocolate one?
    Thanks xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      I, personally use Stork for this cake and butter for the buttercream. No you don’t need vanilla in the chocolate recipe. B.

    • Lisa Jones

      I have just made a dairy free cake and dairy free butter cream. What is best to use for the buttercream as I have found it very soft. I added some royal icing sugar and that seemed to help but any other tips would be great. Thanks

  • Nikki Sloan

    Hi Britt. I use this recipe all the time for cakes and it’s great. I’m needing a dairy free recipe. Would you just substitute the stork for dairy free marg? And how would you make the frosting? Thank you. Xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      Just swap out the butter for dairy free marg in both the cake and buttercream recipes. B.

      • Lisa Jones

        Hi I just made the cake dairy free by explaining the butter for dairy free alternative. Cake is perfect but found the buttercrea sloppy. I have just added royal icing sugar to the buttercrea to decorate and found this has helped but have you any other tips. Such as which alternative dairy free butter to use. Thanks

        • Britt Whyatt

          I would suggest the Stork baking block as I believe that is Dairy Free and may provide a more stable base. Also, use more icing sugar to firm it up.

  • Jacky Joseph

    Hi Britt, how deep should the tin measure for a 7″ cake, xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      I use a 7″ round 3″ deep tin. B.

  • Rachel

    Hi Britt, I just made this recipe, however the cake doesn’t seem to have risen much. It dropped in the centre so obviously needed longer but I still don’t think the height would have been anywhere near as much as in your pics above! What am I doing wrong? Thanks xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Rachel, without being in your kitchen I can’t tell you for sure. Just make sure to follow the instructions to the letter, lining the tin, checking your oven temperature with an oven thermometer, if there’s any dip in the centre it needs a lot longer. There’s also two videos linked above where you can watch me make it in real time that may help. Give it another go. B.

  • Frances Mcgurk

    Hi Brit, Can you help me please. How long would I bake a 4 inch and 6 inch tin which is 3 inch deep please. Would it still be an hour and a half. Thank You x

    • Britt Whyatt

      The 4″ should only need 45 minutes and the 6″ about an hour or so but it will be different for every oven. Check it often and it’s when a skewer comes out clean. 🙂

  • Claire

    Please can you tell me the ingredients amounts I need for an 8inch square tin and how long it will need to stay in oven for and temperature?

    Many thanks
    Claire

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Claire, there’s a calculator I’ve linked above that you can use. You can find it here – http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html

      • Claire

        Hi Britt, I’ve used the link you have suggested but how long would I bake an 8inch square cake for?

        • Clare Nicholas

          Hi Claire, I baked for 1 hour 55 mins for an 8 inch square but I’d check after 1hr 20

          • Claire

            Thanks for that I will give it a go again. Is that on 140 still?

          • Britt Whyatt

            What Clare said. And yes to 140c 🙂

        • Abbie Sutherland

          Hi clair, the calculator isn’t working for me. Could you tell me how much of each Ingrediant for the 8inch please x

  • AMANDA J DASS

    Hi Britt,
    I am using your recipe to bake my son’s 5th birthday cake in a number 5 cake tin. I just want to make sure I have the process correct so please let me know if I got it wrong.
    Ok so, Firstly- bake the cake, turn it over and keep it aside to cool overnight in cling wrap.
    Next- split, fill and ice and leave aside for a while or overnight on the kitchen benchtop..?
    Finally- The next morning(which is the day of the party) put the fondant on the iced cake and decorate…( is there a particular way you do fondant).
    Do I need to cover the cake in a cake box or a container between the process or …..?
    I would appreciate your help asap as I am a fairly new baker and want to get it right for my son`s 5th birthday.

    Regards
    Amanda

  • Heather Allen

    I am using you lemon reciepe I was just woundering what filling you use ? Just buttercream on its own or with lemon curd or some form of jam ?

    Thanks
    Heather

    • Britt Whyatt

      Whatever you like! Lemon curd would be lovely.

  • Jenelle Ruwoldt

    Hi I measured all the ingredients and followed it to a t bit for some reason my mixture was thick. I cooked it anyway and I was cooked in a hour but didn’t rise that much.

    • Britt Whyatt

      The mix is meant to be thick. Not sure why it didn’t rise but my cake would be raw if I took it out after only an hour. Was that at 140c? And a 7″ round tin?

      • Jenelle Ruwoldt

        It was at 140c and I realised after I used my 9″ is that maybe why it cooked so quick?

        • Britt Whyatt

          Yes. If you use this recipe for a 9″ round cake it won’t rise anywhere near as much and will bake quicker as it’s a bigger tin and it needs more mix. Double this recipe for a super deep 9″ or standard 10″. You need to use the right amount of mix for the size of tin for the best results.

  • Liz Dennison

    Hi, I just wondered, if I am making this cake for a birthday party on the Saturday, what day would you suggest baking it? I was going to do it on the Thursday, I don’t want to do it too early that it goes stale, but I don’t want to leave it too late either?
    Thanks

  • Jayne Jacklin

    How long do you leave the cupcakes in for?and is it still 140 thank

  • Carolyn

    Hi Britt,
    I’m doubling your standard Madeira cake recipe for a 10 inch round but how long should I bake it for?

    • Britt Whyatt

      Until it’s done. That sounds obvious but it’s different for all ovens. Check on it after 1 hour 40 but I think it will need nearer 2 hours. Possibly more. Until a skewer comes out clean, it springs back and looks a nice golden brown.

  • Jemma Sherwood-Roberts

    Hey my first attempt did not go well. Started https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7cb1b8310d8a6444122699a5eb1b6332a9e8ccb08b9a750773061c1bd8d60a9c.jpg with cold butter which I think might’ve the culprit but any other ideas why mine ended like this? Also any tips of how to line a round tin? And finally (sorry) is a 9 inch round tin ok if only 2 inch high? Can it rise beyond the 2 inches??

