Mini Madeira loaf cakes with lemon drizzle

Walking to the gym this morning I passed a very sad sight. Brett’s Wharf, almost a Hamilton institution has shut up shop. Sunday was their last day of trading and now this is what is left. Chairs, tables, trays, cupboards, computer systems and even awnings and pot plants are marked with greysonline lot numbers ready for sale.

The end of anything is always sad but now my walk to the gym is past a derelict shell that used to be a video shop and a now empty restaurant. I’m also worried for the poor pelicans who used to get an afternoon feed of fish trimmings from the kitchen. If pelicans liked baked goods I’d be more than happy to take on the role and feed them daily afternoon tea.

Mini Madeira loaf cakes with lemon drizzle

Mini Madeira loaves would be the perfect shape to fit in those big pelican bills. A bit of zesty lemon would awaken their senses and let them know spring is here and the sweet lemon drizzle would please their sweet tooth (do pelicans have teeth?).

Humans will probably enjoy these mini loaves more than the pelicans. Add a little zest to your afternoon tea or wrap them up individually to make little party favours. Or of course you can always gobble them up all by your self, although I’m not advising binge eating.

The ingredients

Butter and sugar

Surprise surprise, start by beating the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Adding egg

Scrape down the sides and then beat in the egg.

Adding a bit of zest

Zest it up a bit and stir through the lemon zest.


Then add the flour and baking powder and mix them through too.

Milking it

The last step is to fold in the milk. It’s quite a stiff batter so don’t worry if it seems a bit dry.

Ready for baking

Divide it between the holes in your loaf tin. The batter should fill the hole about 2/3 of the way. You could also make these in a muffin tin just make sure you grease the holes well. Bake the little loaves for 30-35 minutes at 170C fan-forced. I had a little bit of batter left over after I’d filled all the holes so I made a couple of cupcakes as well. They take about 20 minutes to cook.


Don’t they look adorable in their little loaf forms? Leave them in the tin to rest for a few minutes.


Pop them all out of the tin and onto a wire rack to cool completely.


To make the icing/drizzle, mix up the lemon juice and icing sugar. You want it to be thick but be just thin enough to dribble (I had to coax mine). If you make it too thin it will slide right off and you’ll be left with no icing on top. Don’t ice the cakes until they’re nice and cool.

Mini Madeira loaf cakes with lemon drizzle

You can sprinkle a little lemon zest on top to make them extra pretty.

Mini Madeira loaf cakes with lemon drizzle

Although perfect as is, I think a little zap in the microwave made these little cakes truly delicious. Enjoy!

What about you? What do you think the pelicans would like?

Mini Madeira loaf cakes with lemon drizzle


Madiera loaf cakes with lemon icing

Madiera loaf cakes with lemon icing


  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • zest and juice of one small lemon
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • juice of one small lemon


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan-forced and grease and line a mini loaf tin.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
  3. Add the vanilla and then beat in the eggs one at a time. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters.
  4. Add the lemon zest then beat in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Finally add the milk and mix until the batter is smooth.
  6. Divide the batter between the holes in the mini loaf tin.
  7. Don't fill them any more than 2/3 of the way. If you have any leftover batter, use it to make cupcakes (they take about 20-25 mins to bake).
  8. Bake the loaves for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Leave them to sit in the tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile make the icing.
  11. Mix the lemon juice into the icing sugar until it reaches drizzle consistency. If it's too thick, add a little water.
  12. Drizzle the cooled cakes with icing and leave it to set for about 10 minutes.


If you liked this post, why not subscribe and receive updates straight to your inbox?

Enter your email:

Need dinner ideas & can't get to the shops?

Hi, I'm Claire. I'd love to send you a free copy of my eBook '12 ingredients, 11 recipes.'

Learn to to create 11 easy, tasty meals using just 12 basic ingredients from your pantry & freezer - no running to the shops.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit