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A slice of Dundee Cake

Spirited Dundee Cake

Lighter and less rich than a traditional fruitcake, this Spirited Dundee Cake is made with raisins, currants, mixed peel, candied citron, and a “whisper of whisky”.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword Christmas Cake, Dundee Cake, fruitcake
Servings 12
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99


  • cups sultana raisins
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup currants
  • ½ cup mixed peel
  • 1/3 cup candied citron
  • 1/3 cup whisky
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ - 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind (from one medium-sized orange)
  • ¾ - 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind (from one medium-sized lemon)
  • 3 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (1/3 cup removed and reserved for dredging fruit)
  • 1/8 cup almond flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp mace
  • Apx. 2½ - 3 oz whole blanched almonds
  • Apx. 2/3 cup additional whisky (for brushing on cake and soaking its cheesecloth wrap)


  1. In medium-sized bowl, combine the raisins, currants, mixed peel, and candied citron. Drizzle 1/3 cup whisky over fruit to rehydrate the fruit, stirring well as the whisky is added. Cover tightly and let stand for about 24 hours, stirring mixture 2-3 times.
  2. Bring butter and eggs to room temperature.
  3. Prepare, as follows, an 8” round cake pan that is at least 3” deep and has a removable bottom. Cut 3 circles (one from medium-to-heavy weight brown paper and two from parchment paper) each the size of the removable pan bottom.
  4. Measure the distance all around the pan and cut 3 strips (one from brown paper and two from parchment paper) equal to the measurement of the pan circumference + 3” for overlap, each strip apx. 3½“ deep.
  5. As not all pans with removable bottoms are 100% tight, cover the bottom of the exterior of the pan with a layer of heavy-duty tinfoil, extending the coverage about halfway up the side of the pan to ensure no batter escapes during baking.
  6. Using a spray cooking oil, very lightly spray the oil here and there on the pan’s interior – both bottom and sides. This will help hold the paper in place. Position the brown paper circle on the pan bottom and the long brown paper strip along the interior sides. Very lightly spray the brown paper in spots and position the first layer of parchment bottom and side pieces in place. Repeat with the last parchment layer. When ready to add the batter, lightly spray cooking oil on the last parchment bottom and side layers and dust lightly with flour.
  7. Sift 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and spices together. Set aside.
  8. Using a microplane, or other fine grater, grate the orange and lemon rind. Cover tightly to keep the rind moist until using.
  9. Place oven rack one level lower than dead center in the oven, and preheat oven to 300°F. Place a small pan filled with hot tap water on the floor of the oven at the back to keep the cake moist as it bakes.
  10. In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and set at medium-low speed, cream the butter and sugars together until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture becomes pale in color, about 3-4 minutes, stopping periodically to scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
  11. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla then beat in the grated orange and lemon rind followed by the marmalade.
  12. With mixer set at lowest speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients about one-half cup at a time. Increase speed slightly to completely blend ingredients.
  13. Dredge the fruit mixture with the reserved 1/3 cup of flour. Stir quickly but gently to coat the fruit. Remove bowl from mixer and manually fold in the fruit until combined with the batter.
  14. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Spread batter evenly with a spatula. Batter may also be smoothened with a hand lightly moistened with water. Beginning at the outside edge of the cake, arrange the whole almonds in concentric circles, spacing them as desired. Arrange almonds into place with a very light touch so they do not sink into the batter as the cake bakes. Bake cake in the center of the positioned oven rack for apx. 2½ hours or until cake is set and cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. If cake starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent cake with tin foil, being careful not to let the foil touch the top of the cake before it is set. Remove cake from oven and let cake stand in pan for at least 45-60 minutes before removing. Remove cake from pan and carefully peel off and discard brown and parchment papers. Set cake upright on wire rack to cool completely.
  15. When cake is completely cooled, brush all sides of cake with apx. 2 tbsp whisky then wrap in cheesecloth that has been dampened with apx. ¼ cup whisky (exact amount needed will depend on how closely woven the cheesecloth is). Wrap cake tightly in double layer of plastic wrap followed by a double layer of tinfoil. Place cake in zippered plastic bag and store in cool, dark, dry place for a week then unwrap cake and brush about 1½ tbsp of whisky over sides and top of cake. Re-dampen cheesecloth with apx. 3 tbsp whisky and re-wrap cake as previously described. Store at room temperature for a week longer after which time the cake can then be cut and served or transferred to refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for longer storage.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 1 – 8” cake

NOTE: Refer to blog post for hints and tips on making Dundee Cake