Kirsty's Family's Clootie Dumpling



Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes


110g plain flour

110g vegetarian suet

110g white breadcrumbs

75g brown sugar

110g currants

100g raisins

1tsp cinnmon

1/2tsp ginger

1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

2tsp black treacle

180g buttermilk

Large tea towel

Baking parchment



  1. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix.
  2. Add the treacle to the dry ingredients and mix with enough buttermilk to make a soft consistency.
  3. Put a saucer upside down on the bottom of a deep pan, fill with water and bring to the boil.
  4. Dip the tea towel in boiling water (if easier, drape the cloth over a colander and pour the water over).
  5. Lay the baking parchment on top and use scissors to cut to the length of the tea towel. 
  6. Sift the parchment with flour (that gives the traditional skin) and fill the parchment with the pudding mix.
  7. Tie up with string leaving enough room for the pudding to swell.
  8. Simmer for 3 hours on top of the saucer in the pan.
  9. When firm, remove from the cloth and place in an oven proof bowl and place in a low oven 100-120c for 30 mins to finish the skin.


You can swap out some of the currants and raisins for dried cranberries and dried soured cherries for some Christmas colour. Serve with brandy butter and cream. 

This recipe has been copied from generation to generation from my great, great, great grandparents, the wonderfully named Smith Donaldson and Jane Howie who lived in Banchory in Aberdeenshire.  We have this on Christmas day instead of Christmas pudding and flame it just like Christmas pudding. Two years ago I copied it out to give to my eldest son, for their first Christmas with my gorgeous granddaughter Lily.