Gluten free Madeira Cake/Gâteau Madeira sans gluten

“Why can’t you just make a normal cake?” The Cynic sighed, in exasperation after my most recent post, “no olive oil, no sprinkles, no nuts, just normal!”

Now let me give you a little background on the Cynic. When he says ‘normal’, he doesn’t mean this, this or even this. His idea of normal is basically a plain white cake, without the trimmings, consisting of only the bare essentials.

His baking advice always seems to follow a similar pattern:

Chocolate cake,…  “hmmm, it’s alright but next time, leave out the chocolate”

Orange Cake… “you know, this’d be great without the oranges”

Banana Cake….

well I think you get the picture.

The most exotic ingredient he’s allowed me to add to a cake is cinnamon! So I really had to get my thinking cap on for his so-called normal cake, and when I did, I came up with this…

….Madeira cake, I mean what could be more normal than that?

Madeira cake, for those of you that don’t know, is an English classic, that’s often mistakenly thought to have come from the portuguese island of Madeira, it’s not dissimilar to an american pound cake and is traditionally baked with the addition of lemon, which I wasn’t allowed to add as it would ‘denormalise’ the cake but I’d definitely recommend it.

Try as I might, I couldn’t leave it completely plain, so I used unblanched almonds to add a little extra nutrition and to give the cake a subtly speckled appearance….and the result? Well sometimes normal ain’t half bad…

Madeira Cake

Makes one 9 inch cake

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsps/55g rice flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp/28g ground almonds (unblanched)
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 1/2 tbsps/60g cornflour
  • 2 tbsps sweet rice flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup/90g caster sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup/100ml milk
  • zest of one lemon (optional, depending on how normal you want your cake!)

Grease a 9 inch round pan, then dust the pan with  a teaspoon of flour, gently shaking the sides to make sure they’re all coated.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF

Heat the milk in a saucepan until it starts to bubble then set aside.

Sift the flour, ground almonds, lemon zest if using, as well as the baking powder together in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and foamy.

Add the vanilla and the hot milk in a slow stream, then mix in the flour and baking powder.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes

When the cake has cooled down, dust with icing sugar and serve with custard.


Gâteau Madeira

Pour un gâteau de 9 pouces/23cm

  • 55g de farine de riz
  • 28g de poudre d’amandes non émondées
  • 60g de maïzena
  • 2 c à s de farine de riz glutineux
  • 2 c à c de poudre à lever
  • 90g  de sucre en poudre
  • 2 c à c d’extrait de vanille
  • 3 oeufs
  • 100 ml de lait
  • zeste d’un citron (facultatif)

Beurrez et farinez un moule à gâteau de 23 cm

Préchauffez le four à 180ºC

Dans une casserole,  faites chauffer le lait jusqu’à ébullition, laissez de côté.

Dans un bol,  tamisez les farines,la poudre d’amandes, le zeste du citron ainsi que la poudre à lever.

Dans un autre bol, battez les oeufs avec le sucre jusqu’à ce le mélange palisse et devienne mousseux.

Ajoutez l’extrait de vanille et le lait petit à petit, puis incorporez les farines et la poudre à lever à la pâte.

Versez la pâte dans le moule préparé et enfournez pendant 20 à 30 minutes.

Quand le gâteau est refroidi, saupoudrez de sucre glace et servez avec de la crème anglaise.

11 thoughts on “Gluten free Madeira Cake/Gâteau Madeira sans gluten

  1. This looks delicious!! I have a similar situation at home…except that it involves chocolate. I have learned to add cocoa to just about every recipe I find online that looks good. If I make something without chocolate, it gets left until all the chocolate things are gone.

  2. This looks delicious. I have several recipes that refer to madeira cake, but I didn’t know just what it was. Thanks for the clarification.

  3. @sweets at vicky – Power to gluten free (ab)normal cakes! Sometimes what seems like the strangest combinations work surprisingly well

    @mimi – glad to have been of help 🙂

  4. The Cynic sounds like a tough critic – difficult to blog the same cake repeatedly! Doesn’t he know you have a rep to uphold? ;P

    • Hi Adrienne, I’m not 100% sure to be honest, I generally use plain sponge for birthday cakes. I’d give it a go though, I don’t think it’d crumble if you carve it once it’s cooled down?

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