Old Scottish Recipes – Sweet

[Recipes Contents]

If anyone is brave enough to try any of these recipes out, gies a wee shout either in the comments to let us know how it went, or contact me via the Contacts Page to send any pictures or videos of your attemps or results. We’d be really interested to see if anyone takes the notion off the back of a recipe they feel might be interesting to make.


Invalid’s Pudding 

Half a teacupful of breadcrumbs soaked in a warm milk, beat it well up with a fork, and add an egg. Grease a cup with butter, pour the mixture in and boil for twenty minutes. 

Plain Rice Pudding 

A very nice pudding for dinner may be made with rice or tapioca. this pudding may be put in the oven in the morning while the family are at breakfast, and set away to cool for dinner. In warm weather many prefer a cold to a hot dessert. Use half a teacupful of rice to two quarts of milk, nearly a teacupful of sugar, a pinch of salt, a teacupful of raisins, and one teaspoonful of cinnamon. Put all the ingredients together and bake for two hours and a half in a moderately hot oven, stirring it three or four times during the first hour of its baking. this pudding is very nice with the raisins omitted; or, if preferred, currants or other dried fruit may be added. 

Treacle Pudding 

One pound of flour, ½ lb. suet, ¼ lb. sugar, ½ lb. treacle (warmed), one teaspoonful of baking powder, pinch of salt. Boil two hours. 

Wafer Puddings 

Ingredients: 1½ oz. of butter, 2 oz. of flour, two eggs, half a pint of milk, some raspberry jam. Work the butter into the flour, then beat in the eggs, after this add the milk and beat till smooth. Have ready five or six buttered saucers, pour a part of the mixture into each and bake. When done turn out on a hot dish, spread some jam on each, fold over, powder with castor sugar, and serve at once. 


Election Cake 

Rub ¾ lb. of butter into 2½ lb. of flour, add a large cup of sugar, a half pint of warm milk, and a cup and a half of good home made yeast. Beat the ingredients well together, and add half a pint more of warm milk. Beat again, and let the batter stand over night. In the morning add another cup of sugar, nutmeg and wine if you wish. Beat the cake well, and let it rise four or five hours, then pour into buttered pans, putting in 1 lb. of seeded raisins and ½ lb. of citron cut in shreds. Sprinkle in the fruit as you pour the cake in the pans. Let the cake rise in the pans three-quarters of an hour, and bake in a moderate oven, about hot enough for bread. 

Jenny Lind Cake 

One pound of flour, half-cup of sugar, a dessert spoonful of carraway seeds, one egg, half a teaspoonful of soda, sour milk or buttermilk. Mix the flour, sugar, carraway seeds, and soda well together; beat the egg, and add to it sufficient sour milk or butter milk to make a light dough. Mix all well together, and put in a buttered cake-tin. Bake about three-quarters of an hour in a moderate oven. When baked, turn out of the tin immediately. Fold a napkin round it and put it on the table. 

Eccles Cake 

Take 2 lbs. of puff paste, roll out the half of it, spread 1½ lbs. of clean currants and ½ lb. of raw sugar upon it with a little spice, and dash a little water on the sugar and currants to make them unite. the roll out the remainder of the paste, and lay it on the top. Ice it well with white of eggs and sugar. Bake on a square tin in a good oven.  

Ginger Pound Cake 

Take half a pound of butter, half a pound of sugar, six eggs, one pound and three-quarters of flour, one tablespoonful of cinnamon, two tablespoonfuls of ginger, four teacupfuls of molasses, and one tablespoonful of saleratus [baking soda]. Stir the batter and sugar to a cream, beat the eggs very light, and add to it; after which put in the spice, molasses, and flour, in rotation, stirring the mixture all the time. Beat the whole well before adding the saleratus, and beat little afterwards. Paper the tins before the mixture is put in, and bake in a very moderate oven. 

White Ginger Cake 

Ingredients: Twelve ounces fine flour, four ounces butter, six ounces castor sugar, one heaped teaspoonful baking powder, one ounce ground ginger, half a nutmeg grated, one ounce candied peel (finely shredded). the whites of three eggs, quarter pint milk. Also three quarters pint royal icing. A little saffron and essence of ginger. Method: Beat the butter to a cream, add by degrees the baking powder, sugar, flour, ginger, nutmeg, and peel; whisk the eggs to a froth, pour with the milk on to the other ingredients, beat the whole lightly for a few seconds until thoroughly mixed into a light smooth butter, turn into a tin lined with buttered paper, spread the surface evenly with a spoon, and bake in a moderate oven about one hour, turn out on to a sieve, and, when cold, ice the top with a thin coating of royal icing, flavoured with essence of ginger and coloured primrose, and ornament the edge with white or pale pink icing forced through a rose pipe. 

