Madeira Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Madeira Cake

Cake Dessert

Madeira Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Confession: I feel a little bit like I’ve lost my mojo. At this exact moment in my life, I’m not sure if I could be awesome even if I was held at gunpoint. It’s just gone. I’m drained of magic. I can’t get it together, kids. Everything is a mess.

Okay, so maybe I do tend to be a bit overly dramatic, but just getting through each day right now is sucking all the life out of me. I’m sure you’re ready to scream if I use the word “chaos” one more time. I’m just so so sorry.

I knew I was in bad shape when I burned this cake. I can’t even remember the last time I messed something up this bad. It’s been years. It was the very first time I used my new oven, and I learned quickly that it runs hot and that cake can make you want to cry. Don’t be like me, kids. When your gut says take your cake out of the oven even though the recipe says an hour and you don’t currently own any toothpicks, just do it.

Madeira Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

However, I feel confident in sharing this recipe with you anyway as I’ve made it several times and it always turned out beautifully before. Madeira cake is a lot like pound cake, but I’d say it’s a bit more dense with a more subtle sweetness and a distinct crust. This one has some lemon zest and juice in it, but I wouldn’t really call it a lemon cake. The citrus just adds a bit of brightness.

When you serve this cake, you’re going to want to dig out all the sweet jams, curds, spreads, and sauces you have hanging around your kitchen. Let each person choose their favorite topping. Then they can finish it off with a fat dollop of freshly whipped cream. A big steaming cup of tea or coffee never hurt anything, either.

It’s been crazy over here, but you know the world can’t keep me down for long. There’s too much awesomeness to explore and too many cakes to bake for me to give in to defeat, turn into a hermit, and start muttering to myself all day. Things will get easier. For all of us. I promise


Madeira Cake

Madeira Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

A dense, moist cake simply begging to be covered in jam and cream.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra for sprinkling
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 13/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray or butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan, then line with parchment paper. It’s okay to leave the short sides unlined.
  2. Sift together the two flours into a small bowl or onto some parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar. Beat it until it’s light in color and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and beat to combine.
  4. Add in the eggs plus a spoonful of our flour mixture one at a time, beating to combine each egg before adding in another.
  5. Turn your mixer as low as it will go, and slowly mix in the remaining flour. Finally, add in the lemon juice and beat on low until just combined.
  6. Scoop your thick batter into your waiting pan and smooth it out a bit. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top of your cake batter.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour. The cake will be brown on the outside with a definite crust, but you don’t want it to get too dark (like some people). Check it with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
  8. Run a knife down the sides and use any overhang from your parchment paper to help you remove the cake to a wire rack to cool. Serve with jam and cream if you like.


  • Serving Size: 8
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