    • Britt Whyatt

      This looks very underbaked, almost raw. The cold butter wouldn’t have had that much of a difference. Lining your tin will give you a better result but for a 9″ tin you need a 9″ mix. The mix above is for a 7″ round so there won’t be enough mix to get a nice rise. You need to convert it using the link above for your size tin. Also I’ve got an article on how to line a tin here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/how-to-line-a-cake-tin/

      • Jemma Sherwood-Roberts

        Thank you. I did only bake for an hour but skewer came out clean so thought was done. Should I wait til it’s more brown? Sorry novice baker here

        • Britt Whyatt

          Hi Jemma. You needed more mix in this tin. Or use my recipe above in a 7″ tin as recommended. The cake should be a nice golden brown as my pictures above but as it’s not enough mix it’s too shallow to get a nice, even bake. Don’t apologise, give it another go. Either more mixture in your 9″ tin or the same mix in a 7″ tin. 🙂

  • Britt Whyatt

    How did it go? Unfortunately I don’t get a chance to check these comments daily. 🙂

    • Katie Jeremiah

      I just thought I’d ask on the off-chance! I took it out of the oven after about 1 hour 25 minster as it seemed done, it had a big dome top and quite a crust which I cut off a bit but was lovely inside thanks

  • Britt Whyatt

    I mix my madeira for a while but all other cakes, I don’t time specifically how long I time things for, just until they look light, fluffy and mixed in nicely. 🙂

    • Diane

      Thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately things didn’t turn out as I had hoped as once I got to the stage of cutting the cake in half I was so disappointed to find the inside looking like a cheesecake although cooked – the probe used to check if it was cooked came out dry and although it had only risen to about 2 1/2 inches it looked ok whilst cooling. I can only surmise that the addition of the juice of two lemons made the mixture too wet? Unfortunately it was inedible.

      • Britt Whyatt

        That’s a shame. I’ve never heard of that happening before. I usually use two lemons in mine without issue. Also it usually gets a 3″ – 3 ½” rise too. I can only suggest trying again perhaps with less juice or using extract instead. It also sounds undercooked in the middle so could have done with longer in the oven. Do you have an oven thermometer?

        • Diane

          I’d watched your videos and followed your method exactly and used lemons rather than extract because of the fresher flavour. The whole of the inside was the same with about 1/4″ around the edge looking like “cake” and was definitely dry, set and cooked. I use a thermometer all the time and the temperature was right – also I cooked it for 1.3/4 hrs. As lemons come in differing sizes perhaps 2 was too much and I should have added it gradually rather than adding it all at once.

  • Jackie Smiler

    Hi – am planning on making a madeira cake this week and found your recipe for a 7 inch cake tin. I have this but they are shallow at about 1½” high and your cakes look super tall. I dont have a cake slicer so wondering if i can use these tins with your recipe but maybe use to make 2 or 3 layers and cook for less time?

    • Britt Whyatt

      Yes you can. Bake for around 45 mins – an hour. Until they are done basically 🙂

      • Jackie Smiler

        Fabulous.. ty so much!!!

  • Terri Ridley-Ellis

    Is that 140C in a normal oven or a fan oven, please?

    • Britt Whyatt

      Fan 🙂

  • Jenny Kilgariff

    Hi, I followed your recipe for my daughters birthday cake and it was great. I’m planning on using it for a 3 tier family 30th birthday cake with three different flavours. I would like the top tier to be either coffee or toffee flavoured. Would there be a way to use this recipe but substitute/change the ingredients to do this as you have done for lemon or chocolate? Thanks for any help you can offer xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      Baking is all about experimenting. I’ve made this basic recipe and added all manner of things to it. You can ass strong instant coffee to taste as well as spoons of tinned caramel. It stands up to quite a lot of personalisation. All versions are strong enough to be tiers, the chocolate one especially as a bottom tier works very well. 🙂

  • Claire Geraghty

    Hi Britt, I’ve made your Madeira cakes for a 3 tier christening cake but I seem to have suffered from a soggy top! I’ve turned them over 5 mins after coming out if the oven, I’ve frozen them once cold but they’ve gone really sticky on the tops. Any ideas?
    Thanks Britt. Claire x

    • Britt Whyatt

      A sticky top is nothing to worry about, especially after defrosting. It’s just sugar and perfectly normal. 🙂

  • Jade Thompson

    Sorry terrible converting ingredients, looking to do one square 8inch of your recipe and 1 7inch square for the chocolate recipe. Can you help convert how much ingredients I’d need xxx thank you

  • Gemma Orr

    I am planning on using this recipe for my son’s 1st bday cake, but going to put it in to a train mould, any idea how long it would take? Thanks

    • Britt Whyatt

      Without knowing the dimensions of the mould or how much mix it needs, I couldn’t tell you I’m afraid. Keep checking it and until a skewer comes out clean and it has a golden brown top. Bear in mind this recipe is only suitable for a 7″ round. You may need to convert it for more or less mix depending on the size of the mould. I have an article on that here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/baking-in-a-bowl-how-much-mix-do-i-need/

  • Joanne Robertson

    Hi how would you best make a white chocolate Madeira please?

    • Britt Whyatt

      Add in 200g melted white chocolate. ☺

      • Joanne Robertson

        Thank you ,it made a delicious Easter cake .This is fast becoming my favourite cake recipe x

  • Christina Alford

    Can I ask if there is anything you can do to speed up the ‘settle’ if you don’t have time to leave overnight? Thanks

    • Britt Whyatt

      I highly recommend leaving it overnight. Because this cake can be made days in advance you can bake it earlier than most to allow for the overnight time. I have more on that here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/long-take-make-cake/

      • Christina Alford

        I would do if I had time but I stupidly have left it too late! X

  • Carol-Anne McLeod

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2accbd8227d551e30f7064a72724aebf283338247a1a27225fd47a821435ee7a.jpg hi there
    I have just baked 2 cakes and they have come out pinched round the middle What do you think I did wrong?

    • Britt Whyatt

      i have got this once or twice if I have left the cake in the tin for too long. I turn out almost immediately after baking. That may help. B.

  • Curtis

    I am looking to make a two tier Frozen themed birthday cake for my daughters birthday party, the bottom one 10″ and top one a 7″. Using the deep cake recipe – what sort of rise would you expect to get on these cakes?

