Autumn is the season of spice, especially in the baking world. As the nights draw in spices add warmth to cold evenings, and bakes take on a very comforting role (for me at least!). Here’s a twist on a classic madeira loaf, sure to bring comfort on an autumn night in.
Autumn Spice Madeira Loaf
Makes 10 slices
for the cake
- 165g unsalted butter, softened
- 165g light brown soft sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 115g self-raising flour, sifted
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
for the frosting
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 25ml milk, at room temperature
- 200g icing sugar, sifted
- finely grated zest of ½ orange
Make the cake: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4, grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and line with non-stick baking paper (the base of the tin should be about 20x10cm).
In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer (hand-held or freestanding) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the flours and mixed spice, making sure to scrape down the sides, until the mixture is smooth.
Transfer the mix to the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes until risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Make the frosting: place the butter, milk, icing sugar and orange zest in a bowl and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until combined then use an electric mixer to beat the mixture until it is smooth and light. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled cake and serve.