Ginger Cakes 

2¼ lbs. flour, ½ lb. butter, 1 lb. moist sugar, 2 oz. ginger. Rub the butter in with the flour, and make the whole into a paste with prepared treacle. make them into round flat cakes, wash the top with milk, lay a slice of peel on each, and bake in a cool oven. 


Apple Bread 

Roll out some dough to the thickness of half an inch; peel, core and stew some apples, spread on the dough, cover with another layer as crust, and bake in a sharp oven. Eat cold afterwards for tea. 


One pound and a quarter of flour, ¾ lb good dripping or butter, 3 oz. brown sugar, half teaspoonful of salt, 1 lb. treacle, one tablespoonful of ground ginger one teaspoonful of carbonate of soda dissolved in three-quarters of a pint of milk. Mix the flour and salt, rub in butter, add the sugar and ginger, then the treacle, previously warmed, and last of all the milk. Pour into a well greased tin, and bake in a very cool oven for about an hour and a half. 


One cupful of treacle, half a cup of sugar, one egg, one cupful of sour milk, half a cup of butter, one tablespoonful of ginger, a scant teaspoonful of soda, flour to make thick enough to pour into a shallow pan. 

Scotch Currant Bun 

Take 1½ breakfast cupfuls of flour, and rub into it ¼ lb. of either dripping or butter, and a half teaspoonful of baking powder; mix it to a firm paste with water, and roll it out into a thin sheet. grease the inside of a cake pan, and line it neatly with the paste, reserving a piece the size of the pan for the top of the bun. Now put together in a large basin the following ingredients:- 1 lb. flour, ½ lb. sugar, 2 lbs. large blue raisins (stoned), 2 lbs. currants, well washed in cold water, rubbed dry, and picked, ¼ lb. orange peel, half teaspoonful black pepper, one small teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, ¼ lb. almonds, ½ oz. ginger, ½ oz. cinnamon, ½ oz. Jamaica pepper, 1 teaspoonful of cream of tartar, and 1 small breakfast cupful of milk, or just as much as barely moisten it all. Mix all thoroughly with the hands, and put the mixture into the lined tin, make it flat on the top, wet the edges round, and put pm the piece of paste reserved for the purpose. Prick it all over with a fork, brush it with a little egg, and put it in the oven for about two and a half hours. 


Weigh off 1 lb. of flour (common household flour), then ½ lb. butter – or half butter and half lard – and ¼ lb. moist sugar. Put butter and sugar on the board and cream them together, then rub a little in a handful of flour at a time till the flour is all used up. It takes a great deal of hard kneading. Then make it into two cakes either round or square. Never use a rolling pin. Pinch all round the edges, and prick it very close with a fork right through. Slip the cakes on paper (white), and bake on tins in a moderate oven slowly. It is easily burnt, so watch it carefully. It has one advantage – you need not bake it the day you make it unless you like. 


One pound of flour, 10 ounces of butter, and two ounces of castor sugar. Beat the butter to a cream, then add sugar and flour, and beat till smooth; roll out to about three-quarters of an inch thick, and prick it well; bake in a good oven for about half-an-hour. 


A Good Pie Crust 

Put a pinch of salt in half a pound of flour, chop, and rub quickly into it five ounces of good lard, and mix it quickly with a little less than half a teacup of very cold water. The roll out. This will make the upper and under crust for one large pie. When making rhubarb or other fruit pies, dust a little flour over the bottom crust to absorb and thicken slightly the juice so that it will not boil out. Pie crust is better if mixed with a knife and not touched by the hands any more than is absolutely necessary. 

Potato Pie 

Peel the potatoes and boil tender, then mash and rub through a colander. To each pint of the pulp add three teacupfuls of sweet milk, one teacupful of sugar, four eggs, one tablespoonful of melted butter, a pinch of salt, and half a teaspoonful of extract of vanilla. Pour into a deep pie-tin lined with a rich crust, and bake to a delicate brown. 


