Madeira Cake & White Chocolate Ganache

In my last blog post, I shared photos of the surprise birthday cake which I baked for my parents’ joint birthday celebration. I had a lot of positive feedback and I thought that in this post, I will share the exact recipe and amounts I used to bake my own cake.

I based my recipe on the one provided by Cupcake Jemma, baking a two-layered cake in 2 separate cakes rather than one big cake as she suggested. Like this, cooking time is reduced and you will end up with a fluffier cake as a result. The following amounts are sufficient for two 12″ cakes.


  • 460g unsalted butter, softened
  • 460g caster sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 345g plain flour
  • 2.25 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease the baking tins (either with butter or unflavoured oil) and place a baking paper at the bottom of each tin.
  2. Sift the flour together and put them aside for later.
  3. Start by creaming the sugar and butter together until the butter turns pale and fluffy. This will take around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, two at a time to the butter and sugar. Mix them really well in between each other. Keep going until you add all eggs.
  5.  Add the flour to the mixture and fold it in carefully. If you are using a mixer, put it on the lowest speed possible. Mix until the flour has been fully incorporated in the mixture.
  6. Combine the milk and vanilla essence together and add them to the cake mixture.
  7. Place the mixture evenly into the prepared tins. Level the mixture and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Instead of putting a layer of buttercream in between the cakes, I opted for white chocolate ganache and strawberry jam. For a perfect white chocolate ganache, Cupcake Jemma recommends a 3:1 ratio for white chocolate and double cream and I required the following amounts for my cake:

  • 600g white chocolate
  • 200g double cream

I made 2 batches of white chocolate ganache (300g chocolate:100g cream). I used the first one for the filling and the crumb coat, and the second one to coat the cake again before putting the sugar paste on.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Using the bain marie technique, melt the chocolate into the cream. When the chocolate starts to melt, stir them together continuously to ensure that they are well combined.
  2. Let it cool completely and then put it in the fridge to chill for around 20 minutes, until the consistency turns to be spreadable.
  3. Using a whisker, whip up the ganache until its becomes paler in colour and fluffy.

For the strawberry jam, mix 2 tablespoons of jam and a tablespoon of vermouth together and bring them to boil. Alcohol brings out the taste of the strawberries (but you can omit this from your recipe). By boiling the jam, you will be thinning it out and will make it easier for you to spread it on your cake.

Once you have all components ready, it is time to complete the cake:

  1. Spread a little bit of ganache on the cake base. This ensures that the cake will stay in place. Place one of the layer cakes on the base and generously spread the chocolate ganache on top.
  2. Add the strawberry jam but make sure that you leave quite a margin on the circumference so it will not drip on the sides.
  3. Place the second cake layer on top. I like to use the bottom of the second cake as the top of the cake (putting it upside down) as this ensures that the surface is quite flat.
  4. Spread the remaining white chocolate ganache (of the first batch) all over the cake to crumb coat it. Place it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour. (While the cake is chilling, I prepared the second batch of white chocolate ganache and the sugarpaste.)
  5. Cover the cake again with the white chocolate ganache, levelling as much as possible using a cake scraper for the sides and an offset spatula for the top. This will create a great base, especially if you are covering the cake with sugarpaste/marzipan.



The last photo shows only the crumb coat on. I totally forgot to take a picture of the cake with the second coating on. 🙂

This type of cake is ideal to cover with marzipan or sugarpaste since it is quite dense but moist at the same time. I covered mine and decorated it with sugarpaste.



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