I had promised to post the recipes later, so shall do that now. When am not baking some special kind of cupcake then I usually use the Madeira recipe, which I have already posted in the pineapple upside down cake post.
I prefer cupcakes (as they bake more quickly and are easier to store) so I often use a muffin tray for baking my Madeiras. Making little changes such as adding a few semi-sweet chocolate drops/pieces; adding some cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts; or just leaving them plain; or piping some whipped cream on top. And everyone has their favourites, my father loves nuts, my brother maintains whipped cream or frosting destroy a cake(!) though he likes the other variations and the plain one, I like all of them! I once even tried this technique, but believe me the inside doesn't look like a triangle!
For a birthday I thought the best would be plain cakes with cream on top. Kids love cream anyway, and whoever said you feast with your eyes first, was in my opinion quite right! I put a little food colour in the batter (with the result that my mother, who hates anything artificial, including people, didn't touch them), but I like such little touches. Though am such a stickler (only for certain things), I just had to put the green batter in green paper cups, the yellow in yellow and the red in red.
Aah, these beautiful cracks! Previously I used to be quite upset whenever this would happen, but then my brother told me that whenever my mother baked a cake there would a crack running across it. Though by the time I grew up mom had stopped baking, having passed the reign to my elder sisters, I knew from what I had heard and from old pictures, she was quite a pro! So this piece of information, very wisely dropped by Khaiba, pleased me no end!