20 Traditional Scottish Desserts And Sweets In Scotland

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Scotland is one of the most unique and beautiful countries in the world. This gorgeous country is steeped in rich history and bountiful lore. The landscape of Scotland is sure to captivate you, but nothing here will set your imagination as wild as the vast variety of Scottish desserts.

Scotland can be a tough place with cold winters, but the sweets in Scotland are so cheery they can bring comfort to the coldest of island days. It is the perfect place to get lost in idyllic scenery and let your imagination wander while enjoying delicious Scottish treats.

What Is Special About Scottish Desserts?

Scottish sweets incorporate all the great things that people love about traditional Scottish cuisine. It is driven by location, season, and tradition. Desserts in Scotland will use local produce and grains whenever possible, and often feature local specialties, like whiskey.

Traditional Scottish desserts are made to brighten your day and they do that in every way, including their fun names. Some of the treats here have names that are almost as sweet to say as they are to eat.

Scottish desserts are sure to delight you from the moment you order to the very last bite! They are a big part of traditional Scottish food and cuisine.

Most Famous Dessert In Scotland



Cranachan is the perfect Scottish dessert. This special sweet features some of the most iconic Scottish ingredients in a perfectly sweet and layered dessert.

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert that is as beautiful as the highlands. It is composed of layers of delicious cream, Scottish oats, whisky, and fresh raspberries. It’s a dreamy trifle-like dessert, with all the local flavors of Scotland.

This traditional Scottish dessert is inspired by summertime in Scotland. Cranachan is made to celebrate the abundant raspberry harvest, but thanks to modern cooling and farming technology, it can be enjoyed all year!

No matter when you visit you just have to enjoy a taste of Scottish summer with luscious cranachan.

Traditional Scottish Desserts In Scotland



Shortbread is one of the oldest Scottish desserts and is deeply entwined with Scottish history. This delightful cookie follows a simple recipe, but the resulting treat is addictive.

Scottish shortbread is simply made with two parts butter, one part sugar, and three parts flour. This makes for a very buttery and crumbly texture. These charming cookies vary slightly across Scotland, and it’s common to see additional flavors, like lemon, added into the shortbreads.

A trip to Scotland is simply not complete without a box (or two) of delicious shortbreads! They can also be a great addition to breakfast in Scotland.



This rich Scottish pudding is beloved by locals. Clootie is a tasty pudding or cake, that is cooked in a “clootie”, or cloth. It is a spicy fruitcake-like suet pudding with the amazing flavors of oats, currants, sultanas, warm spice, and rich golden syrup.

Clootie is typically served with custard, cream, or ice cream. This comforting Scottish treat is often included in holiday celebrations, like Burn’s Day.

Scottish Tablet

This buttery confection will steal your heart in one bite! Scottish tablet is a fudge-like treat that is enjoyed all over Scotland. This sugary Scottish sweet is made from condensed milk, butter, and sugar; they are cooked down to create a rich and toothsome treat.

The texture is a bit harder and more crystalline than a fudge. Try a bite of Scottish tablet while sipping a lush local whiskey or as a bite of sweetness with your afternoon tea!

Petticoat Tails

This is a classic twist on traditional shortbread cookies. Petticoat tails were a favorite of Mary Queen of Scots, and her dresses may be partly responsible for inspiring their name.

The shortbread is baked in a round and cut into triangles that may resemble petticoats, like those worn by Mary Queen of Scots, or so the legend goes!

This mouthwatering Scottish dessert is traditionally seasoned with caraway seeds and is wonderful when paired with fresh Scottish jams or honey.

Scottish Cakes And Puddings

Sticky Toffee Pudding


Sticky toffee pudding is one of Scotland’s most iconic and beloved sweets. This decadent Scottish dessert is a luxurious taste adventure that just has to be tried! This treat originated in England but migrated to Scotland where local chefs perfected this Scottish pudding.

It is made up of a sponge cake that is drenched in toffee sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. It’s almost like a lava cave, but with the dreamy buttery flavors of toffee. It is an over-the-top delicious end to any meal in Scotland.

Show-stopping Dundee cake is a Scottish mainstay! This irresistible cake is Scotland’s answer to the fruitcake. This fruity dessert is chock full of common fruits to Scotland, like sultanas and currants, and layered with flavors from citrus peel or jams. The top is studded with almonds for an eye-catching look.

Dundee Cake


These flavors come together to make a sweet and rustic cake that is sure to please! Wonderfully fruity Dundee cake is the perfect accompaniment to tea.

Tipsy Laird


Tipsy laird has a classic Scottish dessert name and a one-of-a-kind flavor. It’s often served on special occasions and holidays, but who needs an excuse to eat a dessert this good!?

Tipsy laird is a riff on trifle; the dish consists of whiskey-soaked sponge cake, custard, raspberries, and whipped cream layered into a gorgeous parfait. The flavors of cream and whiskey pair so well with the bright raspberries, your palette will sing at every bite!


