Delicious and Hearty Scottish Dumpling Cake Recipe

Hey there foodies! Today, I’m here to share with you a recipe that will transport you straight to Scotland with every bite. Introducing the Scottish Dumpling Cake – a dessert that is as rich in flavor as it is in history.

But what exactly is a Scottish Dumpling Cake, you may ask? Well, it’s a classic Scottish dessert made with flour, sugar, spices, and mixed dried fruit that is traditionally cooked in a cloth called a “clootie.” The clootie dumpling is then boiled – yes, boiled – until it’s perfectly cooked and ready to be served.

Now, I know some of you might be skeptical about boiling a cake, but trust me when I say that this unique cooking method is what gives this dessert its one-of-a-kind texture and flavor. Plus, it’s perfect for those who want to switch things up from the usual baking method.

I must warn you though; this recipe is not for the faint-hearted. It requires patience and determination, but the end result is worth the effort. I promise you that every bite of this Scottish Dumpling Cake will make your taste buds sing with joy!

So roll up your sleeves, tie on your aprons and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Dumpling Cake
Scottish Dumpling Cake

Have you ever tasted a traditional Scottish clootie dumpling? If not, you are in for a real treat! This dessert is the ultimate comfort food that will warm your heart and soul.

This recipe is perfect for anyone who enjoys the sweet and savory flavors of clootie dumpling. It is incredibly easy to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. With raisins, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg bringing out the best in this rich fruit and beef suet mixture, you can expect an explosion of flavors in every bite.

What’s more, this Scottish dumpling cake recipe is ideal for any occasion. Thanks to its festive nature and dense texture, it makes an excellent dessert to ring in the holiday season. You can bring it to a family gathering, potluck or enjoy it with a hot cup of tea on a chilly evening.

Best of all, this classic Scottish dish has stood the test of time. With its origins dating back centuries, you know that this recipe has been perfected over the years with expert precision. It’s no wonder that it has become such a beloved tradition in Scotland and beyond.

In conclusion, if you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth while exploring the rich culture of Scotland, then this clootie dumpling recipe is perfect for you! Its ease of preparation and delicious taste — combined with its historical significance — make it an absolute must-try for all food enthusiasts. So what are you waiting for? Put on your apron and get ready to embark on a tasty journey through time with this classic Scottish dessert!

Ingredient List

 A slice of this Scottish Dumpling Cake is a generous serving of history, tradition, and yumminess in every bite.
A slice of this Scottish Dumpling Cake is a generous serving of history, tradition, and yumminess in every bite.

Let’s gather the ingredients for this traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling recipe. You’ll need a mix of dried fruit and spices, beef suet, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and baking soda. Don’t forget to get a clean cloot (cloth) to wrap the dumpling mixture in before boiling it.

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g beef suet
  • 125g raisins
  • 125g currants
  • 125g sultanas
  • 4 ounces (125 grams) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Milk (enough to reach a soft consistency)

You can also use self-rising flour for this recipe, but it will result in a lighter texture than the traditional Scottish dumpling. Also note that if you cannot find beef suet, you can substitute with shredded vegetable or chicken fat.

The Recipe How-To

 The delicious blend of dried fruits and spices makes our dumpling cake a perfect dessert to bring people together.
The delicious blend of dried fruits and spices makes our dumpling cake a perfect dessert to bring people together.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients in detail, let’s move on to the recipe itself. We’ll be making a Scottish Dumpling Cake, also known as Clootie Dumpling. This cake is a rich and fruitcake-like dessert typically served during special occasions like Christmas or weddings.

Preparing the Ingredients

Firstly, in a large bowl, I will mix 250g of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. After mixing these dry ingredients together, I will create a well in the center for later use.

In another bowl, I will whisk one egg lightly with 125g of sugar before adding 250g of beef suet. (Traditionally made dumplings use beef suet,) I will push this mixture into the well that I created earlier in the dry ingredients’ bowl.

Lastly, 4 ounces (or 125 grams) each of raisins and sultanas (dried fruit) would be mixed with these spices: two teaspoons of ground cinnamon and one teaspoon each of allspice and nutmeg.

After cleaning a piece of thin muslin cloth, place it tightly over a pan and sprinkle it with flour. Make sure to also leave enough excess cloth over the sides so you can tie it up later.

