Delicious Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe for Foodies

Let me ask you this – have you ever had a traditional Scottish dessert? If you haven’t, then you are truly missing out on one of the most original and delicious delights that British cuisine has to offer. Today, I am going to introduce the recipe for the Scottish barley pudding, a dish that’s so decadent and hearty, it’ll make your taste buds sing.

Scottish barley puddings are made from humble ingredients such as pearl barley, water, dried fruits, and sugar. These simple ingredients are transformed into a rich and creamy pudding that will melt in your mouth. The texture is smooth with notes of sweet raisins and currants in every bite.

But why should you give Scottish barley pudding a try? The answer is quite simple: it’s not only delicious but also easy to make, requiring only a few essential ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. Moreover, It’s incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other desserts.

Whether you’re looking for a new dessert recipe to impress your family or friends or simply want to indulge in a cozy treat for yourself, Scottish barley pudding is the ideal option for you. In this article, I am going to guide you through how to make this delicious dessert step-by-step. So let’s dive in!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Barley Pudding
Scottish Barley Pudding

Listen up, folks! If you’re a fan of traditional Scottish recipes, then trust me when I say that this Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe is a must-try. And if you’ve never tried it before, then get ready to fall in love.

First off, let’s talk ingredients. This recipe is all about using the best barley grains available that are slowly cooked until tender and infused with other delicious flavors like seedless raisins, currants, or even apples. Add some lemon zest to brighten everything up – it doesn’t get more Scottish than that.

But why should you give this recipe a try? For one, it’s soul-warming comfort food at its finest. It’s perfect for chilly evenings or when you’re in the mood for something sweet and hearty after dinner. And though it’s a dessert, it’s not too heavy on the calories or nutrition – so it’s perfect for those who want to indulge without going overboard.

Not convinced yet? Here’s another reason: this Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe is incredibly versatile. You can serve it plain or mix things up by using coconut milk instead of heavy cream or adding some cinnamon and apple to make an Irish Apple Barley Pudding. Plus, you can make this pudding in a slow cooker – meaning you can set it and forget it until it’s time for dessert.

So there you have it folks- our Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe is versatile, warming and made with only the best ingredients. So give this traditional Scottish recipe a try!

Ingredient List

 Velvety smooth and oh so comforting, this Scottish barley pudding is a must-try!
Velvety smooth and oh so comforting, this Scottish barley pudding is a must-try!

To make Scottish Barley Pudding, you will need the following ingredients:

Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 cup barley
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup seedless raisin
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • Zest of 1 lemon

The above-listed ingredients are the core ones essential for making the traditional Scottish barley pudding. If you want to try out some different variations, then you can go with an apple-barley pudding recipe. For making this recipe, you will need to add peeled and diced tart apples to the main ingredient list.

For making a sweet barley pudding mix, you can add additional sweeteners like sugar, honey or maple syrup. Other dried fruits like dates or apricots can also be added to make a fruity variation.

Additionally, one can add black pudding mix as well if preferred to achieve a richer flavour in their barley pudding recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Hearty and wholesome, this warm pudding is perfect for the colder months.
Hearty and wholesome, this warm pudding is perfect for the colder months.

Now that you have gathered all the recipe ingredients, it’s time to start cooking. Don’t worry, this Scottish barley pudding recipe is easy to make and the end result is absolutely worth it.

Preparing the Barley

Start by rinsing 1 cup of barley under cold running water, then mix it with 3 cups of water in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring it slowly to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to simmer. Add half a teaspoon of salt and simmer for around one hour until the barley grains are soft and chewy.

Add the Dried Fruits

When the barley is almost cooked, it’s time to add in your dried fruits. You can use seedless raisins, currants or any mixture of dried fruits you like. I prefer using 1/4 cup seedless raisins and 1/4 cup currants for flavor and texture diversity.

Sugar Time

Next up, add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar into the pan with your mixture. This may seem like a lot of sugar but keep in mind this recipe makes enough for up to six people, so it evens out! Give everything a good stir so the sugar dissolves with other ingredients.

The Final Touches

The final steps include adding lemon zest or an apple + cinnamon combo, depending on your preferences. For a more traditional Scottish taste, sticking to lemon zest will work perfectly but sometimes I like to use an apple + barley combo for a different flavor profile.

Bring everything to boil once again and reduce heat back to simmering for another 20 minutes until the pudding thickens (when you stick a spoon in it, the spoon can stand upright). That’s how you know it’s cooked perfectly! Make sure to stir occasionally whilst simmering to prevent any sticking.