  • Sarah Holmes

    Used your recipe today but in my 8inch tin.. i must say its perfect so much better than my old ‘go to’ recipe!! Chocolate one tomorrow to be sandwiched together for a birthday cake on wednesday https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef9ea2d1f4693abfaea15d39a527b013de8f7f35eb06eaef14c3ffb19eb07248.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ff7ff7ed9225720e7d6b0c1416a3199cc5e333cc79ea681c602f2371d79d8ef.jpg

    • Britt Whyatt

      Looks great! B.

  • Vanessa Flower

    I love your recipe used chocolate one twice now with good results so thank you. I want to use the 7″ mix to split into 2x 4″ tins, I only have one of these so will have to bake each one separately, will this batter keep whilst I bake one, or will it spoil? Thank you

    • Britt Whyatt

      If you’ve only got the one tin I would do them separately. So halve the recipe, make that one up and bake it then do the second one. The batter may go rubbery if left out for too long due to the gluten. B.

      • Vanessa Flower

        Thanks very much will keep fingers crossed second one is ok!

  • Kaylee

    Hi, I’m making a two tiered birthday cake using your Madeira sponge recipe. As a novice is it better to bake the layers individually or as one deep cake and then split? Do you have any tips for before you cut the layers as when I have done it before it’s always ended up being very uneven!! Would you put jam and buttercream in the middle or just buttercream? Really appreciate your help!!

    • Britt Whyatt

      I always bake one big cake and split the layers as I’ve detailed above. 🙂 Cut with a cake leveller and not a knife. I put wither jam and buttercream or both depending on how I feel so it doesn’t matter too much. I would highly recommend this course which shows how to do it start to finish – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/course/professional-finish-online-course/

      • Kaylee

        Amazing- thank you so much for your help. I will let you know how it goes 🙂

  • Britt Whyatt

    I use Neilsen Massey vanilla bean paste.

  • Mily

    Hi Britt. I love your site and have used this recipe last year and loved it. I’m a baking novice and has been asked to make a birthday cake for Sunday. I’m planning to bake a two tier cake using your recipe, i read its best to leave overnight. So is it best to bake the cakes on Friday instead of Saturday so it’s ready to be decorated on Saturday evening?

    • Britt Whyatt

      I personally would make it earlier. You can find more info about the timings I use here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/long-take-make-cake/

      • Mily

        Thanks. Will try and make it tonight. I note your recipe is for 7inch. How deep is your tin as the calculator ask for the depth. I’m planning to use 8inch and 6 inch.

        • Britt Whyatt

          For this recipe I have used a 7″ round and 3″ deep tin.

  • Britt Whyatt

    I use the above recipe but with GF flour instead. Usually Doves Farm.

  • Bernadette Durkin

    I am going to make this cake this evening in chocolate but wanted to know if I want to do chocolate buttercream do I substitute some of the icing sugar for cocoa powder or what should I do please

    • Britt Whyatt

      The chocolate buttercream recipe is listed above where I talk about how to make it into a chocolate Madeira.

      • Bernadette Durkin

        Thank you

  • Rosinda Chahal

    Hi. I made the lemon version of the cake https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1430bf48e61ce5fe022bb403d071aa153d57bd453e4399977c7d7d2758aa4088.jpg . I tested the cake with a skewer several times in different places to check it was cooked and it came out clean every time . However, when I cut into the cake it was raw. What do you think may have happened?

    • Britt Whyatt

      If it’s raw, it needed longer in the oven. A skewer coming out clean isn’t 100%. Try again and leave it in longer.

      • Rosinda Chahal

        How much longer would you recommend leaving it in for? And how can I tell if the cake is fully cooked?

        I have a neff oven and the temp was 140deg, is that right?

        • Britt Whyatt

          Until it’s done. All ovens are different and will bake slightly differently. I tend to wait until it’s golden brown on top, springs back to the touch and has stopped ‘singing’. This tends to take just under 2 hours for me.

          • Rosinda Chahal

            Please can you consider updating the cooking time on your online recipe and include the tips about how to check if the cake is cooked.

            I am definitely going to make it again as the cooked section of the cake was tasty

          • Britt Whyatt

            All ovens are different. If I wrote individual guides for each oven I would be here all day. The more cakes you bake, the more you get to know when a cake is baked through. Baking is a bout experimentation, trial and error. 🙂

  • cheryl kelly

    Hi Britt! I made this cake last week for my nieces 2nd birthday for a peppa pig cake and it turned out brilliant thank you for this great recipe!! I’m now going to try the chocolate madeira for a drip cake..I was wondering do you need to let the melted chocolate cool a bit before adding to the cake mixture? And should I just fold it in? I’m a novice baker so any tips greatly appreciated xoxo

    • Britt Whyatt

      I melt the chocolate first then mix up the rest of the ingredients. By the time I add it it’s cooled slightly. Hope that helps. B x

  • Lauren Cornelissen

    Hi, I want to make the lemon version but I’m a bit wary of adding more liquid into the cake. Will it still hold ok?

    Many thanks
    Lauren

    • Britt Whyatt

      I wouldn’t list any recipe on my website that doesn’t work for me. If you’re worried, use lemon extract instead. B x

  • Kim

    Hi, I’ve just baked 2 sponge cakes and when I test them with a skewer there just sinking in the middle :/ what am I doing wrong lol also I haven’t got a fan oven so how long would you suggest I bake the cake for? Thanks x

    • Britt Whyatt

      Cakes sink in the middle when they aren’t baked fully. They need longer in the oven. I’ve only ever baked in a fan oven so I couldn’t give you timings but I can only advise trying again and getting to know how long things take to bake fully in your oven. As well as a skewer coming out completely clean they should be golden brown and spring back to the touch.

  • Lozallen

    How deep is your cake tin? I’m trying to convert it to a smaller size tin but don’t know the depth of your original tin!

