Clootie Dumpling


To make a clootie dumpling you will need:

a large pan of boiling water
a side plate to put beneath the dumpling in the pan
a square of cloth, approx. 24″ x 30″
and a length of string

Basic Recipe

1 lb (450g) plain flour
8 oz (225g) suet
8 oz (225g) sugar
8 oz (225g) raisins
8 oz (225g) currants
2 level tsp ginger
2 level tsp cinnamon
2 level tsp mixed spice
2 level dsp marmalade
2 level dsp syrup
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda, mixed with a little milk


1. Mix all the above ingredients together, lastly adding the bicarbonate of soda and milk.
2. Add more milk and mix well to make a fairly slack dough.
3. See below for cooking instructions.

Richer Recipe
To make a richer dumpling add the following ingredients to the above recipe and mix well:

8 oz (225g) mixed dried fruit
2 cooking apples, grated
2 carrots, grated
juice and zest of 1 orange
4 oz (100g) breadcrumbs
6 oz (175g) melted treacle
2 eggs, beaten

To cook the clootie dumplings:

1. Scald the “cloot” briefly in the pan of boiling water.
2. Ring out and dredge well with flour.
3. Turn mixture onto the cloth, tie up securely, making sure there are no loose edges and leaving room for the dumpling to swell.
4. Place dumpling on plate in pan of boiling water and boil for 3½ – 4 hours, topping up with boiling water if the level drops.
5. Lift dumpling onto a plate and carefully begin to remove the cloth, using the back of a knife to ensure the “skin” stays on the dumpling.
6. Invert dumpling onto a large plate and fully remove the cloth.
7. Leave dumpling to dry naturally.
8. Slice and eat hot or cold.

Mary MacMillan, Buccleuch & Greyfriars, Edinburgh