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Mary Berry Dundee Cake Recipe

Mary Berry’s Dundee Cake recipe encapsulates the essence of traditional British baking with a distinctive Scottish origin. As a celebrated British Baker, Mary Berry’s version of this classic cake is a testament to her expertise, combining rich and buttery flavours with a delightful array of fruits and nuts. Typically enjoyed during Christmas time and as a splendid complement to afternoon tea, a Dundee Cake is not only a festive treat but also a year-round favourite for those who relish a piece of culinary history on their plate.

mary berry dundee cake recipe uk fruit cake with whole almonds on tops

Crafting a Dundee Cake according to Mary Berry’s instructions invites you to indulge in a harmonious blend of currants, sultanas, and cherries, married with the subtle warmth of whisky and the satisfying crunch of almonds.

Following the recipe promises a moist and sumptuous cake that is not overly heavy, making it a perfect choice for those who prefer a lighter alternative to the more dense fruitcakes commonly served during the holidays. When paired with a hot cup of tea, this cake is fit for queens, quite literally, as the style of fruitcake has been known to be a favourite of Queen Elizabeth.

Key Takeaways

  • Mary Berry’s Dundee Cake is a cherished recipe combining fruits, nuts, and whisky.
  • Suited for special occasions, it’s particularly popular at Christmas and for afternoon tea.
  • Perfect for a lighter, yet richly flavoured, traditional British cake experience.

Ingredients

  • 150 g Butter (softened)
  • 150 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 250 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 175 g Sultanas
  • 90 g Currants
  • 90 g Raisins
  • 60 g Glace Cherries
  • 60 g Mixed Peel
  • 2 tbsp Ground Almonds
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 60 g Whole almonds (Halved)

Mary Berry Dundee Cake Method

  • Grease and base line a 20cm springform tin. Preheat the oven to 160℃/140℃fan/Gas 3.
  • Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl and beat well until blended. Stir in the fruit, mixed peel, ground almonds and lemon zest.
  • Transfer the mixture to the tin and level the surface. Arrange the whole almonds in concentric circles on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 1½ hours.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 1 week before eating.

History and Tradition

In the exploration of Dundee Cake’s history, you’ll discover its Scottish roots, the impact of renowned baker Mary Berry, and the cake’s association with Christmas and afternoon tea traditions. This iconic cake is as rich in flavour as it is in cultural significance.

Origin of Dundee Cake

The Dundee Cake is a traditional Scottish fruit cake with a rich history. It is believed to have originated in Dundee in the late 18th century as an invention by Janet Keiller. It is often linked with the Keiller’s marmalade company, which mass-produced the cake, and this association is said to have helped popularise the Dundee Cake name across Britain.

Mary Berry’s Influence

In contemporary times, Mary Berry, a respected figure in the culinary world, has championed the Dundee Cake, further cementing its status within British baking. Her version adheres to the traditional components such as dried fruit and almonds but incorporates her own touch to enhance the flavour and texture, reflecting both respect for tradition and modern adaptation.

Christmas and Afternoon Tea Traditions

Dundee Cake frequently appears during the festive season, notably at Christmas, signifying a time-honoured treat that complements the celebratory mood. Its rich, fruity profile makes it a preferred choice for the holiday tables across the UK. Similarly, the cake is a common sight at Afternoon Tea, offering a substantial yet indulgent component to this quintessentially British occasion.

Pairing and Occasions

The Dundee Cake, a rich fruitcake, brings warmth to a variety of events. When savouring this cake, the key is to select beverages that complement its rich flavours and to choose occasions that align well with its traditional and celebratory nature.

Beverage Companions

With the dense fruitiness of the Dundee Cake, your beverage choice should balance the sweetness and highlight the spices. Here are some specific pairings:

  • Tea: A classic strong black tea with a splash of milk cuts through the richness and cleanses the palate.
  • Afternoon Tea: Elevate your afternoon tea experience with a slice of Dundee Cake, particularly enjoyable with Earl Grey or Assam.
Tea TypeRecommended Serving
Black TeaWith milk
Earl GreyPlain or with a slice of lemon
AssamStrong and plain

Event Pairings

Dundee Cake is versatile and can be featured at various events:

  • Christmas: As a lighter alternative to the denser Christmas Cake, serve it adorned with blanched almonds.
  • Any Celebration: Its sponge base makes it a delightful treat to serve with a dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence.

