Gloomy Day Bakes: Buttery Madeira Loaf

It's not very often I get a weekend off work. During the week I have a full time job and on top of that, a part time job at the weekend. Yep, that's 7 days a week, every week, guys. But with Chinese New Year coming up next week, I'd planned for our annual massive spring clean this Saturday, (with Sunday to recover.) For those who don't know, it's tradition to have a massive clear out prior to the the New Year so you welcome in the New Year all clean, tidy and proper.

On the rare occasion I do get time off I'm always constantly planning on what I could possibly bake. And in this instance, it was no different. Even though my schedule was already jam packed full of activities (carpet cleaning, food prepping, bedroom tidying...) I was willing to squeeze in a quick baking sesh.

My brother's absolute favourite cake is, without a doubt, the humble madeira loaf. (Honestly he can quite easily eat a whole loaf to himself when armed with a mug of tea- he loves it that much...) Light, dense crumbed but melt in the mouth, moist, buttery cake. I've always tried to recreate our absolute favourite Marks & Spencer shop bought version but unfortunately I've yet to find a recipe that even comes close.

This recipe admittedly is quite good, but lacks in the texture that I'm looking for. However it would still be a great companion with a cup of tea on a gloomy, rainy day like today. Make sure to use a good quality butter- this will add to the buttery fragrance.

Yields 1 loaf
Recipe adapted from All Recipes


110g caster sugar
110g butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp liquid glucose (or golden syrup, as used in the original recipe)
175g self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin (I used approx 7" x 4" tin) and set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, or an electric hand whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until very pale and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking in between each addition until incorporated. 
  5. Add the liquid glucose and vanilla and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Sift in the flour and salt and fold into the mixture using a spatula.
  7. Spoon into your prepared loaf tin and smooth the top (mixture will be quite thick).
  8. Using a knife, draw a line down the length of the batter so that it creates a kind of trench- this will ensure a lovely 'crack' running down the loaf once baked.
  9. Bake for 35-40 mins, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly.


  • If the cake browns too quickly, cover lightly with aluminium foil
  • The use of liquid glucose helps to keep the cake moist, as sugar is hydroscopic. 


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.