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Cherry Madeira Cake Recipe – Including A Gluten Free Version

Cherry Madeira cakes by Kerri Awosile


Mmmm, cherry Madeira cake! I’m a little bit in love with cherries at the moment. We discovered frozen cherries in the supermarket a few weeks ago and I started adding them to our morning porridge (they make it taste great, and the colour is amazing). I’ve also been making compote for yoghurt, which is yummy, and we recently discovered a cherry and vanilla ice cream too. It’s really given me the taste for cherries. So, last weekend, I decided to dig out my recipe for cherry Madeira cake. It also just so happened to tie in with the first week of a certain TV baking show and, knowing how peckish the programme usually makes me, it wasn’t a bad thing having a tasty treat on hand whilst watching.

The cherry Madeira cake recipe is actually one I created in my first business, back when I was a professional wedding cake maker. It’s a good’un. It does, however, contain gluten. Ordinarily this isn’t an issue, and if I’m going to have cake I generally go all out, but I have an intolerance to too much wheat and have been indulging myself a bit too much lately with pasta and bread. For anyone now rolling their eyes, don’t believe everything you read or hear – an intolerance to wheat can be a whole lot more difficult than just ‘a bit bloated’. I won’t go into details, but it can be very uncomfortable and disruptive. I do also appreciate that, in this circumstance, any discomfort I’ve been feeling is my own fault for spoiling myself.

Anyway… I decided to try making a gluten free version of my cherry Madeira cake recipe, and I’m delighted to say it worked really well! So, here are two recipes – the original with gluten, and my successful experiment without.

Cherry Madeira cake from recipe by Kerri Awosile

Cherry Madeira Cake Recipe (with gluten)


175g Unsalted Butter (brought to room temperature) + a little extra for greasing

150g Caster Sugar

3 Large Eggs (brought to room temperature)

125g Plain Flour

50g Self-Raising Flour

3g Salt

200g Glacé Cherries

15ml Milk of your choice (I used Almond Milk this time as it’s what we had at home, but usually I would use whole cow’s milk)

ingredients for cherry madeira cake recipe measured out in bowls by Kerri Awosile



Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/160 degrees Celsius with fan/Gas Mark 4; and grease and line a 6-inch round cake tin with a little butter and baking paper.

As this is quite a small batch, I decided to make it by hand, but you could also make this in a food processor or cake mixer if you wanted. Either way, before you get started, it’s best to weigh out and prepare your ingredients. Sieve together the plain flour, self-raising flour, and salt, so you have it ready to hand. Whisk the eggs. Rinse and pat-dry the cherries (using paper kitchen towels).

I would also advise chopping the cherries into quarters. When I used to make this cake professionally, I would always chop the cherries up very small to ensure every wedding or celebration guest got some in their portion of cake. However, it’s a faff. This time I decided to be daring and try using the cherries whole. As I suspected, they all sunk to the bottom. This doesn’t really impact the flavour of the cake, it just doesn’t look as nice when you cut into it.

With everything prepared, it’s time to start mixing.


Cream together the butter and sugar. You want the mix to be light and fluffy, so stir for longer than you might imagine. The creamier you get it, the better your cake will be.

Whisk the eggs, then gradually add them to the creamed butter, being careful not to let the mix curdle. I usually add the eggs in 3-4 pours, stirring well in between, along with a couple of spoonfuls of flour to help prevent curdling.

Once the eggs are mixed in and everything is well combined, gently fold in the remaining flour – but keep one spoonful aside.

Mix the last spoonful of flour with the cherries, coating them. This helps prevent them sinking (although, as I proved myself, it’s not a miracle worker and whole cherries are just too heavy not to sink).

Carefully fold the cherries into the cake mix. Then, continuing to be gentle, fold in the milk.

With everything nicely combined, spoon the mixture into the pre-lined tin and level it off with the back of your spoon.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until it’s golden brown on top, starting to come away from the sides, and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. It’s quite a low and slow bake for this cake, so don’t be tempted to rush it but do keep an eye on it.


Remove from the oven, then allow the cake to cool for a good half an hour in the tin – covering it lightly with a clean tea towel.

Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack, removing the baking paper, and allow to cool completely (again, covering it with a clean tea towel).

Once cool, store it in an airtight container. It should keep for a good few days (that’s if you can resist eating it all straight away!).


gluten free cherry madeira cake by Kerri Awosile

Gluten Free Cherry Madeira Cake Recipe


175g Unsalted Butter (brought to room temperature) + a little extra for greasing

150g Caster Sugar

3 Large Eggs (brought to room temperature)

125g Plain Gluten Free Flour*

50g Self-Raising Gluten Free Flour*

3g Salt

200g Glacé Cherries

15ml Milk of your choice

*In the past, when I’ve created gluten free recipes, I’ve used a mixture of different flours and raising agents. This time, I decided to keep things really simple and just buy read-made mixes by Doves Farm.


Exactly the same as the original recipe. Simply follow the steps above.


Slice of cherry madeira cake by Kerri Awosile


Ta-da! A yummy cherry Madeira cake recipe, with gluten or gluten free. Perfect for a tasty treat this autumn.

I hope you enjoy it, and if you have a go making one, I’d love to see your pictures. You can tag me on Facebook or Instagram (@kerriawosile.lifetyle), and if your account is private send me a DM so I don’t miss your post or story.

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