We love Dundee cake! Such an easy and delicious cake to make. Fruit cake is a firm favourite in our house and it's nice to try out different types of fruit cake.
Traditionally this cake is made with sultanas, currants and almonds - and no cherries. But my son adores cherries in fruit cake and so we do add them in our recipe. You can, of course, leave them out and simply replace the weight of cherries with sultanas.
Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. It's very simple to make - just a question of mixing everything together really.
Also, many recipes do not include whisky. We include whisky in our recipe because it makes the fruit so much plumper and moist. If you prefer, you can soak the fruit in orange juice instead - but the whisky does give a lovely flavour. At a pinch, you can leave out this part, but the cake will not be quite so moist. If you forget, then at least allow the fruit to soak for a couple of hours before baking the cake.
Many recipes for Dundee cake leave out any spices, but we couldn't resist adding cinnamon and nutmeg and the cake is a lovely treat with the extra spice.
We've tried two different ways of doing this. Most recipes call for putting blanched almonds on the cake before baking - but you can also place almonds on the top of the cake afterwards. In this case, you can toast the nuts first which gives them a lovely flavour.
The nuts don't stay on the cake all that well if you put them on afterwards. But in our opinion the flavour is superior. Technically you should use corn syrup to stick them on which probably works better. But we don't use corn syrup in our house any more as we prefer to use honey or maple syrup.
I've given directions for both ways.
Time: 1 3/4 hours including baking
Plus 12 hours overnight soaking
140g (1 cup) raisins
120g (1 cup) dried currants
70g (1/3 cup) diced mixed fruit peel
2 tbsp whisky
130g (2/3 cup) glace cherries
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
120g (1 cup) butter, softened
100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
90g (1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
320g (2 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
100g (1 heaped cup) whole almonds
- blanched almonds if you wish to bake them on the cake or with the skins on if you prefer to add them after baking.
Honey, if you add the almonds after baking.
9" cake tin that is at least 3 inches deep. You can use an 8" tin with no problem. A spring form tin is best.
Dundee cake is delicious with Earl Grey or English Breakfast. If you prefer herb tea, we love it with mint tea best.
I think a slice of Dundee cake is quite enough for tea in the afternoon - but if I did serve it as part of a spread, I would serve it with lovely thick ham sandwiches, English breakfast tea and buttermilk scones. I just don't see Dundee cake as a fancy afternoon tea cake. It's too delicious to eat on ceremony!! This would be a beautiful and down-to-earth Yorkshire afternoon tea spread (even if the cake is from Scotland.....).