Dundee cake may soon become a geographically protected product, preventing imitations from being made elsewhere. 

The cake was first developed in the 1800s in Keiller’s bakery shop in its namesake city and is now a step closer to gaining Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) status from the European Commission (EC).

A consultation has recently been launched on the application, which will run for 12 weeks in line with the rules of the EU Protected Food Names Scheme. The scheme was introduced in 1994 to protect food names on the basis of geographical or traditional recipes.

If achieved, PGI status would mean that only cakes baked in the area using the correct recipe and decorated with whole almonds could be officially branded as Dundee cake. The application for protected status was brought by the Baker Trade Of Dundee and is supported by the Scottish Government, which said PGI status guarantees the food’s provenance and supports local producers.

PGI status

The application for Dundee cake PGI status outlines the exact recipe including ingredients and ratios and specifies that the cake must be mixed, baked and decorated with almonds in the Dundee area.
The original recipe contains sultanas, Amontillado sherry, candied orange peel, dried vine fruits and a pattern of whole, blanched almonds on top.

Products such as Stilton cheese, Stornoway black pudding and Scotch whisky have already been granted protected status under the scheme.

Janet Keiller started producing a new Seville orange marmalade that was then added to a cake recipe in the 1800s to make Keiller’s Dundee Cake.