Recipe for Dundee Fruitcake From Scratch

Updated on July 22, 2020
How to - Answers profile image

L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She creates delicious recipes and has plenty of dinner and desserts to share.

Recipe for Dundee Fruitcake
Recipe for Dundee Fruitcake | Source

Recipe for Dundee Cake

In this article, I will show you how I make this fruit cake from scratch. This old-fashioned recipe is easy to make and can be stored for months. Some people call this cake an "Oxford lunch." This cake can also make a lovely wedding or Christmas cake if you decorate it with marzipan and icing. I have included step-by-step instructions with my own videos and photos.


  • 525 g (18 oz) plain flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 350 g (12 oz) butter or margarine
  • 350 g (12 oz) caster sugar or superfine sugar
  • 75 g (3 oz) chopped almonds
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 oranges, juice and rind
  • 750 g (2 Ib) sultanas
  • 250 g (1 Ib) mixed fruit
  • 150 g (6 oz) cherries
The ingredients for making a fruitcake from scratch
The ingredients for making a fruitcake from scratch | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 6 hours 30 min
Ready in: 7 hours 15 min
Yields: 40 to 50 slices


  • Baking tin - 9 in (23 cm) round or 8 in (20 cm) square
  • Grease-proof paper or parchment paper
  • Brown paper
  • String
  • Baking brush
  • Large mixing bowl

Preparing the cake tin
Preparing the cake tin | Source

Step 1: Prepare the Cake Tin

  1. Take a sheet of greaseproof paper and measure it to fit the outside of the tin. It should be three times the height of the tin
  2. Lay the paper on the table and fold in two
  3. Fold the bottom of the paper an inch high. This will give you the lip.
  4. Cut diagonal lines in this lip
  5. Melt some butter
  6. Brush the melted butter over the inside of the greaseproof paper
  7. Add some melted butter to the inside of the tin with the brush.
  8. Place the greaseproof paper into the baking tin with the buttered part facing to the tin Push it around the tin until it is secure
  9. Measure the bottom of the tin with the paper and cut it to size
  10. Cover in melted butter and place inside the tin with the buttered part face down
  11. Put it aside until you are ready for to use
How to prepare the cake tin for a fruitcake
How to prepare the cake tin for a fruitcake | Source

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C (300 F) Gas mark 2.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs and leave in a bowl.
  3. Sieve the flour and add the baking powder and leave aside.
  4. Take the cherries out of the tub and cover with a small amount of flour.
  5. Cut each cherry in half.
  6. Add a bit more flour to stop them sticking together and leave in a bowl.
  7. Grate the two oranges and put aside the peel.
  8. Squeeze the oranges and leave the juice in a cup.

Squeezing the oranges for the Dundee Cake
Squeezing the oranges for the Dundee Cake | Source

Step 3: Make the Cake Batter

  1. Add the butter and sugar to your mixing bowl.
  2. Mix it around with a large spoon until it is nice and creamy.
  3. Add approximately a quarter of the flour, sultanas and mixed fruit into the bowl.
  4. Do the same for the almonds, eggs, orange peel, orange juice and cherries.
  5. Mix in very well until you have evenly distributed those ingredients into the mixture.
  6. Repeat this process for a further three times until you have mixed all the ingredients together.

I do it this way because there are a lot of ingredients and if all of it went in together it would be very hard to have a good even mixture.

Fruit Cake Recipe
Fruit Cake Recipe | Source
Prepare the ingredients for the cake recipe
Prepare the ingredients for the cake recipe | Source

Step 4: Add the Mixture to the Tin

  1. Place the tin beside the bowl.
  2. Using a large serving spoon place the mixture gradually into the tin.
  3. Smooth over until even.
  4. Then make a hole by pushing the mixture from the middle towards the sides.
  5. Smooth the sides again.

The cake will cook from the inside out. If you do not make a hole in the centre then when the cake comes out of the oven there will be a large bump in the middle. The hole will disappear when the cake is baked in the oven.

