Coconut Madeira Cake

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A simple tea-time cake which also freezes well. Serve it for dessert with our Baked Greengages with Cumin, Basil and Lime and home-made crème fraîche. (If you can’t find greengages use red or yellow plums.)

Serves 8

You’ll need an 8-inch loaf tin.


175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon
200g self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of milk
30g dried coconut


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Oil and line the loaf tin.

2. Place the butter into the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar. Beat until it turns into a pale cream colour and is fluffy.

3. Add one egg with the motor running with a tablespoon of flour to stop the egg curdling, then add the other two eggs.

4. When the eggs are incorporated, add the lemon zest and blitz until smooth.

5. Remove the lid from the processor and add the rest of the flour, the vanilla and the milk. Blitz briefly until you have a smooth mix, scraping the sides of the bowl if you need to. Stir in the dried coconut.

6. Pour the mix into a non-stick 8-inch loaf tin, levelling off the top.

7. Bake in the lower-middle shelf of the oven, checking the cake after 45 minutes. If a skewer comes out of the centre cleanly, it is cooked. If not, cook it for another five minutes, or even another five minutes after that until it is cooked. It will depend on your oven and the size of the tin you use.

8. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool.

Recipe notes

– You can omit the lemon zest, or just use lemon zest and omit the vanilla.

– Use 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract.

– When the cake is cold slice it in two, sandwich it with strawberry or raspberry jam, brush more jam on top and sprinkle dried coconut on top

– Sprinkle the top of the cake with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar before it goes in the oven.

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