Classic Madeira Birthday Cake Recipe

05/17

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.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my ebook How To Start A Cake Business From Home for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

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.

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 ?

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