Adding the cake  mixture to the tin
Adding the cake mixture to the tin | Source

Step 5: Protect the Cake Mixture as It Cooks

  1. Measure some brown paper around the outside of the tin so that it goes one and a half times around it. It should also be three times the height of the tin.
  2. Hold it there and wrap around some string.
  3. Tie a firm knot. You want it to be tight enough so that the brown paper does not come away.
  4. Cut another piece of greaseproof paper in a square so it it will sit on top of the brown paper you just attached to the tin.
  5. Fold this paper twice and cut a piece off the edge by about three inches. Open up the square and you should have a hole in the form of a triangle.
  6. Place this on top of the cake tin.

The cake will be baking for a very long time and adding the paper to the edge and top of the tin will protect the cake from getting overcooked in those places. The hole in the paper is to allow the heat to escape while baking in the oven.

Tie paper around tin
Tie paper around tin | Source

Step 6: Bake the Cake

  1. Place the tin into the preheated oven at 150 C (300 F) Gas mark 2 and cook for approximately six hours.
  2. Do not open and close the oven door during this baking time.
  3. The cake can be tested after six hours by pushing a dry knife into it. If it comes out slightly wet then it will need more cooking time. If dry, then it is ready.

All ovens are different so it is important to test the cake after the six hours. Some will need another half hour and some maybe an hour.

  1. When you are satisfied your cake is ready remove the tin from the oven.
  2. Take off the top piece of greaseproof paper.
  3. Allow to cool for an hour.
  4. Remove the outer piece of brown paper around the tin.
  5. Allow to cool for another hour.
  6. Remove the cake from the tin and put onto a wooden board. Place a clean tea towel on top of it.

Recipe for Dundee Fruitcake
Recipe for Dundee Fruitcake | Source

YouTube Video

Below you will be able to see my mother making this fruitcake in a YouTube video. She is 84 years old but is still well able to continue with her baking. I took the video and uploaded it to YouTube.

How to Cut and Store the Cake

  1. Once the cake is fully cold you can cut it.
  2. First cut it in half and wrap the first half in some greaseproof paper.
  3. Put this piece into your cake box.
  4. Cut the second half of the cake into slices that you want to eat now.
  5. Place the remainder of the second half of the cake onto some greaseproof paper and wrap well.
  6. Place this piece into your cake box and add the lid making sure to close it tightly.
  7. Store in a cool place.

An Oxford Lunch will last for up to nine months if stored correctly like this.

A tasty fruitcake made from scratch
A tasty fruitcake made from scratch | Source

Let Us Know What You Think

5 stars from 1 rating of Dundee Fruitcake Recipe

Want to Add Marzipan and Icing?

You could decide you would like to use this fruitcake recipe to bake a wedding cake or a Christmas cake as well. I have also written an article for a Christmas cake recipe with slightly different ingredients. It is a richer cake with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves added.

Some people can not eat this type of cake because the spices repeat on them and they get terrible indigestion. It also has whiskey mixed into the ingredients. There are many people who do not drink alcohol or eat anything made with it. So the above recipe is ideal for them.

In the Christmas cake recipe, I have given step-by-step instructions with plenty of photos for icing and decorating the cake. If you want to add marzipan and/ or icing, I've written a step-by-step guide for doing just that!

Adding the marzipan to the cake
Adding the marzipan to the cake | Source
Adding the icing to the cake
Adding the icing to the cake | Source

Have you baked a fruitcake before?

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How to make an Oxford Lunch cake from scratch
How to make an Oxford Lunch cake from scratch | Source

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 100 g
Calories 224
Calories from Fat81
% Daily Value *
Fat 9 g14%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 8 g
Carbohydrates 62 g21%
Sugar 27 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 5 mg2%
Sodium 101 mg4%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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    • How to - Answers profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      23 months ago from Ireland

      Hello Wanda, sultanas are dried seedless grapes. You can buy them in packets the same as currants and raisons in the baking section of your store.

    • profile image

      Wanda Jones 

      23 months ago

      What is sultana

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      What a beautiful cake! This would add so much to a homespun Christmas. Thanks!

    • How to - Answers profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      Hello peachpurple. You can substitute the butter for low fat spread margarine it works just as well

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Anyway to reduce the butter, too much for me


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