4 Ingredient Scottish Tablet Recipe (2024)

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The next best thing since sliced fudge! Homemade Scottish tablet is a simple recipe with only 4 ingredients. Golden crumbly goodness, learn how to make this traditional sweet today.

4 Ingredient Scottish Tablet Recipe (1)

In This Post You’ll Learn

  • Why We Love This
  • What is Scottish Tablet?
  • What You’ll Need
  • How to Make Scottish Tablet
  • Wandercook’s Tips
  • FAQs
  • Variations

Why We Love This

Scottish Tablet is theultimate old fashioned treat for sweet-tooths.It has a deliciously crumbly, sugary texture that is100% moreishand we are 100% okay with that.

As it’s so long lasting, it makes a great edible gift. Whether it’s for Christmas or as wedding favours, they can be sure to sweeten things up!

Related: Caramilk Christmas Slice / Scottish Square Sausage

What’s all this talk about the “soft ball stage”?

When cooking candy or sweets, there are different temperature points which change the structure at the end of the cooking stage. Soft ball stage is when your tablet mixture heats to 116˚C / 240˚F or when gently boiled for around 20 minutes.

At this temperature, when you place the tablet mixture in a glass of cold water it hardens slightly, making it soft and pliable, where you can roll it into a ball with your fingers.

If it’s too runny, you need to keep cooking. Too hard, and you’ve gone too far and made toffee. (It’s still edible and will be delicious, it just won’t be tablet!)

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What is Scottish Tablet?

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

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

The original tablet tastes like caramel, though you can add other flavourings to mix it up – see more ideas below. If you’re looking for a chocolate slice with that crunchy crumbly texture, check outchocolate concreteorAussie crunch!

This recipe is super popular over November and December during the holiday season.

Where We Learned This

After tasting tablet at a local sweet shop in Scotland, we visited a rundown antiques shop and stumbled across an old Glasgow recipe book, put together by the community. It was here we found our original recipe for tablet and adapted it from there to be a little simpler to follow and swapped out the evaporated milk for condensed milk, which is more common these days.

What You’ll Need

Jump to Full Recipe Measurements

  • Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar – We recommend caster sugar which is finer and easier to dissolve than regular white or granulated sugar. You can use golden caster sugar for even more caramel-y flavour. This will also help with a finer grain finish at the end.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – This speeds up the cooking process. You can sub with coconut based condensed milk if you prefer. Traditionally, evaporated milk can also be used, however this will extend your cooking time by around an extra 10-20 minutes.
  • Butter – We recommend salted butter to give it that extra depth of flavour at the end. Unsalted butter works just as well.
  • Milk – Whole, full fat milk is essential here. It helps to give that real caramel finish to the tablet.

Optional Ingredients

  • Vanilla Extract / Vanilla Essence – This rounds out the flavour and is a nice addition at the end. Can use other flavours, such as peppermint essence at Christmas time.
  • Golden Syrup – Helps to deepen the golden colour if you want, and add a little extra caramel tone to the flavour. Sub with molasses or maple syrup.
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How to Make Scottish Tablet