Whiskey and oats in a pudding, what better way to celebrate Scottish desserts!? Flummery is a classic Scottish sweet, and true to Scottish cuisine it features a quintessentially Scottish staple, oats. It’s a pudding-like dish made of oat-thickened orange custard. A little whiskey spikes the custard for extra flavor, and it’s topped with luscious whipped cream.

Scottish Cookies 

Millionaire’s Shortbread


Shortbreads have been reinvented countless times over Scottish history, but one that has truly made a name for itself is the Millionaire’s shortbread.

The base of this Scottish sweet is a beautifully buttery shortbread. That biscuit is covered with a layer of buttery caramel and finished with creamy milk chocolate. They put a decadent caramel twist on shortbreads, and it’s easy to see why they are beloved by the Scots.

Empire Biscuit


Scottish bakers craft some of the best cookies in the world! Empire biscuits are the perfect sweet and fruity Scottish cookie to satisfy your sweet tooth!

They are made from two thin biscuits sandwiched around the sweet jelly. The outside of the cookie is topped with a layer of icing and a dot of jam.

Empire cookies look so pretty on a platter. Eating just one of these jammy delights is nearly impossible!



Perfectly spiced parlies are a must-try of Scottish desserts! The name is short for “parliament” because the legend is that these cookies were once a favorite for members of the Scottish parliament to order from a local pub.

Parlies are a treacle and ginger-flavored cookie with the right balance of spice and sweetness. These tempting cookies go very well with tea or vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes


Chocolate marshmallow teacakes may not have the most telling name; they are not cakes at all. These flavorful sweets are actually biscuits, topped with marshmallows, then dipped in chocolate.

They are rich and creamy little bites and will be found being enjoyed across all of Scotland. Pair this Scottish sweet with tea for a truly local experience. 

Melting Moments


Some Scottish sweets have to be tasted to be believed, and melting moments are one such sweet. These remarkable little cookies are named after their amazing texture that literally melts when eaten.

Similar to shortbread, these cookies use no leaveners and don’t skip on the butter, so the resulting cookie is crumbly, melty, and deliciously sweet.

These short cookies are often topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. You will be trying to stretch your moments with these tasty treats!

Scottish Pastries 

Black Bun

Black bun is a flavorful and fruit Scottish pastry. This local favorite is a type of warmly-spiced fruit cake enveloped in a pastry shell. The inside is a flavor-packed mix of almonds, currants, citrus, raisins, and spices, and the outside is a perfectly baked crispy pastry.

This traditional Scottish dessert is a favorite on the celebration of Hogmanay or New Year’s Eve.

Ecclefechan Tart


Ecclefechan tart is a traditional Scottish dessert that combines perfect presentation and exquisite locally-loved ingredients.

It is a sweet roasted walnut pie with flavors of cherry, raisin, and butter sauce. The rich butter sets the walnuts and fruits in the tart, and it is often topped with extra shaved nuts and fruits. It’s a lovely rich alternative to mince pie at holiday celebrations.

Scottish Candies and Sweets

Sour Plooms

Kids of all ages really love sour candies! The name is a slang term for sour plums because these little candies have a bright sweet and sour flavor. Their vibrant color will draw you in, these little bites are an eye-catching shade of green.

These colorful hard candies originated in Galashiels, but they’re sold by the bagful all over Scotland! They are great if you want some real Scottish treats.

Chocolate Tiffin


The sumptuous chocolate tiffin represents a true bite of traditional Scottish desserts. Tiffin is a unique sweet because it’s made up of fully baked elements.

Chocolate tiffin mashes together tasty biscuits, raisins, cocoa, and golden syrup then tops it with chocolate. The treat sets up in a refrigerator and is sliced into tiny bites. Chocolate tiffin is the perfect sweet Scottish bite!

Edinburgh Rock

Sticks of Edinburgh rock have been satisfying Scot with a sweet tooth for ages. Scottish candy-making is a style all its own, and the results are tasty!

Edinburgh rock is a Scottish sweet that is crafted from sugar, water, and add-ins for color and texture. The candy is shaped into sticks and cools into a nicely yielding texture that is so much fun to bite into!

Scottish Macaroons

This nutty Scottish dessert has a surprise element, potatoes! No, you haven’t gone coconuts, that is correct, these candies feature a filling made from sweetened potatoes!

The potato adds a nice starch and sweetness to the confection. The sugary potato mixture is topped with rich chocolate and shaved coconut.

These Scottish treats capture one of the best things about Scottish culture, their sense of humor. Try these chocolatey bites with a warm coffee or tea.


Discovering Traditional Scottish Desserts

Exploring the Scottish countryside can be so exciting, but to truly get to know this special place you have to try their desserts. Scottish desserts are in a class all their own, due to their uniqueness and satisfying sweetness. 

Scottish chefs have spent centuries perfecting sweet treats, and you can find the products of this tradition in bakeries all over Scotland. Taste how sweet Scottish life can be with these rich local desserts!

Scottish food and desserts are just of one the many things Scotland is famous for.



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Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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