Simple Microwave Clootie Dumpling Recipe

Clootie Dumpling is a fantastic Scottish dessert that has existed for centuries, possibly dating back to the mid-1700s. It has certainly earned the right to be cherished as a Scottish recipe and deemed traditional.

We love our traditional recipe, but it is a long-term commitment: It takes around 4.5 hours to make.

Why a Microwave Clootie Dumpling will upset some people

Our Microwave Clootie Dumpling recipe will probably cause some traditionalists to draw a breath, frown, and head to the comment section on our Facebook page to express their disapproval…

Microwave clootie dumpling with slice missing

Although our clootie dumpling that’s made in the microwave tastes terrific, it will still be looked down on. Why?

One obvious reason is that although the humble microwave has been used in homes since the 1960s. This, for many, is not enough time to count as a traditional way to cook such a classic. We get that.

Why did we make a Microwave Clootie Dumpling if we knew people would turn their noses up at it? Purely for the speed, ease and general convenience of those with their noses still firmly turned down. Let us explain…

A traditionally made clootie dumpling takes nearly 4 hours to make. Our Microwave Clootie Dumpling takes around 8 mins. Yep, 8 mins for a dessert that people will believe you spent 4 hours on. Think what you could do with those extra 3 hours and 52 minutes!? You could make another 29 Clootie Dumplings for a start! 

Microwave clootie dumpling on a plate

And let us be clear: this easy-to-make microwave clootie dumpling tastes fantastic! It is full of all the spices, fruit and depth of flavour that makes clootie dumplings one of Scotland’s greatest desserts.

Let’s face it, if people in the mid-1700s had had a microwave, they would have done it this way too… if they’d had electricity, of course! 

But it doesn’t QUITE measure up to the “real thing”. It’s a pretty good alternative, but it’s in no way a full replacement.

microwaved clootie dumpling served with custard

What is Clootie Dumpling

Our Microwave Clootie Dumpling recipe is a more convenient version of one of Scotland’s most underrated puddings. Traditional Clootie Dumpling is a fruit pudding made with suet and boiled in a cloth or cloot, hence the name. It’s a relatively simple recipe – dry ingredients mixed with the wet, then wrapped in the floured cloth and simmered in water for several hours.

It’s a lot like a Christmas pudding: rich, heavy, full of spices and fruit, and ideally served with custard. This dessert takes time to create, but every minute is worth it, in our opinion. Although this pudding isn’t as well known as other British puddings, it deserves to easily be among the top three greatest British puddings.

But it can be a little intimidating; some say they don’t want to try making it because it sounds complicated. We created our traditional Clootie Dumpling recipe to be as easy as possible and would really encourage you to give it a go.

But if time isn’t on your side or you are a little daunted by the traditional recipe, then our Microwave Clootie Dumpling is the dessert for you.

Origins of the Clootie Dumpling

The exact origin of Clootie Dumpling isn’t known. Like many Scottish recipes, such as Stovies or Tipsy Laird, it’s a recipe that has been passed from family member to family member. You will also find variations in different areas across Scotland, so pinning down the “ultimate” recipe is beyond our skill set. 

Clootie Dumpling can be served all year round, but it is served more often around Christmas, Hogmanay, and Burns Night here in Scotland. This is both because it’s such an excellent dessert to serve at gatherings but also perhaps because it takes a little effort to make traditionally.

Enter our Microwave Clootie Dumpling, stage right! 

Why use a Microwave for Clootie Dumpling?

Our Microwave Clootie Dumpling takes all the effort out of this delicious dessert and makes the perfect pudding! Granted, you don’t get the skin that boiling in a cloot creates, but if you can let this slide, then in under ten minutes, you can have a clootie dumpling ready to be served.

If you have the time, make it traditionally, but if you don’t, then this is the recipe for you. Be warned, some people never go back to the traditional method!

Microwave clootie dumpling with custard

Are Microwaved Clootie Dumplings still Clootie Dumplings?

Why did we come up with this question for ourselves? We believe our Microwave Clootie Dumpling is as much a clootie dumpling as anything else. The dessert gained its name because of the cloth used when boiling. 

But again, this statement may raise a few eyebrows and add a few comments about how wrong we may be. Much like the comments on our vegetarian haggis recipe and it’s right to be called haggis! 

It’s ok if you disagree with us; try our Microwave Clootie Dumpling recipe and serve it to someone. See if they like it and what they call it? If they say it tastes like a clootie dumpling that’s been made without a cloth, we’ll eat our words! ; )

microwaved clootie dumpling served with custard

Things you’ll need to make Microwave Clootie Dumpling

  • Two microwave-safe bowls – we love this set of Pyrex bowls and use the middle size (1 litre) for mixing the wet ingredients together and the largest (2 litre) for the final Clootie Dumpling.
  • Cling film
  • Measuring spoons that include a 1/2 teaspoon measure – we have these ones
  • Scale for measuring the rest of the ingredients – this is the easiest way to do it! We’ve had this electronic kitchen scale for years and it makes it so simple.