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First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Line or grease a baking tray (around 37.5 x 25.5cm / 14.75 x 10 in), ready to set your tablet.
  2. Pour yourcaster sugar / superfine sugar,butterandwhole milkinto a large, heavy pot overlow heat. Stir slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula until you feel all the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, around 15 – 20 minutes.Note: The mixture will double in size as it heats up.
  3. Now add in thesweetened condensed milkand turn up the heat to medium high and allow the mix to come to a gentle boil – not full boiling, but higher than a simmer. Keep stirring continuously at this stage to avoid the sugar sticking and burning on the bottom.Note: Burnt sugar on the bottom will show up as little brown bits if the heat gets too high. Don’t worry, it’s fine if it happens. Just turn the heat down and keep stirring and scraping the bottom.
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  1. Continue gently boiling for 20 minutes until it reaches “soft ball temperature”, around 116 C / 240 F which you can check with a candy thermometer. Note: Higher than sea level? Reduce by 1 C / 34F every 300 m / 1000 ft above sea level.
  2. Time for the Soft Ball Test:Once you think the mixture has reached 116 C / 240 F or cooked for around 20 minutes at a low boil, carefully scoop up a teaspoon of mixture into a glass of water. Leave for 5 seconds, then pour out the water and grab the tablet out. It should be soft and pliable, not too runny or too hard like toffee. Once the mixture reaches soft ball stage, remove from the heat and place a lid on the top. Allow to sit for a minute or two and let the sugar crystals soften.
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  1. Remove the lid, add optionalvanilla extractandgolden syrupand stir through.
  2. Start beating fast either the traditional way with a wooden spoon or spatula, or by using hand beaters if you want to cheat! Continue beating for 3-6 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken.
  3. Once the mixture really starts to thicken, quickly pour into your pre-prepared tin and smooth out the top.
  4. Once poured, wait 30 minutes to semi-set then pre-score the top of the tablet, ready for cutting later. Now allow to cool for a further 1 – 2 hours, or overnight then cut and store in a container on the kitchen bench or fridge.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Use a ThermometerIf you have acandy thermometeryou can use it to confirm when the tablet is ready to set. It needs to reach 116˚C / 240˚F. If you don’t have a thermometer just use the water test in the below recipe.
  • Be Careful – As tablet needs to get really hot (116˚C / 240˚F) 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 a BIG Saucepan – Tablet will bubble up to double the initial size, so to prevent overspills pick a pot double the size of what you think you need.
  • Neat & Small 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!
  • Save Time – Fill your sink with cold water, and at the beating stage, you can place the pot in the water to reduce the time required to thicken the mixture.

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. Tablet needs to be boiled for at least 20 minutes until it reaches “soft ball” stage, or around 116˚C / 240˚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.

What’s the best way to store tablet?

Store 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, around three weeks if stored in the fridge and 1-2 months in the freezer.

What’s the brown bits in my tablet?

It’s just slightly burnt sugar that’s caught on the bottom. Keep stirring and it’ll be fine, just lower the heat and make sure you’re scraping across the whole base of the pot. Using a heavier set pot helps to avoid this too. As you can see in our video – it happens to the best of us!

Variations

  • Add Extra Flavour– Flavours that pair well with caramel would work best, for example peppermint, ginger, or even a splash of Scottish whisky or few tablespoons of Baileys! Add a few drops of any of these when adding the vanilla extract, or omit the vanilla extract if you prefer.
  • Add Texture– Try adding chopped nuts like almond, walnut or pecan, or toasted shredded coconut.
  • Make it Vegan– Swap the butter for vegan spread, the milk for coconut milk and the condensed milk for coconut condensed milk.
  • Spice it Up! – Add speculaas spice mix to tablet when you add in the vanilla extract for an extra festive treat.
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Try these amazing recipes next:

  • Chocolate Coconut Balls – Rum Balls – A fun and festive no-bake treat you can make in just 10 minutes!
  • Chocolate Concrete – This is the classic school dinner chocolate concrete.
  • Coconut Ice – Super easy, and super sweet treat.
  • Candy Spuds – A South Australian favourite, these are sweet coconut treats covered in cocoa.
  • Jelly Slice – A classic three-layered dessert, perfect for making head.

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

4 Ingredient Scottish Tablet Recipe

The next best thing since sliced fudge! Homemade Scottish tablet is a simple recipe with only 4 ingredients. Golden crumbly goodness, learn how to make this traditional sweet today.

5 from 7 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate Recipe Save to Favourites

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes minutes

Resting Time: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 1 hour hour 45 minutes minutes

Course: Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: Scottish

Servings: 30 pieces

Calories: 224kcal

Author: Wandercooks

Cost: $5

Equipment

  • heavy based, large pot helps to avoid the sugar burning on the bottom

  • wooden spoon or spatula wooden utensils work best with candy, don't use a metal spoon!

  • candy thermometer makes your job way easier, or just gently boil for 20 minutes

  • hand beaters optional, for beating it until thickened at the end

Ingredients

Optional

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla essence, sub with other flavours like peppermint
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup for a richer colour, sub molasses or brown sugar

Instructions

  • Make sure you’ve read through the equipment, this will help you succeed first try!

  • Line or grease a baking tray (around 37.5 x 25.5cm / 14.75 x 10 in), ready to set your tablet.

  • Pour your caster sugar / superfine sugar, butter and whole milk into a large, heavy pot over low heat. Stir slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon or spatula until you feel all the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, around 15 – 20 minutes. Note: The mixture will double in size as it heats up.