    • Britt Whyatt

      3″

  • Mark Spriggins

    Hi I’ve made this recipe a few times & turned out really well. However I’ve tripled up the recipe a few times in one go to make a larger cake.
    However sometimes don’t quite have enough ingredients to hand so have increased the ingredients 2 & half times however I’ve noticed occasionally comes out stodgy or really eggy tasting, any suggestions?
    Also should I tap the tins on the side before they go in the oven to remove air?
    Love the recipe’s on your site
    Thanks mark

    • Britt Whyatt

      If it’s stodgy in the middle it will need longer in the oven. Especially if you’ve tripled it. Just bake it for a bit longer. 🙂

  • Katherine White

    Hi, I’m planning to make a cake for my sons 1st birthday and there will be about 18 people at the party, i’m struggling to find a recipe. I tried using your converter but in your recipe it doesn’t specify the height of the cake tin and I’m not very mathematical. I wonder if you could help me out with the converter or if you have a readymade recipe . Thanks in advance

    • Britt Whyatt

      Just above in the fourth paragraph I have the tin details (3″) and a link to the tins I use. 🙂 Hope that helps.
      The calculator here is really straightforward and I use it all the time – http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html

      • Katherine White

        The problem with the converter is it’s all decimal points, how do you measure 8.2 eggs for example?

        • Britt Whyatt

          Round it to the nearest whole number. So 8.2 would be 8. 5.7 would be 6. Etc. 🙂

  • Liz Rimell

    I’ve converted your Madeira recipe for an 8″ cake tin but it tells me to use 5.2 eggs and 261.2 g of flour etc. Will it still work if I use just 5 eggs and 261g of flour for instance? Liz 🙂 xxx

  • Nadine

    Hi there i am using your recipe for my sons first birthday cake i done a trial last week and everyone went crazy for it. Although i found the buttercream was quite thick in texture leaving it that wee bit harder to cover the cake and spread it. do you have any recommendation on how i can make it that little bit fluffier ? X

    • Britt Whyatt

      Pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so. If you add things like milk or water it can become too runny. If it’s too stiff for me to spread evenly, I heat it up a little and it makes it nice and smooth.

      • Nadine

        Thank you so much Britt i was thinking off adding a bit of cream or something .

  • Liz

    I’ve converted your Madeira recipe for an 8″ cake tin but it tells me to use 5.2 eggs and 261.2 g of flour etc. Will it still work if I use just 5 eggs and 261g of flour for instance? Thank you! 🙂

  • Tracy Ridgway

    Hi

    i am wanting to make this cake and have converted the reciipe to a 10inch tin, which seems a lot of ingredients but I am not sure how long to cook it for. Can you please help.

    • Britt Whyatt

      I couldn’t tell you exact timings as every oven is different, but I would suggest baking it for at least 2 ½ hours and check it regularly as it may need more/less time.

  • Kirsty Gichimu

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and the very useful converter for other sizes! I’ve just baked one then realised that by accident I’ve used double the amount of plain flour. Will this cake be a total disaster that I should scrap or will it be ok? I was doing it in two sandwich tins and have made sure the second one has the right quantities!!!

    • Britt Whyatt

      Sorry Kirsty, I don’t get a chance to regularly check these comments. How did the cake turn out?

      • Kirsty Gichimu

        No problem Britt. It was edible but a bit drier/heavier than the ones I’ve made since then. It’s a great recipe and really helped me improve the quality of the iced cakes I can make. Thanks so much for sharing.
        My next challenge is to try and adjust the recipe to make a coffee/chocolate version as that’s my most popular cake!! Fingers crossed it works.

  • Amelia Collins

    Hello. I have never baked before an want to attempt an R2D2 Star Wars cake for my 4 year olds birthday. I have bought the mould which states I need an “8 egg cake cake mixture”. The size is 13″x 9″ x 4″. Can I just double up the ingredients in this recipe or have you got a better suggestion for me please? Many thanks

  • Hannah

    Hi Brit, how long will this cake last once covered in fondant? Do think once covered and decoarted it will be ok if cut a week later or not!? Thanks in advance for your help! Xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      It depends when you bake and then cover it. I have an article that may help on this subject here 🙂 – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/long-take-make-cake/

      • Hannah

        Thanks for your reply, the article helped! I think I will bake and freeze my cake in advance. Defrost over night and cover the next day. The party will be a week to the day from covering. Is there anything I can do to ensure the cake stays moist? Thank you 🙂 xx

  • Louise

    Hi, I think I have a problem … I’ve followed your recipe but my cake hasn’t risen enough? It just looks the height of one half of a Victoria sponge… I baked it in a 7inch round cake tin which is also 3 & 1/2 inches tall… any help would be great as it doesn’t look as tall as your cakes.
    Thanks in advance

  • Louise

    Hi, I think I have a problem … I’ve followed your recipe but my cake hasn’t risen enough? It just looks the height of one half of a Victoria sponge… I baked it in a 7inch round cake tin which is also 3 & 1/2 inches tall… any help would be great as it doesn’t look as tall as your cakes.
    Thanks in advance

    • Britt Whyatt

      Without being in your kitchen with you I’m not sure what part of the process went wrong. Each time I bake it I use the above recipe and method and always get at least a 3 ½” cake. I can only suggest trying again. There’s a video I’ve linked to above so you can see me bake it in real time if that helps? xo

      • Louise

        Thank you for replying so quickly, i will try again and watch the video to see if i went wrong somewhere…
        Just wondering also, if i dont have a tall 8 inch tin, when I convert the measures can i just split the amount into 2 shorter 8 inch tins? (Like doing a Victoria Sandwhich).

        • Britt Whyatt

          Yes you can. The 8″ recipe I use can be found here if it helps – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/how-to-bake-and-ice-a-number-cake/

          • Louise

            Hi Britt, just a quick question about the 8″ recipe you dressed me to.
            Did the recipe go between both numbers OR did you make 2 batches, 1 recipe for each number ?
            Only asking as your numbers look very tall… how high are the tins ?

          • Britt Whyatt

            Each recipe makes one number 🙂

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  • Natalia

    Great post, thank you Britt! Can you give any advice for a cake timeline with cheese cream frosting? I have order for the 2 tier drip cake ,and I’m panicking how I will manage my time as cheesecream frosting need to be kept in the fridge.

    • Britt Whyatt

      I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience with cream cheese frosting underneath iced cakes, mainly because of what you said, it needs to be kept in the fridge. I would give it a little google and see if anyone has written any other advice. Sorry I can’t be of more help! xo

  • Trudi Allen

    I just followed your recipe, only doubled it for 14″ cake and it’s turned out fab. Can’t wait to decorated it with my granddaughters favourite characters ‘the teletubbies’ thank you

    • Britt Whyatt

      You’re welcome 🙂

  • Bec

    I’ve just got some 7inch cake tins from Iced Jems but they are 4 inches deep. Will they be ok to use with this recipe? Thanks in advance!

