Madeira cake is a sponge cake in traditional English cookery. The Madeira Cake has a firm yet light texture, eaten with tea or (occasionally) for breakfast and is traditionally flavoured with lemon. Dating back to an original recipe in the 18th or 19th century, it is like a simple pound cake or yellow cake. The Madeira Cake is sometimes mistakenly thought to originate from the Madeira Islands; however, that is not the case as it was instead named after the Madeira wine a Portuguese wine from Madeira Islands, which was popular in England at the time and was often served with the cake. Nowadays, it is often served with tea or liqueurs. A festive Madeira cake known as a Tunis cake topped with a ganache of chocolate and decorated with marzipan flowers and leaves is sometimes made for Christmas festivities.
It is not to be confused with the traditional cake of Madeira island called Bolo de mel, a cake made from sugarcane honey (molasses).