If you are looking for a delicious and easy fruit cake recipe, you might want to try this Dundee cake by Mary Berry. Dundee cake is a traditional Scottish cake that is made with currants, sultanas, mixed peel, and almonds. It has a rich and buttery flavor and a crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. It is perfect for afternoon tea, or as a festive treat for Christmas.
Dundee cake is said to have originated in the 19th century when the marmalade company Keiller’s of Dundee added fruit cake to their range of products. The cake was named after the city of Dundee and became popular throughout Britain. Mary Berry, the famous British baker and cookbook author, has her own version of this classic cake, which is simple to make and tastes amazing.
What is Mary Berry Dundee Cake?
Mary Berry Dundee cake is a type of fruit cake that is made with dried fruit, cherries, almonds, and orange marmalade. It is a traditional Scottish cake that originated in the city of Dundee, where it was first produced by the marmalade company Keiller’s in the 19th century. The cake has a rich buttery flavor and a crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. It is usually decorated with blanched almonds arranged in circles on top and sometimes brushed with corn syrup or sugar for extra shine and sweetness.
- Related: Delia Smith Dundee Cake
Why You Love this Recipe
- Very easy to make with simple ingredients and a straightforward method
- Versatile recipe – customize with your choice of dried fruits, nuts, citrus, liquor
- Delicious old-fashioned flavor – perfect balance of moist crumb, crunchy nuts, bright citrus, rich spice
- Ideal for serving at teatime, holidays, or anytime you want a cozy cake
- Aromatic as it bakes – makes your home smell wonderful
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Dundee Cake
To make this Dundee cake, you will need the following ingredients:
- 175g (6oz) of softened butter, plus extra for greasing
- 175g (6oz) of soft light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of orange marmalade
- 3 free-range eggs, beaten
- 225g (8oz) of self-raising flour
- 25g (1oz) of ground almonds
- 1 heaped teaspoon of ground mixed spice
- 400g (14oz) of mixed dried fruit
- 75g (3oz) of glacé cherries, halved
- 2 tablespoons of whisky or milk
- 40g (1½oz) of blanched almonds, to decorate
- 1 teaspoon of granulated or caster sugar, to decorate (optional)
You will also need the following equipment:
- A food processor or an electric mixer
- A 20cm (8in) loose-based deep cake tin
- Greaseproof paper
- A skewer
- A wire rack
- A small saucepan
- A pastry brush
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Dundee Cake
Here is how you can make Mary Berry’s Dundee cake at home, with a complete step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Prepare the oven and the cake tin
Preheat the oven to 150°C (140°C fan, gas mark 2). Grease and double-line the cake tin with greaseproof paper. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the tin and make it easier to remove later.
Step 2: Cream the butter, sugar, and marmalade
In the food processor or the electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. This will create a smooth and airy base for the cake. Add the marmalade and mix for a few seconds. This will add some orange flavor and sweetness to the cake.
Step 3: Add the eggs and flour
Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. This will incorporate air into the batter and make the cake rise. If the mixture looks curdled, add a little flour and mix well. This will prevent the cake from becoming dense and heavy. Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the mixed spice, and mix to a soft dough. This will combine the dry ingredients and add some spice to the cake.
Step 4: Stir in the almonds, dried fruit, and cherries
Stir in the ground almonds, the dried fruit, and the cherries with a large metal spoon. This will add some crunch, texture, and color to the cake. Add the whisky or the milk and mix well. This will moisten the batter and add some flavor.
Step 5: Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and decorate with almonds
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, and smooth the surface. This will ensure even baking and a flat top. Carefully arrange the blanched almonds in circles on top. This will create a beautiful and traditional decoration for the cake.
Step 6: Bake the cake and test for doneness
Bake for 1½ to 2 hours or until well-risen, firm, and golden brown. This will cook the cake and give it a nice crust. To test if the cake is done, insert a skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, bake for a few more minutes and check again.
Step 7: Cool the cake and brush with corn syrup
Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin, peel off the lining paper, and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack. This will allow the cake to set and prevent it from breaking. Heat the corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, until runny. Brush over the top surface of the hot cake. This will add some shine and sweetness to the cake. Sprinkle with granulated or caster sugar, if using. This will add some crunch and sparkle to the cake.
Step 8: Store or freeze the cake
Store the cake in a tin and eat it within 4 to 5 days. This will keep the cake fresh and moist. You can also wrap the cake in foil and freeze it for up to 3 months. This will preserve the cake and allow you to enjoy it later. To defrost the cake, leave it at room temperature for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight.
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Dundee Cake?
Mary Berry Dundee cake is a wonderful cake that can be enjoyed on its own, or with some accompaniments.
Here are some suggestions for what you can serve with this cake:
- A cup of tea or coffee. This is the classic way to enjoy this cake, as it complements the flavor and texture of the cake very well. You can choose any type of tea or coffee that you like, such as black, green, herbal, or decaf.
- A dollop of whipped cream or custard. This is a great way to add some creaminess and richness to the cake and make it more indulgent. You can use store-bought or homemade whipped cream or custard, and add some vanilla or cinnamon for extra flavor.
