Kala’s Madeira Cake (Tea Cake)

Madeira Cake is known as Tea Cake in Chennai and is available in all bakeries. Madeira cake is very popular here and was always served in any of my cousins’ family events. January is when we get very good quality oranges, which is why I decided to make my own version of Madeira cake. I studied several recipes but found them flawed in many ways, but they all had one thing in common: the surface was cracked; that is the characteristic feature of this cake. I standardised the recipe using proportions which would give good results (smooth texture, rise well, not greasy), and I arrived at a very tasty cake with a very reliable method.

Kalas Madeira Cake - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Madeira Cake

Nutritive Value

Madeira cake isn’t usually iced/frosted here. The cake alone provides moderate amounts of energy and protein. However, I wouldn’t advise diabetics to indulge in this cake as the sweet taste itself warns that it is a bit rich in sugar.


  • 1 ¾ C Maida (Refined Wheat Flour)
  • 125g Unsalted Butter (includes amount for greasing)
  • ¾ C Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ C strained Orange Juice
  • 2 tsp grated Orange Rind


  1. Grease a 7” (18cm) cake tin. Line with butter paper (grease proof paper) and grease the paper with butter. The paper should stand 3cm above the rim of the cake tin.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking powder.
  3. Place the butter in a large bowl. Cream with a wooden ladle till fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar and salt, and mix till well blended.
  5. Beat the eggs lightly.
  6. Add the beaten eggs in small quantities to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing continuously. The sugar will dissolve in the egg.
  7. Add the flour and orange juice alternatingly in small quantities to the mixture and blend.
  8. Just before blending is completed, add the orange rind and mix.
  9. The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the cake tin and smoothen the surface of the mix with the ladle or a spatula.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C or 350° F for 30-40 minutes, or till the cake tester inserted comes out clean.
  11. Remove and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes or till you are able to touch the cake pan.
  12. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely.


  1. The Indian orange doesn’t allow itself to be grated easily. I remove the skin of the orange, cut the skin into pieces and pulse in a mixie or blender for 10 seconds at speed 1.
  2. The surface of the cake is bound to crack because it is a stiff batter. To minimise this, make the butter paper stand 3cm above the tin which will reduce dehydration of the surface during baking.


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