Dundee cake

Dundee cake

Tara Fisher

I love collecting old recipe books – I’ve even got some from the early 1800s. This recipe comes from a book published at the start of the nineteenth century. Keiller’s Bakery in Dundee is said to have started our love of this Scottish cake by mass-producing it. It’s often served at Christmas and nearly always has almonds arranged on the top.


Quantity Ingredient
225g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
225g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 unwaxed lemon, grated zest
325g self-raising flour
15g ground mixed spice
50g ground almonds
100g sultanas
100g currants
50g chopped mixed peel
75g glace cherries
125g raisins
150g whole blanched almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C. Grease and line the inside and outside of a 20cm diameter deep-sided cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then fold in the lemon zest, flour, mixed spice and ground almonds, until well combined. Add all the mixed fruit and 50g of the almonds and stir again. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top.
  3. Decorate the top with the reserved whole almonds, then bake in the oven for 1¾ hours. Cover the top with baking parchment or foil halfway through if the top is browning too much. Check if the cake is cooked by inserting a clean skewer or knife into the centre – if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes and check once more. Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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