Dundee cake

Dundee cake

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins


Serves 16

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

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal373
  • fat17.2g
  • saturates6.7g
  • carbs48.4g
  • sugars38.6g
  • fibre2.2g
  • protein6.3g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 100g blanched almond
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 180g light muscovado sugar
  • zest 1 large orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam or marmalade
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 100g ground almond
  • 2 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 500g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g whole glacé cherry


  • 1 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 2 tsp caster sugar


  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 180C/160 C fan/Gas Mark 4. 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/140 C fan/Gas Mark 3 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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VanillaSpice81's picture
17th Jun, 2020
Made this for mum requesting a fruit cake. Easy to make. Coated cherries with dusting of flour so they distributed nicely. Would recommend decorating top with the blanched almonds if you can, gives a lovely finish and crunch. Baked in fan oven as per recipe, took 1hr 25min but feel I should have removed few min earlier as was ever so slightly dry towards outer edge of cake. Could glam this up with ribbon for a fruity gift!
Jamie Beckford's picture
Jamie Beckford
8th Jun, 2020
My late grandfather used to bake this cake frequently. The first time he made it all of the fruit had sunk to the bottom of the cake. He told me that to prevent this from happening it is necessary to cover all of the dried fruit (Sultanas, Raisins etc) with flour before combining with the rest of the mixture. Once the mixture is in the tin it is important to smooth the surface with the back of the spoon (the spoon should be wet and warm) if you apply the almonds without doing this they will sink and when the cake comes out of the oven there will be holes where the almonds have sunk. The smoothing of the surface with a wet spoon forms a film on top of the mixture on top of which the almonds sit. Another he told me when making sponges is to put a teaspoon of tepid water into the mixture, the sponge will come out nice and light.
8th Jun, 2020
A delicious cake - and very easy to ‘veganise’. I use dairy-free spread instead of butter. almond milk instead of dairy; and flaxseed ‘eggs’ (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg. Leave for at least an hour in the fridge - or I leave overnight - until it goes ‘gloopy’ like raw egg,) I usually make 2 loaf cakes instead of one large round one, as it’s so much easier to slice. I don’t always bother with blanched almonds, scattering a few flaked almonds over the top instead. A go-to, failsafe and v popular fruitcake.
22nd May, 2020
I love this recipe and have made it several times. Last time I made it (at the beginning of lockdown, using ingredients I had in the house) the cake was in the oven and I’d forgotten the cherries. I didn’t have the blanched almonds so I just poked the cherries into the mixture. Amazing! The cherries didn’t sink to the bottom. About to make the cake again and will add the cherries at the very end, after all the mixture is in the tin.
Kaye Lewis's picture
Kaye Lewis
8th Feb, 2020
This cake was easy to make and a gave a fantastic result. I followed the recipe to the letter, baking at 180c for 45mins, then at 160c for 50mins which gave a dark but not burned outer, so I next time, and there will definitely be a next time, back on the lower temperature for 40mins and test from there. Also I would use marmalade instead of jam. I did try a piece once cooled, and it was lovely, great texture, not stodgy, and very flavourful. It's been put up to mature for 2 days now, so excited to see how it improves the already bountiful flavour.
4th Feb, 2020
Fantastic cake, my husband loved it. I followed the recipe, made no changes. After the initial 45 minutes of cooking my cake took a further 55 minutes. I will definitely be making this lovely cake again.
Anna Clover's picture
Anna Clover
30th Dec, 2019
My boyfriend and I are just following off the last crumbs of this delicious cake, which managed to last a couple of weeks. I added a few chopped apricots as I just happened to have some knocking around, and soaked some of the sultanas in brandy. For the future I might replace the milk with more brandy, for extra booziness. I also found that this cake freezes well. A winner.
19th Jul, 2019
This is my favourite fruit cake recipe. I don't usually bother with the almonds on the top unless it's a special occasion. The cake is still delicious and almost impossible to keep the family off it for 2 days. I had to rescue a still warm cake from my daughter and a very big knife!
28th Dec, 2018
I can't believe that I made a fruit cake this good! Fantastic recipe. Followed to the letter. Used a good quality marmalade - the orangey taste in the cake was lovely. Very good substitute for a classic Christmas cake.
17th Dec, 2018
Made mine as a Christmas cake and it had to be dairy free which is surprisingly easy (just use soya margerine). I soaked the fruit for 24 hours in a glug (150ml of brandy but otherwise followed the recipe which worked really well. Roll on Christmas when I can taste the result!


Ayra Sajid's picture
Ayra Sajid
12th Apr, 2020
So in the ingredients it says mixed dry fruit , could you be a bit more specific and tell us what types of dry fruit this might include ?
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
14th Apr, 2020
Hi, Esther from the food team here! A mixture of dried raisins, sultanas, currants, apricots and cranberries would work well. You could use any dried fruits you have in your cupboard! Thanks for your question.
ursula Fleming's picture
ursula Fleming
17th Oct, 2018
Can I make a nut free version? What would you put in instead and what decoration would work?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Oct, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can. Leave out the whole almonds and replace the ground almonds with an extra 75g plain flour. It will change the texture a little but still give good results. As for decoration, you could add crystalised fruit as in this recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1194/orlando-murrins-deluxe-christmas-cake
14th Oct, 2015
I seem to be having trouble with the fruit falling to the bottom of the cake. Has someone an answer to this. Mick.
18th Dec, 2015
Dust the fruit with flour before adding it.
18th Sep, 2015
When you say: dried fruit, what is it: raisins , sultanas...?
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