Finally, take the pudding off the heat, pour it into a large serving dish, and let it cool for a while. It can be eaten warm, at room temperature or even chilled overnight. No matter how you enjoy it, Scottish barley pudding is one of the best barley puddings you will ever try!

Substitutions and Variations

 If you're a fan of rice pudding, you'll love this Scottish twist on the classic recipe.
If you’re a fan of rice pudding, you’ll love this Scottish twist on the classic recipe.

If you want to give your Scottish barley pudding recipe a twist, you can try adding some coconut milk instead of water. This substitution will create a more dense and creamy pudding that pairs well with the sweetness of the dried fruits. You can also switch out the seedless raisins and currants for other dried fruits such as apricots or cranberries, depending on your personal preference. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ingredients; it might just bring a new life to this traditional Scottish dessert.

For those who prefer a vegan or dairy-free diet, substitute the heavy-based saucepan and boiling water with a slow cooker. This will give you the same great taste of a traditional Scottish barley pudding without the use of animal products. If you are looking for a healthier option, consider using cooked barley instead of pearl barley in your pudding mix. This substitution will add more protein and fiber to the dish and create a heartier texture.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something completely different, consider making an apple cinnamon barley pudding instead. Start by adding sliced apples, peeled and cored, into the slow cooker before cooking your barley with coconut milk instead of water. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to your taste preference and let cook until it forms into a pudding-like consistency. The result will be an Irish apple barley pudding that is perfect for fall with a cozy warm flavor combination.

Whatever substitutions or variations you choose to make, always remember to keep the fundamentals of the recipe in mind for best results.

Serving and Pairing

 Made with pearl barley, this pudding is a great way to incorporate more whole grains into your diet.
Made with pearl barley, this pudding is a great way to incorporate more whole grains into your diet.

When it comes to serving Scottish barley pudding, I would say that the best way to enjoy it is freshly out of the oven while it’s still warm and gooey. Cut yourself a slice and garnish it with some fresh berries, such as raspberries or blueberries, and a dollop of whipped cream on top. The creaminess of the whipped cream makes a perfect complement to the dense and textured barley pudding.

Now, let’s talk about pairing. Since Scottish barley pudding is a sweet dessert, you want to pair it with something that has enough acidity and bitterness to balance the sweetness. One classic Scottish pairing is an ice-cold glass of heavy ale or porter. The beer’s roasted malts and hoppy notes cut through the sweetness of the pudding while enhancing its earthy flavors.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also pair your Scottish barley pudding with a glass of apple cinnamon tea or a hot apple cider mixed with cinnamon. The tartness of the apple balances out the sweetness of the dessert while the cinnamon adds a warm spicy note that complements the nuttiness of the barley grains.

For those who are looking for non-alcoholic options, a hot cup of cocoa made with coconut milk can do wonders as well. The richness and creaminess of the cocoa match perfectly with the dense texture of barley pudding while adding a tropical twist to this traditional Scottish dessert.

In conclusion, serving Scottish barley pudding freshly baked and warm paired with heavy ale or porter is a surefire way to impress your guests. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairings such as hot apple cider, apple cinnamon tea, or even coconut milk cocoa to add new dimensions to this classic dish.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Can't decide between dessert or breakfast? This barley pudding can be enjoyed any time of day!
Can’t decide between dessert or breakfast? This barley pudding can be enjoyed any time of day!

Once you’ve made your Scottish Barney Pudding, and enjoyed its sweet aroma filling the air, you’ll likely want to make enough to last for days. Maybe it’s for your family, or maybe you’re fond of having a little treat every now and then. Either way, this recipe is designed to hold its taste and quality for multiple reheats.

To store the pudding after cooking, you’ll simply need an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze it for up to two months or so. If freezing, make sure the pudding cools down before placing it in the freezer.

The beauty of Scottish Barney Pudding is that it lends itself very well to be reheated using any technique of your preference. When in a hurry – which, let’s face it, happens quite often – simply toss your portion into the microwave and heat it until warm (around thirty seconds or so should do the trick).

Alternatively, if you have more time on your hands or want a softer and creamier pudding experience, employ the following technique. Take out an ovenproof dish of size just big enough to fit your portion(s) of pudding comfortably. Preheat your oven to around 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius). Pour some milk on top of your Barney Pudding (around 1/4 cup per portion should suffice), cover it with aluminum foil, and bake it in the preheated oven for twenty to thirty minutes or until heated throughout (use a knife inserted into the center as a visual aid).

