Home Desserts 10 Traditional Scottish Desserts

10 Traditional Scottish Desserts

These Scottish desserts will have you dreaming of Celtic cuisine with all its wonderful tastes and textures.

After all, Scotland is the land of bagpipes, kilts, whisky, and some very authentic dishes.

From crunchy, buttery shortbread to soft, airy scones, Scottish desserts never fail to wow.

Homemade Scones with Strawberry Jam
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So if you like the sound of classic cranachan, Dundee cake, or Clootie dumplings, read on. 

These easy and enjoyable recipes show you how to eat like a sweet-toothed Scot!

1. Cranachan

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish pudding, similar to a trifle.

It’s a layered dessert, consisting of whipped cream, toasted oats, and juicy raspberries.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Scottish without a touch of whiskey in the mix.

You can, of course, leave this out however if you’re feeding kids or avoiding alcohol.

Cranachan was generally eaten after the early summer harvest, when the raspberries were perfectly ripe.

It was a delicious celebration of the season, and you’ll taste summer in every bite.

2. Scottish Tablet

Scottish tablet is often compared to fudge, but it really deserves some love on its own merits.

It’s sweeter than fudge, and more crumbly. A thick slab of intensely sugary and buttery candy, this tablet is for true dessert fanatics. 

It’s a bit tricky to make, but this detailed recipe talks you through every step.

Trust me, it’s worth it for this melt-in-the-mouth, irresistible treat.

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3. Scottish Shortbread

This is a great recipe for first-timers. If you’ve never made shortbread before, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to whip up a tray.

You should always make shortbread from scratch. Make it the traditional way, and you’ll never be tempted by store-bought again. 

There’s not much to it either. Just three ingredients – flour, butter, sugar – and a bit of elbow grease. 

Bake until golden and prepare your tastebuds for something special.

The taste of rich, buttery shortbread straight from the oven is basically heaven on a plate. 

4. Dundee Cake

Authentic Dundee Cake is a glorious thing. 

Rumoured to be the Queen’s favorite afternoon snack, this is a dense fruit cake flavored with nuts and spices.

Wonderfully moist and delicately sweet, a good Dundee cake comes loaded with raisins, orange zest, and almonds.

Make it for family gatherings, afternoon snacks or your next book club meeting. This cake works anywhere, any time.

And, of course, keep the recipe handy for the next time royalty drops in for tea.

5. Clootie Dumplings

The amusingly-named clootie dumplings take their unusual moniker from a strip of cloth known as cloot.

This baked pudding was traditionally wrapped in a rag, or cloot, and then steamed.

Flavored with dried fruits, treacle, cinnamon, and ginger, this is a rich-tasting cake perfect for special occasions.

Serve with custard, whipped cream, or ice-cream for an indulgent dessert – especially on Burn’s Night or Hogmanay (New Year’s).

6. Petticoat Tails

Petticoat tails are a traditional Scottish shortbread, cut into triangles or “tails.”

They make a great holiday gift for the dessert lovers in your life or the perfect bite for Christmas parties.

This recipe keeps it simple with a basic dough of flour, sugar, and butter. 

Add a pinch of salt to really bring out the buttery flavor, and use powdered sugar if you like your shortbread more soft than crunchy.

7. Scottish Tea Cookies

These tasty tea cookies are the ideal answer to the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. 

The perfect pick-me-up, they are basically little drop cookies – soft dough surrounding a fruit centre (in this case, tangy apple butter).

This is a great one for kids. In my experience, little eaters can’t get enough of soft, crumbly cookies with a squishy, gooey, fruit center.

Millionaire's Shortbread

8. Millionaire’s Shortbread

We have Mary Queen of Scots to thank for shortbread.

The legendary queen made it popular in the 16th century, introducing an egalitarian treat enjoyed by the ruling classes and peasantry alike.

Happily, you don’t have to be either a monarch or a millionaire to enjoy deliciously decadent millionaire’s shortbread.

A word of warning though – this is not basic shortbread.

This is insanely indulgent, layered shortbread. So be sure you’re hungry!

Layer one is a buttery shortbread crust. Layer two is chewy, sweet caramel.

Layer three is (you guessed it) a thick chocolate topping. 

9. Scottish Scones

Nobody does scones like the Scottish. Airy, light, buttery and soft, they’re an institution all over the British Isles, but especially up north.

You, too, can master the ubiquitous teatime treat with this easy recipe. 

They’re extremely versatile, too. Punch things up with a little sugar, or add a sprinkling of cheese if you want a more savory option.

Just be sure to eat them warm, with plenty of butter.

I cannot stress this enough: cold, dry scones are an insult to the centuries-old tradition of Scottish scone eating.  

10. Scottish Macaroons    

Yes, macaroons may be a classic French dessert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a Scottish spin.

While the French get fancy with meringue and almond paste, the Scots opted for the humble potato.

Yes, you read that right. Scottish macaroons contain potato. (Bet you didn’t see that coming.)

Don’t let it put you off, though. Once you get over the spud factor, these are really delicious. 

Cold mashed potato is mixed with sugar, rolled into a ball, then coated with a thick chocolate crust and flaky coconut sprinkles.

This is one of those recipes you’ll have to try for yourself (or unleash on unsuspecting guests).

10 Best Traditional Scottish Dessert Collection

From crunchy, buttery shortbread to soft, airy scones, Scottish desserts never fail to wow. Take a virtual trip to Scotland with these easy, traditional recipes!


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Scottish Desserts

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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