Sunday, December 20, 2015

Recipe: Clootie Dumpling (Scottish Dessert)

During our family vacation in Scotland two years ago, we came across clootie dumpling in one of the cafes we were dining in. At that time, I had no idea what a clootie dumpling was but Hubby got very excited when he saw this on the menu, as his grandmother used to make this for their New Year gatherings. She would even hide a silver coin in the dumpling for them to find. It was so rich and delicious, that we had to order another portion to share. ;)

Last year, Hubby decided to make this classic Scottish dessert pudding for us. Clootie dumpling gets its name from the the cloth (also known as the cloot) that it is boiled in. The ingredients are mixed into a dough, and then wrapped up in a floured cloth, and simmered for a couple of  hours in a large pot of water. It is most commonly served during Christmas, Hogmanay, or Burns Night. 

Clootie dumpling
Recipe adapted from Scottish Cookery by Catherine Brown
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 4-5 hours
Serves 10

Dry ingredients
250g beef suet, finely chopped, or Atora pre-prepared
350g plain flour
175g fine white breadcrumbs
50g fine oatmeal
2 tsp baking powder
350g raisins/sultanas
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
250g soft brown sugar

Wet ingredients
250g black treacle
2 eggs
125g tart cooking apple, grated
2 medium carrots, grated
350ml milk

1. Half fill a large pot with water, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, place a steamer rack or upside down saucer in the base to prevent the dumpling from sticking. Add a large piece of white cotton or linen cloth approx. 22 inc (55cm) to the boiling water and leave for 5 minutes.

2. Lift out the cloth with some tongs, allowing excess water to drip off then lay out flat on a table, While the cloth is still hot, dust with a layer of flour, this will form the "skin". Dust off any excess, taking care not to damage the skin.

3. Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix well together, then make a well in the centre, then add the wet ingredients to it and mix to a soft consistency. 

4. Put the mixture into the centre of the prepared cloth, draw up the edges and tie with some string, leaving some room for dumpling to expand. Pat it around the edges to make it a good, round shape.

5. Add the dumpling to the pot. The water should come about 3/4 of the way up. Bring to the boil, then low heat to a simmer, and cover and cook for 4-5 hours. Check the water level occasionally. 

6. Fill a large basin or sink with cold water. Have another bowl ready that the dumpling will just fit into.  Dip the pudding into the cold water for about 60 seconds, this will release the skin from the cloth.

7. Put it into the bowl, and untie the string. Open out the cloth, and hang over the sides of the bowl. Invert onto an ovenproof plate, and remove the cloth carefully.

8. Preheat oven to 180C. Dry off the dumpling in the oven for about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream or custard. 

Note: For those in Malaysia, you can use 2 x "Good Morning" towel or any white cotton or linen / muslin cloth. 


I am submitting this to the "Cook & Celebrate: Christmas 2015" event which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe. To join, simply cook or bake any Christmas recipes for the whole month of December 2015.

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  1. wow, i've never heard of clootie dumplings either ... this would be a great recipe for a local restaurant to whip up for this season, if they wanna try to serve something special :)

  2. Hi Yen,

    I'm totally new to this traditional Scottish dessert. Nice that I'm learning this knowledge from you :)

    I'm having a break from blogging for the next few weeks and like to take this opportunity now to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!



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