Traditional Scottish Tablet

Traditional Scottish Tablet on a plate

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Cooling Time: 30 mins
Total: 85 mins
Servings: 40 servings
Yield: 4 1/2 pounds
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
267 Calories
6g Fat
53g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40
Amount per serving
Calories 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 53g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 68mg 1%
*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.)

Scottish tablet is an extremely sugary candy with a coarse texture that is not as dense as hard candy but not as soft as fudge. It is brittle, delicious, and seriously addictive. Embedded in Scottish culture since the early 18th century, this candy was originally made with sugar and cream, but more modern recipes (like ours) add butter and condensed milk.

Tablet is easy to make as long as you follow the instructions closely and handle the hot sugar mixture carefully. Everyone with a sweet tooth will love this classic recipe!


Click Play to See This Traditional Homemade Scottish Tablet Recipe Come Together

"This sweet Scottish tablet melts in your mouth, and the recipe makes a big batch. I used my stand mixer for beating and added 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. The texture of the candy is soft, crumbly, and slightly grainy. The instructions were very good, and the tablet was perfect." —Diana Rattray

Scottish tablet/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup (8-ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, more for greasing the pan

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 4 pounds superfine sugar, about 9 cups

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • Flavorings like pure vanilla extract or whisky, to taste, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Traditional Scottish Tablet ingredients, sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  2. Butter a 9 x 13-inch or 9-inch square pan, depending on the desired thickness.

    baking pan on the counter

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  3. In a large saucepan, heat the milk on low heat. Add the butter, stirring continuoulsy until melted.

    Milk and butter until melted and combined in a pot

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  4. Affix a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.

    Add the sugar, stirring continuously until it dissolves. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a hard boil for 5 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent the sugar from sticking to the sides of the pan and/or burning, until the temperature registers 250 F (known as the hard-ball stage in candy and toffee making).

    Add sugar to milk and butter mixture using a candy thermometer

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  5. Carefully add the condensed milk, stirring to combine. Because the sugar is at a high temperature it may splatter, so use caution.

    Lower the heat to low and continue to simmer until medium bubbles form on the surface, and the mixture begins to darken slightly, reduce and thicken, 20 to 25 minutes.

    Add condensed milk to the sugar and butter mixture until it's bubbling

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  6. Transfer the pan to a kitchen towel on a work surface. With an electric mixer, beat the mixture on high until it is no longer smooth and shiny, and appears grainy and thick, 5 to 10 minutes.

    Remove pan from heat and beat mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  7. Stir in any optional flavorings.

    Add any flavorings to the milk and sugar mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a silicone spatula.

    Pour mixture into a greased pan

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  9. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. When the tablet is cool but still soft, cut into 1-inch squares. Let sit until completely cooled. If you prefer, put the pan in the freezer to make sure it is completely cold.

    Cool and cut the Traditional Scottish Tablet into 1-inch squares

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  10. Wrap tablet pieces in greaseproof paper and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

    Traditional Scottish Tablet on a plate

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic


As with any candy-making process, be mindful of your safety and the safety of others when making Scottish tablet:

  • The mixture reaches very high temperatures, so use caution when preparing. Keep kids and pets away for safety.
  • For this recipe, you will need a heavy-based, minimum 4-quart capacity saucepan. Use anything larger if you have it. Since the Scottish tablet reaches a rolling boil, sometimes the mixture can swell up quickly and boil over if the heat is a fraction too high. A larger pan will make it safer.
  • Have a dry kitchen towel with you at all times. Do not touch spilled candy with bare hands—use your towel. Remember that the steam burns as bad and sometimes worse than the candy itself.
  • Use the back burners of your stove, a wooden spatula for mixing, and thick heat-resistant gloves to manipulate the pot.

Recipe Variations

  • Tablet can be flavored as desired by simply adding your favorite flavor like peppermint, vanilla, or orange extract, ground cinnamon, or whisky.
  • Roasted, chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, and almonds are also a nice addition.
  • If you can't find superfine or caster sugar, you can use a food processor to make it at home. Process granulated sugar, in batches, until fine, about 20 to 30 seconds. It should be fine, not powdery.

How to Store Scottish Tablet

  • Store Scottish tablet in an airtight container with pieces separated by wax paper or parchment paper. Keep it at room temperature for up to 10 days or store it in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Scottish tablet may be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap it in wax pepper, then wrap it in foil or plastic wrap. Place the wrapped tablet in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Why Is My Scottish Tablet Not Setting?

If your Scottish tablet isn't setting up, the reason likely has to do with temperature. The mixture must be brought up to a full boil for five minutes and reach 250 F before simmering. Use a candy thermometer for best results.