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Nov 20, 2019

Dundee Cake | Scottish Fruit Cake

Dundee cake is a traditional Scottish Christmas fruit cake. There are lots of versions, but what they all have in common are gorgeous concentric circles of blanched almonds on top, a boozy glaze, and orange zest in the batter.

Dundee Cake

Because Dundee cake is Scottish, the dried fruit is traditionally soaked in whisky. However, you can use rum, cognac, bourbon, or brandy. I used brandy to soak the dried fruit that is in this cake as well as to make the orange marmalade glaze.

From what I understand, Dundee cake was invented by a company that also claims to have invented orange marmalade, Keiller's. Candied orange peel is another traditional ingredient in this cake.

Scottish Fruit Cake

This version of Dundee cake, from the book, The European Cake Cookbook, is made with golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and candied orange peel. I didn't have any candied orange peel, so I replaced it with chopped dried apricots.

While this is a Christmas fruitcake, it is a lot lighter and less dense than American fruitcake, and there are no gloppy green or red cocktail cherries! The cake actually stays fresh for about three days, and it's pretty good as a substitute for morning coffee cake.

I garnished the top of the cake with orange slices that I candied by simmering them in sugar and water, just like the lemon slices on this Engish Madeira Cake.

Dundee Scottish Christmas Cake

How to Make Dundee Cake:

First, you combine brandy or cognac in a small bowl and add the dried fruit to soak. Be sure to give the fruit a stir every few minutes while you are mixing the cake batter. 

Next, you cream together the butter, sugars, and vanilla on high speed until fluffy and light. Then, you add eggs one at a time and mix them in. 

After that, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon,  and then sift them into the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. 

Drain the fruit, reserving the brandy for making a glaze for the top of the cake. Add the fruit and some orange zest to the batter and stir. 

Pour the batter into a prepared 9-inch springform pan and spread it out flat with an offset spatula. Place blanched almonds in rings over the top of the batter, and bake the cake for an hour at 330 degrees F. 

Note: Instead of the whole almonds, I used blanched sliced almonds on top. 

While the cake is baking, simmer the reserved brandy with some marmalade to make a glaze. 

Finally, bake the cake for 45 minutes, brush it with the glaze, and bake it for 15 minutes more, remove it from the oven to a wire rack, and brush it again with the glaze. Let cool completely and then top with the candied orange slices. 

Dundee Scottish Christmas Cake with brandy and almonds

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th we all post about our cake on our blogs.

There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes! Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes.

If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details. The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Our choices for November 2019 were ~
  1. Chocolate Kiev Cake
  2. German Prinzregenten Torte
  3. Dundee Cake
  4. Pomegranate Creme Cake
Chocolate Kiev Cake
German Prinzregenten Torte

Dundee Cake

Dundee Cake
Yield: 12 servings
Dundee cake is a traditional Scottish Christmas fruit cake. There are lots of versions, but what they all have in common are gorgeous concentric circles of blanched almonds on top, a boozy glaze, and orange zest in the batter.


  • 3/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 cup (150 grams) golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ( 100 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (186 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (96 grams) almond flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest from one orange
  • 1 cup of blanched almonds, or 1/2 cup of blanched almond slices
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • Candied orange slices for garnish


How to cook Dundee Cake

  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F with a rack in the middle. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan with spray oil, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the brandy and dried fruit in a small bowl and let sit while you prepare the cake batter. Stir it occasionally.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Sift the mixture over the egg and sugar mixture and mix until the flour is fully incorporated. Stir in the fruit and orange zest and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Smooth the top of the batter with an offset spatula and place the almonds on top of the batter in concentric rings.
  7. Bake the cake for 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and brush it with the brandy/marmalade glaze and place the cake back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and brush it with more glaze.
  9. Let the cake cool completely.
  10. Garnish with the candied orange slices.
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Dundee cake
Cake, fruit cake

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I see you lowered your baking time as well. Your cake looks lovely.

  2. This looks so festive, Karen! I love the addition of the candied lemons. I definitely need to try it!

    1. Thanks! They are actually oranges but do look like lemons!

  3. This looks really yummy! I actually love all the fruits in it!

  4. Your cake looks delicious with all that fruit floating in it. I can't wait to make it.

  5. The cake looks absolutely delicious!!! Just want to eat the whole cake.


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