August 19, 2017

Baking The Perfect Madeira Cake

After several requests from workshop students, I am posting the “Madeira Cake” blog.  Good luck and hope this helps you.

Before working at Lindy’s I had never made a Madeira cake.  My first attempts weren’t great – they came out of the oven domed, very crispy on the outside and really dry.  I had conquered the decorating but the cakes weren’t getting eaten! So Lindy set me a challenge –  to create the perfect Madeira!

Well it’s taken three attempts and I’ve cracked it.  I used Lindy’s 8” Round Madeira recipe (see below).
Here are the extra tips Lindy has given me from her years of  baking experience, plus a few of my own :

  1. Use real unsalted butter.  Margarine and spreads have a too high water content.
  2. Make sure you take your butter and eggs out of the fridge so they can reach room temperature.
  3. Lindy’s Madeira should be cooked at 160°C but, as I have a fan oven, I turn it down 20 degrees to 140°C and place a bowl of water on the shelf.  My oven has baking trays that slide directly into it so I put one tray in for the cake to sit on and place another tray above it giving enough room for the cake tin plus about three inches clearance.  If you don’t have trays that slide in, just use the shelves and place a baking sheet under the cake and on the shelf above.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until white.  What I do is turn on the mixer and leave it to do it’s thing while I get on with the next stage.  This will take about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Line the inside of the tin as usual and then line the outside of the tin with newspaper – I use lots – at least 5 pages folded to about the height of the tin and secured with Sellotape.  This means that the cake will cook slower around the outside and more evenly throughout so you do not end up with a dome in the middle.
  6. After I have added the eggs (each with a little flour to stop curdling) I then add the flavouring.  Lindy’s recipe asks for the zest of two lemons.  I love lemony flavours so I add the zest of four lemons and the juice of half a lemon (make sure you put a good spoonful of flour in with this to stop curdling).  At this stage you can add glycerine.  You need ¼ teaspoon per egg.  This helps to keep the cake moist.  Add the remainder of the flour and gently fold in.
  7. When you spoon the mixture into the baking tin you need to scoop out the middle, so all the mixture is around the side of the cake tin and you can see the tin at the bottom (a bit like a ring doughnut!)  Don’t be nervous and just make a small dip in the middle – you really need to scoop it up the sides of the tin.
  8. Put it in the oven and bake for 1½ hours.  Check after this time with a skewer in the middle.  If it comes out clean the cake is done.  If not, depending on how much ingredient sticks to the skewer, give it 10 minutes more until the skewer comes out clean.  My cakes take longer than the recipe states because of the newspaper the lower cooking temperature – usually about 2-2¼ hours so don’t worry if it is still a bit “wobbly” at 1¾ hours.  Just check every 10 minutes.
  9. Leave your cake in the tin to cool, then transfer to a cooling rack.

This should produce a firm but moist cake.  Why not have a go!

Jane Dolder

Madeira baked as a mini cake

Madeira baked as a mini cake using a multi mini tin

8” Madeira Cake

350g (12 oz)              Unsalted Butter

350g (12 oz)              Caster Sugar

350g (12 oz)              Self Raising Flour

175g (6oz)                 Plain Flour

6                                Large Eggs

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Grease and line the cake tin (pan) with baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light, fluffy and pale. Sift the flours together in a separate bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, one at a time, following each with a spoonful of flour, to prevent the mixture curdling.
  4. Sift the remaining flour into the creamed mixture and fold in carefully with a large metal spoon.
  5. Transfer to the lined bakeware and bake, see above but everyone’s oven is different.. When the cake is ready it will be well risen, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool then, leaving the lining paper on, wrap the cake in foil or place in an airtight container for at least 12 hours before cutting, to allow the cake to settle.

Different sized/shape tin? Please click here to see a simple chart for changing quantities

If you fancy having a go at baking a batch of madeira minis, we sell some wonderful sets of multi-mini tins, available through our online shop. They come in 3 sizes: 5cm (2in), 6.5cm (2.5in) and 7.5cm (3in), just click on the size that interests you for more information. Have FUN!



  1. Hi Yorkshaarlass,

    If the cake had been made with just buttercream then it might last (we usually say a Madeira will keep for 2 weeks), however we would not recommend eating it with the fresh cream custard.
    Sorry :-(


  2. Hi

    Oh boy am I confused!
    There are so many variations of cake measurements!!!

