Dessert/ Recipes/ Snack

Scottish Tablet Recipe

26/08/2020

Scottish Tablet may look like fudge, but its mouthwatering sweetness and crumbly, grainy texture is super addictive! Hailing from the Scottish Highlands, this homemade tablet recipe is easy to make and includes a step-by-step guide.

A stack of Scottish tablet slices on a tray.

Why We Love This

Scottish Tablet is the ultimate old fashioned treat for sweettooths. It has a deliciously crumbly, sugary texture that is 100% addictive and we are 100% okay with that.

This tablet recipe brings to mind all the happy memories of a road trip through the Scottish Highlands. Of long days behind the wheel, and majestic views and occasional castles greeting us around every bend. It also reminds us of that one night we forgot to book accommodation and had a mad scramble trying to find somewhere to stay!

In the end, we were rescued by Rich and Sue – two incredible couchsurfing hosts who opened their home and hospitality to us with about an hour’s notice. One night, one incredible meal, and hours of conversation later, we found ourselves up and ready for breakfast at their favourite roadside restaurant.

It was there, in the quaint little sweet shop next door, that we first met Scottish tablet.

Slices of Scottish tablet on a tray.

What is Scottish Tablet? 

Scottish Tablet is a popular confectionary treat from Scotland, made from a base of sugar, butter and evaporated milk that is boiled then left to crystallise into a deliciously sweet treat – emphasis on sweet!

It may look like fudge, but that’s where the similarities end. Softer than candy but firmer than fudge, it’s best known for it’s rather addictive grainy texture, which is somehow coarse and crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth all at the same time.

What You’ll Need

The key ingredients for this tablet recipe are butter, sugar and evaporated milk. Whole milk, molasses, vanilla essence and salt round out the texture and flavour.

  • Caster Sugar – We recommend caster sugar which is finer and easier to dissolve than regular white sugar. You can use golden caster sugar for even more caramel-y flavour.
  • Evaporated Milk – You can use sweetened condensed milk if you prefer, although this would make it even sweeter!
A small slice of Scottish tablet.

How to make Scottish Tablet Recipe:

  1. Gather all your ingredients (except the vanilla essence) and pop them into a large pan. You’ll want to gently heat them on the lowest heat setting, on the smallest ring on your cooktop to avoid the mixture heating too quickly.
  2. Grab a wooden spoon and stir the mixture frequently to help dissolve all the sugar and avoid the mixture sticking to the pan. You may need to scrape the sugar down off the sides as you go.
  3. After around 30 mins, the mixture should come to a slow boil. At this point the sugar should be fully dissolved and you can stir it much less frequently. Keep a close eye on it to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick anywhere on the bottom. Do this for another 30 mins and the mixture should start to become darker.
  4. Test if the mixture is ready by spooning out and dropping a small ball into a bowl of cold water. If it’s ready, it’ll keep its shape when you scoop it back out.
  5. At this point, turn off the heat and either pop the mixture into a stand mixer – or if you’re feeling strong – keep it in the pan. Stir the tablet mixture on a low setting (or by hand), then add in the vanilla essence.
  6. Keep mixing/stirring as the tablet begins to cool and thicken. Then pour it out into a greased tray or pan of your choice. Score the surface lightly into squares before allowing to cool completely and set.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Be careful – tablet needs to get really hot to set properly. Always take extra care when handling the pot while cooking – you might like to wear heat-proof gloves and use a wooden spatula that won’t overheat.
  • Use an extra large saucepan to prevent overspills if the tablet mixture swells up unexpectedly while bringing it to the boil.
  • If you have a candy thermometer you can use it to confirm when the tablet is ready to set. It needs to be reach 120˚C / 250˚F. If you don’t have a thermometer just use the water test in the below recipe.
  • For nice neat squares, score the tablet before letting it cool completely – it’s much harder to slice neatly when it’s fully set.
  • Since tablet is so sweet, you might like to slice it up into smaller cubes so you don’t overwhelm your sweet tooth. OR you might prefer to throw that idea out the window and chop it up into nice big chunks! Win win either way in our books!

FAQs

Why won’t my tablet set?

You may not have boiled it for long enough or at a high enough temperature for it to set properly. It needs to be boiled for at least 20 minutes at 120˚C / 250˚F. If you pour it out into the tray and it doesn’t set, you can always pop it back into the saucepan and boil for longer.

How do I store this?

