How Do You Make a Dundee Fruit Cake Recipe From Scratch

Updated on April 24, 2018
How to - Answers profile image

L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She has a keen interest in creating delicious recipes.

Dundee Cake Recipe

I show you how I make this fruit cake from scratch.

This old fashioned recipe is easy to make and can be stored for months.

Step-by-step instructions with videos and photos.

Some people call this recipe an "Oxford Lunch." It is perfect when covered in marzipan and icing. Then it can be decorated and used as a wedding or Christmas cake.

Delia Smith

Dundee Cake
Dundee Cake | Source


  • 525 g (18 oz) of plain flour | all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 350 g (12 oz) of butter or margarine
  • 350 g (12 oz) of caster sugar | superfine sugar
  • 75 g (3 oz) of chopped almonds
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 oranges – juice and rind
  • 750 g (2 Ib) of sultanas
  • 250 g (1 Ib) of mixed fruit
  • 150 g (6 oz) of cherries
Ingredients | 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 ins (23 cm) Round or 8 ins (20 cm) square
  • Grease-proof paper or parchment paper
  • Brown paper
  • String
  • Baking brush
  • Large mixing bowl

Dundee Cake Recipe
Dundee Cake Recipe | Source

Preparing 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
Cake Recipe
Cake Recipe | Source

Preparing 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
Squeezing the Oranges | Source

Step-by-Step Instructions

  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.

Dundee Cake Recipe
Dundee Cake Recipe | Source
Oxford Lunch Cake Recipe
Oxford Lunch Cake Recipe | Source

Adding the Mixture to Your Cake 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.

Cake Recipes
Cake Recipes | Source

You Tube Video

Below you will be able to see my mother making this fruit cake in a You Tube Video.

She is 83 years old but is still well able to continue with her baking. I took the video and uploaded it to You Tube.

My Mother Making a Dundee Cake

Protecting 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

How to Bake It

  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.

Dundee Cake
Dundee Cake | Source

Cutting and Storing

  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.

Let Us Know What You Think

5 stars from 2 ratings of Fruit Cake Recipe
Oxford Lunch
Oxford Lunch | Source

Want to Add Marzipan and Icing?

You could decide you would like to use this fruit cake 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
Adding the Marzipan | Source
Adding the Icing
Adding the Icing | Source

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Nutritional Facts about Fruit Cake

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.

Questions & Answers


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      • rebeccamealey profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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

      • How to - Answers profile image

        L M Reid 3 years ago from Ireland

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

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        Anyway to reduce the butter, too much for me