History of Dundee Cake

Dundee Cake is a delicious, traditional Scottish fruit cake that has been enjoyed for generations. Its origins date back to the 19th century when it was first created in the Scottish city of Dundee. This cake is known for its rich, fruity flavor and unique design, which includes a circle of almonds on top.

Over the years, the recipe for Dundee Cake has been passed down through families and has become a beloved treat in Scotland and beyond. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of Dundee Cake, its ingredients, and how it is made.

The History of Dundee Cake:

The story of Dundee Cake begins in the 19th century when it was created by the Keiller family, who were well-known marmalade makers in Dundee. The recipe for the cake was created to use up leftover marmalade and other dried fruits, which were often imported to the city via its bustling port. The original recipe included raisins, sultanas, currants, and candied citrus peel, all of which were soaked in whisky overnight to give the cake its distinctive flavor.

The cake quickly became popular with the local people and soon became a favorite among Scottish households. It was also exported to other parts of the world, including the British colonies and beyond. The cake’s popularity grew even more after it was featured in Beatrix Potter’s book “The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle,” which helped to spread the word about this delicious Scottish treat.

Ingredients of Dundee Cake:

The ingredients used in Dundee Cake are what give it its unique flavor and texture. The recipe typically includes:

The cake is also topped with a circle of whole almonds, which not only add to its visual appeal but also give it a crunchy texture.

How to Make Dundee Cake:

Making Dundee Cake is a relatively straightforward process, although it does require some preparation beforehand. Here is a basic recipe:

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 350g mixed dried fruit
  • 50g candied peel
  • 4 tbsp whisky
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 25g whole almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas mark 2.
  2. Grease and line a 20cm/8in cake tin.
  3. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Sift in the flour and fold in the ground almonds.
  6. Stir in the mixed dried fruit, candied peel, whisky, and almond extract.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the surface.
  8. Arrange the whole almonds in a circle on top of the cake.
  9. Bake for 2-2.5 hours until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Dundee Cake gluten-free?

No, Dundee Cake is not gluten-free as it contains self-raising flour.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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