How To Bake A Madeira Cake

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Tender, buttery and lemony, the English Madeira Cake is the perfect treat to be enjoyed with tea or coffee. Its simplicity belies its amazing flavor—sweetness perfectly balanced with zesty lemon. The texture is so tender and moist that the cake simply melts in your mouth! This cake is a great choice for a weekend brunch, or any time you're craving a lemony treat!

Reprinted with permission from The European Cake Cookbook

How To Bake A Madeira Cake
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A bright, lemony Madeira Cake is perfect for a summer party.
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil (optional)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 335°F (168°C). Line two 8-inch (20-cm) cake rounds with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon zest, lemon oil (can be substituted with more lemon zest) and the sour cream; mix until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, mixing just until the flour is combined.
  4. Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the layers completely on a wire rack.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the candied lemon: slice the lemons into thin slices. Combine the sugar and water in a large frying pan; cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon slices in one layer, cooking in 2 to 3 batches if necessary. Cook over medium heat until the lemon becomes translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the lemon slices onto a wire rack. Retain all the remaining lemon-sugar syrup for soaking the cake layers.
  6. Soak the cooled cake layers with lemon syrup. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon glaze. Combine the freshly squeezed lemon juice with the confectioners’ sugar. Adjust the sugar to reach desired consistency. Pour half the glaze over the first cake layer and the remaining over the second layer. Garnish the cake with the candied lemon slices.
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