Traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling

Burns Night
Scotty Robson Photography / Getty Images
  • Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
514 Calories
27g Fat
60g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 514
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 885mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 9g
Calcium 197mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe makes the traditional clootie dumpling that is deeply embedded in Scottish cooking. It is part of the hearth and home approach which makes the food of Scotland so loved everywhere. The spicy scent of a cooking clootie conjures up images of Scotland's past—a time when grandmothers would spend hours at the stove making this lovely pudding.

The name comes from the cloth, called the cloot. Golden syrup is a sweetener that may also be called light treacle. It's best found in British markets. If you can't source it in the U.S., you can substitute corn syrup.

The fruit-spice laden suet pudding is famed for the role it plays in Scottish celebrations, and no Hogmanay or Burn's Night Supper would be complete without one.


  • 4 ounce/125 grams suet
  • 8 ounces/250 grams flour (plain or all-purpose, plus 1 tablespoon for the cloth)
  • 4 ounce/125 grams oatmeal
  • 4 ounces/125 grams sultanas
  • 4 ounces/125 grams currants (dried)
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 3 ounces/75 grams sugar
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring a teakettle of water to a boil.

  3. In a large baking bowl, rub the suet into the flour. Add the oatmeal, baking powder, sugar, sultanas, dried currants, ginger, and cinnamon. Stir well then add the beaten eggs and the golden syrup. Stir thoroughly and add milk, a little at a time, to bind the ingredients together to create a firm dough. (Be careful not to over mix or make the mixture too sloppy—it should be firm to the touch.)

  4. Put the clootie cloth into a clean sink, pour a kettle of boiling water over, and once cool enough to touch, ring the cloth out. Place the cloth on your work surface and sprinkle with flour.

  5. Place the dumpling mixture into the center of the clootie, gather up the edges of the cloth and tie up but not too tightly; leave a little room for the dumpling to expand.

  6. Place a saucer or tea plate upside down into a large cooking pot. Place the tied cloot onto the saucer, cover with boiling water, cover with a lid and simmer for 3 hours. (From time to time check that the water is not boiling dry and top up if needed.)

  7. Once cooked, carefully remove the dumpling from the water. Remove the cloth then sprinkle the dumpling with a little caster sugar.

  8. Preheat oven to 225 F/100 C.

  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until shiny skin forms. If you wish to be more traditional, then dry the sugar-covered dumpling in front of an open fire.

  10. Slice and serve the clootie dumpling with custard or ice cream.

  11. Enjoy!


  • For the adults, you can add a little whiskey or Drambuie to the custard or ice cream to create a perfect match (but not for the children).
  • Refrigerate any leftover dumplings, covered. Enjoy them within a couple of days for the best quality. You may want to warm the clootie in the microwave briefly to bring out all of the flavors.