  • Jo Warren

    Hi all

    I have a dilemma.

    I want to make a sponge or madeira for a wedding cake for the 2nd of September for my daughter. I want to make it now as I worry.

    It will be a bit too big to fit in my freezer (I have an upright), is there another way of storing it if I made it now.

    Kindest regards

    Jo Jackson

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Jo, to make a cake a month in advance I recommend two options. One, make a madeira and freeze it or two, make a fruit cake. Unfortunately there’s no other way (that I know of) of storing a sponge cake to keep it safe and not mouldy for four weeks without freezing it. I usually make my cakes about a week in advance, you can read more about that here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/long-take-make-cake/ B xo

  • Pippa Kay West

    Hi, I’m going to be baking a 12″ cake using your vanilla recipe. Any suggestions to help me with this! I have seen to bake half the mixture at once and also wrap the tin in a couple of sheets of newspaper so the outside does not burn first, would you agree with this?

    Many Thanks

    Pippa

    • Britt Whyatt

      I personally bake all cakes in one tin up to a 16″ round and use the method above. I don’t use strips or newspaper or foil or anything. Just a good quality tin and recipe. Use the link above to scale up the recipe and bake as normal. B x

  • Lou

    Hi, I am making a Madeira birthday cake but have been asked to use an alternative filling to buttercream. Can you recommend an alternative please?
    Thank you

    • Britt Whyatt

      Ganache is always a nice alternative. 🙂 B

  • Tahira

    Hi , I am going to make 10 inch square cake. How to double this vanilla sponge recipe? Can you plz explain how to convert?
    Thanks
    Tahira

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi. I’ve linked above to a cake converter that I use to get different size tins. 🙂

  • Sally

    Hi Brit…thanks for posting this recipe and can’t wait to try it out today. I’ve read through all the comments and seen your handy link for the cake converter too thanks. I am practising today in prep for a 2 tier 8″ and 6″ chocolate madeira I’llbe making in a few weeks. for a 6″ and 8″ would you add 100g melted choc or go slightly less/more?? Also I am thinking to fill with choc ganache, and barrier and crumb coat (it’s going to be a semi naked cake) with vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Ive only made SMB once – it glided onto the cake brilliantly but was suprised that the buttercream was still tacky after being in the fridge. By its nature does SMB just not set as hard as American?? Thanks so much Sally 🙂

    • Sally

      Also I noticed that the 8″ madeira recipe which you posted for your number cake uses 300g ingredients, but when I plug your 7″ quantiies into the cake conveter its said 260g ingredients for an 8″….. which is best to go buy as I also need to work out quantities for the 6″. So many questions sorry! 🙂

      • Britt Whyatt

        Hi Sally. I usually add about 80g melted chocolate for a 6″ round and 110g for an 8″. I’ve don’t really use SMB I’m afraid and only use the recipe I’ve listed above. The cake convertor gives a good recipe for an 8″ round, I use a 300g mix for a deeper cake which I’ve found by trial and error. Use the convertor mix and see how you go as I find it a great little tool. Hope that helps! B x

        • Sally

          Hi Britt that’s great thanks! What temp and time would you suggest baking the 8″ (converter recipe) at for x2 sandwhich tins versus x1 3″ deep tin? My 6 inch turned out well and had some good feedback thanks to your recipe and converter tool so Thankyou! Here’s a pic…Just cracked a little around the edges 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cc78abc5f42e0bb4a19b92ce38f7ccb477b1b88b0935524d93bbc85bf9264844.jpg

          • Britt Whyatt

            I always bake cakes at 140C regardless of size. The cracking around the edges is just where it has been slightly over-baked. It could have come out a few mins before. As soon as a skewer comes out clean, you’re good to go. I haven’t made the recipe in sandwich tins before as I prefer to bake all in one tin so I’m not too sure of time, I would estimate at 45 minutes but you’ll have to try it and see. 🙂

          • Sally

            Thanks for the advice Britt…I’ll give it a go! Fingers crossed 🙂

          • Susie L

            I’m thinking of using sandwich tin too. How did yours turn out and was the cooking time 45 mins?

          • Sally

            Hi Susie, yes mine came out well. I baked in 8inch sandwich tins at 140C fan for 35 mins. Maybe go for 35-45 mins and check after 35 🙂

  • Susan Hilton

    Hi Britt
    After years of Victoria sponge birthday cake making for my family, and always getting in a crumby mess with buttercream etc, I’ve finally been enlightened to the fact Madeira is a lot easier for celebration cakes! Trouble is the first recipe I found and tried at the weekend was a fail, funny tasting and dry but I’ve had another go after coming across your website today so I’m hoping yours is a winner for me! I’ve foolishly (for an amateur) offered to produce a Scrabble theme cake for a relatives 70th and only have two weeks to get my recipe sorted. Panic is on the horizon! 😮
    I’ve used the 7” for my trial rather than 9” square I’ll need (cue converter!) and it’s out and cooling now and looks ok but it doesn’t look to have risen as much as yours, they look whoppers in your photo’s! I’ve got 2.5” height which is including the dome bit so not ideal. Only bit of your instruction I didn’t follow is lining the tin because I bought new PME seamless tins and the cake release stuff for the first time and the instructions said to use instead of lining. That doesn’t make a difference to rise does it? Only other thing is I only have my grans old hand held mixer rather than a super duper stand mixer (I have mixer envy every time I watch GBBO!) so maybe not giving it quite as good a beating although think I just about lasted for the 6 mins you recommended 🙂 Any other tips/thoughts appreciated

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi! The mix above is for a 7″ round cake, you would need a lot more for a 9″ square so that will be the reason it’s a lot smaller in height than the pictures above. Run it through the convertor and you’ll see how much mix you need. I would also to recommend using cake release AND lining the tins. This doesn’t affect the rise, but it is good practice and gives you nicer sides to decorate with (in my opinion) more on that here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/how-to-line-a-cake-tin/
      Sounds like you’ve done everything right, a hand mixer is fine, I used one for years. You just need more mix. You can always make two of the size you’ve done and stack them instead. Any of the recipes on my website will state the size tin they are designed for and will need to be converted for any other size. B x

      • Susan Hilton

        Thanks for your prompt reply! I obviously didn’t word it very well, I did use the 7″ recipe in a 7″ round tin for my trial run, I just can’t be as good a baker as you! Or I could just blame my oven 😉 At least this one smells like cake, think some recipes may put too much plain flour in? Out of interest would unsalted butter work in yours or does it really alter the taste? because I bought a few blocks of that in for the other recipe I thought I’d be using, ironically if I’d seen yours first I already have Stork in because that is what I always use for Victoria sponge

        • Britt Whyatt

          Unsalted butter does work in this recipe but I much prefer using Stork as it gives a lighter sponge!