- A scoop of ice cream or sorbet. This is a refreshing and cooling option, especially for the warmer months. You can use any flavor of ice cream or sorbet that you like, such as vanilla, chocolate, or lemon. You can also add some fresh fruit or berries for some color and contrast.
- A slice of cheese or butter. This is a more savory and traditional option, especially for the Scottish people. You can use any type of cheese or butter that you like, such as cheddar, brie, or salted. You can also add some crackers or bread for some crunch and texture.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Dundee Cake
Here are some pro tips to make sure your Mary Berry Dundee cake comes out perfect every time:
- Use softened butter and eggs at room temperature. This will help the butter and sugar cream together better, and the eggs incorporate more easily into the batter. This will result in a smoother and lighter cake.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and mixed spice. This will aerate the dry ingredients, and distribute the leavening and spice evenly throughout the batter. This will result in a more even and fluffy cake.
- Cut the cherries in half and coat them with some flour. This will prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the cake, and make them more visible and distributed in the cake. This will result in a more colorful and fruity cake.
- Arrange the almonds carefully on top of the cake. This will create a beautiful and traditional decoration for the cake, and add some crunch and nuttiness to the cake. Make sure to leave some space between the almonds, as the cake will rise and expand in the oven.
- Test the cake for doneness with a skewer. This will ensure that the cake is fully baked and not undercooked or overcooked. The skewer should come out clean, with no wet batter or crumbs attached to it. If the cake is browning too quickly, you can cover it with some foil to prevent it from burning.
- Brush the cake with corn syrup and sprinkle with sugar. This will add some shine and sweetness to the cake, and make it more attractive and appetizing. You can also use honey, jam, or glaze instead of corn syrup, and use any type of sugar that you like, such as granulated, caster, or demerara.
Variations of Mary Berry Dundee Cake
You can also try some variations of Mary Berry Dundee cake, to suit your preferences and tastes.
Here are some ideas for how you can change up this recipe:
- Swap in different dried fruits like golden raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates
- Use walnuts, pecans, pistachios instead of almonds
- Add fresh orange or lemon zest, or exotic lime zest
- Replace whiskey with rum, brandy, coffee liqueur
- Top with chocolate ganache, sugar glaze, or candied fruit
- Customize the cake to suit your taste and what’s in your pantry
- Get creative with the ingredients – it will be delicious no matter what!
How do I store Mary Berry Dundee Cake Leftovers?
If you have any leftovers of Mary Berry Dundee cake, you can store them in a tin and eat them within 4 to 5 days. This will keep the cake fresh and moist. You can also wrap the cake in foil and freeze it for up to 3 months. This will preserve the cake and allow you to enjoy it later. To defrost the cake, leave it at room temperature for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Dundee Cake Leftovers?
If you want to reheat Mary Berry Dundee cake leftovers, you can do so in the oven or the microwave. Here are the steps for each method:
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan, gas mark 3). Wrap the cake in foil and place it on a baking tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until warm. Unwrap the cake and serve.
- Microwave: Cut the cake into slices and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, or until warm. Remove the paper towel and serve.
Nutrition Value (Per serving)
- Calories: 390 kcals
- Fat: 18 g (8 g saturated)
- Protein: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 54 g (34 g sugars)
- Fiber: 2 g
- Salt: 0.4 g
What is the difference between Dundee cake and fruit cake?
Dundee cake is a type of fruit cake that originated in Scotland and is made with dried fruit, cherries, almonds, and orange marmalade. It has a lighter and crumblier texture than the traditional fruit cake, which is usually made with more spices, molasses, and candied fruit. Dundee cake is also decorated with blanched almonds arranged in circles on top, while fruit cake is often covered with marzipan and royal icing.
- Related: Hairy Bikers Dundee Cake Recipe
How long does Dundee cake last?
Dundee cake can last for up to 4 to 5 days if stored in a tin at room temperature, or up to 3 months if wrapped in foil and frozen. To defrost the cake, leave it at room temperature for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight. You can also reheat the cake in the oven or the microwave if you prefer it warm.
Can I use different dried fruit or nuts for Dundee cake?
Yes, you can use any combination of dried fruit or nuts that you like, as long as the total weight is the same as the original recipe. For example, you can use raisins, currants, cranberries, apricots, or dates instead of sultanas, or pistachios, walnuts, or pecans instead of almonds. You can also use candied peel or zest instead of marmalade, or different liquor instead of whisky.
- Related: Mary Berry Caramel Shortbread
How do I prevent the cake from browning too quickly or sinking in the middle?
To prevent the cake from browning too quickly, you can wrap a folded sheet of newspaper around the outside of the cake tin, and tie it with string. You can also cover the cake with foil halfway through the baking time if it looks too dark. To prevent the cake from sinking in the middle, you can make sure the oven temperature is not too high, and avoid opening the oven door too often. You can also test the cake for doneness with a skewer, and bake it for a few more minutes if it is not ready.
Mary Berry’s Dundee cake is a delicious and easy fruit cake recipe that you can make at home. It is a traditional Scottish cake that is rich, buttery, and crumbly, and packed with dried fruit and almonds. It is perfect for afternoon tea, or as a festive treat for Christmas. Try this recipe and enjoy a slice of this classic cake with your family and friends.