    I am baking a 10″ square cake and am no longer sure what quantities to use?

    Is it 8 eggs? And 16oz butter and sugar? What about flour?

    Thanks so much…I am useless at scaling up!

  3. Hi, I have a couple of questions. Do I have to cut the crust off the Maderia cake before I put fondant icing on it? As I have heard Madeira cake has a thick crust. And secondly how do you freeze cakes exactly as in do I need to wrap them or store them in something?

    Cheers Ollie

  4. Hi Ollie,

    You need to cut the top off of the Madeira before icing it as these bits can be quite hard.
    To freeze it you need to keep it in its baking paper, then wrap it again in baking paper then place it inside an airtight bag to prevent freezer burn.
    Hope you are enjoying baking.


  5. Hi Marina

    Just wanted to say thank you for your help, I shall be attempting my first Madeira cake this weekend so I shall let you know how I get on! :o)

    Cheers Ollie

  6. Hi Leanne,

    In lindy’s book Cakes to Inspire and Desire: there are various charts detailing the different sizes and quantities needed to bake various sized and flavoured cakes.
    For the 10″ square cake you need 12 eggs, 700g butter, 700g sugar, 700g self raising flour or 350g plain flour.
    Bake for 1 3/4 hours – 23 hours.

    Happy baking!


  7. Hi Lori,
    For the pirate ship birthday cake you need to make the well by pushing the mixture to the sides of the tin.
    The 9″x13″x2″ cake needs you to use 1.5 times the quantity of an 8″ round. You will need to make 2 of these.
    We got there by this calculation:
    Your cake needs to be 9x13x2 = 234 square inches
    The volume of an 8″ round is approx 147 square inches.
    234 (your tin) divided by 147 (8″ tin) is 1.5.
    So you are correct in needing 3 x the recipe as you are making 2 of these cakes.

    I hope this helps!


  8. Hi

    Just thought i’d update you! I made a 8″ square Madeira cake the other day and follwed all of the tips given on this blog and it appears to have turned out spot on, not decorated it yet doing that on Friday and the tasting it on Saturday at my sons party! :) Going to have a go a the Choclate Mud Cake today.

  9. Hi Ollie,

    Thats great to hear. Good luck with the Chocolate Mud Cake later on.


  10. Hi Lindy,
    I need to make 8″ round cake, in a tin that is 3.5″ deep. Could you advise me what quantities of ingredients I should be using, and also how deep the cakes should rise?

    I will be making two in total and cutting them down to 5-6″ square cakes (as I do not have that size/shape cake tin). Will these produce good results and is it easy to so?


  11. Hi

    I am making my own wedding cake. It will be made of 2 x Maderia cakes. One will be 10″ and the other 7″.

    Please can you advise the ingredient quantities for these sizes?

    Many thanks


  12. Hi Kim,
    The best answer to your query regarding quantities is to buy either of these books:
    as there are detailed charts that provide a lot of information on the ingredients and sizes.
    The book Celebrate with a cake has a recipe and directions on how to make a wedding cake, it takes you through the whole process step by step to making the perfect cake for you.
    Enjoy making your own cake, it will be so rewarding.


  13. Hello!
    I found this blog invaluable when making my first iced mareira cake for my daughter’s 3rd birthday (“mummy, I want a pink, sparkly fairy ballerina cake”). My amaturish 8″ pink sparkly creation with sugarpaste fairy was a triump!!/photo.php?fbid=477165270909&set=a.477165230909.260063.549335909&theater
    I have since really got into cake decorating and have now baked my daughters’ Christening cake for their joint Christening this weekend. Only problem is, like last time, this has turned into something of a cake ‘volcano’ despite scooping the middle out and turning the oven down. I turned our fan Neff oven down to 140o, and at 1hr the top was flat! Hooray, I though, then 5 mins later the top had started to crack and so I reduced the oven temp to 130. It still continued to rise, though not as dramatically, but the cake top is deeply cracked and not flat. Last time I sawed the top off prior to icing. It tasted fine, but if I am to continue I need some more advice about how to achieve the perfect cake!

    Many thanks,

  14. Right. Update on the cake ‘volcano’. I have now got the top tier in the oven. Bottom tier made yesterday. It is a 7″ as I couldn’t find a 6″ tin today! Despite turning the oven down to 130o with a really good scoup, the top tier has done the same as previously – flat until 1hr then raised up and split. The 8″ took about 2+ hours to cook in total. Could it be the fan setting? Would Neff top/bottom heat be better?
    I would appreciate any help!I have yet to cut the top off the btm tier, but the last 8″ cake had bigish holes.


