I love Dundee syle fruit cake and I like it best accompanied with a slice of really good cheddar cheese. When I took my son to Bristol airport I decided to visit the Cheddar Gorge on the way home and buy some ‘real’ cheddar cheese. Of course I then needed to find a fruit cake recipe and opted for Mary Berry’s easy Dundee cake recipe.
Dundee cake is a full flavoured fruit cake but lighter than Christmas Cake and can be a good substitute if you find Christmas Cake a bit too rich and heavy
It is very much an all in one cake where all the basic ingredients go in together first (flour, butter, eggs, sugar) and are simpley mixed. Then the fruit is added and you are ready to go.
The fruit is much less dense that in a more traditional Christmas Cake and I think this is a good option instead of a Christmas cake for those that don’t like the over rich fruit cake. You can make it a little bit Christmassy by adding some mixed spice or nutmeg to the mix too. Of course it can’t be iced – so it depends whether you like icing.
Why Dundee Cake?
It seems the name was coined by the Keiller family when they produced this cake in the 18th century. There is now an application to give the name protected status. If this is granted only cakes baked within a certain postcode will be entitled to be called a Dundee cake.
Back to my trip to the Cheddar Gorge – I had forgotten just how spectacular the Cheddar Gorge is, and it was wonderful to drive through.
The area of shops does feel a bit ‘touristy’ and a bit spoilt but never the less there is plenty of locally made cheddar on sale and it is possible to taste the wide number of varieties, some depending on the maturity some on flavouring such as port (very yummy!).
The best cheese deserves the best fruit cake!
Best Fruit Cake Recipe
Below is the recipe I used, adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe in Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook
It is just a little simpler, excluding candied peel and suggesting mixed fruit that you have from sultanas, rasins and currants. You can buy mixed fruit too so if you don’t have any in your cupboards it means your outlay is less.
Dundee Cake Recipe
- 150g / 5oz margarine
- 150g / 5oz light muscovado sugar
- 3 eggs
- 250g / 8oz plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 350g / 12oz mixed dried fruit
- 60g / 2 oz glace cherries
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
- 60g / 2oz whole almonds to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
- Line a 20 cm / 8inch diameter loose bottomed tin with baking parchment
- In a bowl blend the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and nutmeg if using and beat well
- Stir in the mixed fruit, cherries, and lemon zest
- Spoon into the prepared baking tin
- Arrange the whole almonds on top
- Bake in the oven for about 90 minutes. Check if cooked by inserting a skewer in the middle to see if it comes out clean
- Allow to cool on a wire rack
Mary Berry suggests you store in an airtight container for a week before serving.
Completely delicious with a slice of mature cheddar cheese!
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This recipe was orginally written in 2011 but has been updated in December 2013 with a new photograph and further edits