Basic 20cm square madeira cake
- 450g butter, at room temperature
- 450g caster sugar
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 3tsp vanilla extract
- 450g self-raising flour
- 75g plain flour
- 20cm square cake tin
Preheat your oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease and line your cake tin(s) with baking paper.
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric hand-whisk until the mixture is pale and creamy.
Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract, whisking between each addition, until well combined.
Sieve the self-raising and plain flour together into the bowl, then gently fold into the mixture using a large metal spoon.
Transfer the mixture into the tin, smooth the top with the back of a spoon and bake in the oven – time it according to the tin size (see left). The cake is done when it is golden brown, springs back when lightly pressed, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts to brown too much before the centre is cooked through, gently lay a piece of baking paper over it to protect it for the rest of the baking time.
After removing the cake from the oven, leave it to cool in the tin for 15 mins then turn out, peel off the baking paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.