Eliza Acton’s Madeira Cake recipe was published in her Modern Cookery book in 1861. It’s an old fashioned typical English madeira which depends on good butter, eggs at room temperature and well sifted flour for success. The temperature of the oven is crucial too, and this is something that you will learn to tweak after you’ve made this madeira cake a time or two. For everyone’s oven is different, and where a setting of 325F will be the ideal setting in one oven, 300F may be better in the next. The depth and shape of tin used will also affect the length of baking time needed.
I like this cake thinly sliced and buttered, just like my Gran preferred hers. The texture of the cake lends itself to very thin slices, and the crust tastes just right too.
If liked, the cake can be sprinkled with castor sugar, and a few thin slices of candied lemon peel used to decorate the top.