Authentic Scottish Tablet Recipe

Scottish tablet is a delicious, kind of fudge-like sweet (candy), that's irresistible if you have a sweet-tooth.

Tablet is tricky to describe as it's not soft like fudge, or chewy like toffee, it's more crumbly, grainy and 'sugary' in texture.

The taste is one-of-a-kind too, and you can't stop at just one piece (well, I can't anyway).

But instead of trying to imagine what this traditional candy is like, why not try this authentic Scottish recipe (my Nana's) and taste it for yourself?

Her go-to was Vanilla Tablet, but I've also included her recipe for Coconut Tablet. Yum!

Scottish Tablet - Vanilla

Scottish Tablet is naturally sweet, because of the milk and butter, but there are variations and my Nana's go-to tablet recipe used vanilla to add another level of flavor.

She also had a recipe for Coconut Tablet which tastes quite different, but also delicious!

Scottish tablet recipe. A treat for your sweet-tooth!


Here's what you need to whip up your very own batch of this delicious treat.

My Nana's recipe was written out in the original 'Imperial' system. I've converted that to the current British metric system and you'll see those in brackets (or parentheses).

If you're in the US, see the US measurement options.

British Measurements - Imperial/Metric

  • 2lbs (1 kg) Granulated Sugar
  • 4 oz (113g) Unsalted Butter (NOT Margarine)
  • One 14oz (396g) can of Condensed Milk (this is NOT Evaporated Milk)
  • 8 fl. oz (227ml) of Milk
  • 1 fl. oz (3 dssp) Natural Vanilla Essence

US Measurements - Cups

  • @ 4 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter (NOT Margarine)
  • 1 14oz can Condensed Milk (NOT Evaporated Milk)
  • 8 fl oz Milk
  • 1 Small (1 fl oz) Bottle Natural Vanilla Extract


  • Lightly grease a baking tray or sheet with butter and set aside. Whatever tray you use needs to have a 'lip'. There are so many sizes available but a 2/3 size tray (16x22" works well) or you can use two smaller ones.

  • Put the sugar and milk into a fairly large, preferably heavy stainless steel saucepan (mixture will double in quantity as it heats).

  • Stir together

  • Add the butter and condensed milk and stir again

  • Put pan on medium-high heat and bring mixture to the boil (this usually takes somewhere around 10 mins), stirring occasionally

  • Once mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat until mixture is boiling gently

  • Continue to let it boil for around 20 - 30 minutes, still stirring occasionally**

  • Remove saucepan from the heat and add Vanilla Essence... and now comes the 'elbow grease'... beat the mixture vigorously for 4 - 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to feel more 'stiff' and 'gritty' under the spoon

  • At this point the Tablet is ready to be poured into the baking tray you prepared at the beginning. Allow mixture to cool a little and then mark it off into bars, or squares with a sharp knife

  • Tablet is ready to eat when fully cooled.

**How to know when tablet mixture is ready!

The best way to know when your tablet mixture is ready to remove from the heat is to use this quick test:

Let one drop of the mixture fall from a spoon into cold water. If it becomes firm immediately you're good to remove it from the heat and start beating.

Scottish Tablet - Coconut

Coconut tablet doesn't seem to be a very common variation on the traditional recipe, but as it's in my Nana's (very old and well-used) recipe book I thought I'd share it here too.

I LOVE the flavor of coconut, and it smells amazing too!


  • 2lbs of granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup of water or milk
  • 1 oz margarine
  • 2 or 3 dessicated  (you can use finely shredded coconut instead, but as the pieces are bigger it changes the texture somewhat) 


  • Lightly grease a baking tray as detailed above
  • Put sugar, liquid and margarine into a large, heavy bottomed stainless steel saucepan
  • Bring to the boil and boil gently for approximately 15 minutes**
  • Remove from heat and stir in coconut
  • Add a couple of drops of red food coloring if you'd like pink tablet
  • Beat mixture until creamy
  • Pour into prepared baking tray and allow to cool


  • This Scottish Tablet recipe is pretty straightforward, but it can take a few tries to get it 'just right'. But the good news is that even the 'rejects' usually taste great!

  • The texture is supposed to be a little grainy and rough. Scottish tablet isn't smooth like fudge, but it melts in your mouth just as easily!

  • The boiling mixture will be VERY HOT, and can burn you quite badly if it sticks to your skin. Be careful while stirring the mixture, and stand well back as you remove it from the heat towards the end of the recipe.

  • Tablet hardens quickly once it's removed from the heat, so soak the pan in warm, soapy water as soon as you've emptied its' contents into the baking tray.

Don't forget to visit our Cooking Measurements Conversions and Glossary of Cooking Terms pages for help with measurement conversions, substitutions/options and to see ingredient 'translations'!