Brandy Snaps 

Rub ¼ lb. butter into ½ lb. flour, add ½ lb. moist sugar, ½ oz. ground ginger, and the grated rind and juice of a lemon. Mix with a little treacle to a paste thin enough to spread on tins. Bake in a moderate oven, and when done, cut it into strips whilst still on the tins, and then roll it round the fingers. When cold put in a tin at once, or they will lose their crispness. 

Seed Biscuits 

One pound of flour, ¼ lb. sifted sugar, ¼ lb. butter, ½ oz. carraway seeds, three eggs. Beat the butter to a cream, stir in the flour, sugar, and carraway seeds, and when these ingredients are well mixed add the eggs, which should be well whisked. Roll out the paste, shape out the biscuits with a round cutter, and bake them in a moderate oven from ten to fifteen minutes. The tops of the biscuits may be brushed over with a little milk or the white of an egg, and then a little sugar strewn over. 

Bachelors’ Buttons 

Five ounces flour, 2½ oz. sugar, one egg, one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, half-teaspoonful carbonate of soda. Mix all well together, make each button the size of a nut, roll in sugar, and bake a light brown colour on a floured tin. 

Vanilla Biscuits 

Ingredients: Four ounces butter, one pound fine flour, four ounces castor sugar, quarter of a pint rich milk, the white of four eggs, two dessertspoonful vanilla essence. Method: Cream the butter with a wooden spoon, beat in the sugar and flavouring, then sprinkle in the flour gradually, beating in with the spoon, beat in the sugar and flavouring, then sprinkle in the flour gradually, beating in with the spoon at first, and finally rubbing in with the hands. Whisk the eggs to a firm froth, pour with the milk into a hole made in the centre of the flour, &c., which stir in gradually with the band to form the ingredients into a soft dough, knead lightly until smooth, roll out to about one-third of an inch in thickness cut into fancy shapes with a paste-cutter dipped into hot water; lay on a baking sheet covered with buttered paper, and bake in a good oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Break open horizontally, lay the tops and bottoms insides uppermost on the baking tin, and return to the oven for five or ten minutes until brown and crisp on the inside. 


Rice Dumplings 

Pick and wash 1 lb. of rice, boil gently in 2 quarts of water till it becomes dry, keeping the pot well covered, and not stirring it. Then take it off the fire, and spread it out to cool on the bottom of an inverted sieve, loosening the grains lightly with a fork, that all the moisture may evaporate. Pare 1 dozen pippins, or some large juicy apples, and scoop out the core; then fill up the cavity with marmalade, or with lemon and sugar. Cover every apple all over with a thick coating of the boiled rice. Tie up each in a separate cloth, and put them into a pot of cold water. They will require about 1 hour and a quarter after they begin to boil, perhaps longer. 

Rice Moulds 

Boil six ounces of rice in a quart of milk for three-quarters of an hour, or until the rice is tender, pour into teacups which have been previously dipped into cold water, and, when cold, turn the rice moulds out into a glass dish; arrange the nicely, and pour a boiled custard over them after spreading some strawberry jam at the bottom of the dish. 


Plum Pudding 

Take one pound of bread crumbs, one tablespoonful of flour, a little salt, one teaspoonful of baking powder, half a pound of moist sugar, half a teaspoonful of mixed spice, and run the ingredients well together, add half a pound of suet, chopped fine, three-quarters of a pound of stoned raisins, half a pound of well washed currants, two ounces candied peel (two eggs are an improvement, though not necessary); slightly moisten the whole with a little milk, taking care not to make it too wet, or the pudding will be heavy. Boil in a basin for four hours the day it is required. two hours’ boiling will be sufficient the day it is used. 1 lb. flour, 1 lb. beef suet (finely chopped), 1 lb. bread crumbs, 1½ lb. currants, 1 lb. raisins, 1 lb. sugar, ¼ lb. lemon peel, a little nutmeg, ¼ lb. blanched almonds, beat 4 eggs, and mix all together with a little new milk, and boil about five hours. This will make a couple of puddings. 

Plum Pudding, without Eggs 

Half a pound of flour, 6 oz. raisins, 6 oz. currants, ¼ lb. copped suet, ¼ lb. brown sugar, ¼ lb. mashed potatoes, ¼ lb. mashed carrot, 1 oz. candied peel, 1 oz. citron, and 1 tablespoonful treacle. Mix flour, sugar, chopped suet, and raisins well together. Have ready the mashed potato and turnip, stir them into the other ingredients, add the treacle and candied peel. Put no liquid in, or the pudding will be spoiled. Tie it loosely in a cloth, allowing room to swell; boil for four hours.  


