My great grandmother, my grandmother and the rest of my family, loved Dundee cake, which is not flavored as strongly as many “tea” cakes – no vanilla, no citrus zest, no cocoa, no herbal additions. The addition of the dried fruits and peel add just a hint of flavor, which allows this to go well with tea, coffee, summer fruit drinks, etc., there are no “competing” or jarring flavors.
Here is the recipe – I have “modernized” it a bit (and reduced the size as the original made three large cakes for a large family) that I “inherited” from my grandmother.
My topping is not “traditional” as usually whole almonds are arranged in a pattern. I happen to like the sliced almonds which guarantees that every slice will have a near equal amount of almonds.
Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan or line it with parchment paper.
(I now use the disposable paper baking molds, 8 inch round, which do a beautiful job – they are available from Amazon.) You can also use smaller pans or molds for a taller cake – or use a loaf pan or pans.
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
Use a medium-large bowl – 2 quarts or larger. (or a stand mixer with some power. The batter is too thick for hand mixers)
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat the mixture until all are blended in and the batter is smooth.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together
Add the sultanas, mixed peel and currants to the flour and toss to coat the pieces and make sure they are not clumped together. (They are not traditional, but dried cranberries are lovely in this cake.)
Add this to the batter, 1/3 at a time, stirring well until blended before adding more.
Add the milk and stir in well.
The batter should be fairly stiff but if it appears too stiff, or dry on the surface, add 1 or 2 additional tablespoons of milk, blending well after each addition.
Transfer the batter to the cake pan, spread to edges and level the top.
Sprinkle on the sliced almonds.
Place on center rack in pre-heated oven and set timer for 80 minutes.
At the end of this time check for doneness with a “cake tester” or better yet, a probe thermometer – the finished temp should be 205°F. If the cake center has not reached this temp, continue baking for an additional 10 minutes and test again.
Remove from oven, place pan on cooling rack for 50 minutes.
Invert onto one plate and then turn it again so it is right-side up on your serving plate.
If using the paper mold, just strip off the sides and transfer directly to your plate leaving the bottom in place.