Madeira Cake – Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

I like Nigella’s Madeira cake so much I wanted to try someone else’s version so Mary Berry’s from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible was the obvious choice. This cake includes ground almonds and has quite different quantities of ingredients to Nigella’s. I made it alongside Nigella’s so we could do a family taste test. The conclusion was that both were very good. Jon slightly preferred Mary’s, Conor and I preferred Nigella’s but both were very good. You’d need to be careful to ensure people realised this contains nuts as it isn’t obvious.


  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 3 large eggs
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • a thin slice of citron peel (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease an 18cm deep round cake tin (or a 2lb loaf tin) and line base with baking parchment.
  2. Put butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and grated lemon into a large bowl. Beat for 1 minute to mix thoroughly. Turn into prepared tin and level the surface.
  3. Bake in pre-heated oven for 60 minutes. If using the slice of citron peel remove cake after 30minutes. place slice of citron peel on top and put back into oven.
  4. Leave in tin for 10minutes to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.

3 thoughts on “Madeira Cake – Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

  1. This came out stodgy. I now realise that you have omitted to add the juice of the lemon in the ingredients list. Hence one wasted cake. !!!

    • Mary Berry’s recipe does not include lemon juice. I made the recipe exactly as detailed in her book (and above) and it came out just fine. I’m afraid there must be some other reason why yours came out stodgy. It is a more dense madeira cake than Nigella’s
      It may be you overbeat the mixture, or the temperature of your oven may not be accurate (check with an oven thermometer). Alternatively try Nigella’s madeira cake recipe, it is lighter (and from memory I think it does include the lemon juice although I’d have to check to be sure).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s