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HAIRY cakes, not Fairy cakes! - Dundee Cake

Serves 10

Delicious served with a hunk of cheese and a hot cup of tea.

Doesn’t always contain glace cherries. We’ve also added marmalade for a lovely orangey flavour and because Dundee cake was originally made in a marmalade factory. Use butter that you’ve allowed to soften at room temperature for a few minutes and it will cream with the sugar much more easily.


225g self-raising flour

25g ground almonds

1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice

3 large eggs, beaten

175g softened butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing

175g soft light brown sugar

3 tbsp orange marmalade

400g mixed dried fruit

75g glace cherries, halved

2 tbsp whisky or milk

40g blanched almonds to decorate

1 tsp granulated or caster sugar, to decorate (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170C/fan oven 150C/Gas 3. Butter and double line the base and sides of a 20cm loose-based deep cake tin with baking parchment. Butter the paper. Mix the flour, almonds and spice in a bowl. Whisk the eggs together in another bowl.

Put the butter and sugar into an electric food mixer and beat for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.  You will have to push the mixture down a couple of times with a rubber spatula. (If you don’t have a food mixer, used electric beaters and a very large bowl.)

Add the marmalade and mix for a few seconds more. Slowly add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. If you add them too quickly the batter may curdle, so you’ll need to beat in a couple of tablespoons of the flour mixture and then continue.

Turn off the motor and add all the flour mixture to the batter. Beat in very slowly, then remove the bowl from the stand and stir in the mixed dried fruit and cherries with a large metal spoon. Add the whisky or milk and mix lightly. Spoon into the cake tin, smooth the surface as evenly as you can and arrange the blanched almonds in circles lightly on top.

Bake for about 1¼  -1 ½ hours until well risen, firm and golden brown.  If you are unsure about whether the cake is ready, poke a skewer carefully into the centre. If it is ready, the skewer should come out clean. If not, pop back into the oven for a few more minutes. You may want to cover the cake loosely with some foil if the top is beginning to overbrown.

Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper and place on a wire rack. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and leave to cool completely or serve just warm. Store in a cake tin and eat within 4-5 days.


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