Combining The Dry And Wet Ingredients

Now, add the dried fruit and spice mix to the wet ingredients’ bowl while gradually adding milk until you have consistent batter-like dough. Mix everything properly together.

Now take the prepared thin muslin cloth in step one and fill it with dough mixture to about two-thirds full before tightly tying off or sealing off the end with string or elastic bands. Dip this contained dough in barely boiling water for around three hours – do not let them boil! – Then carefully remove your boiled cloot or clootie from the water and untie the string at one end. Remove the dumpling loaf, drain excess water, and place it into a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes to dry out adequately.

Your Scottish Dumpling Cake is Ready!

After drying out the clootie dumpling in the oven, leave it in a cloth overnight to cool. Serve with custard, whipped cream or simply as is, sliced up.

Your Scottish Dumpling Cake is now ready– a delicious dessert sure to wow your family and friends!

Substitutions and Variations

 If you want to experience the real taste of Scotland, then this Dumpling Cake recipe is a must-try.
If you want to experience the real taste of Scotland, then this Dumpling Cake recipe is a must-try.

Looking to mix things up or try something different? Here are some substitutions and variations that you can make to this traditional Scottish dumpling cake recipe.


– Beef suet: If you don’t have beef suet, you can substitute it with grated frozen butter or vegetable shortening.

– Raisins: While raisins are a classic addition to this recipe, you can swap them out for other dried fruits such as currants, apricots, or dates.

– Milk: You can use either regular milk or buttermilk in place of whole milk.

– Flour: If you don’t have self-rising flour, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 250 grams of plain flour to create your own self-rising flour substitute.


– Clootie Dumpling Loaf: Instead of boiling the dumpling mixture in a cloth, you can bake it in a loaf tin to create a more traditional cake-like texture.

– Christmas Pudding: Add some extra spices and brandy to the mix and steam it in a pudding basin for a deliciously rich fruit pudding experience.

– Scottish Fern Cakes: Pour the dumpling mixture into muffin tins, sprinkle some oats on top and bake them into cute individual-sized fern cakes.

By playing around with different ingredients, cooking techniques and flavor profiles, you can create your own unique take on classic Scottish clootie dumplings. Happy experimenting!

Serving and Pairing

 Savor each bite of this rich and fruity cake, perfect for an indulgent afternoon treat or as a dessert after dinner.
Savor each bite of this rich and fruity cake, perfect for an indulgent afternoon treat or as a dessert after dinner.

When it comes to serving this Scottish dumpling cake, there are a few options you can choose from. You could cut it into slices and serve it plain with a cup of tea or coffee for a simple yet satisfying dessert. Or if you’re feeling fancy, you could dress it up with some whipped cream, caramel sauce, or even a scoop of ice cream on the side.

As for pairing, the sweet and rich flavors of the dumpling cake work best with something creamy or fruity. A dollop of whipped cream or ice cream would balance out the spices and add a nice contrast in texture. And if you’re looking for something more fruit-forward, try serving sliced fresh fruit on the side like strawberries or raspberries.

For an extra indulgent experience, you could even pair your dumpling cake with a glass of dessert wine like Sauternes or Port. The sweetness of the wine will complement the spices and dried fruit in the cake and make for a luxurious after-dinner treat.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair your Scottish dumpling cake, one thing is for sure – it’s guaranteed to be deliciously satisfying.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 With its warm spices, nutty texture, and fruity aroma, this cake is what dreams are made of.
With its warm spices, nutty texture, and fruity aroma, this cake is what dreams are made of.

Congratulations on making a delicious Scottish Dumpling Cake! This traditional Scottish dessert is truly a delight to the senses. And you know what’s even better than having one hot out of the oven? Having one that’s just as fresh and scrumptious a day or two later!

In case you plan to make the cake ahead of time or have some leftovers, here are some tips on how to properly store and reheat it:


Yes, you can make this classic Scottish fruit dumpling ahead of time! If you need to save some time in the kitchen, prepare the cake up to two days in advance. Once cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it at room temperature. Then simply reheat it before serving.


The good news is that this Scottish Clootie Dumpling stores really well. If you have any leftovers, let it cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.


To reheat your Scottish Clootie Dumpling, simply slice it into portions before reheating so that each piece will warm through evenly. To make sure the cake doesn’t dry out while reheating, wrap each slice in damp paper towel before microwaving for 20-30 seconds on high. Alternatively, reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.

