I spent several hours on Friday night baking for the bake sale I mentioned participating in. I made double chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt and lemon-drenched lemon cake – two of my favourites! But of course, since I was packaging it up for other people I didn’t get a chance to steal myself a slice of cake and so I was left hankering for something lemony.
Enter this cake. Yes, lemony, but a completely different beast to that other one. This is much more of a simple everyday cake, jazzed up with some lemon zest and juice and perfect if you’re in the mood for something sweet but not dessert-like or cloying.
I always thought that Madeira cake came from the islands of Madeira, but no! Evidently, centuries back in the U.K. it was popular to eat a slice of this cake with a glass of Madeira wine. If you have some on hand then please give it a go and report back but personally I’d recommend it with a good cup of tea. Enjoy!
adapted from Nigella Lawson
- 240g/8.25oz softened unsalted butter
- 200g/7oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 large eggs
- 320g/ 2.5 cups all-purpose/plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC/330F. Butter a 9- by 5- inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf tin, buttered and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light, and add the lemon zest.
- Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each egg to prevent the mixture curdling.
- Gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice. Transfer batter to prepared pan and sprinkle with about 2 tbsp sugar. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
- Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out.