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Perfect Tea-Time Madeira Loaf

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The Perfect Tea-Time Madeira Loaf with a smear of butter. Easy, delicious, and effortless to whip up in a rush.

What is Madeira cake made of?

Madeira cake was developed as an accompaniment to this favorite alcoholic beverage. This type of cake is dense, moist, and rich in flavor. The main ingredients are very simple, usually consisting only of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Madeira is considered a type of sponge cake, which uses no shortening.

Madeira cake is a sponge or butter cake in traditional British and Irish cookery. It is sometimes mistakenly thought to originate from the Madeira Islands; however, that is not the case as it was named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine from the islands, which was popular in England in the mid-1800s and was often served with the cake. Madeirans produce their own traditional cake – bolo de mel, a dark, spicy, honey cake – which is very different from Madeira cake. Nowadays, the English Madeira cake is often served with tea or liqueurs.

A Few More Serving Suggestions:

Perfect Tea-Time Madeira Loaf
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Perfect Tea-Time Madeira Loaf

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf, approximately 10-12 slices 1x
  • Category: Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies and Tarts


The Perfect Tea-Time Madeira Loaf with a smear of butter. Easy, delicious, and effortless to whip up in a rush.


Units Scale


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.
  2. Grease a loaf pan with soft butter and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the butter and add the milk to it, mix and set aside.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  5. Using an electric hand mixer beat eggs and sugar for 8 minutes until it’s doubled in volume.
  6. Mix in lemon zest and vanilla essence.
  7. Add the flour and the melted butter and give it a quick mix with the electric mixer until almost combined.
  8. Add the milk and give it another quick mix.
  9. If there are little bits of flour visible that’s OK.
  10. Do not overmix.
  11. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. If the cake is getting brown too soon, cover with a piece of foil
  13. Leave the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  14. Cool cake on a cooling rack and cut only when completely cold.
  15. If needed, feel free to store any leftovers in an airtight container for a maximum of 3 days.
  16. It will also freeze well, but wrap in cling wrap and then in tinfoil before freezing it.

Bakers Notes

  1. I find adding all the ingredients quickly at the end prevents me from overmixing.
  2. However, feel free to use a method that works for you


Prepared, tried, and tested by Edward from SA Tasty Recipes – Saffas Daily Recipes 


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 396
  • Sugar: 32
  • Sodium: 328
  • Fat: 21
  • Saturated Fat: 10
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10
  • Trans Fat: 1
  • Carbohydrates: 48
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 5
  • Cholesterol: 119
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