In conclusion, whether you choose to reheat using the quick method (microwave) or take advantage of a slow approach using oven heat and milk, remember that this Scottish Barney Pudding recipe was designed to last for storing and reheating purposes without losing its spectacular taste.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a cozy touch.
Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a cozy touch.

When it comes to traditional Scottish recipes, making sure you follow the directions to a T is key in achieving the perfect result. Here are a few tips to help you create the best Scottish Barley Pudding:

1. Use the Best Barley

The quality of your barley grains makes a big difference in taste and texture. Choose the best quality pearl barley available for maximum flavor and texture.

2. Slow Cooker Barley Pudding

Cooking your pudding in a slow cooker results in a creamier, smoother pudding that’s perfectly cooked without any need for constant stirring.

3. Incorporating Dried Fruits

Seedless raisins and currants are perfect to mix into your pudding giving it a bite of sweetness without being overpowering. Lemon zest also adds an extra kick of flavor.

4. Coconut Milk or Rice Pudding Variation

For those who want to make a healthier version of this classic comfort food, try using coconut milk instead of heavy cream or milk, or make it with cooked barley and add some cinnamon flavor.

5. Apple Cinnamon Version

Mix apples, peeled and sliced thinly, cinnamon, and sugar together before layering with barley mixture when cooking in the slow cooker.

6. Black Pudding Mix

You can add black pudding mix to your recipe for more depth of flavor.

7. Cook Slowly Over Low Heat

When cooking on stovetop, make sure to reduce heat from high to low setting after bringing slowly to a boil.

Following these tips will ensure a delicious and authentic Scottish Barley Pudding every time.


Now, let’s move onto the FAQ section. You may have some lingering questions about this Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe, and I’m here to answer them. Whether you’re wondering if it’s possible to make this recipe gluten-free or if there are any tips for cooking the barley just right, I’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and clear up any questions you may have about this delicious and traditional Scottish dessert.

How long does it take to cook pearl barley?

Barley, whether pot or pearl, is versatile and can be incorporated into various dishes. One can add it to soups and stews for some extra heft, turn it into a filling salad, or even substitute it for arborio rice in risotto. Cooking pearl barley to an al dente texture requires boiling it in salted water for about 25 minutes or simmering it for approximately 40 minutes.

What fruit is used in pudding?

When preparing summer pudding, a variety of fruits are usually incorporated such as raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, whitecurrants, and blackberries. While some lesser-known fruits like tayberries, loganberries, cherries, and blueberries can also be included.

Can you freeze Scottish fruit pudding?

If you plan on keeping this dish in the freezer, it’s important to know that it can be frozen, but only on the day of purchase. Make sure to keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to freeze it, and when you do, make sure it’s completely defrosted before cooking. Additionally, if you open it up, make sure to use it within three days to ensure the freshness of the dish.

What do you eat with white pudding?

Scottish white pudding is a classic dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. One of the most popular ways is to serve it with “mince and tatties” (minced beef and potatoes) or to have it deep-fried in a local chip shop. Another dish closely related to Scottish white pudding is fruit pudding, which has raisins or other dried fruits mixed into the sausage.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a twist on the traditional pudding recipe, give the Scottish Barley Pudding recipe a try! With its creamy texture and wholesome, nutty flavor, you won’t regret this culinary adventure.

This recipe’s flexibility with ingredients and cooking methods allows for experimentation and customization that’s perfect for anyone looking to build their culinary skills. The combination of sweet raisins, warm cinnamon, zesty lemon zest, and chewy barley grains create a truly unforgettable taste that will transport your taste buds to Scotland.

Whether you’re serving it at home or bringing it to a potluck dinner, this dish is sure to impress. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also healthy thanks to the natural benefits of barley grains.

So, why not mix things up in the kitchen today? Try this Scottish Barley Pudding recipe and experience the taste of traditional Scottish cuisine come to life in your own home. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Scottish Barley Pudding

Scottish Barley Pudding Recipe

A traditional Scottish recipe with the distinctive flavor of barley. This is not your usual concept of dessert and would also probably be nice for breakfast.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Easy, European, Grains, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Scottish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Calories 155.2kcal


  • 1 cup barley
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup seedless raisin
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • superfine sugar, to serve with the pudding
  • light cream, to serve with the pudding


  • Mix the barley and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring slowly to the boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for one-and-a-half hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the currants, raisins and salt and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve sprinkled with sugar and the cream.


Serving: 224g | Calories: 155.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.8g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 0.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 57.2mg | Fiber: 6.2g | Sugar: 10.4g

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