Scotland Activities for Kids: Dundee Cake Recipe, Nessie, and a Picture Book!

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
May 22, 2013 / 0 comments

We visited Scotland, and it was a great adventure. We saw many things, including Culloden, Nessie, dolphins, starfish, Loch Ness, the location of Hagrid’s Hut, the largest mountain in the UK, and super yummy delicious food. It's a great place for kids!


We've even written about it - in our article, 10 Travel Tips: Take your Kids to Scotland!

But you don’t have to travel to Scotland to learn about it! You can do plenty of fun Scottish things at home – reading, playing, looking, and baking.


If you want to learn more about Scotland, you can read a wonderful picture book for young children, called of The Adventures of Bella & Harry: Let’s Visit Edinburgh. This picture book is a fun way to teach kids about Scotland – with whimsical dogs that seem to enjoy exploring! You can read our review over on Journey to Scotland.


The Adventures of Bella & Harry: Let’s Visit Edinburgh


Make a caber out of a big cardboard tube. I played with one, at the Minnesota Scottish Festival. In Scotland at the Highland Games, they toss real cabers (heavy ones, made from wood!) as far as they can. How far can you toss a caber?


Kids caber toss, Highland Games

Kids caber toss, Highland Games


A fun activity with kids is to search for unexplained wave patterns. We lived in a house on Loch Ness, and I looked for unexplained wave patterns every day. We also took a cruise on Loch Ness (to see Urquhart Castle). If you’re not on Loch Ness, look for unexplained wave patterns in lakes near you. Imagine that there might be a local Nessie in there! Create Nessies with rocks, on the lakeshore. It’s great fun.


Loch Ness - Nessie?


Loch Ness - Nessie?


Loch Ness - Nessie?


Visiting Urquhart Castle


build your own Nessie



And eat! 

Dundee Cake Recipe

Dundee is, of course, a town in Scotland. It is home to Marmalade, which was first produced there in 1797. Now they make all kinds of deliciousness.


Dundee marmalade


Here’s my adapted recipe for Dundee Cake, originally from Epicurious. This is a most adaptable recipe: out of whiskey? GASP! Use limoncello, brewed black tea, or orange juice. Don’t have 2 kinds of raisins and some dried currants? Use whatever dried fruit you have around. Don’t have candied orange peel? Use candied ginger. Don’t have whole almonds to decorate the top of the cake? Add slivered almonds into the cake batter. Trust me – it will all turn out delicious!



•    1 3/4 cups prairie gold flour (or all purpose)
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (Trader Joe’s is awesome, has cardamom in it)
•    1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp
•    3/4 cup sugar
•    1 tablespoon whiskey (or limoncello, if you’re out)
•    From one orange: grated orange peel
•    3 large eggs
•    2 cups of dried fruit (I only had raisins – if you have currants, add them in!)
•    1/3 cup chopped candied ginger
•    ½ c slivered almonds

•    2-4 tablespoons orange marmalade, depending on if you want the top of your cake dry or sort of sticky.

How to:

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice into small bowl. In your Kitchenaid (or mixer), beat butter, sugar, limoncello, and grated orange peel until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture, then fruit. Scoop batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour, then take the cake out of the oven (keep the oven on!).

Brush the cake with 3-4 T marmalade. I had ginger-peach-orange marmalade I had made last summer – delicious! Put back into oven and bake for about 10 more minutes, until the cake is done. Remove from oven, and cool on a rack.

When the cake is cool enough, flip over onto a plate, remove the parchment paper, and then place the cake upright onto a cake plate – unless you’ve put quite a lot of marmalade on top (highly recommended), in which case, try your best to get the cake out of the pan and onto a plate. Most recipes say it will last for 3 days. However, we have never had it last that long!


Dundee Cake Recipe


Dundee Cake Recipe




Article by Lillie Forteau & Jessie Voigts

All photos copyright Jessie Voigts