  15. Hi Zoe,
    Glad to hear you are enjoying the information on this blog.
    The madeira will often be cracked, don’t worry about this, you did the right thing by levelling it off.
    Lindy uses a baking sheet (tray) just above the cake in the oven to stop it rising too much. Leave a small gap between the tin and the tray.
    It sounds like you are doing well and learning lots.
    Long may it continue!
    Good luck with the Christening cake, hope you have a lovely day.

  16. Hi Lindy,

    I came across your site related to the madeira cake and could you tell me please why my cakes look nice on the outside but inside are a still sticky and hard? My recipe was a bit different from yours but I will definately try it out!
    Thanks and regards
    Malta (Europe)

  17. Hi Katie,
    Lindy’s 2 books have guides and charts in to help change quantities for different recipes:
    This link on the blog may also help you:

    The perfect solution to baking various sized cakes is this Multi Size Tin:

    Happy baking!
    It allows for different volumes, gives the cake a lovely edge and saves you storage space too.

  18. Hi Anne-Marie,
    Have a go at Lindy’s Maderia and you will find yourself baking a perfect cake.
    Happy baking!

  19. andrea frost says:

    Second attempt at your maderia recipe. First time it was a bit dry. But I belive it was because I didn’t leave it to mature a little. As you say they get better with age.This time I made a 6″ round using 1/2 your recipe amounts as suggested. Did the hole in the middle thing, water in a bowl, ect ect. Looks perfect. I just hope I can wait long enough before I give in and taste it. I really neeed a good stable cake for carving . Fingers crossed.

  20. Excellent news Andrea. Glad it turned out well.

  21. Rakhi Jethwa says:

    Hi Lindy,
    I’m going to attempt this particular recipe for the madeira cake and see if it comes out more spongier and softer and tastier than the current recipe I have. My question however is what other recipes do you recommend if I want to bake a cake and then ice it with sugarpaste? Possibly to add as a tier on another cake? I am assuming the madeira cake is fine and also your chocolate cake recipe but what other recipes are strong enough to be used as a tier? Any suggestions or ideas? A list of all the suitable ones with links to recipes in your blog if you have them would be useful.

  22. Hi Lindy

    Am on my 2nd attempt at your madeira cake – the tin leaked on the first.
    Attempt 2 is in the oven but the mixture was very liquid and I couldn’t scoop it up the sides.
    The only thing I did differently was mix my eggs prior to adding a little at a time, because I always have problems with curdling (I struggle creaming/beating due to arthritic hands!)
    Am not sure about the final result but at the moment my cake is looking less like a cake and more like an enormous omlette! Any advice?! (other than buy a mixer!)
    Best wishes and thanks x

  23. Hi Rakhi,
    The madeira is great for using as a tier.
    You could also use the Chocolate Fudge Cake as one –
    and the Orange and Poppy Seed Recipe is a good one too, this is available in Lindy’s Book – Bake me I’m yours Cupcake Celebration-
    Have fun.


  24. Hi Trudi,

    We would recommend making this recipe with a mixer.
    The texture should be firm and not runny, maybe your quantities are a bit out on some of the ingredients.
    Good luck and treat yourself to a well earned new mixer!


  25. Hi Zoe,
    Firstly is your tin on a baking tray on top of the oven shelf and are you leaving a gap between the top of the tin and another tray?
    If not, try working this way.
    Also when you scoop make sure that the bottom has nothing in it at all, you should be able to see the base of the tin.
    It may bake better on the fan setting at 130 degrees throughout with the oven door not being opened.

    Click here for information which may help regarding holes:

    Good luck.


  26. Elise Rochelle says:

    I have a customer who would like a wonky chocolate cake for a wedding. Can I adapt your madeira cake and still keep the right consistency for carving?

  27. Hi Elise,
    Lindy’s Chocolate Fudge Cake is delicious and great for carving. Here is the recipe on the blog:
    This would be a better option than adapting the Madeira cake into a chocolate Maderia.
    Have fun!


  28. becca boo says:

    the cake is emense [that means brilliant],i just have one question,was it supposed to look like a pancake?

  29. becca boo says:

    my mum just says it didnt when she tried?

