Traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling

Traditional Scottish clootie dumpling on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
557 Calories
22g Fat
83g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 557
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 119mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 83g 30%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 110mg 8%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 448mg 10%
*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 a 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 beloved 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 and is typically found in British markets. If you can't source it in the U.S., you can substitute corn syrup.

The fruit and 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 ounces (125 grams) suet 

  • 8 ounces (250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for the cloth

  • 4 ounces (125 gramsoatmeal

  • 4 ounces (125 grams) sultanas

  • 4 ounces (125 grams) dried currants

  • 3 ounces (75 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar

  • Custard or ice cream, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.

    Ingredients for traditional Scottish clootie dumpling gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. In a large mixing bowl, rub the suet into the flour until it resembles cornmeal. Add the oatmeal, sultanas, dried currants, sugar, baking powder, ginger, and cinnamon. Stir well.

    Oatmeal, sultanas, dried currants, sugar, baking powder, ginger, flour and cinnamon in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Add the beaten eggs and the golden syrup. Stir thoroughly.

    Beaten egg and golden syrup added to the flour mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Add the 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.

    Clootie dumpling dough in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. 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.

    Clootie cloth with flour on top

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. 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.

    Dumpling inside clootie cloth on a wooden cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Place a saucer or tea plate upside down into a large cooking pot. Place the tied clootie onto the saucer and cover with boiling water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 3 hours. Check that the water is not boiling dry from time to time and add water if needed.

    Clootie dough in a wrapped cloth in a pot of boiling water

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  8. Once cooked, carefully remove the dumpling from the water. Remove the cloth then sprinkle the dumpling with a little caster sugar. Preheat the oven to 225 F/100 C.

    Cooked clootie dumpling with caster sugar sprinkled on top, on a wooden cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

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

    baked Clootie Dumpling on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    Traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling piece on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • For the adults, you can add a little whiskey or Drambuie to the custard or ice cream.
  • Refrigerate any leftover clootie dumpling in a covered container. Enjoy 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.

What Kind of Fabric Is Used for Clootie Dumplings?

Use a clean linen or woven cotton fabric when steaming clootie dumplings. Many home cooks use an old cotton dish towel as their cloot. If you plan to use a new piece of cloth, make sure to wash it a few times first and don't use brightly colored fabric, since it could transfer onto the dumpling.