Gluten Free Madeira cake


  • 135 g butter
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 170 g Self-raising flour (gluten-free)
  • 10 g ground almonds
  • 1 lemon zest + juice of the lemon
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)


If you are looking for a traditional gluten-free cake to bake, there’s nothing like a Madeira to try your hand at. While gluten-free baking can be known to be crumbly and lacking in moisture, following this recipe will mean you have a delicious gluten-free classic. It will be just as good as the wheat flour version, if not better.

In this recipe, we add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla, which gives this gluten-free Madeira cake a refreshingly rich flavour.

It’s a cake that is perfect for any occasion and can be left plain as a gluten-free Madeira loaf cake or iced in any way you like if made as a circular cake. This gluten-free cake is both extremely easy and versatile.


  1. Prepare your equipment by lining the two cake tins or loaf tin with baking parchment and grease with butter.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 C.
  3. Sift your gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and ground almonds together in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the butter (softened), caster sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, milk and lemon zest, and juice. You can use a food processor to make it easier.
  5. Now slowly mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Mix gently and fold to keep the mixture light and airy. You don’t want to mix all the air bubbles out.
  6. Once the mixture is well-combined, pour into the cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 50-65 minutes (Individual ovens vary greatly in how quickly they bake cakes, so make sure you keep checking between these times).
  7. To check whether your gluten-free Madeira cake is cooked, use a skewer or toothpick to stick in the centre. If it comes out clean, then your loaf cake is cooked. If any bits come out sticky, then you need to leave it in a little longer.
  8. Once the Madeira cake is baked, take it out of the oven and leave it to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack before serving.

Baking tips

Baking tip one:

As well as buying gluten-free flour to make this bake gluten-free, if you want your loaf to be truly gluten-free, then make sure your baking powder states it is gluten-free, as some do contain gluten.

Baking tip two:

Don’t over mix this recipe; we want it nice and airy to get a light and fluffy texture.

Baking tip three:

Mix the dry ingredients onto the wet ingredients rather than the other way around. This will prevent lumping, and you will get a much smoother mixture.

Gluten-free Madeira cake FAQ’S

Can I make this recipe dairy-free?

Yes, this is easily done by replacing the butter with dairy-free margarine or vegan butter.

Can I make this recipe in a cake tin?

Yes, this recipe will come out great, whether it’s in a cake tin or a loaf tin.

Why do I need to leave this gluten-free Madeira cake to cool before serving?

Gluten-free baking is generally more crumbly than non-gluten-free baking. It may crumble and break up if sliced when still warm. Allowing it to cool will mean it stays intact when sliced.

How important is it to sieve the flour, baking powder, and xanthan gum?

It’s a good idea to do this as it removed any lumps from the batter. If you leave this step out, you may find small lumps of dry flour in the finished product.

Why is there such a range in the length it takes to bake this recipe?

All ovens are very variable in how efficient they are. Some bake cakes extremely quickly, and others do not. It also makes a difference depending on whether you have a fan-assisted oven or not. Having a gas oven also makes a difference.

That’s why it’s important to keep checking your bake within the time frame given. You don’t want to over-bake your cake if you have a very fast oven.

This will be a gluten-free bake you will go to again and again. It is so simple and easy as well and super tasty and satisfying. Baking recipes like this means you never need to feel like you’re missing out while eating gluten-free.


  • Loaf tin (2 x medium cake tins – optional).
  • parchment paper