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This Gluten Free Madeira Cake is one of the simplest gluten free bakes – and a lovely loaf cake recipe to have in your kitchen repertoire. The simple sponge – also called gluten free Pound Cake – is lightly flavoured with vanilla and lemon, with a gorgeous golden colour.

GLUTEN FREE MADEIRA CAKE RECIPE
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Sometimes simplicity is best when it comes to baking and nothing is more true of this than a gluten free Madeira Cake.

Don’t be fooled by this unassuming cake – you simply cannot beat a slice of this soft, delicately flavoured sponge with a cup of tea.

If you’re a fan of cakes like my Gluten Free Victoria Sponge Cake or Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake, you’re guaranteed to love this.

Plus it also makes a great base for a Gluten Free Trifle when sliced up into fingers.

All you need to make this recipe are a few simple ingredients and some basic baking equipment and you’ll be enjoying a slice of this delicious cake in no time.

GLUTEN FREE MADEIRA CAKE RECIPE

Gluten Free Madeira Cake Ingredients

There’s a printable recipe card below with the full recipe but here are the main ingredients you will need as well as ideas for any substitutions:

  • Caster Sugar – In the US you’ll want to look for Baker’s Sugar for this recipe.
  • Unsalted Butter – I find it best to use this at room temperature or softened in the microwave slightly so it’s easier to mix. You can use a vegan butter instead for a dairy free Madeira cake recipe.
  • Plain Gluten Free Flour – I always use the FREEE Plain Gluten Free Flour as it’s available in most UK supermarkets. Any plain gluten free flour blend should work – in the US you’ll want an All Purpose gluten free flour.
  • Baking Powder – Always ensure your baking powder is gluten free as some are not safe. If you prefer to use a self-raising gluten free flour instead of plain, you only need to add 1 tsp of baking powder to the mixture.
  • Xanthan Gum – A little goes a long way! This helps to replicate the texture of the gluten. Omit it if you cannot tolerate it (or if your flour mix already contains it) but you may find the cake a little more crumbly in texture if there is none in your flour mix.
  • Eggs – This recipe uses large UK eggs.
  • Milk – I use milk to help loosen the cake batter a little. If making this recipe dairy free you can replace this with a dairy free milk of choice.
  • Lemon Zest – The mixture of lemon and vanilla adds a lovely flavour to this cake. You can omit this if you don’t like it.
  • Vanilla Extract – Usually this is gluten free as standard. You only need a little bit for this recipe for a subtle vanilla flavour.
GLUTEN FREE MADEIRA CAKE RECIPE

How to make Gluten Free Madeira Cake

Making this gluten free Madeira cake recipe is so simple – I’ve even included some step-by-step photos below.

To make my gluten free Madeira cake recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin and set to one side.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one-at-a-time, beating with the electric mixer after each egg until combined.
  4. Mix the gluten free flour, baking powder and xanthan gum together in a separate bowl, then sift into the cake mixture. Beat again until the mixture is combined, adding the milk to loosen the batter as it thickens. You want the batter to be relatively thick still.
  5. Pour into your lined baking tin, smooth out the top and bake for 50-55 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and domed on top – cracking is normal.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely before turning out of the tin and slicing up.

Step-by-Step Photos below show: 1, cream the butter; 2-3, add the eggs one-at-a-time, mixing between; 4, add the flour and mix; 5, pour into the tin and bake; 6, cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

GLUTEN FREE MADEIRA CAKE RECIPE STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we get stuck into making this Gluten Free Madeira Cake recipe, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions…

Is Madeira cake gluten free?

Madeira cake is typically made with wheat flour to the varieties you can buy on the shelves are generally not gluten free. However this gluten free Madeira cake recipe uses gluten free flour and is 100% gluten free and coeliac-safe.

Is this recipe dairy free?

I use butter in my gluten free Madeira cake recipe so as it stands it is not dairy free. However you can easily swap this for a vegan butter or margarine to make a dairy free version. The recipe contains eggs so is not vegan.

What makes Madeira cake different?

Unlike a traditional sponge such as the one used in my gluten free Victoria sandwich or gluten free vanilla tray bake, a gluten free Madeira cake uses slightly more flour in the recipe. This means Madeira cake is often used when cakes are carved or shaped as it holds up a lot better. However, it’s just as lovely on its own with a nice cup of tea.

Is Madeira cake British?

Madeira Cake – also known as a Pound Cake in the US – was first recorded in cooking in around 1840. It was fashionable for the upper classes to serve it alongside a glass of Madeira wine – hence its name.

Are Madeira Cake and Pound Cake the same thing?

Madeira Cake goes by the name Pound Cake in the US – both cakes are basically a simple sponge fashioned in a loaf tin. They are fairly interchangeable!

Does Madeira cake contain Madeira wine?

Madeira cake does not contain Madeira wine – nor does it come from Madeira! It was, however, often enjoyed with a tipple of this sweet Portuguese wine in the 1800s, hence the name.

GLUTEN FREE MADEIRA CAKE RECIPE

This gluten free Madeira Cake recipe bakes in a 2lb loaf tin making around 8-12 slices, depending on how thick you want them.

You can also freeze any leftovers and defrost them for your cake fix when you need it.

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GLUTEN FREE MADEIRA CAKE RECIPE
Yield: 12 slices

Gluten Free Madeira Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This Gluten Free Madeira Cake recipe is a classic bake and one of the easiest loaf cake recipes ever. A simple vanilla and lemon sponge - perfect for using in trifles or enjoying a slice with a cuppa. It also makes a great base for birthday and wedding cakes!

Ingredients

  • 175g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200g plain gluten free flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas Mark 4. Line a 2lb loaf tin and set to one side.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one-at-a-time, beating with the electric mixer after each egg until combined.
  4. Mix the gluten free flour, baking powder and xanthan gum together in a separate bowl, then sift into the cake mixture. Beat again until the mixture is combined, adding the milk to loosen the batter as it thickens. You want the batter to be relatively thick still.
  5. Pour into your lined baking tin, smooth out the top and bake for 50-55 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and domed on top - don't be tempted to open the oven door early or your cake may sink!
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely before turning out of the tin and slicing up.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 4g
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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi! This recipe looks amazing! What do you find as the best substitute for eggs for this recipe? Thank you! X