Cakes · Fiesta Friday · Gluten-Free

Recipe Redux: Madeira Cake (GF)

madeira cake

Hello, hello, hello! I was searching around for inspiration for a gluten-free treat to bring to the party this week, while I make preparations for my Australia Day recipes. I couldn’t find something that struck me, until I realised I had a whole host of recipes on my blog, from back when I first started writing, which were not gluten-free. I thought it would be a lot of fun to redo those recipes as gluten-free, and see how I would change them, adapt them, and generally remake them to suit my taste and skill level now!

I was looking at some of the starting recipes on my blog, and I saw a particular post about cooking cakes with a friend. I decided to have a look at re-doing the Madeira cake recipe we cooked, all those years ago, and see about making it gluten-free. Now, all my readers should know by now that I absolutely love The Australian Women’s Weekly. But when I first started getting serious about baking and the like, I turned to a classic cookbook which I am pretty sure is older than I am. The Family Circle Recipe Encyclopaedia. We have always had this book in our family, and despite it being old, battered and generally worn out – it still has some delicious recipes and plenty of wisdom.

I tweaked this recipe a bit, after some research I added more moisture to account for the gluten-free flour swap. I also added a touch of lemon juice to up the lemon flavour within the cake itself. I then mish-mashed their recipe with another recipe I quite liked, in order to use their delicious and decorative topping for the Madeira cake. Sadly, I often think Madeira cake is seen as being quite plain. It is definitely a good base recipe to use for making other things, such as trifle. But with a little work it can really sing as a citrus-y, lemon-y cake in it’s own right! The texture for this cake was just gorgeous, and it looked so lovely when the icing was set and the candied lemon slices were in place!

Something else incredibly wonderful happened this weekend! A neighbour came past and asked if I was still blogging, and if I would like some old plates and tea towels she was getting rid of. I immediately said – Oh my god, yes! Yes please! She then proceeded to hand me armfuls of fantastic, colourful plates, and a whole bunch of tea towels in colours I haven’t been able to get! I’m still polishing up some of the gorgeous silver pieces she gave me, and am incredibly grateful for her thinking of me! So I hope lots of good things have happened on everyone else’s weekends too!

Happy FF!

Adapted from the Family Circle’s and Sarah Hobbs’

Madeira Cake

Serves: 6-8, Prep: 20-25 mins, Cook: 40-45 mins

Cake Ingredients:

  • 155g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange/lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free self-raising flour, sifted
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Icing Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups/230g icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Candied Lemon Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup/100g caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup/60ml water
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160-170C fan-forced). Grease and line a 22cm springform cake pan.
  2. Beat the butter and rind for a few moments. Add sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and lemon juice and beat well.
  3. Fold in the almond meal and flour until just combined, and the mix is smooth.
  4. Spoon the mix into the tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Leave the cake to cool for 10 mins and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. While the cake is cooling, combine the sugar and water for the candied lemons in a frying pan and heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Add the lemon slices, and increase the heat until the mixture is simmering gently. Simmer, turning the lemon slices occasionally, for about five to seven minutes or until the lemon is translucent. Cool in the pan for five minutes, then gently transfer to a lined plate to cool completely.
  8. Once the cake is completely cold, prepare the icing. Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake, and then top with the candied lemon slices.
  9. Serve.

30 thoughts on “Recipe Redux: Madeira Cake (GF)

  1. I do love Madeira cake. My dad asks me to make this for him all the time. Although I don’t have icing on the top instead before I out the mixture in the oven I sprinkle over sugar, so when it comes out the oven it has a kinda sugar encrusted top to it.


  2. Such a gorgeous cake! Bright and citrusy, from the cake to the icing and those lovely candied lemons. How sweet that was of your neighbour 🙂 Sounds like you’ll have plenty of fun taking pictures!


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