  30. lola rose luck says:

    i have just made it but i think it might go wrong!i hope it dont as its my dads for his birthday and i want him to think im good good at making cakes. hope it goes good for uz.

  31. You’re so right, baking is a science. It took me a year to get my cakes look a bit better… But THIS is such a great advice!!! Today, it helped me with a major break-through with my baking. WAU. If I may, I have 2 additional questions, 1. when should I freeze the madeira if I want it to stay as fresh as possible – baked today, order is due 16th April, and 2. as the recipie says, eggs should be added by one… but on a contrary, “whisk the eggs before you add them?” so I put all the eggs into one bowl, beat them, and then I add just the amount I quess equals volume of one egg, then flour… it worked brilliant today. So my main question is the freezing really ;o)) Thank you!

  32. Joanne Blunt says:

    I’m about to make my first madeira cake but I have got a 2 inch high tin so was wondering how this recipe would work as it says the cake rises to 3 inches? Would I just put less mix in the tin?

  33. Thank you Marina for the top tips. The Christening cake was an astounding creation and a complete success despite rising slightly and my butterflies cracking down the middle (glued back together with royal icing). The smaller top tier rose less than the larger bottom tear.I only have one baking sheet, so I have been puttnig the cake tin on this on Neff oven shelf 2 position (recommended for sponge cakes). I now will go out and buy another to see whether this makes a difference. My next creation will be my own birthday cake to take away for a joint celebration with my friends. I think I will try making the chocolate fudge!

  34. I have been scooping out completely as well! I think the top tier benefitted from being cooked at 130oC. Sorry, should have added this to my last post. This blog is the best for cake bakers!

  35. Hi lindy

    could you please tell me the recipe for a 10inch round cake how long do i need before i can sugar past it

    Thankyou so much

  36. Hi i have been teaching myself to bake as i cant find a baking course.I am making my first 2 layer cake and icing it.I think your tips are amazing but i just dont get the scooping out the middle part??

  37. Hi Guys
    Baking my first madeira cake, ive learnt soooo much from reading all the comments, like the paper round the tin and the hole in the middle of the mixture.
    Im making my niece a birthday cake to feed an army ha ha, so am attempting to make a very big madeira cake. Ive used the ingrediants as stated at the top, and got a few tips too from the co op ladies :-0
    I always wondered why my cakes rose to high in the middle and my outside edges were crispy.
    Fantastic site, ive saved it as my favs, will be checking back here alot xxxxxxxxx Donna x

  38. Hi, I have my son’s birthday cake to make this thursday, could you tell me the quantities nedded for a 12″square and a 9″square please.

  39. Hi Vivien,

    To change quantities for different size cakes this link will help you:
    Once the cake is cold and settled you can sugar paste it. Lindy tends to leave it overnight before decorating it.

    Enjoy your baking!


  40. Hi Helen,

    The chart on this link will help you with changing quantities for different size tins:
    I hope you enjoy making your son’s birthday cake and more importantly eating it!


  41. Hi Sahib,
    Scooping helps with the shape of the baked cake. You can literally leave virtually nothing in the middle of the tin, pushing it all out to the sides. This will give you a lovely flat cake rather than domed.
    Enjoy creating your first 2 layer cake.

  42. Hi Karolina,

    Lindy freezes the madeira as soon as it is cooled.
    I’m glad you are doing so well and learning lots. There is always something to learn in cake baking and decorating.


  43. Hi Becca Boo/Lola Rose Luck,

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed the cake for your dad’s birthday.
    Here is a blog post about some of the problems people come across when baking madeira cakes, this may help you when you are ready to make another one –

  44. Hello Team

    Can you please let me know if the eggs used in the Madeira are medium or large? I can’t find a reference to what size to use – making a 9″ square in about an hours time – help please!


  45. Hi Rachel,

    The eggs in the Madeira cake are large.
    Hope it goes well for you.


  46. Jacqueline says:

    Just made my first madeira following your recipe. It has turned out perfectly! thank you.This wasn’t to be decorated as client requested a plain cake, I simply wrapped the outside with a baking strip and that worked a treat(they actually work!) I shall be using this recipe again:-)

  47. HI need help! making a cake for my daughters christening, trying to make a 10 inch, follwed all instructions to the T but it is like a brick on top and raw in the middle after 3 1/2 hours, i have used newspaper, bowl of water, glycerine, trays on the shelves but its not working!