  • Kay

    Hi I’m making a novelty cake of a princess crown, the dimensions are 14x10x2, could you help me with what quantity of ingredients I would need please

  • Riena Ratnasari

    Hi, I’ve baked this cake for several birthdays and it always tastes great. But I could never get it to rise to these heights. I use unsalted butter, I have an oven thermometer, and I think I’ve followed all the instructions. My guess is that the self-raising flour in France doesn’t have as much raising agent as in the UK? Should I add baking powder and how much? Am I overbeating it? Would love to hear back from you!

    • Britt Whyatt

      Can you get Stork in France? I tend to use that when I want a light sponge with a better rise. Try to add a teaspoon of baking powder too as I don’t know what your flour is like. 🙂 x

      • Riena Ratnasari

        Thanks so much for getting back to me! I can’t believe I never thought to google what Stork was – now I know it’s not butter! I’ll try to find something similar in France. Thanks a bunch!

  • Julie Johnston

    HI
    I was wondering if the buttercream recipe was enough to fill the cake and spread on the outside of the cake too.
    Thanks
    Julie

  • Susie L

    Hi, I made the chocolate version (after trying the Madeira a few times) and when I put in the melted chocolate to the buttercream it hardened into little lumps. Also do I need less icing sugar if I’m adding cocoa powder? Tasted great but had a job smoothing it out to ice. Was this supposed to happen?
    Also my Madeira was so firm it broke my cake slicer !?

  • Francesca Wells

    Hi I know this is an older post, I have 2 children with milk allergies so will be making the cake myself, I would like to do a chocolate cake

    I can get dairy free chocolate but not sure the best alternative for butter

    I have tried a dairy free spread but the cake was stodgy not sure if it’s the spread or something I’m doing wrong

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hello Francesca! This is one of the posts I get questions on weekly so I’m always here haha! I have made this cake several times with the Stork baking block which is dairy free and it has always come out well. Make sure everything is room temperature and mix the ‘butter’ and sugar really well first before putting the eggs in. I hope that helps. B xo

      • Francesca Wells

        Thank you so much, I will give it a go tomorrow.

      • Francesca Wells

        Hi the dairy free chocolate cake turned out perfect, so happy with your recipe. I was just wondering what I can use for piping dairy free wise.

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  • Jade Thacker

    Hi there! If I were to scale down this recipe to a 4” tin how much would you reduce the cooking time by?? Thanks x

  • Karen

    Hi Britt, I want to make a rainbow cake for my daughter would I be able to use this recipe but split and add the colouring? Thanks for sharing your recipes love trying them. X

  • Ferzeen Bhana-Shamsi

    Britt I’m excited to try this for my daughters layered birthday cake. Do I need to moisten or soak layers before decorating with buttercream?

    • Britt Whyatt

      I don’t do that, no. I just spread buttercream onto the cake layers as they are. X

  • Terri Roberts

    Hi Britt, I’m making a four tier wedding cake in four weeks time and have been practising this recipe in all four sizes (6, 8, 10 & 12 inch) to ensure I get a perfect bake for the wedding cake. I have followed the recipe exactly and bought an oven thermometer, but each practise cake has ‘domed’ significantly in the middle, meaning I have to cut almost an inch from the top. This still leaves a decent height on the cake but I don’t understand what is causing the dome. Do you have any suggestions which may help the cakes bake with a flatter top?

    I really need some hep on this, I just don’t understand what is causing the dome issue!

    • Britt Whyatt

      I get slight domes on my cakes but not significant ones. I leave them to cool upside down on greaseproof paper, this usually eliminates most domes. Maybe try baking at 130° for a little longer to see if that helps. Xo

  • kaye hughes

    Hi I’m making 2 cakes for 2 birthdays each the day after the other. How early can I make these cakes? How long would it last for once covered in fondant? And how should I store them before cut and after? Novice so I have no idea, thanks.

  • Rosie Bosley

    Can I ask if you use cake strips for your cake tins when making your Madeira cake?

    • Britt Whyatt

      I don’t, no.

  • Beckie

    Hi Britt, this might sound like a silly question but do you mix in the eggs before then adding the flour or do you put it all in and then mix it? I made this a year ago and followed your video but cannot find it this time round.
    Thank you

    • Britt Whyatt

      No I don’t. I do it as I’ve listed it above. 🙂 Also if you scroll to the end of the article there are links where you can watch the video from last year. xo

  • Terri Roberts

    Hello, what size ribbon would you reccommend using on this cake? 25mm or 35mm? The cace will have pearl beading around the base also. Thanks

    • Britt Whyatt

      Whatever you like. I personally use a 25mm

  • Helen Wright

    Hi! I’m making my son’s birthday cake using your Madeira recipe. Do you have a buttercream recipe perfect for giving the cake a crumb coat before covering in fondant icing? My understanding is the crumb coat has to be looser to allow easy spreading?

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi Helen, the buttercream recipe I use is listed above. 🙂

      • Helen Wright

        The quantity above, is that enough mix to both cover the cake and provide a layer of buttercream inside?

        • Britt Whyatt

          If you want to fill twice, as I split the cake into three sections and crumb coat (I usually crumb coat twice) then I would make double the amount listed.

          • Helen Wright

            If I make the cake tonight, can I buttercream in the morning, how long do I need to leave the first crumb coat to dry before applying the second and also when should I apply the fondant icing?

