Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

Bake Off Bake Along: Week 1 (Cakes)

I can’t believe that it’s this time of year again! And just like last year, I’ll be baking along with the fabulously talented people in the tent at the Great British Bake Off. And also just like last year, I’ll have the occasional guest star in to judge my bakes. The only difference is that this year Ala and I are hosting a link up where you can share that week’s bakes with fellow bakers! #Bakeoffbakealong 

Because summer is my busiest season at work, I hadn’t actually baked anything in ages, so I was quite nervous, to tell you the truth. Especially considering what I was baking for! My choice of bakes was kind of made for me by the show: I don’t like walnut cake, Sam doesn’t like black forest gateau, so madeira cake it was. 

I made an almond madeira cake, and I fully admit that I started out simple. I thought, “Hey, let’s show Mary that I can bake a classic.” As you can see, maybe she penalised me for being too simple…. I really need to up my game next week! Regardless of the results, I’m ecstatic that we are back in action! (We being me, Sue, Mary and Paul). 

Almond Madeira Cake
first bake off 2015

Almond Madeira Cake
3434 calories
386 g
954 g
190 g
60 g
100 g
1043 g
362 g
221 g
6 g
76 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3434
Calories from Fat 1660
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 190g
Saturated Fat 100g
Trans Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 16g
Monounsaturated Fat 60g
Cholesterol 954mg
Sodium 362mg
Total Carbohydrates 386g
Dietary Fiber 12g
Sugars 221g
Protein 60g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 175 g of unsalted butter
  2. 175 g of sugar
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. zest of 1 lemon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  7. 200g flour
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  9. 50 g ground almonds
  10. dash of milk * optional *
  11. thinly sliced almonds
  12. powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat your oven to 170C. Line and grease your baking tin.
  2. Beat together your butter and sugar until they are light and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Then mix in the lemon zest, vanilla extract and almond extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and ground almonds.
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture into your egg mixture a bit at a time, stirring thoroughly between pours. Do this until the flour mixture is fully incorporated. Your batter should be thick but if it seems too thick loosen it with a dash of milk.
  4. Pour your batter into your prepared tin. Lightly sprinkle sliced almonds over the top of your batter. Bake for 55 minute to 1 hour. Once baked, let it cool in the tin before removing your cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Then lightly dust with powdered sugar.
Rhyme & Ribbons

flicking towel
Flicking Sam out of the kitchen and out of my way! 

sprinkling sugar
almond madeira cake

close up on almond madeira cake
mary judging
Mary cuts into the cake, while I await with baited breath.

not star baker
Not good enough! 

sliced cake
bake off bake along
But really, I’m just happy to be back! But I know I have to try harder next week.

Link up your posts below- I can’t wait to see them! You have until next Monday at midnight (GMT) to link up your madeiras, walnut cakes and gateaus. 

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  • Delicious – Almond Madeira all the way!

  • That looks perfect, you have that Madeira crack and everything!

    Lisa | Not Quite Enough

  • Aw, I have no idea why Paul and Mary weren’t into it! It looks picture-perfect… I love the sugar and almonds on top!

  • Looks delicious! Paul and Mary were way too harsh! xx

  • Yay its back! And I feel like I really need to check out the show as well!

  • This looks brilliant and I think the judges were a little unfair. Adding the almonds on top was a lovely idea. x

  • Well you do have the crack which I understand is the most important part!! 😉 I actually did find the episode online (and what a happy moment it was!), so now I’m even more looking forward to following along to your series! I’d love to bake along as well, but my oven is currently broke, so no baking for me right now! >.< I've never actually heard of Madeira Cake before (is it a British thing?), but I love the idea of it and I actually think your cake looks quite nice! 🙂 Can't wait to see what you're going to bake next!

    • I’d never encountered it before coming to England so it must be a British thing! Thank you so much! xx

  • Damn that Mary Berry is a harsh critic. I haven’t decided what to do yet. We’re going camping this weekend so I feel like we need to bring a cake to come along with us. Maybe a walnut, because I’m a rebel.

