Friday, September 21, 2012

Madeira -The English Sponge Cake

There are many times I wish to make things very healthy, but when it comes to some special occasion somehow I tend to go little soft. It’s just that I don’t vouch for rich foods all the time, that doesn’t mean I would starve out myself either.

In Sanskrit there is a phrase “ Tena Tyaktena Bhunjita”- actually it's a part of a shloka in Upanishad…which means eat, but with sacrifice and eat what is allotted to you  without being submissive to desires.So, whenever these high calorie desert is made in our home, we do eat but in moderation. Seriously, I don’t see myself making this cake again in coming three or four months, I do think this much of period is required to balance off the butter in our body that goes into making this cake. Ok that was exaggeration, do make this cake and invite friends, don’t eat it alone and you will see the effect is reduced, or give a mischievous smile when your friends eat more than you did, or better picture them with their pot belly and this cake slice in their hands, see it will make you happy and much better calm person or may be it’s the reverse of all the picturisation. Whatever is the scenario, time now for me to bake this cake again but eating at the end in moderation. Meanwhile, start baking this cake yourself; recipe has been shared, what is stopping you now.

Actually I have completely stopped baking with butter; it’s mostly with cooking oil or sunflower oil that I normally use for our day-today cooking. So, when last time our dear daughter tasted Madeira cake loaf by M&S, she kept asking for me to bake this cake in home. Madeira cake is one elegant and royal English sponge cake which has huge amounts of butter, actually this to our own standards, may be not for everyone out there, who are so fond of this cake.
So, when couple of weeks ago it was dear daughter’s birthday, she particularly asked me to bake this cake, I was kind of thinking she would pick her favorite chocolate cake or the black forest cake, but then she really wanted Madeira cake this time. It seems just yesterday that she being a tiny little baby with soft cotton like body, all wrapped in soft clothes, looking so delicate, was handed to us in hospital , and now she is going to school. May be someday she would read this post once she grows up, don’t know how she will be reacting to all this, writing all in public.Well I leave it for that day only for the time being.

Well after many searches,this cake recipe was finally referred for guidelines, although I tweaked the amount of butter, but please if you are a puritan or baking goddess, don’t read this line.

Madeira cake
Recipe requirements
150 g of butter
150 g of caster sugar
3 free range eggs
225 g of self raising flour
3-4 tbs of milk or just enough to fold the batter
1-2 tsp of lemon zest

Cream together butter and sugar. Sometimes measuring is important so cut slabs, on the covering of many branded butter, if you can notice slabs are marked of 25 or 50 g, cut accordingly from a 250 g butter pack. And in case you won’t have those marked slabs then roughly  1/2 cup+1 tbs of butter is 150 g, if that makes some sense.
And also 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar is approx 150 g of sugar.
2 and 1/2 cups of tightly packed cake flour or the commonly known self rising flour is 225g.

Ok after all the calculations, interpretation and integration. Let’s start the real process.
Preheat oven at 170 deg C.
Cream sugar and butter very well.
Add in one egg at a time, mixing through very well. Use other two eggs similarly.Sometimes egg yolks are mixed first then egg whites beaten separately is added later on , just gently folding in so that the air don't escape, and this makes the cake velvety and light.
Sieve/sift the flour. I happen to use M&S self rising flour. You can use any other cake flour as well.
Now add in flour to the sugar, butter and egg mixture. Add in lemon zest.
Add in milk, just enough to make the cake batter like a dropping consistency.
Now line up a cake tine, or sandwich tin. I end up using two sandwich tin for making double layer cake. Tip- Trace out the round in baking paper, and then cut it out and put the paper in cake tin, this way the cake comes out smooth and even after flipping the cake.
Bake both the cake in preheated oven for 15-20 mints. And to be precise if possible at low temperature.Madiera cake is a premium sponge cake and needs to be baked at low temperature. If baking the cake below 170 deg C or at 150 deg C,then work through the time or precisely  increase the time accordingly.
Take out after it has been baked, check with a toothpick if it’s clean when put deep into the middle. Sometimes sides are cooked quickly as compared to the middle portion. For this, TIP- put a tray with enough water to keep the cake moist in a lower rack while it’s baking or put another tray over the top rack so the heat don't get directly to cake, and put the cake tins in the middle rack of the oven.As a practice I generally put a tray over the top rack and bake the cake placing the cake tin in the middle rack.
These are all tried and tasted methods to keep the cake moist and prevent it from over cooking as this sponge cake is cooked very quickly and comes very moist.
Note- Since I made two cakes in two separate sandwich tins so, the time is decreased, however if you are using a big cake tin, which  used to make pound cakes then please refer the original recipe.
Let it cool it off completely and then decorate whatever way you prefer.

Happy Cooking Friends


  1. I love cakes like this and yours just looks so so yumm.

  2. I can see the soft and fluffy cake. Perfectly made Jaya. Surely very delicious.

    Today's recipe:

  3. Perfectly baked and spongy,love the texture,awesome.
    Your daughter sure must have enjoyed it,bookmarked

    1. Yeah she liked it a lot..and do let me know if you try it sometimes..hugs

  4. wonderfully made Jaya. i even hardly bake with butter, its mostly saffola gold at my place. but butter or no butter this tastes yum am sure.

    1. For sponge cakes, butter is the best option...Yeah oil diye ami o tuiri kori ..hugs

  5. very soft and moist cake

  6. Ami cake er jonne butter ar vegetable oil dutoi use kori and satisfied with the results. Tomar cake ta ki shundor bhabe even hoye phuleche...No cracks...Lovely...

    1. Eyi ta tumi bolle ..ami mone holo certificate pelaam :-))..hugs

  7. Cake ta ki darun hoyeche ar soft je seita bojhai jache slice ta dekhe. Pound cake re moton ki khete ? A'r jonmodiner onek onek bhalobasha roilo, eibar ki 7 na 8.

    1. Hain onek ta pound cake er moton kinto poriman ta pound noye LOL,.8 holo and samay taratari chole jache ..hugs

    2. Since you asked Sandeepa- pound cake ta besh rich, moist and dense hoye , because of the butter that goes into it...and sponge ta light and ekto dry'er dike thakhe..eggs ke bhalo korey fetiye add korte hoye n that gives the volume to the cake...hugs

  8. oh this cake just looks so perfect! And the recipe is so amazingly easy! This one is going on my to-bake list.

  9. deliciously delicious.....

  10. hi, i tried so many recipes of simple sponge cake but failed all the ways.. ur recipe looks so simple and snaps are so gorgeous... it is a must try for me :) thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe.


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