Recipe | Cherry Madeira Cake

The Great British Bake Off is back on TV tonight and I cannot wait! To get in the mood I’ve been doing some baking.

The signature challenge for the contestants tonight is to bake a madeira cake, which is a traditional English vanilla sponge. I’m sure the contestants on the Bake Off tonight will turn the simple sponge on it’s head and make some ambitious decisions regarding presentation and flavour combinations. However, not being a very experienced baker myself, I decided to go for an easy cherry madeira loaf cake. It might not meet Mary and Paul’s standards but it’s a really simple recipe to follow and a slice of the finished cake is the perfect afternoon pick me up.



  • 1 punnet of cherries

  • 120g unsalted butter

  • 120g golden caster sugar

  • 170g plain flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/150ºC fan. Line a loaf tin with grease-proof paper.

  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs gradually and add the vanilla extract. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and fold into the mixture. Half and pit the cherries then gently fold them in too.

  3. Transfer the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top. Bake for an hour until risen and golden and skewer comes out clean.

It really is that simple – if I were you, I’d get baking so you have something to enjoy whilst watching the Bake Off tonight and avoid cake envy (yes, it’s a thing!)