          • Britt Whyatt

            I have an article on this which may help – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/long-take-make-cake/

  • Ja’arn Jillyshits

    Hi, Just using your madiera recipe and cakes are in the oven. Would I be able to freeze a cake once its had rolled icing applied? If not, how long after rolled icing, will a sponge cake need to be used, please? (basically I’m trying to work out how many days i have to ice this beast before a party! 🙂

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hello. I wouldn’t advice freezing once it’s iced. I’ve got an article which may help here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/how-to-freeze-cakes/

      • Ja’arn Jillyshits

        Thanks! Much appreciated! I’ll have a read xxx

  • shellplen

    What do you use to stick the icing on the cake? Do you think lemonchelo would work as the flavouring? Tia

    • Britt Whyatt

      I use buttercream to crumb coat. Limoncello would work I’d say.

  • Adena Allen

    Hi my mate wants a 12 inch square cake could you please give me the ingredients thank you

  • Eve Marie Osborne

    Hiya, love this recipe, could you tell me how long I should bake a 4,6,8,10 and 12 inch please
    Thanks so much xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hi! I couldn’t give you exact timings I’m afraid as I go by a ‘when it’s done it’s done’ kinda vibe but the 4 & 6 will need about an hour or so. The 8 will need nearer 2 hours. The 10 & 12 longer than that, I’d say nearer the 2 ½ -3 hour mark. Once they have risen, keep checking on them and before taking them out make sure they look a nice golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. If in doubt, leave it in another 10-15 minutes.

  • Sarah Armstrong Henry

    Could you give me a rough idea how tall the cake pictured above is, when split into three and iced as shown? I’ve been asked to do both a 7″ lemon and chocolate version for a naked wedding cake! They want each cake to be 5-6″ tall. It’s just the recipe I need – thank you!

    • Britt Whyatt

      It’s about 3 ½ – 4″ high. If you want a really tall cake I would bake two and stack them straight on top of each other. x

      • Sarah Armstrong Henry

        thank you for replying – watched your facebook videos yesterday, really comprehensive!

  • disqus_ShfgZRRV3R

    I am using this for a 6/9/12” naked wedding cake for niece. She doesn’t want butter cream around outside of cake. Should I put some sort of syrup on it to keep it moist. If so how and when to do this. Thank you‘

    • Britt Whyatt

      I’ve never used a sugar syrup on this recipe but you will need one if you’re not covering it in anything and leaving out for an extended period of time. You’ve only got 2-3 hours max from putting it on display to it tasting stale. If you google naked wedding cake tutorial there are lots of videos and articles that may help as I don’t have any step by steps for these cause I dislike making them.

    • Britt Whyatt

      I’ve never used a sugar syrup on this recipe but you will need one if you’re not covering it in anything and leaving out for an extended period of time. You’ve only got 2-3 hours max from putting it on display to it tasting stale. I don’t have any step by steps as when to do what, but if you google naked wedding cake tutorial there are lots of videos and articles that may help x

  • disqus_ShfgZRRV3R

    Thanks for reply….but worried now 2-3hours? Is it longer with thin layer of butter cream ? If so I’ll check out your instructions.
    Thank you

    • Britt Whyatt

      It’s a little longer with a layer of buttercream on the outside, yes. As this keeps the air out and stops it going dry. Naked caked look lovely but aren’t necessarily the most practical!

  • Nikki Sloan

    Hi Britt! I always use your Madeira recipe, but every time I use the chocolate cake recipe, the sponge comes out so dry and seems such a close crumb. . I’ve tried changing the cocoa powder and the type of chocolate i use, but what else could be going wrong? I would really appreciate your help. Thank you so much. Xx

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hey! If it’s dry you may be over baking it. I often find my chocolate cakes bake quicker than my vanilla ones. Try taking it out of the oven a little earlier. xo

  • melainley

    Hi Britt, Ive always made your vanilla recipe and they turn out fab, but recently been asked for a chocolate one, which dark chocolate do you use? Regular or baking chocolate? and if you don’t mind me asking, the brand would be super helpful so I know its going to turn out ok! My other question would be how much chocolate to put in an 8″ cake and buttercream? I know all the conversion of all the other ingredients. Thankyou!!

    • Britt Whyatt

      I just use supermarket brand dark chocolate to be honest, whichever supermarket I happen to be passing at the time! I’ve not found it makes any difference. I’d add about 120g to the cake and about 60g to the buttercream xo

      • melainley

        Great, thankyou so much! x

      • melainley

        Me again! I did a chocolate tester cake yesterday, it rose really well and looked ok. Tried some today but the top where the cracks are seem more like Chocolate brownie! Am I under baking? Worried about the rest becoming dry if I leave it longer. I thought it also could be the type of chocolate? I used just regular eating chocolate, was it supposed to be baking? It was delicious though!
        One last question!! I’m going to stack two of these 8″ chocolate Madeiras to make a taller cake before I cover with sugar paste (each are about 4″ tall). Do you recommend dowelling in between the 2 cakes?
        Thanks so much! Your blog/website is always so helpful! Planning on buying your book! xx

        • Britt Whyatt

          Hi. The chocolate cake cracks a lot more than the vanilla. It’s just the nature of it. However if the texture is that of a brownie it’s a little under-baked. You need to leave it in until it’s done. I wouldn’t post a recipe if it went dry when it was baked. 🙂 I just use supermarket own dark chocolate. If you’re stacking one of the same size on top of another I don’t tend to use dowels or boards. I’ve done that here – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/llama-birthday-cake/

  • Shirley Shand

    Hi,i have just baked this cake,the sides are not straight they go in at the middle then come back out again at the top.What have I done wrong?

    • Britt Whyatt

      Without being in your kitchen with you, I couldn’t tell you exactly what went wrong. My best guess is that it’s over-baked or left in the tin for too long when taken out of the oven. Did you line the sides with greaseproof paper? Nothing is hidden in the recipe. If you watch the live video linked at the bottom, that may help too. It took me a few years to perfect this but I only do exactly as I’ve listed above. Don’t be disheartened, give it another go. Best of luck. 🙂

      • Shirley Shand

        Ok,Thank you.x

  • Evie Joannou Garrett

    Hi from a pomme down under. I am about to embark on an egg shaped cake. Novice baker. I have two new 3litre Pyrex bowls.
    I have a new oven so any errors it will be all down to me lol. Any guidance truely welcomed. I’m concerned it might not cook st the way through. I need a big cake. 🙂 thx for an anxious new baker taking the plunge. Evie

  • Catherine Davies

    Hello!
    I have just made this cake and have an 8 x 4 inch PME tin. It cooked beautifully but didn’t look as high as yours at all! I used the link you gav to increase the quantities by a third but once it “flattens” after leaving it upside down its only about 2.5inches high. What am I doing wrong? I used SR flour.

