Dundee Cake Recipe

A rich, fruity Dundee Cake is so easy to recognise with its distinctive circles of blanched almonds on the top. The cake is eaten year-round but puts in quite an appearance at Christmas for those who prefer a lighter cake than the traditional Christmas one.

Traditionally a Dundee cake should always contain orange peel, whisky and the almonds. You can switch out the whisky for brandy if it is not to your taste.  Whichever you choose, they do bring a lovely flavour to the cake, so don’t leave it out.


  • 150g soft, dark brown sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice 
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 450g of mixed dried fruits
  • 55g candied peel, chopped finely
  • 55g glace cherries halved
  • 1 generous tablespoon malt whisky
  • 115g whole blanched almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2.
  2. Line a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
  3. In a large baking bowl, cream the butter with the sugar using either a fork or an electric hand whisk until light and creamy. Add the orange zest and stir.
  4. Beat one egg and one-third of the flour into the butter and sugar mixture. Repeat twice more until both are used up.
  5. Gently add all the dried fruits and the whisky to the mixture and stir carefully with a tablespoon until everything is combined trying not to knock too much of the air out.
  6. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and gently level the surface with the back of your tablespoon. Arrange the blanched almonds into circles on the top, pressing them ever so slightly into the cake. 
  7. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until the cake is a deep, golden brown. Test the cake is cooked by inserting a clean skewer into the cake, it should come out clean. If not cook a while longer.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and pop it onto a cooling rack and leave the cake to cool in the tin. Once cooled, remove from the tin and wrap in parchment and store for a day or two before eating. If the temptation is too much, you can eat it straight away, but it may be crumbly.

Find more baking recipes from Elaine Lemm here

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