  48. Hi Sarah,

    It sounds like your over is a bit fierce. We would try again using a lower temperature (20 degress less minimum) and possibly for a little longer.
    Good luck.


  49. Janet Jones says:

    I made this cake yesterday for my granddaughters 1st birthday, in an 8inch round tin, I followed the instructions to the letter and can happily say its turned out lovely. I was getting a bit worried after reading all the comments on this page but needn’t have. its now in the fridge covered in buttercream icing awaiting the final stage of decorating the cake with the pink icing.

  50. Hi. Can I use a magimix to make maderia cake or should the butter and sugar be creamed by hand (hard work)or by using an electric whisk. Do not have a large mixer. Want to make a 10″ square cake but I know my little electric mixer will struggle. I will be doubleing ingredients. How long should it take to cook?

  51. Hi
    Can anyone tell me if using a food processor, machine with beaters or doing it my hand is best for making the maderia cake? Also how long should you leave the cake before you suagrpaste it? Thanks

  52. Well done Janet, I hope you enjoyed making your granddaughters birthday cake.

  53. Followed your recipe and the cake is nearly done and look amazing gor my first try 😉 how long do I leave it before I decorate it tho??

  54. Nicola says:

    Perfection…well nearly 😉 thank you for sharing 😉

  55. Gemma Pitman-McGrath says:

    Its my mums 50th birthday in a few weeks and I plan on making her a teapot cake. I was/ am going to use this madeira recipe and the hints and tips mentioned. I was also wondering about freezing the cake but that question ahs been answered there is one other question I would like to ask…when using a spherical ball tin is there any special considerations i need to think about..ive not used one before. Im going to use the 8 inch recipe.
    Thank you in advance!
    Gem x

  56. HI Pam,
    The madeira recipe usually needs a strong processor such as a Kenwood Chef.
    However if you have not got this, its best to make sure the butter is soft before using a hand whisk.
    Enjoy making it!

  57. leighann says:

    hi could u tell me if temp times are on a fan assisted or none assisted oven, im baking my nieces b-day cake in 3 weeks and need to test run things xx

  58. Hi Leighann,
    Lindy’s Madeira should be cooked at 160°C but, if you have a fan oven, turn it down 20 degrees to 140°C and place a bowl of water on the shelf.
    Enjoy baking it.

  59. Hi Gemma,
    When using a spherical ball tin you bake the 2 halves and then stick them together with buttercream.
    Have fun creating you mum’s teapot cake.

  60. Hi just wondering how long after baking the cake should you wait till covering it? Also does putting a bowl of water in the oven with trays make much difference I haven’t got room in the oven to do this?thanks

  61. Hi Naomi,

    Lindy usually leaves the cake for 24 hours before decorating it. The water really will help keep the cake moist, some water is better than none. Maybe an ovenproof mug or egg cups could be placed on the tray.

    Wishing you the best,


  62. Hi Nicola,

    Lindy recommends covering the cake 24 hours after baking it.



  63. Hi Lindy,
    I want to bake a madeira cake using your recipe and I have an open book cake pan measuring 15.5″ by 12″. I am at a loss as to the quantity of ingredients to use. Should I go with the 14″ round recipe? Please help.

  64. Thank you so much, this is superb!
    I followed your instructions to the letter and it came out absolutely perfect! The only trouble is it didn’t last very long as everyone enjoyed it so much :o)

  65. Mrs J Hall says:

    I want to make your Madeira cake in a 3 pt pudding bowl. Ive looked at your chart but not sure how I alter the quantaties for this size pudding bowl. Tried doing a recipe from a cook book that said 8″ round but wasnt enough & want to get the next one right. Was too worried about it overflowing!

  66. Could you post pictures of how the scooping procedure looks. I’m not quite sure what you mean by scooping up the middle and thenscooping it up on the sides….THanx maggie

  67. Jenny, it’s all about volume! Firstly you need to be familiar with a recipe and know what depth of cake it gives for a given size of tin. Next fill the tin with water to the cake depth that your recipe bakes. Measure this volume of water in a measuring jug and compare this to the 3 pints of your bowl. You will then know how many times to multiply or divide the recipe.
    Good Luck

  68. Netta, it’s all about volume! Fill the open book cake pan with water, measuring this volume of water using a measuring jug. My recipe gives a 7.5cm (3in) deep 20cm (8in) madeira cake which gives a volume of about 2.25 litres. Compare this to the volume you have measured for your pan. You will then know how many times to multiply or divide the recipe.
    Good Luck

  69. Hi Joanne
    yes a third less
    Good luck

  70. Maggie, as Jane says, your mixture should look a bit like a ‘ring doughnut’ i.e. there is no cake mixture in the middle of the tin it is all around the edges.
    I’ll try and remember to take a photo the next time I bake a madiera :-)

  71. Just to say a big thank -you!! This recipe worked perfectly… I have made many cakes over the years, but this did everything you said it would!

