13 Traditional Scottish Desserts

Scotland is a land that is rich in culture and filled with scenic landscapes, but something else that Scotland is known for is its array of different kinds of food.

While Scotland is home to lots of savory dishes you should try, their desserts are on a whole different level. 

13 Traditional Scottish Desserts

Scotland uses a lot of oatmeal, raspberries, and dried fruits in their desserts because all of these ingredients are in abundance. They are also partial to using some whisky too! 

If you want to try some Scottish desserts but you don’t know where to start, then you have come to the right place! We’ve put together a list of 13 traditional Scottish desserts you absolutely need to try! 

1. Scottish Shortbread

Kicking off this list we have a classic Scottish Shortbread recipe. Scottish Shortbread is one of the most popular foods in Scotland, savory or sweet!

Shortbread was originally created by  using leftover dough dried in the oven. This was how it got its crisp texture. 

Obviously, it has changed a lot over the years and is prepared differently now. Scottish Shortbread is beloved all over the world and it is a crumbly treat that is made from flour, sugar, and a big portion of butter.

2. Scottish Macaroons

Yes, macaroons are traditionally French, but Scottish macaroons are a bit different. Instead of using meringue and almond paste, the Scott actually uses potatoes in their macaroons!

You might initially be a bit put off by this concept, but once you try this recipe for yourself, you will see just how well the humble potato works.

This recipe is super easy to make as well, so you can make your own in no time at all. 

3. Dundee Cake

Dundee Cake is the most famous dessert in all of Scotland. It’s a lot like a Christmas plum cake but in a much simpler form.

Dundee Cake has all the normal cake ingredients, such as flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and salt, but it also includes raisins, almonds, sultanas, orange zest, and Seville marmalade. 

4. Ecclefechan Tart 

Ecclefechan tart is a bit like pecan pie, but it has the added flavors of cinnamon and lemon peel. This is an incredibly rich dessert that you will absolutely love.

It actually gets its name from the town Ecclefechan, which is a town located in southern Scotland. 

This is an especially good dessert to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea, as well as during the Christmas period. 

5. Scottish Scones

Scones are traditionally associated with England, but the Scots have their own version which is absolutely delicious! 

These scones are airy, light, soft, and buttery and they are extremely versatile, so you can have them with pretty much whatever you want.

This recipe is pretty easy to make as well, so why not give them a try for yourself? 

6. Millionaire’s Shortbread

Millionaire’s Shortbread was actually made popular by Mary Queen of Scots, who enjoyed it so much in the 16th Century that it ended up becoming a staple dessert in Scottish culture. 

It differs from normal shortbread because it has a delightful caramel layer on top of the flaky shortbread which just adds even more depth to this tasty treat.

The recipe we have included is quite easy to make, so you’ll be able to enjoy your own batch in no time at all. 

7. Tablet

If you’ve never heard of tablet before, you’re definitely going to want to try some later! Tablet is a Scottish dessert that is sugary and fudge-like.

It consists of ingredients such as butter, condensed milk, and caster sugar. 

While it is not as well known in other parts of the world, tablet is a very common and popular dessert in Scotland. You will find it in pastry and cake shops all over the country.

It is similar to fudge but it has some differences, the biggest being it is brittle and grainy texture, whereas fudge is much softer.

8. Black Bun

If you love fruit cake, then you are going to love the black bun dessert because that’s basically what it is!

The original recipe for black bun includes raisins, currants, almonds, ginger, citrus peel, allspice, and a sprinkle of black pepper.

This dessert has changed and evolved a lot over the years though, so you will find other variations out there. 

One of the most popular modern additions includes a small layer of black treacle! 

9. Melting Moments

This is one of those dessert options that pairs beautifully with a cup of tea or coffee! Melting moments are basically oat biscuits, but they taste so much nicer! 

Melting moments are traditionally made with ingredients such as flour, eggs, butter, caster sugar, oatmeal, and vanilla extract.

You then shape the dough into balls before you roll them into oatmeal. The final step before baking involves lightly pressing a glacé cherry into the center. 

This dessert is super simple to make and it tastes absolutely delicious, so if you’re looking for something fun to make at home, this is the perfect recipe for you to try! 

10. Petticoat Tails

This is another one of those Scottish desserts that were beloved by Mary Queen of Scots, and she is a big reason why it’s still so popular today. 

Petticoat tails are a variation of shortbread that contain three main ingredients in the form of flour, butter, and caster sugar. They get their name from their unique triangle-like shape, which resembles frilly petticoats. 

This is a really pretty dessert that is great for serving up at parties, but a slice also goes really nicely with a warm cup of tea or coffee. 

11. Clootie

Clootie is made up of a plethora of lovely ingredients, some of which include dried fruit, bread crumbs or oatmeal, spices, flour, and shredded suet. 

If you’re wondering why it’s called clootie, it actually gets its name from the preparation process used to make it. All of the ingredients are placed into a clootie or cloth for long periods of time to simmer and mix. 

Clootie has been a popular and traditional dessert in Scotland for many centuries, and it’s worth trying if you get the chance!

12. Cranachan

Cranachan is an easy-to-make dessert that consists of ingredients such as oats, cream, honey, malt whiskey, and raspberries.

It is a bit like a trifle in the sense that the ingredients are layered in a decorative fashion inside a glass bowl. 

Like many of the other desserts on this list, Cranachan has changed and evolved a lot over the years, and there are plenty of different variations out there for you to try. 

Cranachan is traditionally made and enjoyed by the Scots during the celebration of the raspberry harvest in June. It is also enjoyed for other holidays, such as Christmas, Hogmanay, and Burns Night. 

13. Tipsy Laird

And finally, we have another classic Scottish dessert in the form of Tipsy Laird. This dessert is one of the most well-known in all of Scotland, and it is extremely similar to the English trifle. 

The main difference between Tipsy Laird and trifle is that Tipsy Laird has a lot more flavor thanks to the inclusion of Whiskey instead of Sherry.

This is a great recipe for anyone who likes strong flavors and loves trifle-like desserts. 

Tipsy Laird is also made with a fantastic layer of rich raspberry jam, thick custard, fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and roasted almonds.

This is an incredibly tasty and comforting dessert that will satisfy you with every singe bite! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Famous Dessert In Scotland?

The most famous dessert in Scotland is actually the Dundee Cake, which is actually quite a popular dessert all over the world. 

What Cakes Is Scotland Famous For?

Along with the Dundee Cake, Scotland is also well known for some other cakes including the Forfar Bridie, Aberdeen Butteries, and Selkirk Bannocks.

What Is The Most Popular Snack In Scotland?

While the Dundee Cake is the most famous Scottish dessert, the most popular snack is actually shortbread. 


The Scots have some of the best desserts on the planet, and once you try them for yourself, you’ll definitely agree!

There are so many options for you to choose from, and the ones we have included are super simple to make! 

Give these traditional Scottish desserts a try for yourself and see which one you enjoy the most! 

13 Traditional Scottish Desserts

13 Traditional Scottish Desserts

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