Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scottish recipes - Dundee Cake

Dundee Cake

Dundee Cake is named for the city of Dundee in Scotland

I lived in Dundee as a child from the age of 2 until I was around 7 with my Mum, Dad and little Sister, so Dundee is a part of my childhood

Dundee cake is a rich fruit cake with almonds on top, it is usually served at Christmas or New Years Eve (Hogmanay) in Scotland, it is heavier and more fruit filled than regular fruit cake, Click here for my recipe for Fruit Cake

Fruit cake is not loved as much here in the USA, so this little Lassie from Scotland is on a mission to change that. So if you are still buying those weird looking fruit cakes that turn up in supermarkets get yourself a great recipe or use this Dundee cake one below and make one. I think you might change your mind about the humble little fruit cake

I was chatting on FaceTime with my mum at the weekend telling her I was going to be making a Dundee cake and I was saying that I can't believe how long it will be in the oven.  I mean 3 and a half hours is a long time, and she just casually said, "You know about the brown paper right"? I said no, what about the brown paper.....

She told me a great tip for making cakes that are in the oven a longtime is to wrap it in a double layer of brown paper twice the height of the tin to prevent the top of the cake from burning.  I did this and my Dundee cake turned out beautiful, thanks Mum I love your tips

This recipe is based on a recipe from my Scottish cookbook. Dundee cake is traditionally made with dried mixed peel/fruit. I don't love mixed fruit with the peel so much, so I substituted with raisins (regular and golden)

You will need

One 8 inch round cake tin

225g/8oz butter or margarine
225g/8oz fine sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
350g/12oz self raising flour
675g/1.5lbs Mixed fruit (I used half and half of regular and golden raisins)
100g/4oz glazed cherries (washed and quartered)
1 tsp mixed spice
50g/2oz whole balanced almonds

Dundee Cake Ingredients

  • Grease an 8 inch round cake tin, then line with paper

Line your tin

  • Set oven to 300F/150C

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy

Butter and sugar

  • Gradually beat in the eggs, add a little flour to prevent curdling

add eggs
butter, eggs, sugar

  • Mix the mixed fruit (or raisins) and cherries with a couple of spoonfuls of flour (this prevents the fruit from dropping to the bottom when baking)

mixed dried fruit

  • Sift then fold in the remaining flour and the mixed spice to the creamed mixture

sift the flour

  • Stir in the dried fruit and cherries, mix well

fruit cake mixture

  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, level the top with the back of a metal spoon after running it under hot water

fruit cake mixture

  • If the almonds have skin on, put them in a small bowl and add boiled water, leave them sitting for 1 minute then take them out and easily peel the skin off


almonds in water

  • Place the peeled whole almonds on top of the cake in a pretty circular design

Dundee cake mixture

  • Wrap your tin with brown paper, double the height of the tin to prevent burning the top of the cake (Thanks Mum for the tip)

brown paper tip

  • Bake in the cool oven for 3 and a half hours or until a skewer inserted is removed clean

  • Remove from oven and let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack

Dundee cake

Dundee cake

Enjoy by the slice with a cup of tea

Happy December and Happy baking Tartan-tasters

Dundee Cake

Fruit Cake Dundee Cake
Scottish Dundee Cake


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linking to homestoriesatoz ; chef-in-training ; savvysouthernstyle ; gingersnapcrafts ; fivelittlechefs ; simple living ; serenitynowblog


  1. The cake looks wonderful, Angela! Just one question, where on earth do you get mixed spice from? I've not been able to find it here in the PNW! TIA : ) Christine

    1. Hi Christine, I cheated as I still have some left over from a trip to Scotland. I know you can mix your own, which is what I was thinking of doing once I ran out :) I can't find it here in Texas

    2. My next trip across the pond is scheduled for October, 2014. Guess what I'll be bringing back to put in the freezer???? Thanks for the reply and if you ever get the proportions figured out, please, please, post them! : ) Christine

  2. It looks lovely. Were you sad to pull the ribbon off and take a bite? It just looked so pretty. Anyway, I'm hoping for a slice of fruitcake sometime soon so you can convince me I'm wrong about fruit cake. :)

  3. It is almost to beautiful to eat. Were you sad to remove that pretty ribbon and slice it up? I'm looking forward to a slice of your fruitcake sometime soon so you can convince this American that I'm wrong about it. :)

  4. Hi Angela,
    So great to see you again at Foodie Friday. I made a few of your treats last year for a New Year's in the UK party.. big hits. What an interesting tip about the brown bag… gorgeous cake.

    1. Hi Diane, glad you loved the tip it is good and it works great. I remember you made some Scottish treats last New Years :)

  5. It's a super beautiful cake
    Certainly festive and delicious :)

  6. Thanks so much for being party of Foodie Friday this year: Happy Holidays. Your recipe is being featured today. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week too.

  7. Hiya. I'm confused by the brown paper. What kind of brown paper? I've never made a fruit cake before. But I don't understand why anyone wouldn't like it. (My dad is from Dundee.) My grandmother and auntie always provide me with Dundee cake, but I'd like to give it a go. Also I'd like to have to more than once a year. :) so what's this brown paper? Like a brown paper bag? I'd think that would burn in the oven. Am I wrong? I don't want to burn down my apartment.

  8. Hi, so any brown paper that you have. I used brown paper that came in a roll for mailing purposes. Its thicker than brown bag, but you can use cut up brown bags, just double them up, it wont burn to the point of burning down an apartment lol but if its thinner it might char on the edges ever so slightly. If you eliminate the brown paper altogether the cake might burn slightly on the outer edge but it wont be ruined, I hope this helps. So glad to hear you have Dundee relatives, its one of my favourite cities :)


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