My Father recently celebrated a significant birthday, so to honour his Scottish heritage, I made for him a Dundee Cake. While I know the first rule of baking is never make for someone, what you haven’t already made for yourself (boy have I learned this the hard way), I confidently broke this rule as my favourite baking book, British Baking never disappoints with its trustworthy recipes. Normally a fruitcake can have mixed appeal, especially with children, however this cake went down a treat! It’s not as rich as a traditional Christmas fruit cake and goes perfectly with a morning cup of tea.
Recipe by Oliver Peyton from British Baking
30g red glace cherries, chopped
30g candied peel, chopped
Grated zest of 1 small orange
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
125g light brown sugar
1 tbsp black treacle
180g plain flour
A few grates of fresh nutmeg
1/4 tsp mixed spice
40g whole blanched almonds
Makes 8-10 slices
Preparation time 25 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours
900g loaf tin/20cm round cake tin
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celsius. Grease the loaf/cake tin, then line the bottom with baking paper.
Begin by making the syrup. Put the caster sugar and water into a small milk saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
As you wait for the sugar to dissolve, begin measuring out all of the dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins, cherries and peel). Put the dried fruit into a bowl and add the grated orange zest. When the sugar has fully dissolved (making a warm syrup), pour it over the fruit, allowing it to soak.
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, treacle and salt until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. When it is well mixed, sift in the flour, nutmeg and mixed spice. Mix together until it is all incorporated.
Then, gently fold through the fruit mix, making sure the fruit is evenly spread throughout the mixture.
Spoon mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing down the top. To finish, arrange the whole blanched almonds on top.
Bake for 2 hours, or until a cake skewer comes out clean when you test the cake.
Cool completely before turning out and serving. Will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.
Note: I personally like to bake this cake in a round cake tin, arranging the almonds in a circular pattern on top. This is the traditional way of serving.