1 Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest thoroughly until light and fluffy (I do this in my food mixer) then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a teaspoon of the weighed flour with each egg to prevent curdling.
2 Sift in the rest of the flour, spice and a pinch of salt. Fold everything together gently, then stir in the dried fruits and mixed peel, together with the whisky.
3 For the cake, spoon the mixture into a buttered, lined 18cm/7in cake tin, levelling the top. Bake the cake in a preheated oven (150C/Gas Mark 2) for 1½ hours, then take it out and arrange the almonds on top in two circles. Return to the oven and continue to bake for a further 45 minutes (2¼ hours altogether).
Alternatively to make cupcakes
Spoon into 10 coffee shop-style muffin wrappers (or large cases) set in a bun tin. Bake the cupcakes at 160C/Gas Mark 3 for about 35 minutes. Once done (insert a wooden skewer into centre: there should be no raw batter on it), remove the cake or cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before decanting.
• Scottish Baking by Sue Lawrence is out now in paperback, at £12.99, published by Birlinn