Ingredients for Microwave Clootie Dumpling

  • 100g plain flour (2/3 cup)- use slightly less if you use suet rather than butter, for example, 80g.
  • 200g dried fruit (approx 1 cup) – we usually use 100g currants, and 50g each of raisins and sultanas
  • 50g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice – or use nutmeg and a little more cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 2 eggs – we usually use large but medium is fine
  • 100ml milk (just under 1/2 cup or 6.5 tbsp)
  • 100g suet/butter/margarine – we like to use suet for a more classic taste but butter or even margarine is fine
Microwave clootie dumpling ingredients

How to make Microwave Clootie Dumpling – Step by step method

Line a larger bowl with clingfilm (we use a 2-litre Pyrex bowl) and set it aside

Microwave clootie dumpling method

Take a medium-sized bowl and measure in the dried fruit, suet (or alternative), milk, treacle, and sugar.

Microwave clootie dumpling method

Heat in the microwave until the suet or butter is just melted – usually around 2 minutes – and mix thoroughly.

Microwave clootie dumpling method

Meanwhile, mix the remaining dry ingredients – flour (a little less if you’ve used suet, because it is coated in a cornflour already), the spices, and bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs in a mug with a fork or a small bowl ready to be added.

Microwave clootie dumpling method

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir gently until everything is combined. Then fold in the eggs.

Transfer to the bowl with the clingfilm lining. Fold the lining loosely over the top of the mixture and poke a couple of holes in it.

Place in the microwave and cook for around 3-4 minutes. We have a 900W microwave, and usually do around 3-3.5 minutes, but you’ll need to adjust for your own microwave. Using a clear bowl means you can check if it’s cooked through to the bottom, just be careful as it can be hot to touch.

Leave to stand for around 2 minutes or so, so that the bowl can be touched more easily.

Take out and unwrap the clingfilm, then put a plate over the top of the bowl and tip it upside down so the Clootie Dumpling falls onto it the right way up.

It is best served straight away, but slices can be reheated for around 20-30 seconds in the microwave as well. We like it best with custard!

Microwave clootie dumpling on a plate with slice missing

FAQS

What size bowl should I use?

We use a 2-litre bowl for the final Clootie Dumpling. This recipe serves around 4-6 people and is about half the size of our traditional recipe, so it produces a much smaller dumpling.

You could try in a smaller bowl to give more height to the final dumpling, but you’ll want to check it is cooked through to the middle as it will be thicker, so you might need to adjust the cooking time to a little more.

Can I make it earlier on and reheat it later?

Yes, you can make this microwave Clootie Dumpling in advance and just reheat slices as necessary. However, it’s so quick and easy we often make it right before serving!

Yield: 6

Simple Microwave Clootie Dumpling Recipe

Simple Microwave Clootie Dumpling Recipe

Our Microwave Clootie Dumpling recipe has everything a traditional Clootie Dumpling has but is ready in under ten minutes!

We're not saying it's better, but it is certainly quicker and a lot more convenient. It needs to be tried to be believed. Full of all the flavours, fruit and spices Clootie Dumpling is known for and a perfect Scottish dessert!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g plain flour (2/3 cup) - use slightly less if you use suet rather than butter, for example, 80g
  • 200g dried fruit (approx 1 cup) - we usually use 100g currants, and 50g each of raisins and sultanas
  • 50g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 2 eggs - we usually use large but medium is fine
  • 100ml milk (just under 1/2 cup or 6.5 tbsp)
  • 100g suet/butter/margarine - we like to use suet for a more classic taste but butter or even margarine is fine

Instructions

  1. Line a larger bowl with clingfilm (we use a 2-litre Pyrex bowl) and set it aside
  2. Take a medium-sized bowl and measure in the dried fruit, suet (or alternative), milk, treacle, and sugar.
  3. Heat in the microwave until the suet or butter is just melted - usually around 2 minutes - and mix thoroughly.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the remaining dry ingredients - flour (a little less if you've used suet, because it is coated in a cornflour already), the spices, and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Beat the eggs in a mug with a fork or a small bowl ready to be added.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir gently until everything is combined. Then fold in the eggs. 
  7. Transfer to the bowl with the clingfilm lining. Fold the lining loosely over the top of the mixture and poke a couple of holes in it.
  8. Place in the microwave and cook for around 3-4 minutes. We have a 900W microwave, and usually do around 3-3.5 minutes, but you'll need to adjust for your own microwave. Using a clear bowl means you can check if it's cooked through to the bottom, just be careful as it can be hot to touch.

  9. Leave to stand for around 2 minutes or so, so that the bowl can be touched more easily.
  10. Take out and unwrap the clingfilm, then put a plate over the top of the bowl and tip it upside down so the Clootie Dumpling falls onto it the right way up. 
  11. It is best served straight away, but slices can be reheated for around 20-30 seconds in the microwave as well. We like it best with custard!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g

The above values are an estimate only

Other Traditional Scottish Desserts

Sonja and Phil x

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Microwave Clootie Dumpling Recipe

2 thoughts on “Simple Microwave Clootie Dumpling Recipe”

  1. American with some Scottish heritage here. Wanting to make this lovely dumpling, but wondering if the topping shown on it in some of the photos is cream, or your Caledonian Cream, or perhaps something else. My family would probably love a topping.

    Reply
    • Hi Jen, it’s just plain old custard! I believe it’s harder to get a hold of in the US, but try looking for birds custard powder or you may need to make from scratch (it sounds intimidating but it’s actually not too hard!). Failing that, plain heavy cream would work too.

      Reply

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