Store your Scottish Tablet in a container, biscuit tin or cookie jar in cool dry conditions.  Don’t worry about keeping it airtight, it’s actually best not to be completely sealed as that can increase moisture levels. 

How long does it last?

Once set, tablet will last for around 10 days in the pantry or around two weeks if stored in the fridge.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Add Extra Flavour – Flavours that pair well with caramel would work best, for example peppermint, ginger, or even a splash of Scottish whisky! Add a few drops of any of these when adding the vanilla essence, or omit the vanilla essence if you prefer.
  • Add Texture – Try adding chopped nuts like almond, walnut or pecan, or toasted shredded coconut.
  • Make it Vegan – To make Scottish tablet without milk or dairy products, swap the butter for vegan spread, the milk for coconut milk and the condensed milk for coconut cream.

Want more sweet treats? Here are some of our favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Stack of four pieces of Scottish tablet.

Scottish Tablet Recipe

Scottish Tablet may look like fudge, but its mouthwatering sweetness and crumbly, grainy texture is super addictive! Hailing from the Scottish Highlands, this homemade tablet recipe is easy to make and includes a step-by-step guide.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Scottish
Servings: 20 pieces
Calories: 179kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 650 g sugar
  • 200 ml evaporated milk unsweetened
  • 100 g butter salted
  • 4 tbsp milk full cream
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Gather all your ingredients (except the vanilla essence) and pop them into a large pan. You’ll want to gently heat them on the lowest heat setting, on the smallest ring on your cooktop to avoid the mixture heating too quickly.
  • Grab a wooden spoon and stir the mixture frequently to help dissolve all the sugar and avoid the mixture sticking to the pan. You may need to scrape the sugar down off the sides as you go.
  • After around 30 mins, the mixture should come to a slow boil. At this point the sugar should be fully dissolved and you can stir it much less frequently. Keep a close eye on it to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick anywhere on the bottom. Do this for another 30 mins and the mixture should start to become darker.
  • Test if the mixture is ready by spooning out and dropping a small ball into a bowl of cold water. If it’s ready, it’ll keep its shape when you scoop it back out.
  • At this point, turn off the heat and either pop the mixture into a stand mixer – or if you’re feeling strong – keep it in the pan. Stir the tablet mixture on a low setting (or by hand), then add in the vanilla essence.
  • Keep mixing/stirring as the tablet begins to cool and thicken. Then pour it out into a greased tray or pan of your choice. Score the surface lightly into squares before allowing to cool completely and set.

Notes

Tips to get this recipe just right:
  • Caster Sugar – We recommend caster sugar which is finer and easier to dissolve than regular white sugar. You can use golden caster sugar for even more caramel-y flavour.
  • Evaporated Milk – You can use sweetened condensed milk if you prefer, although this would make it even sweeter!
  • Caution – tablet needs to get really hot to set properly. Always take extra care when handling the pot while cooking – you might like to wear heat-proof gloves and use a wooden spatula that won’t overheat. Use an extra large saucepan to prevent overspills if the tablet mixture swells up unexpectedly while bringing it to the boil.
  • Temperature – If you have a candy thermometer you can use it to confirm when the tablet is ready to set. It needs to be reach 120˚C / 250˚F. If you don’t have a thermometer just use the water test in the below recipe.
  • Slicing the Tablet – For nice neat squares, score the tablet before letting it cool completely – it’s much harder to slice neatly when it’s fully set. 
  • Add Flavour – Flavours that pair well with caramel would work best, for example peppermint, ginger, or even a splash of Scottish whisky! Add a few drops of any of these when adding the vanilla essence, or omit the vanilla essence if you prefer.
  • Add Texture – Try adding chopped nuts like almond, walnut or pecan, or toasted shredded coconut.
  • Make it Vegan – To make Scottish tablet without milk or dairy products, swap the butter for vegan spread, the milk for coconut milk and the condensed milk for coconut cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 39mg | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Scottish Tablet Recipe

4 Comments

  • Reply
    2pots2cook
    13/03/2018 at 3:48 am

    5 stars
    So glad to find you ladies 🙂 Thank you for sharing this delicacy !

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/03/2018 at 10:30 am

      Very glad you found us! No worries, hope you enjoy making (and eating) these as much as we did!

  • Reply
    Aria
    10/03/2018 at 6:09 pm

    5 stars
    These look so good, quick on the go snack, Thanks for sharing!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/03/2018 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Aria, they really are. It’s great that they don’t have to be refrigerated either.

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