Clootie Dumpling Recipe

I recently posted some photos of a Clootie Dumpling the Builder had been given. Someone asked me to post the recipe, so, instead of finding a recipe online (of which there are numerous) I decided I'd try and get one from someone who lived locally.

I mentioned this to my Mum the other day, and she remembered that my Granny's recipe had been printed in a little recipe booklet over thirty years ago.

Unlike me, my Mum knows where to find things.

Here's the booklet (printed in 1979 to raise funds for a school at which the typist's husband was Headteacher)

Here's her recipe.

2 lb plain flour (all purpose flour, I think, in the US)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb marg
2 lb dried fruit
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tblsp treacle
1 1/2 tblsp syrup
2 eggs
2 grated apples
a little milk

Rub margarine into flour and add dry ingredients.

Add treacle, syrup, beaten egg and sufficient milk to give a fairly stiff consistency.

Rinse cloth in boiling water. Sprinkle liberally with flour.

Pour mixture into cloth and tie it up securely.

Boil for 3-4 hours. Keep adding plenty boiling water. Halfway through, turn the dumpling over.

Note: Place a plate in the pan under the 'duff'.


At the top of the page, my mum has written, 'My mother's Clootie duff'.

At the bottom, the lady who gave Mum the booklet wrote, 'Nanag's recipe' (Nanag was what my granny was known as. Most people from Ness were known by some name, or nickname, that distinguished them from everyone else in the district with the same names...of which there would be quite a number!) After all, variety in names wasn't a strong point of Lewis families. 

Clearly, we felt the need to carry on with that tradition.  

I reckon I'll make a 'duff' some day soon. If I do, I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Unless it doesn't 'go'. And then I'll deny all knowledge of ever having attempted it. 


  1. Aw wow, I'll have to try this, thanks for sharing a granny recipe, they tend to be the best kind!

  2. Thanks for sharing the recipe~ Wishing you a very Happy New Year `Love Heather

  3. I had clootie dumpling in a pub in Dunkeld and it was delicious. We're from the states (Arkansas) and were visiting our son and daughter-in-law in Edinburgh. I may have to try your recipe. thanks, Carol

  4. I've written this recipe as I got it in the booklet, but I'm very skeptical about the 45 mins boiling time. My understanding was that 2 or 3 hours was more normal. I'm going to check this out, and let you all know!
    Happy New Year to y'all x

  5. I've corrected the original - it was 3-4 hours/ The 45 mins was a mistake - reading 3/4 hour as three-quarters, rather than 3 - 4 !! Duh!

  6. This is a rather large quanity, if I was going to try it again I would halve the recipe (just in case it doesn't work!!). Away to put it in the pan now!!

  7. Gulp - thats 4 hours gone - and it's not cooked!!!! Should there have been a lid on the pan? And it's quite pale, should it have been brown sugar?


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