Dundee cake

Dundee cake

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(7 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins

Skill level



Serves 16

A famous traditional Scottish fruitcake with cherries, sultanas and almonds, and a sweet glaze

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 180g light muscovado sugar
  • zest 1 large orange
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam or marmalade
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 500g mixed dried fruits
  • 100g whole glacé cherries


  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp caster sugar

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  1. Put the almonds into a small bowl and pour over boiling water to just cover. Leave for 5 mins then drain in a sieve and leave to dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 5. Line a deep loose-based 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
  3. Put the butter in a large bowl and beat well until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the orange zest and apricot jam.
  4. Sieve together the flour and baking powder. Add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle, stir in a little flour.
  5. Add the remaining flour and ground almonds and mix well. Mix in the milk and then add the dried fruit and cherries and mix gently together.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread level using the back of a spoon. Arrange the whole almonds close together in neat circles on the top of the cake. Bake in the oven for 45 mins.
  7. Lower the oven temperature to 160C/130 C fan/gas 2 and cook for a further 60–80 minutes. Check the cake after 50 minutes by inserting a wooden or metal skewer into the cake. When it’s done it should have just a few crumbs attached. Check every 10 minutes - it’s important not to overcook this cake so the centre will be a little soft.
  8. When cooked, remove the cake briefly from the oven, put the milk and sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Brush over the top of the cake and return the cake to the oven for 2-3 mins. Remove and allow the cake to cool in the tin. When quite cold remove from the tin and wrap in foil and keep for at least 2 days before cutting.

Recipe from bbcgoodfood.com, April 2012

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Show comments
Stop_It_Aggers's picture

Only 10 degrees between gas mark 5 and gas mark 2? I think you mean GM3 rather than GM5.

Our family recipe involves two "feeds" of whisky/brandy applied to holes in the base in the days/weeks after baking - it tastes better and helps the dryness which it can be prone to. I keep meaning to presoak the fruit in whisky but forget.

I understand the marmalade with the Dundee connection, but it seems a bit weird. I'd prefer an orange and lemon to a big orange, and I like a pinch of mixed spice.

LopaP's picture

This was my first ever attempt at a fruitcake.
I also soaked the fruit for 24 hours in a mix of cherry brandy and Cointreau which I think added to the taste. I also used marmalade as I don't like apricots and managed to leave the cake for the full two days wrapped in foil.
The outside was slightly overdone which made me think that it would be dry but the cake went down extremely well with my colleagues.
Can't wait to try it again.

Lauren O'Hara's picture
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This cake was nice and easy to make. Not sure how it is going to turn out yet as it is in the oven and minus a fair bit of the mixture as it was delicious to eat before it was cooked! I used ginger marmalade. I don't like marmalade and I couldn't taste it in the mixture so I don't think it will be too sweet or over powering.

sulkybumblebee's picture
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My first attempt at a Dundee cake; I found this really easy to follow and even easier to eat. I should have left it longer before diving in because it was getting better as the week went on. Just getting the ingredients ready to make another one. I followed the recipe to the letter, including the cooking time and it was absolutely spot on.

mamma mia's picture

This is a lovely cake- I often don't put the almonds on top but instead cover it with marzipan and icing (once cooked and cooled) and use as a celebration/xmas cake; definitely use marmalade as jam is too sweet

lizleicester's picture
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What a lovely looking cake this is. It's enjoying its 2 day rest before being taken north of the border to Scotland! (Coals to Newcastle and all that...)

Cakenut's picture

This is not a Dundee cake. Dundee cake has no cherries, that's kind of the point of a Dundee cake.

Thejoker01's picture

This is a delicious Dundee Cake but I must say I didn't cook it for more than 1 hour as it just didn't seem to need it and was browning quite a bit at the edges the first time I cooked it with the longer time. A shorter cook time left you with a more moist cake.

cmbruessel's picture

Absolutely brilliant result! Infused the fruits with some brandy to add an extra kick and didn't leave it to sit for 2 days as it was just too irresistible but the flavour was still wonderful. Really great recipe.

sweetsuzi's picture

Ive been making Dundee Cake for years. Ive never added jam to the recipe but I always squeeze the juice from the orange instead. I also add some chopped nuts to add to the flavour. The chopped nuts are usually found next to the ground almonds in most supermarkets. Cooking tip: My cookery teacher at school always made us sprinkle a teaspoon of sieved flour as soon as we added the eggs to prevent them from curdling. I always pour the eggs in gradually a few drops at a time along with a teaspoon of the sieved flour, mix gently and continue this until you've used up all the eggs, this will ensure you never curdle the mixture.

cupcakewales's picture

I shall be making this as it is tradition to have this cake for christmas,my nan and my mum made this every year....

ilovejackson's picture
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I made this cake for fathers day. It's turned out very well.

xxangelx76xx's picture
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I made this with homemade marmalade which didn't make it too sweet at all. It's the best fruit cake I've made will definitely make this again.

fionnuala21's picture
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I've been wanting to make a fruitcake for ages, but been too scared to try! I gave this a go and it turned out pretty well (I used St Dalfour Apricot jam, and only used 2 tbsp because of the comment above - I didn't think it was too sweet). The fruit didn't sink to the bottom as I've heard can happen, and it tastes pretty good. The only problem I had was that I overcooked the outside. I think I've seen other recipes where you wrap paper around the outside of the tin or something - does anyone know if that would work?

hurra03's picture
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Moist, but the jam makes it way too sweet. I would leave that out if I made it again.