Chop two pounds suet very finely. Stone and chop two and a half pounds raisins, clean one and a half pounds currants, peel and finely chop two pounds of apples and a quarter of a pound of lemon-peel. Put all these ingredients into a basin, add four cloves, quarter of an ounce mace or mixed spice, the rind and juice of three lemons, and one and a half ounces chopped almonds. Mix all well together, pour over quarter of a pint brandy and quarter of a pint port or home-made wine, and tie closely down in jars till required. 


2½ lbs. currants, 2 lbs. raisins, stoned and chopped; 2 lbs. beef suet, finely shredded (it should be kidney suet); 2½ lbs. moist sugar, 6 large apples, pared, cored, and finely chopped; the grated rinds of four large lemons, and the juice strained – boil the pulps till quite tender, and then chop finely – 1 lb. of orange marmalade, ½ lb. each of candied orange and citron, a dessert-spoonful of ground cinnamon, maze, and cloves mixed, a grated nutmeg. Mix thoroughly with half a pint of brandy. Put into a jar, pressing it well down, cover close, and keep for a week or two before using. 

Almond Icing for Cakes 

Put one pound ground almonds and one pound castor sugar into a basin. Well mix and add a few drops of lemon-juice and vanilla flavouring, and enough well-beaten white of egg to mix all to a stiff paste. Spread evenly over the cake, smooth with a knife dipped in hot water, and put in a warm place or cool oven till quite dry. 

Rich Plum-Cake 

Well line a cake-tin with buttered paper. Cream together half a pound butter and half a pound castor sugar. Well whisk five eggs, and add them gradually to the sugar and butter. Sieve together three-quarters of a pound flour, one teaspoonful baking-powder, and half a teaspoonfull salt. Add to the butter and eggs. Now stir in half a pound sultanas, half a pound glace cherries, quarter of a pound finely chopped almonds, the grated rind of two lemons, half an ounce powdered cloves, spice, and cinnamon mixed, and either one gill of brandy or a gill of milk. Put into the tin. Place the tin on a baking-sheet on a layer of sand, and bake for two and a half hours in a moderate oven. 

Christmas Pudding 

Chop one pound of suet very finely, mixing with it half a pound of flour. Make half a pound of breadcrumbs. Clean one pound currants and one pound sultanas, stone and chop one pound raisins, chop half a pound lemon-peel, and three ounces sweet almonds and one ounce bitter. Skin them first. Put all these ingredients into a basin with one pound brown sugar, add the grated rind of a lemon, one grated nutmeg, and a pinch of salt, and mix well. Well beat eight eggs, add to them quarter of a pint milk and quarter of a pint brandy or home-made wine; pour this into the flour, &c., and stir thoroughly. Put into well-greased basins or moulds, tie well-floured cloths securely over, place in fast boiling water, and boil for not less than eight hours. After they are cold remove the cloths and tie down again with clean ones, and hang in a dry place till needed.  

Fig Pudding 

Ingredients: 1lb. bread crumbs, 1 teacupful sugar, ½lb. figs, 2 eggs, 2 or 4ozs. butter. Put crumbs into a basin, melt butter and mix, add figs, cut in small pieces, beat eggs and mix all together with a spoon, add milk or water, and mix to the consistency of a thick batter; steam in a basin in the usual way three hours. Lemon rind grated is a great improvement. Eggs may be omitted if desired. 


Treacle Ale 

Pour two quarts of boiling water on a pound of treacle, and stir them together. Add six quarts of cold water and a teacupful of yeast. Tun it into a cask, cover it close down, and it will be fit to drink in two or three days. If made in large quantities or intended to keep, put in a handful of malt and hops, and when the fermentation is over, stop it up close. 

Foamy Sauce 

Beat the yolks of two eggs and one cupful of powdered sugar well together, set the bowl into boiling water, and stir until quite hot, then add the whites (beaten stiff), add a small piece of butter and a tablespoon of brandy or extract after taking from the stove, and serve immediately. 

Preserved Egg Plums 

Four pounds of fine egg plums, with their stems; four pounds of loaf sugar. Wash the plums in cold water and wipe dry carefully. Put the sugar on a slow fire in the preserving kettle, with as much water as will wet the sugar, and let it simmer slowly; then prick each thoroughly with a needle, and place a layer of them in the syrup; let them cook until they lose their colour a little and the skins begin to break, then lift them out with a perforated skimmer, and place them singly in a large dish to cool. Then put another layer of plums into the syrup and let them simmer and cool in the same manner until the whole are done. As they cool, carefully replace the broken skins, so as not to destroy the appearance of the plums. When the last layer is finished return the first to the kettle and boil until transparent. Do the same with each layer. While the latest cooked are cooling place the first in the glass jars; when all are done pour the hot syrup over them, and when cold close as usual. The jelly should be of the colour and consistence of rich wine jelly. 

