Dundee Cake

This Dundee cake is filled with raisins, sultanas, glacé cherries and apricots plump from having been soaked in a mix of sloe gin, sherry and whisky. Don’t by the way worry about the alcohol in this cake as once cooked it’s perfectly ok to drive afterwards or give to kids.  This is a light fruit cake but wonderfully moist and slightly crumbly.

I was lucky enough to be spending a few days in Wales in a beautiful barn nestled in the Cambrian Mountains.  After a long (or even short) walk I longed for a piece of this cake  – whether this was actually to replace my energy levels or using the excuse of having a piece as a reward for doing some exercise is a matter for debate!!  One thing is for sure, in this family you have to take Dundee Cake away with you on any autumn/winter holiday in the UK   ……..Ok I admit I don’t just save this cake for holidays, I make it at home too!    It is supremely comforting and slightly old fashioned but totally delicious and perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon!!  If sometimes you long for a simpler life, have moments when you have to buy a Cath Kidson tablecloth or an Emma Bridgewater Mug this is for you   I have to say, as a matter of accuracy,  it was pretty good on the OKA plates they had in the barn!!


  • 175g raisins
  • 175g sultanas
  • 125g natural glacé cherries, quartered
  • 125g dried ready to eat apricots, each cut into six
  • 3tbsp each sloe gin, whisky, sweet sherry
  • 150g soft butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of a lemon
  • zest of an orange
  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g ground almond
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • A handful of whole almonds to decorate


  1. The day before you want to make the cake put the raisins and sultanas into a bowl along with the apricots and glacé cherries.  Stir in the sloe gin, whisky and sweet sherry.  Cover and leave overnight so the dried fruit can plump up.
  2. The next day cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Whilst mixer is creaming, line an 18cm loose bottomed cake tin (sides and base) with baking parchment and heat oven to 170c or 160c fan
  4. Add the eggs gradually, adding a tablespoon of the flour between each addition to help stop mixture from curdling ( don’t worry if it does curdle btw the cake will come right when you fold in rest of flour)
  5. Grate in zest of lemon and orange and combine thoroughly
  6. Begin to fold in flour, ground almonds, baking powder and mixed spice.  Don’t worry if it’s a little stiff as you can now add the soaked fruits down its juices to the mix which, when you continue Golding, will loosen the mix to a dropping consistency (add a tablespoon of milk if mix doesn’t drop off spoon)
  7. Put mix into tin and smooth off the top before decorating with whole almonds
  8. Bake in oven for an hour and a half to two hours until cake is springy in centre and skewer comes away clean when tested
  9. Allow to cool completely in tin before unwrapping and storing/eating.


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