  72. Hi there

    I made this recipe last night and even though I added a bit of the flour mix after adding each egg, it still looked like the egg curdled the batter. I am whisking by hand…. am I perhaps mixing too much?


  73. Kathy Ferguson says:

    Hi there. My friends have asked me to make them a 3 tier wedding cake and although i am confident I’m not sure on the quantities needed for each cake. Could you please help me. I need to make the fruit one very soon so i can get feeding it!! The sizes are as follows; 14 Inch round fruit cake, 12 Inch chocolate madeira cake and 10 Inch Plain madeira cake. I also could do with knowing the amounts of icing needed and the thickness you would recommend for the icing. Ive made loads of cakes before so I’m really ok with the mixing up and cooking but its just the quantities and cooking times and temperatures for each. I hope you can help me. Regards. Kath.

  74. Veronika says:

    Hi Lindy,
    I’ve recently made a Madeira birthday cake for my boyfriend following your recipe and the cake turned out perfectly!! The cake was moist and very tasty! It was my first bigger project so I found all the tips on your website very helpful. Thank you!!
    I just wanted to share a few pictures with you

  75. Hi, I need to bake a 12 inch square cake. Would these tips work for a cake on a larger scale?

  76. Hi Paula,

    To stop the curdling we recommend one tablespoon of flour per egg. Maybe you needed to use more flour.

    Take care


  77. Hi,

    Just put this in the oven. I have a rectangular tin that I think is twice the volume of an 8″ round tin. But the quantaties above seemed large so I only made half as much again. I still ended up with much more than enough mixture. Are these amounts really for an 8″ round tin?


  78. Hi Kim,
    The tips that we have given will work on any size Madeira cake.
    Take care,


  79. Hi Kathy,
    Lindy’s book Cakes to Inspire and Desire covers all the questions (amounts, quantities, temps) you have asked regarding the 3 tier wedding cake you are making.
    Lindy recommends the depth of sugarpaste to be 5mm, and these spacers make the job of having level and even sugarpaste simple –
    Sugar and sweet

  80. Hi All

    I have been asked to make a cake in celebration of 25 years of the running of a charity. It will be for a party on 10th July and is to serve appx 100 portions.

    I would like to make a Madeira cake 12 inch square to ice and decorate and maybe another one or two kept plain for cutting into portions.

    I will use butter cream to cover the cake before using fondant icing to cover and decorate. Here are my questions please.

    What are the ingredients and measurements for a 12 inch’ square? Should I slice the cake in half to fill with jam and butter cream or leave as it is and how soon to 10th July can I leave to make it?


  81. Hi Rob,
    Did you use the chart on this linked blog post
    Lindy recommends looking at this when working out quantities….. hope this helps.

    Happy Baking !


  82. Hi Jules,

    Lindy has a two week rule re Madeira cake. One week to bake and decorate, and one week to consume! Hope this helps. With regard to your question re quantities, please find to follow a link that Lindy has created to help with quantity and measurement issues.

    Kind Regards


  83. Hi,

    I am planning to make and Ice my sons Birthday cake, white icing with black cow prints and a model of a cow on top. I am not very experienced with baking but am going to have a go at this Madeira cake. There will be about 20 people at the party.. do you think an 8inch cake will be big enough? Will it rise very high or should I make two and stack them?

  84. Hi I’m using a tiffin tin for a princess cake and I’m really struggling to get it cooked right, do you have any tips, I’m cooking it at 120 in a fan assisted oven for three hours or so but the top never seems properly cooked even though it’s firm to the touch and the knife comes out clean.

    Thank you!

  85. Hi Lindy,

    I followed your tips for baking a perfect madeira. I added a dish of water in the oven and wrapped paper around the edge of the tin. It turned out very well, looked lovely. I then spent a few days decorating it. I had to even out the top of the cake a little as it wasn’t completely flat and had a taste, it tasted very nice and moist. However, when we ate it last night, (it was a week old) the cake had gone quite dry, maybe a little stale.

