Can You Freeze Madeira Cake?

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Madeira cake is a light, fluffy sponge cake that is popular in the UK. With its fine crumb and delicate flavor, it makes a lovely teatime treat or dessert. But what if you bake a Madeira cake and don’t eat it all right away? Can you freeze the leftovers for later?

What is Madeira Cake?

Madeira cake gets its name from the Madeira islands off the coast of Portugal, where it originates. It is made from just a few simple ingredients:

  • Self-rising flour
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Sugar

The ingredients are creamed together to create a batter, which is then baked to create the cake’s signature light and airy texture. Traditionally, Madeira cakes are flavored with lemon zest or dried fruits. They have a thin crust on the outside and an even, fine crumb on the inside.

Compared to other cakes, Madeira cake is relatively low in fat. It does not contain any raising agents beyond the self-rising flour. The light texture comes purely from creaming the butter and sugar and whipping air into the eggs.

Can You Freeze Unbaked Madeira Cake Batter?

If you want to prepare Madeira cake batter ahead of time, you can successfully freeze the unbaked batter for baking later. Here is how:

  • Prepare the cake batter as directed. Allow it to cool completely so no air bubbles are trapped inside.
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper, and pour the batter into the pan. Smooth the top evenly.
  • Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. Label the foil with the contents and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to bake, do not thaw the cake. Preheat the oven to the temperature called for in the recipe.
  • Bake the cake, still frozen, for 10 extra minutes. Then continue baking at the regular baking time, testing doneness with a toothpick.
  • Allow the baked cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.

The cake may take a bit longer to bake when going in frozen, but allowing that extra baking time prevents the middle from being underdone.

Can You Freeze a Baked Madeira Cake?

Yes, you can successfully freeze slices or a whole baked Madeira cake. Here are some tips:

Freezing Slices

  • Allow the cake to cool completely after baking.
  • Cut the cake into slices based on your plans. Wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or foil.
  • Place the wrapped slices in a freezer bag or airtight container, making sure to remove as much air as possible.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw slices at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Freezing a Whole Cake

  • Likewise, allow the cake to cool completely first.
  • Wrap the entire cake in two layers of plastic wrap, pressing it directly against the surface. Then wrap it in foil.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, leave the wrapped cake in the refrigerator overnight. Unwrap and serve.

The cake may be a bit more dense or dry after freezing. But it still makes a tasty dessert or snack.

Tips for Freezing Madeira Cake

Follow these tips for the best results when freezing Madeira cake:

  • Double-wrap cakes and slices to prevent freezer burn.
  • Don’t freeze cakes or slices with dairy-based frostings or fillings, as these don’t freeze well.
  • Label packages with contents and dates before freezing.
  • Try to use frozen items within 3 months for the best quality.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature.
  • Enjoy thawed cake within 3-5 days. Refreeze only if absolutely necessary.
  • Slice thawed cakes with a serrated knife to avoid damaging the tender crumb.
  • Avoid refreezing slices more than once, as texture really suffers.

How to Use Thawed Madeira Cake

Once thawed, enjoy Madeira cake in any of these tasty ways:

  • Top slices with whipped cream and fresh fruit for a simple dessert.
  • Make a trifle by layering cake with custard and fruit.
  • Use it as a base for strawberry shortcake.
  • Make cake pops by combining crumbled cake with frosting.
  • Use it as a base layer for a cake with fresh frosting.
  • Make cake sandwiches filled with lemon curd, chocolate-hazelnut spread, or jam.
  • Turn cake pieces into bread pudding or cake pops.
  • Crumble over ice cream for a crunchy topping.

So go ahead and bake a big Madeira cake, then freeze the extra for later. With proper freezing methods, you can enjoy delicious slices for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Madeira Cake

Does Madeira cake freeze well?

Yes, Madeira cake freezes nicely. When properly wrapped, it will keep its texture and flavor frozen for 2–3 months. Be sure to double-wrap in plastic and foil.

Should you freeze Madeira cake before or after baking?

You can freeze both unbaked batter and baked cakes. Freezing before baking lets you enjoy fresh cake later. Freezing baked cakes preserves their just-baked quality for longer.

Can you freeze Madeira cake with icing or fillings?

Avoid freezing Madeira cakes with dairy-based frostings or fillings. The high fat content means these don’t freeze well. Buttercream, ganache, or whipped cream will not freeze nicely.

What is the best way to thaw frozen Madeira cake?

For the best texture, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This prevents condensation from forming on the cake surface. If short on time, leave at room temperature for 2–3 hours.

How do you store thawed Madeira cake?

Eat thawed Madeira cake within 3-5 days. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate. The texture will decline the longer it is stored after thawing. Avoid refreezing more than once.

Can you microwave thawed Madeira cake?

Microwaving is not recommended, as it will make the cake rubbery. Enjoy Madeira cake thawed at room temperature or slightly warmed in a low oven or toaster oven. Microwaves unevenly heat the cake, damaging the tender crumb.

What kinds of fillings go well with thawed Madeira cake?

Try lemon curd, jams, chocolate-hazelnut spread, whipped cream, or frostings like buttercream and cream cheese. Avoid refreezing filled cakes. Enjoy any fillings or toppings immediately on the thawed cake.


Freezing lets you enjoy Madeira cake’s fine crumb and balanced sweetness long after baking. Follow proper methods for preparing, freezing, thawing, and storing, and the cake will retain its delicious, freshly baked taste.


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