The Great British Bake Off Calendar Challenge ~ May

The month of May should hopefully bring us warmer weather and there’s nothing that goes better on warmer days than a cake baked with bright and citrusy summer fruits. For the Great British Bake Off Calendar Challenge this month, I’m making Zingy Citrus Madeira Cake, perfect with a lovely cup of tea or a smooth and frothy cappuccino. Also, if you like pancakes, check out last month’s calendar challenge, where I made delicious Syrniki.

This fresh and vibrant Madeira cake is made by creaming butter and sugar, then gradually beating in eggs and folding in flour and grated orange and lemon zest to make a smooth batter. The cake is decorated with citrus icing and candied citrus peel.


900g loaf tin, greased with butter and lined with strips of baking paper.

Ingredients ~ serves 8

For The Cake Mixture

150g unsalted butter, softened

150g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

200g self-raising flour

pinch of salt

finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges

finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon

For The Candied Peel

75g caster sugar

100ml water

1 medium orange

1 large unwaxed lemon

For The Icing

150g icing sugar

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a tablespoon of the weighed flour with each of the last 2 additions of egg.

2. Sift the rest of the flour and the salt into the bowl, then add the grated zests and carefully fold until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin and spread evenly.

3. Bake in the heated oven for about 1 hour until the cake is a golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set the tin on a wire rack. Run a thin round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake, then leave to cool for 15 minutes before carefully removing the cake from the tin. Leave on the wire rack until completely cold.

4. Meanwhile, make the decoration. Put the sugar and water into a small pan, set over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Using a vegetable peeler, pare off long strips of peel from the orange and lemon and add to the syrup. Return to low heat and simmer gently for about 5 minutes until the peel is very soft. Remove and cool, then drain. Leave the peel on a sheet of baking paper to dry.

5. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and stir in the juices (squeezed from the orange and lemon) to make a smooth, runny icing. Add more juice or icing sugar if necessary. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides.

6. Arrange the candied peel on top of the cake and transfer to a plate. Enjoy!

If you have a go at making this delicious citrusy Madeira cake, please let me know how you get on and look out for next month’s calendar challenge, where I’ll be making Cappuccino Crème Brulées, sounds right up my street!

Sunday Lifestyle is a UK lifestyle, food and travel blog, please do get in touch if you would like to be featured.

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