Preserved Pears 

To every pound of sugar allow half-pint of water. Procure some jargonelle pears (not too ripe), put them into a stewpan with sufficient water to cover them, and simmer them till rather tender, but do not allow them to break; then put them in cold water. Boil the sugar and water together for five minutes. Repeat the simmering for three successive days, taking care not to let the fruit break. The last time of boiling for ten minutes. When the pears are done drain them from the syrup, and dry them in the sun, or in a cool oven; or they may be kept in the syrup, and dried as they are wanted. half-an-hour should be allowed for simmering the pears in water, and twenty minutes in the syrup. 

Cheap Ices 

To a quart of best new milk put four or six fresh eggs, according to size, half a pound of loaf-sugar, broken small or powdered, and one ounce of fresh butter; whisk all together, and place the pan on a moderate fire, keeping the whole well stirred from the bottom till it nearly boils, but not quite, or it will curdle – this must be watched – and, when it becomes thick, immediately take the pan off, and then strain through a hair-sieve. This ice can be flavoured according to taste, but essence of vanilla is mostly used. It can be also coloured with extract of cochineal, and flavoured with the fruit or essence of raspberry cream. Note: The above is an example for whatever quantity may be required. 

No. 2. – Instead of using so many eggs to the quart of milk, as in the above recipe, use half the number, and no butter, with half an ounce of prepared gelatine, and the same quantity of sugar; proceed exactly according to the above directions. the gelatine quickly dissolves in the mixture, and makes a smoother ice. this is preferred by most people, though there is not the same amount of nourishment in it. 

Note: all mixtures should be cold when used for freezing. 

Lemon Doughnuts 

Ingredients: Quarter pound butter, 14 ounces fine pastry flour, three ounces castor sugar, the grated rind and juice of one good-sized lemon, one ounce lemon candied peel (or not, according to taste). Method: Sift the flour into a basin, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, add the sugar and lemon rind, shred the candied peel finely and add; beat up the yolks of the eggs with the lemon juice; whisk the white of eggs to a fine froth, and pour both into a hole made in the centre of the flour, &c. Mix well with the hand to a light smooth but stiff batter, divide (with floured fingers) into small pieces, form into marbles about one inch in diameter, then immerse to half their depth in boiling fat; when a good brown on one side turn over and fry on the other. Drain on cooking paper laid on a sieve in front of the fire, shower with castor sugar, and serve at once or leave until cold. 

Rhubarb Jelly 

Soak two ounces of gelatine in a pint of water with half a pound of best lump sugar; well wash and slice about two pounds and a half of rhubarb of a nice bright colour, put it into a stewpan to boil with a quart of water, leave it to get thoroughly stewed, but not long enough to let the juice get thick; strain the latter, and add a pint and a half of it to the dissolved gelatine, with the whites and shells of three eggs. Whisk it all quickly on the fire, pass it through the jelly-bag, and pour it into a mould and leave it to set. 

Puff Paste 

Half a lb. of flour, ½ lb. of butter. Rub a bit of butter the size of a walnut into the flour, dry, mix the flour into a light paste with a little cold water, mixing a few drops of lemon [available from the 17th century] juice with the water; flatten the rest of the butter into a wet cloth. Take the paste, pull it out with your hand the size of a plate, and lay the butter in it; fold the paste over it, and leave for ten minutes, beat well, roll out thin, and fold in six folds; repeat this tree times, waiting ten minutes between each. it is then ready for use. Good, fresh lard can be used instead of butter. 

Corn-Meal Gems 

Two cups corn-meal (Indian meal), one cup flour, two eggs beaten light, two cups sweet milk, one tablespoonful baking soda, and two teaspoonfuls cream of tartar. Beat your eggs very light, add the milk; have ready mixed together the corn-meal flour, cream of tartar, and sugar. Pour in your mixed eggs and milk, then your butter, melted, and lastly, the soda dissolved in a tablespoonful of boiling water. Stir vigorously together for a minute, then put into little gem pans (patty-pans) and pop into a very brisk oven. 

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