Lifestyle, Sarah, Uncategorized

Vanilla Madeira Cake – CPD enabler


A firm family favourite which is so simple, even a humble sparky can manage it without too much hassle! The cake will be in the oven for approx. 1.25 hours, however the preparation is just a ten minute process.

While the hour-long baking time may put you off, why not use the time to catch up on some CPD and polish your site boots? When the timer pings, you’ll not only have accrued some valuable professional development points and have a tasty reward fresh from the oven, but you’ll be the envy of everyone on site the next day.


  • 125g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour (sieved)
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • vanilla extract



  1. Cream the butter and sugar together then beat in the eggs along with a small amount of flour.
  2. Mix in the vanilla essence then fold in the remainder of the flour.
  3. Place the mixture in greased 18cm cake tin – a spring form version is handy, but not essential. Bake for 1.25 hours at 180 degrees C.IMG_20160210_221647
  4. Once baked, remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.


Time to put the boot polish away, stick the kettle on and make yourself a cup of your favourite tea, cut a slice and enjoy!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that on the face of it this is a rather plain cake, but that’s where its genius lies: switch out the vanilla extract for whatever essence you prefer; mix some cherries or sultanas into the batter; drizzle with a thin icing mix; serve up a slice with ice cream and fresh fruit; spread a slice with your preferred jam or preserve…the options are limited only by what’s in the pantry really.


N.B. Now, as you can see in the photos, my cake is rather shallow. This is a result of being a bit eager for cake and using the wrong diameter of cake tin…if an 18cm tin is used, the final result will be considerably taller and be a lighter shade of golden brown.

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