Whenever I think about Dundee cake it reminds me of the Christmas offering by Flury's a cult eatery in Kolkata. In my Central Kolkata residence, Baba used to bring it along with the rich fruit cakes from Nahaums. Not that, I was aware of the difference between a traditional Dundee cake and Fruit Cake then but I used to like the Dundee cake for the simple decoration with blanched almonds always over a typical fruitcake. Yes, it was solely for decoration; a light fruit cake with flower decorations with almonds over the top!
Difference between Dundee Cake and Fruit Cake
I came to know about the difference after many years when I started baking. In fact, when I was in Gurgaon a friend requested me to bake her an authentic Dundee cake. Since then I bake it every year. I have tried several recipes and obviously searched a bit for the famous Dundee cake and yes some interesting history exists!
Traditional Scottish Dundee Cake - History
As the story goes, this particular variety is invented by Scottish bakers and probably prepared first keeping in mind the preferences of Mary, Queen of Scots who reigned in Scotland back in the 16th Century. It is said that she didn't like Glazed Cherries and hence a light fruitcake was prepared for her devoid of cherries and specifically with blanched Almonds and named Dundee Cake. This cake, however, was named after the Keilers of Dundee when it was made commercially first in the 19th century. At this time, however, they started incorporating Glazed Cherries while baking the cake.
What makes it special?
Traditional Dundee Cake is actually a form of light fruit cake, decorated with Blanched Almonds on the top and is a very good alternative to typical rich fruit cake. Another important thing about the recipe is there is no need to soak dry fruits in alcohol to make this version of fruitcake. This means this is actually a type of last-minute Christmas cake!
Finally coming to the traditional Dundee Cake recipe, calls for Almonds, Sultana, and a few dry fruits. I, however, followed a recipe from The Evening Independent (1936) and it came out amazing! They took the recipe from the Boston School Cook Book. Now with little alteration, I follow that recipe to make my Cake.
Traditional Scottish Dundee Cake is a light Fruit cake variety that does not require soaking the dry fruits in alcohol for months and is ideal for last-minute Christmas Baking
To make the Cake:
- 225g All-Purpose Flour (1 and a half Cup)
- 1 Tsp. Baking Powder
- 4 Egg
- 175g White Butter
- 150g Brown Sugar
- 50g Candied Peel (Orange and Lemon)
- 100g Raisin
- 100g Currents
- 100g Sultana
- 50g Glazed Cherries
- 4 Tbsp. Whiskey
- 4 Tbsp. Orange Juice
For the Glaze:
- 100g Almond
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 Tbsp. Castor Sugar
- Take Almonds in a bowl and pour boiling water over the almonds and cover the bowl for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes take the almonds out and rub them using your hands to peel the skin.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C for 10 minutes.
- Line a Round cake tin with Parchment paper.
- Sift Baking Powder and Flour together twice.
- Take Butter at room temperature in a bowl and start beating it to cream.
- Add Brown Sugar and beat till the sugar dissolves completely.
- Now add Eggs one by one and mix using the beater.
- Start incorporating the Flour into three batches and mix lightly following the cut and fold method.
- Now add Candid Peel (Orange and Lemon), Raisin, Currents, Sultana, Glazed Cherries, Whiskey, and Orange Juice, and mix.
- The mixture should be of pouring consistency.*
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
- Bake the Cake for 45 minutes at 150 decree C and take it out of the oven.
- Decorate the top of the cake with Blanched Almonds in a way to create a floral design.
- Again bake the cake at 150 degrees C or at the lowest temperature of your oven for 1 hour or till the cake is browned from the top and cooked from inside.
- Take the cake out of the oven.
- Boil the Milk along with the Castor Sugar and brush the cake with the mixture.
- Bake the cake again for 2-3 minutes at 180 Degrees C and take it out of the oven.
- Cool the Dundee cake on the wire rack and cover it with Parchment paper and wait for 2-3 days before serving it.
- If you want to make Alcohol free version of the Dundee cake, just replace Whiskey with an equal amount of Orange Juice.
- If not available replace Sultana with an equal quantity of Current.
- Baking time varies from Oven to Oven, keep that in consideration while baking the cake.
- This cake requires slow baking.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 50 mins
- Category: Cake
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: Scottish
- Serving Size: 100g
- Calories: 217
- Sugar: 14g
- Sodium: 24mg
- Fat: 10.5g
- Saturated Fat: 4.9g
- Carbohydrates: 26.6g
- Fiber: 1.3g
- Protein: 3.9g
- Cholesterol: 51mg
Keywords: dundee cake recipe, traditional scottish dundee cake recipe, christmas cake recipe, debjanir rannagha
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By the way, I hope the question I asked, whether Dundee Cake is a substitute for the Rich Fruit Cake is answered!
Merry Christmas Friends!
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