Clootie Dumpling

Late Twentieth Century

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Year in a Scots Kitchen

A Year in a Scots Kitchen

By Catherine Brown

Published 1996

  • About

There is a sustaining warmth and weightiness in a suet dumpling which comes from the unique combination of spices and suet.

Butter makes a lighter, more fragile dumpling, which may split as it dries out in the oven.


  • 125 g (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 175 g (6oz) fine white breadcrumbs
  • 125 g (4oz) beef suet or butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons each, freshly ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • 175 g (6oz) sultanas
  • 175 g (6oz) Californian raisins
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large cooking apple, grated
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • freshly squeezed orange juice or mild ale to mix
  • Cotton or linen cloth — 55 cm (22 in) square
  • Silver coins, wrapped in greaseproof paper, for children


    Preparing the pot and cloth

    Fill a large pot with water, place a metal grid or upside-down saucer in the base. Bring to the boil and put in cloth for a few minutes. Lift out with tongs and spread out on table. Sprinkle with plain flour, shake off excess.

    Making the mixture

    Put all the ingredients into a large bowl (add silver coins wrapped in greaseproof paper for children) and mix to a fairly stiff consistency with orange juice. Put in the centre of the cloth, bring up edges and tie with string, leaving space for expansion. Hold up the tied ends and pat the dumpling into a good round shape.


    Place in the simmering water which should come about halfway up the dumpling, and simmer gently for four hours, checking water level every so often.

    Finishing and serving

    Fill a large bowl with cold water. Lift out the dumpling and plunge into the cold water. Keep submerged for 60 seconds to release the cloth from the pudding skin. Put into a bowl about the same size as the dumpling, untie the string, open out the cloth, place the serving-dish on top and reverse. Peel off the cloth and dry out the skin in a warm place. Serve with sweetened double cream or whipcol.

    Alternative microwave method

    Grease a 3-pint pudding-bowl, dust with flour and put in mixture (omit coins). Cover with a plate, leaving room for expansion and microwave on high for eight minutes. Leave to rest for ten minutes in the microwave and microwave again on high for another eight minutes when it should be cooked through. Test with a skewer and turn out.