WW Recipe of the Day: Old-Fashioned Madeira Cake
(272 calories | 12 12 12 myWW *SmartPoints value per serving)
I’ve decided to get back to baking more. In pursuit of health and weight maintenance, I cut too far back on one of my great passions – baking from scratch with real butter, sugar and eggs.
I’ve missed the feeling of losing myself in the process. The intoxicating, sweet-smelling aromas. The satisfaction I get watching others enjoy my creations.
Not to mention the sensuous pleasure of savoring something really, really luscious.
So, rather than obsess over how to make things lighter (and usually sacrificing flavor and texture), I’m out to prove that it’s possible to remain happy, healthy and slim and bake from scratch with real ingredients!
The Skinny on Old-Fashioned Madeira Cake
I’m kicking things off with the first recipe from Nigella Lawson’s, How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking . Called, “My Mother-in-Law’s Madeira Cake,” it’s the kind of cake I love most, a simple unadorned yellow loaf cake.
In her headnotes, Nigella says that it “is the best version I’ve tried.” Since I have no experience with Madeira cake—though it seems very much like what we would call pound cake—I decided to trust Nigella implicitly, which means I actually followed the recipe for a change.
I did make one minor necessary adjustment, substituting plain cake flour (with a little baking powder and salt) for the self-rising kind, a tricky-to-find ingredient this side of the pond.
I also embellished the instructions for those who might not be familiar with some of the finer points of mixing up cake batter from scratch.
I pulled from the oven a beautiful golden loaf cake that was firm, but tender, with a rich lemony, buttery flavor and crackly sugar encrusted top.
It’s great plain as a teatime treat, or topped with your favorite fruit and ice cream or whipped cream. It would be excellent lightly toasted and spread with marmalade or turned into trifle too.
Of course, there’s a price to be paid for something this luscious. Each slice (1/12th of the cake) has 272 calories and:
12 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
12 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
12 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
8 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
Curious about Weight Watchers new myWW Green, Blue and Purple plans? Watch this short video to learn more:
If this seems a little “too expensive,” try the strategy my Nana always used to have her cake and eat it too: have a sliver or half a piece and cut the calories in half without sacrificing flavor! Enjoy!
If you’ve made this Old-Fashioned Madeira Loaf Cake, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Nigella's Mother-In-Law's Madeira Cake Recipe
- 1-1/3 cups cake flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and then line it with parchment or wax paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer, several minutes, until it gets light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon zest.
- Add the eggs, one at a time along with a tablespoon of flour mixture for each, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next.
- Gently mix in the remaining flour, just until blended. And then stir in the lemon juice. (Don't over mix as it will toughen the cake.)
- Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the pan and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Gently remove the cake from the pan and cut into 12 slices.
Source: Adapted slightly from How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
More Cake Recipes Made Lighter
- Skinny Strawberry Cake (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Lemon Raspberry Pound Cake (Weight Watchers)
- Red, White & Blue Fruit Skewers with Light Lemon Cheesecake Dip
- Lemon Supreme Pound Cake (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake (Smitten Kitchen)
- Lemon Coconut Tea Cake (Simple-Nourished-Living)
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