    I was wondering if I stored it incorrectly or if it may have been due to the recent hot weather. I assumed that once covered (I used chocolate plastique) it would keep ok. I struggled to find an air tight container to fit the cake into but assumed the chocolate plastique would keep air out. I can’t find anything on your website about how to store a cake once it has been decorated. Please help, I’m sure it’s just a little something I’ve overlooked.

    Many thanks,


  86. Hi Layla,

    So sorry for the delay in our response, things have been crazy here at HQ, I think an 8 inch cake would feed 20, although not huge slices! The Madeira cake will rise, and can form a dome shape sometimes, once the cake has cooled you can always slice the top off slightly to level it, or flip it over and use the flat bottom side to decorate.

    Have a great party, I’m sure the cake will be a huge success!!


  87. Moo Eleven says:

    Hi, I made the madeira for a 6 yr olds birthday. We iced it to look like Sin Cara (WWE wrestler). I followed it to the letter and a LOT of fussy 6-10 yr olds later ALL gave the thumbs up. In fact, ALL said it was the nicest cake they’d ever eaten! And they have not been short on criticism of my past attempts!! LOL So thank you!

  88. Excellent news Gabrielle,
    Well done on your Madeira Sin Cara Cake.
    Peace, love and cake!

  89. Hi Maxine,
    Many thanks for your blog.
    If the cake never seems to be properly cooked, may we suggest you increase the temp by 20 degrees and reduce the cooking time by 10 mins.
    Everybody’s oven is different, so it is a matter of trial and error to get it exactly right.
    Do hope this helps and good luck


  90. Hi Nicola,
    We have had a discussion in the office as we have never used chocolate plastique and we have come to the conclusion that this must not be as air tight as perhaps sugarpaste. This would be the only reason we can think of that the cake would have dried out.
    Hope this helps

  91. Hi Lindy’s team

    I have been asked to make an Formula One racing car birthday cake for my grandson. I am experienced at cake making but have never done any of this kind of fancy cake decoration before, so this will be a first! I shall be pressed for time and so my questions are: “can I freeze the cake, carve the shapes, then re-freeze it until I am able to decorate it. And is this a safe thing to do and will the cake still be moist?”

    Thanks for your help.


  92. Hi Di,
    Yes it is best to carve it whilst it is frozen, unfortunately you will be unable to refreeze it.
    Lindy has a rule with this cake: one week to bake and decorate and one week to consume.
    Maybe this timing will help you.

    Best wishes

  93. Dee Brown says:

    I am making a 10in square cake but as it has a loose bottom I will not be able to measure the volume of water for increasing the recipe. Should I cover it with plastic so I can measure or can you give the increased amount of ingredients I should use, using your basic recipe.

  94. No problem working out the volumn of a square cake, just multiply the base x base x height measurement i.e. 10x10x3 = 300sq inches base recipe = 147 sq inches so times recipe by approx 2

  95. Hiya i am going to attempt this cake for my daughters 2nd birthday party, however there are a few people who don’t like lemon would it still work if i substituted the lemon zest for a splash of vanilla extract?

  96. Yes Laura, a madeira tastes delicious when flavoured with vanilla. You have lots of other options as well, I love coconut, some of my students says Baileys work really well or try adding a little dried fruit etc….. experiment to find a flavour you like – that what’s baking is all about!!!
    Happy baking Lindy

  97. hi im just looking for some help on where i can find a recipe that would tell me how much to put in a 10inch 8inch and 6inch im looking at cake dec courses at the mo but want to get cakes right 1st x

  98. Hi Sam,
    Good idea to get the cakes right before going on a cake decorating course. It will give you great confidence.
    This blog post will help you when trying to work out recipe quantities –
    Best wishes

  99. Hi,

    i have looked at you chart for resizing a maderia cake but I know I’m being completely stupid but I don’t understand it, I want to make a 9” square cake and when I look at your chart it says make my recipe 11/2 times bigger but does that mean I make the double the recipe and then another half of the recipe that would mean it had 15 eggs in it it seems an awful lot for a cake that isn’t going to be that much bigger??? Sorry for being so dim but could you please clarify this for me.

    Many Thank

  100. If I need to make a cake on the wednesday – will it a) be ok to ice on the sunday and b) will it still taste nice !