Madeira Cake Squares

Madeira cake got its name in the 19th century when it was served in the morning accompanied by madeira and similar sweet wines. Lemon curd is spread in the centre and a lemon icing on top to make a more indulgent madiera cake but if you prefer simply serve the cake without these dusted with a little icing sugar.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour


Madeira Cake

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon

Lemon Butter Icing

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Lemon Curd

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • juices and zest of 1 lemon


  1. Madeira Cake: Beat the caster sugar and butter together until creamy. While mixing add the eggs one at a time until they are well combined. Beat the sifted flour in gradually until well mixed. Finally mix in the lemon juice and zest.
  2. To Bake: Preheat an oven to 160° C and grease square cake tin. Spread the cake mix evenly in the cake tin. Place the tin in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until it has risen, golden and is firm to touch. To test if it is ready insert a thin knife or skewer in the centre it should come out clean if the cake is ready.
  3. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
  4. To Assemble: When the cake has cooled slice it through the centre into two halves. Spread the lemon curd evenly over the bottom slice. Place the second half on top and spread the lemon icing over the cake. Slice the cake into 5cm squares and place them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. Alternatively you can simply dust the slice with a little icing sugar.
  1. Lemon Curd: Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until they are thick. Place the lemon zest, juice and butter in a pan over a moderate-low heat. Stir in the egg mixture and cook the curd slowly, while stirring it with a wooden spoon until it thickens. Allow the curd to cool before using. Refrigerate the curd in a sealed container until ready to use.
  1. Lemon Icing: Beat the butter with the icing sugar until creamy, mix in the lemon juice until well combined. The icing should be thick but of a spreadable consistency.