    1 kg caster sugar / superfine sugar, 125 g butter, 1 cup whole milk

  • Now add in the sweetened condensed milk and turn up the heat to medium high and allow the mix to come to a gentle boil – not full boiling, but higher than a simmer. Keep stirring continuously at this stage to avoid the sugar sticking and burning on the bottom. Note: Burnt sugar on the bottom will show up as little brown bits if the heat gets too high. Don’t worry, it’s fine if it happens. Just turn the heat down and keep stirring and scraping the bottom.

    400 ml sweetened condensed milk

  • Continue gently boiling for 20 minutes until it reaches “soft ball temperature”, around 116 C / 240 F which you can check with a candy thermometer. Note: Higher than sea level? Reduce by 1 C / 34F every 300 m / 1000 ft above sea level.

  • Time for the Soft Ball Test: Once you think the mixture has reached 116 C / 240 F or cooked for around 20 minutes at a low boil, carefully scoop up a teaspoon of mixture into a glass of water. Leave for 5 seconds, then pour out the water and grab the tablet out. It should be soft and pliable, not too runny or too hard like toffee.

  • Once the mixture reaches soft ball stage, remove from the heat and place a lid on the top. Allow to sit for a minute or two and let the sugar crystals soften.

  • Remove the lid, add optional vanilla extract and golden syrup and stir through. Start beating fast either the traditional way with a wooden spoon or spatula, or by using hand beaters if you want to cheat! Continue beating for 3-6 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken. Once the mixture really starts to thicken, quickly pour into your pre-prepared tin and smooth out the top.

    2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp golden syrup

  • Once poured, wait 30 minutes to semi-set then pre-score the top of the tablet, ready for cutting later. Now allow to cool for a further 1 – 2 hours, or overnight then cut and store in a container on the kitchen bench or fridge.

Video

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Recipe Notes

  • Not setting? You may not have boiled it for long enough or at a high enough temperature for it to set properly. Tablet needs to be boiled for at least 20 minutes until it reaches “soft ball” stage, or around 116˚C / 240˚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.
  • Use a ThermometerIf you have acandy thermometeryou can use it to confirm when the tablet is ready to set. It needs to be reach 116˚C / 240˚F. If you don’t have a thermometer just use the water test in the below recipe.
  • Be Careful – As tablet needs to get really hot (116˚C / 240˚F) 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 a BIG Saucepan – Tablet will bubble up to double the initial size, so to prevent overspills pick a pot double the size of what you think you need.
  • Neat & Small 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!
  • Save Time – Fill your sink with cold water, and at the beating stage, you can place the pot in the water to reduce the time required to thicken the mixture.
  • Add Extra Flavour– Flavours that pair well with caramel would work best, for example peppermint, ginger, or even a splash of Scottish whisky or few tablespoons of Baileys! Add a few drops of any of these when adding the vanilla extract, or omit the vanilla extractif you prefer.
  • Add Texture– Try adding chopped nuts like almond, walnut or pecan, or toasted shredded coconut.
  • Make it Vegan– Swap the butter for vegan spread, the milk for coconut milk and the condensed milk for coconut condensed milk.
  • Spice it Up! – Add speculaas spice mix to tablet when you add in the vanilla extract for an extra festive treat.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

4 Ingredient Scottish Tablet Recipe

Amount per Serving

Calories

224

% Daily Value*

Saturated Fat

3

g

19

%

Trans Fat

0.1

g

Polyunsaturated Fat

0.2

g

Monounsaturated Fat

1

g

Cholesterol

16

mg

5

%

Sodium

52

mg

2

%

Potassium

78

mg

2

%

Carbohydrates

44

g

15

%

Sugar

44

g

49

%

Protein

2

g

4

%

Vitamin A

163

IU

3

%

Vitamin C

0.4

mg

%

Calcium

60

mg

6

%

Iron

0.1

mg

1

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About Wandercooks

Wandercooks is an Australian recipe site reaching over 9 million views annually. Our recipes are here to inspire you with fresh and exciting food ideas from a range of Asian, European and Australian cuisines. As seen on Google.com, Today.com, Buzzfeed, Jetstar Asia and Lonely Planet.Read more...

4 Ingredient Scottish Tablet Recipe (2024)
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