    • Britt Whyatt

      It just sounds like there wasn’t enough mix in the tin, that’s all. I tend to size up if I want a nice deep cake. Try converting it to a 9″ cake and give it another go!

  • Britt Whyatt

    I’ve only ever had it turn out like that once or twice and it’s always been when I’ve baked a lemon one. I think it may be too much juice! I would try again but use lemon extract instead. Also make sure to turn the cake out soon after it comes out of the oven as letting it cool in the tin can also cause this. x

  • Irenka Goodman

    Hello Britt,
    Thank you for posting your recipes! Can I check how long the cake would last wrapped up tight in a couple of layers of cling film and then in an airtight container? I’m hoping not to ice it until the day before I cover it with sugarpaste for a wedding cake. I was hoping to bake the cakes on Monday, split them and ice on Tuesday, cover in sugarpaste on Wednesday and then decorate on Thursday and Friday evening after work for a wedding on Saturday morning.
    Thank you!
    Irenka

    • Britt Whyatt

      Hello! I have an article on this which may help – http://shewhobakes.co.uk/long-take-make-cake/

      • Irenka Goodman

        Thank you for your reply!! How would I go about adapting your recipe to make a strawberry madeira cake and a banana? Thank you!!!

        • Britt Whyatt

          I would just use strawberry or banana flavouring instead of vanilla. 🙂

          • Irenka Goodman

            Thank you! Would you recommend a particular brand? I don’t want it to taste artificial.

          • Britt Whyatt

            I like Beau flavourings.

  • Hannah Berry

    Hi, I left my cake in for 1 your 40 minutes and the tester came out clean, it was golden brown and springy. But for some reason when I cut in to it there were doughy bits throughout? It was beautifully risen and I had no reason to suspect it! Any ideas?

    • Britt Whyatt

      It just needed longer in the oven, that’s all. If it’s got doughy bits through it, it’s been taken out too soon x

  • Teri Roberts

    Hi Brit, What cutters do you usually use for letter & numbers? And how do you get them to stay so uniformed when placing on the cake board?! Thanks, Terri

  • Lindsay Smith

    Can this recipe be adapted to make it gluten free? Thanks

    • Britt Whyatt

      Yes. Just make it as above but with GF flours. x

  • Natalie Birmingham

    Britt, what size tins would you recommend for two tier? Its a one year old’s birthday cake. If I use a 7inch tin would you suggest a 9inch tin for the bottom or a 10″? I’ve read different things, many say there should be a 3″ difference in the tins. Or is it just personal preference? Thank you!!

    • Britt Whyatt

      It’s really personal preference to be honest. For a small birthday party I would usually make a 5” & 7” and there’s more than enough cake. I would normally go 2” difference for tiered cakes. Xo

  • Carly

    Hi Brit,
    I usually use your 8” receipe but need to make a 9” and 12”. I’ve tried using the cake scaler you recommend but get random figures.
    I tested the scaler on your 7” to 8” receipe but when converting 200g it’s 261.2g and your 8” receipe says 300g.
    Hope this makes sense I’m just getting confused!x

    • Britt Whyatt

      I tend to bake a little more mix in my tins to get deeper cakes but that looks right for a standard height cake xo

  • disqus_ShfgZRRV3R

    Just an update….I made a naked wedding cake!!!!! Smaller tiers were frozen and tasted just as good! Used the cake converter and Madeira recipe! Excellent results. Thank you! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e2b21142ea34b25da539d9e876fd4c6a9f66a05680ea040f14b5bad2d275635.png

    • Britt Whyatt

      This is gorgeous! xo

  • Zainab Ali Mudassir

    Hello,

    I wanted to order some PME cake tins that your recommended, not sure how much of a difference it makes but you stated you usr 7″ by 3″ deep and the link you have given are 7″ by 4″ deep, both sizes are available so I was just wondering which tins you used?

    Thanks in advance:) and hope your having a lovley weekend:D

    Zee

    • Britt Whyatt

      I use them both. It really doesn’t matter to be fair. I line my 3” tins to a 4” height anyway. Xo

  • Amanda Van Aarde

    Hi, I am from sunny south africa and are a newby to Madeira cakes as i have always baked oil based cakes and want to try something new ok so i did everything step by step following every word and measurement my cake has been baking for 1 hour 30min it came it still very raw just in the middle oh by the way 6″ cake so i put it back in the oven praying it wont burn any suggestions or advise please

    • Britt Whyatt

      If it’s raw in the middle it just needs longer in the oven. It won’t burn if you’re baking it ah the right temperature listed above. This recipe is for a 7” round tin, did you convert it to a 6” or just use the 7” recipe in the 6” tin? All ovens are different. Do you have an oven thermometer? If you’ve followed it exactly as described (and there’s a real time video) then it can’t go wrong. 🙂 Leave it in until it’s cooked through xo

  • Rebecca Stephen

    Hi, can you recommend a cake leveller as there are so many out there with mixed reviews? thanks.

    • Britt Whyatt

      The one from Iced Jems is great! xo

  • preeti

    Hi
    I wanted to use this mixture for a sphere cake which are 8” wide
    Do you think the 7” recipe above would be sufficient?

  • Irenka Goodman

    Hello Britt,
    Can this recipe be adapted to make it dairy free?
    Thank you!
    Irenka

    • Britt Whyatt

      Yep! Just use dairy free spread instead of Stork xo

  • Kathryn Knowles

    Hi, I ve made your 7″ madeira a number of times with perfect results thanks. However I ve tried to upsize it to a 9” and it was mt right at all. Quantities were 330 gr sr flour, castor sugar, stork, 82g plain four, 6 eggs. I cooked it for 1 3/4 hours at 140 in a fan oven and tge result . It only rose 2′ with a flat top. Any advice please?

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