Bring in the holiday cheer with this Scottish Dundee Cake! It has delicate flavours, it’s served with an orange glaze, and it’s absolutely delicious!
Think of a lighter, easier version of the Christmas Plum Cake… And make it Scottish. That’s the Dundee cake! It’s not something that you normally see at Indian bakeries unlike the more popular plum cake, but this cake with a weird name is equally yum and simpler to make! You can make it for Christmas or even enjoy it as a tea cake on a regular day.
What is Dundee Cake?
Dundee cake is called that simply because it is native to a place called Dundee in Scotland. This Scottish fruit cake is originally made with sultanas, currants, fruit peels and a beautiful arrangement of almonds on top. It looks golden brown in colour and it’s definitely one of those cakes which you could eat cold or warm. What sets this cake apart from others is the distinct orange flavour that you get from the glaze. The orange is sweetish and bitter and just cuts through the sweetness of the cake. Traditionally, in Scotland, a generous amount of whiskey is added to the Dundee cake! And we are following that tradition!
Is it different from Fruit Cake or Christmas Cake?
- Dundee cake vs fruit cake - Fruit cakes are made with glazed cherries. Some Scottish bakers decided they didn’t like glazed cherries in their cake and so they baked a cake with blanched almonds instead. And voila! The Dundee cake was born.
- It’s a much lighter cake compared to the rich fruit cake, popularly known as plum cake.
- Also, you don’t need to soak dried fruits in alcohol for weeks before making a Dundee cake. So it qualifies as a last-minute Christmas cake I guess?
- Though the differences between the three are small, Dundee cake does have its own unique flavour profile
The Dundee Flavours
To make a Dundee cake which is distinctly different from other fruit cakes, these ingredients are super important.
- Milk powder which gives it a slight malty flavour
- Orange, in any form! Marmalade or jam, candied orange peel and even an orange glaze for that fragrant orange taste
- Whiskey because what’s a Scottish cake without out some Scotch whisky
- Blanched or sliced almonds for a white-on-brown decoration on top of the cake
How to make Dundee Cake
- Soak the dried fruits and nuts in whiskey before you begin the cake prep - ideally overnight. You can soak it for longer if you wish to. You can use any whiskey you like or substitute it with orange juice
- Cream the butter and sugar - This is one of the first steps while making a Dundee cake and it’s so important. The butter needs to be room temperature so that you can cream it using a hand blender. The butter sugar mixture should be creamed till its light and fluffy
- Incorporate the eggs and orange marmalade and mix well till the eggs are well combined.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Sifting helps avoid any lumps in the batter. Add the soaked fruits and nuts and the batter is ready.
- To keep the fruits and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the cake we toss them in some reserved all purpose flour which ensures they are evenly distributed in the cake
- This is a thick batter, but it produces a really moist and fluffy cake
- We love sprinkling almonds on top for extra crunch and prettiness. While testing this recipe we realised that blanched almonds tend to sink into the batter as it bakes. So we decorated the cake with sliced almonds instead of the traditional blanched whole almonds.
- Bake the cake at 180 degrees in a preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes
- To check if the cake is completely baked, insert a skewer or toothpick into the center and it should come out completely clean
- Once baked, let the cake cool down and then serve it with orange glaze or powdered sugar
It’s a sweet and simple deal. Try the Dundee cake recipe this holiday season! Or why wait? Make it now so you can munch on it with a cup of tea later! What are you planning to cook this holiday season? Tell me in the comments below!
Watch Dundee Cake Recipe Video
Scottish Dundee Cake
- 140 grams Butter at room temperature
- 140 grams Sugar
- 3 Eggs at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Orange Marmalade
- 85 grams All Purpose Flour
- 30 grams Milk Powder
- 30 grams Almond Flour
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- 120 grams chopped dried fruits and nuts we used almonds, cashews, dried apricots, raisins, sultanas, dried figs
- 2 tablespoons Whiskey
- ¼ cup sliced Almonds
- ⅔ cup Icing Sugar
- 1 cup Orange Juice Freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon Butter melted
- In a bowl, mix together chopped fruit and whiskey. Refrigerate overnight. Take this out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start baking the cake to ensure it comes to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease and line an 8 inch baking pan with butter and parchment paper.
- Reserve one tablespoon all purpose flour and set aside. Sieve together remaining all purpose flour, almond flour, milk powder and baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy using a hand blender or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream for about 3-4 minutes until pale in colour.
- Add eggs and orange marmalade and blend. Mix well and remember to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sieved flour mix to the butter mixture and use the hand blender to mix well. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add the reserved tablespoon of all purpose flour to the chopped fruit and mix well. Add the chopped fruit to the batter and fold to combine. Transfer the prepared batter to the lined baking pan. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to level it. Tap it against the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve with the orange glaze.
- Whisk together the orange juice, icing sugar and melted butter. Whisk for 2 minutes till it is well combined. Pass it through a fine sieve and serve with the Dundee cake!