Traditional Scottish Recipes
- Cloutie Dumpling

Sometimes spelt "Clootie" it gets its name from the "clout" or cloth in which it was traditionally boiled. This is a favourite at Christmas time and there have been many variations over the years as cooks have experimented. You may be glad to know that it doesn't have to be made in a "clout"!

After the first recipe below, there is another Cloutie Dumpling recipe - this time a tried and tested one from "Granny Geal" - provided on the Scottish Culture Forum!

4 oz shredded suet or margarine (marge makes a lighter dumpling)
8 oz (2 cups) flour
4 oz oatmeal
3 oz sugar
Rounded teaspoon baking powder
8 oz mixed currants/sultanas/chopped raisins
One or 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and mixed spice
One teaspoon golden syrup (light corn syrup is the closest in N America)
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 tablespoons buttermilk

Sift the flour and rub in the fat (suet or margarine) in a large mixing bowl. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the centre and add the syrup and eggs and mix well. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft but firm batter.
At Christmas, cooks often wrapped small coins (in the old days a silver three-penny piece was popular) in greaseproof paper and placed them in the dumpling. If you do add coins, warn those eating the dumpling later so as to avoid broken teeth!
You now have a choice of container. The traditional way was with a cloth. Dip it first in boiling water and flour it well before adding the mixture. Tie the top, making sure there is enough room for expansion. Place a saucer or plate in the bottom of a saucepan and stand the dumpling in the cloth on top. Cover with boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 hours.
Alternatively, you can use an 8-cup basin or pudding steamer which has been lightly greased with melted butter. Allow a one inch space at the top (even if this means throwing away some of the mixture - you need the saoce for expansion). Cover the steamer or basin with a greased sheet of foil and pour boiling water into the steamer until it comes two-thirds up the side. Boil for 3 hours.
Turn out the dumpling and either serve hot with custard or cold with cream.

Now here is another variation - Granny Geals's Special Clootie Dumpling!

4 oz. plain biscuits (Rich Tea type)
2 oz. fine flour
1/2 lb. currants (soaked overnight and drained)
1/2 lb. raisins
1/2 lb. finely shredded suet
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 lb. sifted caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 blades of mace or 1/2 teaspoon ground mace)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 oz. mixed candied lemon, orange and citron peel, chopped
2 oz. blanched almonds roughly chopped
four eggs
wineglass of brandy or white wine


Put the biscuits in a cloth and roll with a heavy rolling pin to crush thoroughly. Mix the fruit, peel, pounded biscuits, spices and nuts.
Beat the eggs well and add a glass of brandy or wine. Then mix in the flour and the other dry ingredients.
Scald a pudding cloth in boiling water and dredge lightly, but thoroughly with flour. Spoon the mixture into the cloth. You can get the traditional round shape by holding the cloth in a bowl large enough to support the mixture. Gather the ends of the cloth evenly and tie firmly with string, leaving enough room for the pudding to swell.
Place an old plate in the bottom of a large saucepan, and place the cloth wrapped pudding on the plate. Cover with boiling water and simmer for three hours, turning the pudding from time to time and adding boiling water as required.
When ready take out of the pot and cool for about 10 minutes before carefully removing the cloth. Cool completely before slicing.

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