Traditional Scottish Tablet

Traditional Scottish Tablet on a plate

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1734 Calories
40g Fat
347g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1734
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 25g 125%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Sodium 377mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 347g 126%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 347g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 319mg 25%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 403mg 9%
*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 Embedded in Scottish culture since the early 18th century, this candy was originally made with sugar and cream, but more modern recipes (like ours) add butter and condensed milk.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


  • 2 cups (1 pint) whole milk

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, chopped into pieces

  • 4 pounds sugar (superfine or caster)

  • 1 pound sweetened condensed milk

  • Flavorings like vanilla extract or whisky, 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 12-by-4-inch or 7-inch square tin.

    baking pan on the counter

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  3. In a large, deep pan (4-pint minimum capacity but preferably larger), heat up the milk on low heat. Add the butter and stir until melted and all is well combined.

    Milk and butter until melted and combined in a pot

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  4. Add the sugar and stir until all of it has dissolved. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a hard boil for 5 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent the sugar from sticking to the edges of the pan and/or burning. If you have a candy thermometer, bring the temperature to 250 F (also known as hard-ball stage in candy and toffee making).

    Add sugar to milk and butter mixture using a candy thermometer

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  5. Once it's reached 250 F, carefully add the condensed milk. Because the sugar is at a high temperature it may splatter and burn you, so use caution. Stir well. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. The mixture will bubble and resemble a moon crater. Keep cooking; the mixture will also start to slightly darken.

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

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  6. Once the mixture has visibly thickened, remove the pan from the stove and place on a kitchen towel to add stability. Beat the mixture vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes. Use an electric mixer if available, as doing it by hand can be tiring due to the thickness of the mixture.

    Remove pan from heat and beat mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  7. Add any optional flavorings.

    Add any flavorings to the milk and sugar mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  8. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and spread out flat using a spatula or wooden spoon.

    Pour mixture into a greased pan

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  9. When the tablet is cool but still soft, cut into 1-inch squares. Let sit until completely cooled. If you'd 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 in an airtight tin for up to a week.

    Traditional Scottish Tablet on a plate

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  11. Enjoy!


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

  • This recipe reaches very high temperatures. Keep kids and pets away for your safety and theirs.
  • For this recipe, you will need a heavy-based, minimum 8-cup 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 a few drops of 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.

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.