Bear in mind these specific instances:

  • During a festive gathering, pair the cake with a glass of whisky for a truly Scottish toast to the occasion.
  • When seeking a less formal treat, simply enjoy your Dundee Cake with a cup of tea on a quiet afternoon to appreciate the flavours in their full glory.

Tips and Tricks

In mastering the Mary Berry Dundee Cake, your focus should be on the quality and handling of ingredients alongside baking execution. These tips can help ensure a splendid result.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Butter: If you’re out of unsalted butter, you can use salted butter and adjust the recipe by omitting added salt. Alternatively, margarine can be a substitute in a pinch.
  • Sugar: Light brown sugar adds moisture and flavour, but dark brown sugar can be used for a deeper taste, or caster sugar for a lighter one.
  • Whisky: Although whisky adds a traditional flavour, you can use milk for a non-alcoholic version, or try Seville orange juice for a citrus twist.
  • Flour: Use plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder if you don’t have self-raising flour.

Cooking Techniques

  • Oven: Always preheat your oven for a consistent baking temperature. Your cake will bake more evenly if you start at the right heat.
  • Room Temperature: Ingredients like butter and eggs should be at room temperature to ensure they blend smoothly.
  • Store: To store the cake, keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness. It can be stored at room temperature for several days.
  • Freeze: If you want to keep the cake longer, wrap it well and freeze it. Defrost at room temperature before serving.

Decoration Ideas

  • Glacé Cherries: Cut cherries in halves or quarters to decorate the top before baking, arranging them in concentric circles.
  • Whipped Cream: Serve each slice with a dollop of softly whipped cream to add a luxurious touch.
  • Almonds: Blanched almonds can be pressed into the top of the cake before baking for a classic finish.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll find answers to some common queries about crafting a Dundee cake in the style of Mary Berry, ensuring you get the best results in your baking experience.

How can one create a moist version of a Dunderry cake at home?

To achieve a moist Dundee cake, you can add orange marmalade to the batter and feed the baked cake with whisky over a few days. This not only introduces additional moisture but also helps develop the flavours.

What are the essential ingredients for an authentic Dundee cake?

An authentic Dundee cake requires ingredients like butter, light brown sugar, flour, eggs, ground almonds, mixed spice, dried fruit such as currants and sultanas, as well as whole almonds for decoration.

What distinguishes a Dundee cake from a traditional fruitcake?

A Dundee cake is distinguished by its lighter, crumblier texture and the use of blanched almonds decorating the top. In contrast, a traditional fruitcake is denser, richer, and often covered with marzipan and royal icing.

Can one freeze a Dundee cake for long-term storage, and if so, how?

Yes, you can freeze a Dundee cake. First, ensure it’s completely cool, wrap it in cling film and then foil to prevent freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Is there an alternative Dundee cake recipe that includes whisky?

Indeed, some Dundee cake recipes incorporate a dash of whisky into the cake mixture. Additionally, whisky can be used to feed the cake afterwards, enhancing its richness and depth of flavour. Try my whisky cake here >> Whisky Cake

mary berry dundee cake recipe uk fruit cake with whole almonds on tops

Mary Berry Dundee Cake Recipe

Rachel
A fruity traditional Scottish cake topped with whole almonds.
No ratings yet – be the first to rate this recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 10
Calories 461 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g Butter (softened)
  • 150 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 250 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 175 g Sultanas
  • 90 g Currants
  • 90 g Raisins
  • 60 g Glace Cherries
  • 60 g Mixed Peel
  • 2 tbsp Ground Almonds
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 60 g Whole almonds (Halved)

Instructions
 

  • Grease and base line a 20cm springform tin. Preheat the oven to 160℃/140℃fan/Gas 3.
  • Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl and beat well until blended. Stir in the fruit, mixed peel, ground almonds and lemon zest.
  • Transfer the mixture to the tin and level the surface. Arrange the whole almonds in concentric circles on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 1½ hours.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 1 week before eating.
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Nutrition

Calories: 461kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 7gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 177mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 3gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 454IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 3mg
Keyword dundee, whole almonds
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