Madeira Cake

This traditional Madeiran Cake is a seasonal favorite, best served with a glass of Madeiran wine or coffee.

This honey-infused cake comes with its own unique customs. Usually prepared and stored for up to a year, Madeira Honey Cake is traditionally linked to Christmas. Usually it’s prepared on December 8, the day of Nossa Senhora da Conceição however it can be found in shops year-round.



  • 45g finely chopped raisins

  • 45g finely chopped walnuts

  • 45g chopped almonds

  • 250g all purpose flour, sieved

  • 1tsp baking soda

  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground star anise

  • 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 55g vegetable shortening

  • 85g brown sugar

  • 2 medium eggs

  • 8g active dry yeast

  • 175g honey

  • Blanched almonds to garnish


  1. Mix half the flour with the chopped nuts and dry fruits, so it is all evenly coated. Set it aside.
  2. Sift the remaining flour with the baking soda and ground cloves, cinnamon, star anise, yeast and set aside.
  3. Now cream together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar until you have a fluffy consistency.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time and mix thoroughly.
  5.  Add the honey and give it one final stir with the hand mixer.
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients to this and fold gently using a spatula. The batter should be quite loose.
  7. Fold in the fruits and nuts mixture that is coated with flour. The batter should be quite thick.
  8. Transfer the batter to a large well-greased bowl, cover with a clean dry cloth, and leave to proof for 2 hours. Note: It will rise only slightly, but will be spongy and light.
  9. Grease and line an 8 inch pan.
  10.  After 2 hours stir the batter down and transfer it to the greased pan.
  11.  Using whole almonds make daisy type flower on the top of the batter.
  12.  Cover with a cloth and allow to proof again for 90 minutes.
  13.  Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  14.  Bake in the over for 60 to 70 minutes or until it begins to pull away from the edges of the pans and feel springy to the touch.
  15.  Cool the cake for 10 minutes, loosen the sides with a knife and turn the cake out. Allow to cool, drizzle with Madeira wine, then cut and serve.