Now that you know how to perfectly store and reheat your Scottish Dumpling Cake so that it retains all of its flavors and textures, go ahead and make this festive cake for your friends and family. It’s perfect for Christmas, Hogmanay or even any day you need a little taste of Scotland!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Enjoy a slice of this delicious
Enjoy a slice of this delicious

As a chef specialized in British cuisine, I have learned some tips and tricks to help you achieve perfect results when making Scottish Dumpling Cake. Here are some of the key tips that will ensure your dumpling is moist, tender, and full of flavor.

Firstly, it is important to note that this recipe requires boiling the clootie dumpling before baking it. To prevent the dumpling from sticking to the pot or pan while boiling, instead of using water, I recommend using milk. The milk will leave a delicious coating on the outer layer of the dumpling and prevent it from sticking.

Additionally, when adding in the dry ingredients such as flour and spices into the mixture, it is important to sift them beforehand. This will help remove any lumps and ensure that all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Another crucial tip when making this recipe is the addition of raisins. For best results, soak the raisins in warm water or your preferred alcohol overnight. This step will not only help plump up the raisins but also infuse the cake with an extra layer of richness and depth of flavor.

Lastly, when you’re ready to bake your Scottish Dumpling Cake, make sure that your oven has preheated to the right temperature recommended in this recipe as it will affect how well your cake rises and cooks through. Avoid peeking while your cake is baking as sudden changes in temperature can cause it to deflate.

By following these tips, you’re guaranteed to end up with a deliciously rich fruit pudding that is perfect for any occasion!


Before we delve into the frequently asked questions about this Scottish Dumpling Cake Recipe, I just want to remind you that cooking is an adventure. It is totally okay to make mistakes or tweak a recipe to suit your taste buds. Therefore, don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you get stuck along the way or have difficulty understanding any of the instructions. Here are a few common questions that I get regarding this recipe.

What cloth to use for clootie dumpling?

Clootie is a popular British dessert that gets its name from the type of cloth it is cooked in. Generally, any cloth like cotton, linen, or muslin can be used to prepare this delicious dessert.

What’s the difference between Christmas pudding and clootie dumpling?

The clootie dumpling and Christmas pudding share a common ancestry dating back to the plum pudding. However, the clootie dumpling has its own unique characteristics such as a lighter texture and a simpler, less rich flavor profile.

How long can you keep a clootie dumpling?

The shelf life of our Clootie Dumplings is 21 days starting from the day they were made, and since they’re prepared using minimal sugar and high in fruit content, they don’t contain any preservatives to preserve their shelf life.

Why is it called clootie dumpling?

The title of Clootie Dumplings finds its roots in the cooking process, which involves boiling the dumplings in a cloth, referred to as a ‘cloot’ in Scottish dialect.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Scottish Dumpling Cake recipe is a must-try for anyone who wants to experience the unique flavors of Scotland. With its rich blend of dried fruits, spices, and suet, this cake will transport your taste buds to the heart of the Scottish countryside. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to indulge in some traditional Scottish fare, this recipe is perfect for you.

So why not give it a try? Gather your ingredients, follow the simple steps, and enjoy the delicious aroma as your Scottish Dumpling Cake bakes to perfection. Whether you serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or enjoy it on its own, this cake is sure to be a highlight of any meal.

Remember, cooking is an art form that can be enjoyed by everyone. So embrace your inner chef, experiment with substitutions and variations, and make this recipe your own. With patience and practice, you’ll soon become a master of traditional Scottish cuisine. Happy cooking!

Scottish Dumpling Cake

Scottish Dumpling Cake Recipe

ZWT6 - Great Britain
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, European, Scottish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Calories 467kcal


  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (plain)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk


  • Grease an empty 2 lb. coffee can and set aside.
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • Beat together Crisco and egg; add to dry ingredients. Then add milk and mix well. Add raisins.
  • Put into well greased coffee can. Cover with wax paper and tie with string. Cover with foil and tie again.
  • Place in pan of simmering water (deep enough to cover can 3/4 of the way to the top).
  • Simmer for 3 1/2 hours, replacing water as necessary.
  • Cool 15 minutes. Run a knife down sides of can to slide cake onto plate.


Serving: 153g | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 74.6g | Protein: 7.6g | Fat: 16.8g | Saturated Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 32.8mg | Sodium: 534.9mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 42.9g

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