Clootie dumpling

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 and is typically 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.

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Total: 3 hrs 50 mins
  • Servings:6 servings


  • 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)
  • 3 ounces/75 grams sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • For Serving: custard or ice cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.
  2. In a large baking bowl, rub the suet into the flour. Add the oatmeal, sultanas, dried currants, sugar, baking powder, ginger, and cinnamon.
  3. Stir well then add the beaten eggs and the golden syrup.
  4. Stir thoroughly and 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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  10. Slice and serve the clootie dumpling with custard or ice cream. Enjoy!


  • For the adults, you can add a little whiskey or Drambuie to the custard or ice cream to create a perfect match.
  • 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.
  • Here is a video of parceling up the dumpling


  • None


  • None

From Spruce Eats: Traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling