The Queen's Teatime Favourite: Dundee Cake Recipe

The Queen’s Teatime Favourite: Dundee Cake

  • Author: Stacey Roberts | Veggie Mama
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 mins
  • Yield: one large cake 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English


A famous traditional Scottish fruitcake, reportedly a teatime favourite of Queen Elizabeth II



  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 180g light muscovado sugar
  • zest 1 large orange
  • 3 tablespoons marmalade
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 500g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g whole glacé cherries, chopped roughly


  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar


  1. Add the blanched almonds to a small bowl and pour boiling water to just cover. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, before draining and leaving to dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C
  3. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until soft.
  5. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  6. Add orange zest and marmalade and stir to combine.
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating before adding the next.
  8. Add the flour, baking powder, and ground almonds and mix.
  9. Stir in the milk.
  10. Stir in the fruit and gently mix to incorporate it fairly evenly.
  11. Pour into prepared pan, smooth down the top and decorate with the now-dry blanched almonds. The traditional decoration is for the almonds to be in concentric rings over the surface.
  12. Bake 45 minutes.
  13. Lower the oven temperature to 160C and bake another 60-80 minutes, checking just before the 60 minute mark with a skewer to see if the inside is cooked. The skewer should come out relatively clean, but it’s best to be on the slight underside of done with this cake as it dries out super-fast.
  14. When finished, combine the glaze milk and sugar in a small pan and brush it over the surface. Leave to cool in the tin before removing completely.
  15. Wrap entirely in foil and keep in a cool dark place for at least two days for the flavours to mature.


Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

Keywords: Dundee cake, fruit cake, tea cake, Scottish cake, Scottish tea cake, traditional Dundee cake