The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


JOHN01473's picture


One of our favorite bakes is an Old Fashioned Dundee cake.


Dundee cake

175g/6oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing
175g/6oz soft light brown sugar
3 tbsp orange marmalade
3 free-range eggs, beaten
225g/8oz self-raising flour
25g/.9oz ground almonds
1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
400g/14oz mixed dried fruit
75g/3oz glace cherries, halved
2 tbsp whisky or milk
40g/1½oz blanched almonds to decorate
1 tsp granulated or caster sugar, to decorate (optional)

Preparation method
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Grease and double-line a 20cm/8in loose-based deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Beat the butter and sugar in a food processor for 3-4 minutes, or until very light and fluffy.
Add the marmalade and mix for a few seconds more. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour, almonds and spices to the batter. Mix slowly until well combined, then stir in the mixed dried fruit and cherries with a large metal spoon. Add the whisky or milk and mix until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, smooth the surface and carefully arrange the blanched almonds in circles on top.
Bake for 1½-2 hours, or until well risen, firm and golden-brown. (Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.)
Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper and set aside to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Store in a cake tin and eat within 4-5 days.


my wife guards it - you have to be royalty to get a slice.

with a cup of Tea or Coffee it goes down a treat.
i have to say i soak the fruit and mixed spice with either dark rum or whisky for two days.
this allows the fruit to soften and it avoids those teeth breaking hard bites of dried fruit.
its also a good way of using up things like dried apricots that are too dry to eat raw.
that's my excuse and i am sticking to it.
Happy Baking.



clazar123's picture

It looks quite beautiful. I do have a few ingredient questions,though.

What is in mixed spice? Is this a "sweet" spice like a cinnamon,mutmeg...etc?

The oz for the ground almonds didn't show in the recipe.

What is in the mixed fruit? Is this fruitcake mix?

JOHN01473's picture

Mixed spice blend Ingredients: Ground Coriander Seeds, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Mustard, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Fennel Seeds, Ground Cloves, Ground Cardamom Seeds.

I am not sure of the quantities as I buy it Pre-blended - I can say it smells like Christmas.

the ground almonds = 0.9 oz - i amended the above recipe

mixed fruit = Sultanas, Raisins, Currants, Candied Mixed Peel, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel


This Day's picture
This Day

My late father, who emigrated from Scotland to the United States as a young man, made Dundee cakes for our family to enjoy during the Christmas holidays.  He baked them about three weeks ahead of time so that he could baste them weekly with brandy.  He wrapped the cakes in clear wrap, then aluminum foil, and they kept for a long time unless we devoured them once they were properly "cured."

JOHN01473's picture

i made a version with more fruit for us for Christmas.

the main difference is that it had ¼ tsp vanilla essence and 2 tbsp black treacle.

Apart from Pre-soaking the fruit in Dark Rum i fed it with 1/4 bottle of brandy - boy that was not just moist it was very tipsy. 

i wrapped mine in two layers of grease proof paper then an outer layer of tinned foil.

i stored it in an airtight box for two months and fed it every two weeks with the brandy.

its rich and dark, full of flavour.

dabrownman's picture

very nice Holiday Cake.  I think I would have to try one with the added soaking in brandy for a few weeks too.... like this Day's father!

Nice baking John.

JOHN01473's picture

a nice treat for yourself.

happy baking.

EvaB's picture

with a few less ingredients than yours, but it was absolutely scrumptious. I didn't soak it in whiskey, simply wrapped the cake in a piece of muslin soaked in the smokiest single malt whiskey I had (can't drink the stuff its too smokey) and placed it in the cool for 3 weeks. It certainly went well with coffee, and my brother loved it.