  • This looks so good, love the almond addition too 🙂 So happy that The Bake Off is back!

  • It may be simple, but it looks amazing and I bet it tasted so good! Plus, check out your crack *giggles stupidly* 😀 Looking forward to what we’ll be baking this week!! Alice xx

  • IT LOOKS SO GOOD. Simple is always best in my opinion. Nothing can ever beat a good Victoria sponge cake! 🙂 Mary Berry just doesn’t know what she’s talking about! 😉 xxx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • Simple is the best. And I love almond in anything, so I best it tasted GOOD! That first week was so much fun. Thank you to both of you for hosting such a great link up!

  • Cute photos. I also failed this week – definitely bigger than you failed! We shall have to see what next week brings!

    • Wouldn’t it be good to just have a nice simple biscuit? I’m sure it will be something wickedly hard! x

      • I won’t spoil the surprise, but on the BBC website the blurb for the next two shows says what challenges we’re going to face! 😉 xx

      • Probably!! I just hope there is no crazy cookies and icing type action going on, more just a ‘slap it all into a bowl and then into the oven’ approach is best for me :p

  • WAIT. There are people on the planet who don’t like Black Forest gateau??? But… how? How? HOW?! More for me I guess, but…. how?!?!?

  • that looks like a cake I would eat 😉 I am actually SUPER excited because the cable in our new apartment includes BBC lifestyle and I can actually watch this show now!

  • I’m so excited for this! And I don’t know about you, but it looks delicious to me!

  • haha that flick is a CLASSIC kitchen gesture – I think you should win on technique for that alone!

  • Great minds think alike! xx

  • amitygardens

    It looks good to me, but what do I know? 😛

  • Liz

    Love the idea of the bake-off! This cake looks delicious 🙂


  • Your cake looks great! My post goes up tomorrow so I’ll be back then to link up! I kept it simple with a Madeira cake too.


  • Despite Mary’s verdict, I think that’s a good-looking cake! I’ll take whatever she didn’t eat…

  • So fun! Love this idea – hopefully I can join in next week!

    • So next week is cookie themed – I’ll tweet the choices when the show airs tonight for those who can’t stream it! x

  • yum this looks awesome and simple can be a great (and yummy) thing!!

  • Christine Everyday

    This sounds so tasty!

  • Whatever, I totally would have given you a star. It looks delicious!

  • Well, I think it looks delicious! Nothing wrong with a simple cake!

    What a great idea to host a bakeoff! I’ll need to check out some of the other entries. I haven’t actually baked in my new flat yet – still trying to figure out where to get ingredients without spending a small fortune! It’s my birthday tomorrow though so I should probably do something for that…

  • Oh I don’t know, that looks pretty epic to me!!
    If you, you know, need any more tasting judges…You know where to find me! 😉

  • I reclaimed my bake Amanda! I’ve added it into the mix (HORRIBLE baking pun, apologies!)
    Round 2 was much more successful! Can’t wait for biscuit week!

    • I saw! Totally well done! You brought it back in Round 2 for the win! Have you watched tonight’s yet? What do you think you’ll make? xx

  • Carrie L

    Very harsh judging…it looks the perfect Madiera cake to me!

  • Wow it looks delicious! I’m learning to love loaves like these – so much simpler and less fuss than big cakes, also I’m not one for icing anyway!
    So I wasn’t able to watch the episode last week but I quickly saw it was those cakes and that didn’t tickle my fancy haha but I’m super impressed by those cakes in the linkup – gorgeous! I’ll definitely try to participate this week since it’s biscuit week 🙂 xx

  • I am so happy you are doing this link as all the posts I have read so far have been so fun, I am also really bummed we are in the middle of the move so I cannot make Fredrik join!

  • I’m going to have to save all your bake off posts so that I can visit all the links, some of those cakes look incredible!

  • Thanks Lizzy! It seems just like yesterday as well! x

  • Holy crap, all those cakes linked up look ahhhhh-mazing. I have a friend’s engagement party coming up soon, maybe I will attempt one! xx

    • Right?! Basically some people who’ve been linking up just need to open their own bakeries! x