Scottish (Swiss Milk) Tablet

Scottish Tablet

Scottish Tablet

This recipe has been handed down in my family for at least four generations. It is unbelievably sweet but at the same time very more-ish. So, if you are keen to hold on to your teeth, keep this recipe for high days and holidays only.

2lb / 907grams sugar
4 oz / 113 grams unsalted butter
1 cup / 150 ml milk
1 397grams tin of condensed milk
drop of vanilla extract

Put the sugar, butter and cup of milk into a large heavy-based pot and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved and then bring the mixture to a good ‘rolling’ boil.

It is important that you use something like a large soup pot as you really don’t want this mixture boiling over on to your hob.

Pour the condensed milk into the pot and stir carefully. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and allow the mixture to come to the boil again, stirring now and then.

Have a cup of cold water ready for testing the tablet. The amount of boiling time required before getting to the testing point is a bit of a guessing game, but with practice you will know just by looking at the mixture as it will have turned darker and be thicker in consistency. It takes about 15 minutes to get to this stage on my hob, but as you can imagine it will vary greatly, depending on your hob and the type of pot used. I use an old aluminium soup pot.

Carefully scoop a teaspoonful of the mixture out of the pot and dip it into the cup of water. Leave for a few seconds and test for toffeeish consistency (not quite dripping off.) Repeat this if necessary until the mixture is at this stage.

Then turn off the heat and add the drop of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture with the wooden spoon. Be careful not to splash any of it on to you. Keep beating until you feel the consistency changing. It should feel heavier and thicker and you will feel the spoon ‘catching’ on the base.

Very carefully, pour the tablet into a non stick baking tray. Mine is 11 inches long and 7 inches wide and about 2 inches deep. This is really a two person job. One to hold the pot, while the other scrapes. Allow to cool and set slightly before marking into squares.

Watch how quickly it disappears. Be amazed by how fast you can put on weight. And fingers crossed that you don’t need any fillings when you next visit the dentist.

14 thoughts on “Scottish (Swiss Milk) Tablet

  1. Hi

    Thanks for the recipe. Do you know if it is the same/similar to the one in the Dundee Cookery Book. I am in Australia at present, visiting my first grandchild. My daughter and her friend both want the recipe I used to make tablet for her wedding last year.

    I have enjoyed reading all you have written. I am not much into computing. Is this what is called blog?

    I live in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire and love it.



    • Hello Lilian. Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately I haven’t seen the Dundee Cookery Book, but I think it is probably much the same. You can vary the flavour by using brown sugar instead of white for a more toffee-ish flavour. This is indeed a blog, which I started because I was the only one in my family not blogging and I thought it was a good way of recording things and passing on ‘stuff’ of life. You should try it. I went to Aberdeen once – crazy drivers. Good luck with the tablet making.

    • From the ‘Dundee Cookery Book’ page 48


      2 lb of gran sugar
      1/4 lb butter
      1 tin Swiss milk (which is condensed milk)
      2 teaspoons vanilla
      1/4 pt milk.

      1. Melt butter and sugar in milk, then boil for 10 minutes
      2. Add Swiss mik and, stirring carefully, boil until a little hardens when it is dropped into cold water (20 minutes)
      3. Flavour, stir well, and pour into greased tin.
      4. Mark when almost cold.

  2. My mother used this same recipe and my grandmother before her. It is how I expect toffee to taste, yummy. My husband made it last Sunday and it was scrumptious.



    • Lorraine,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Tablet is indeed yummy, it’s just a pity it’s so fattening. I’ve been experimenting using different kinds of sugar, dark brown obviously giving a more treacly flavour – lovely.

  3. Hi, I’ve made this same wonderfulrecipe for years but when I want a change, I pour half of it into a buttered swiss roll tin, then add some coconut to the remainder in the pan then pour the rest into another buttered swiss roll tin. I also vary it by adding chopped pecans etc..

    • Linda,
      That’s certainly something to try out, I hadn’t thought about adding anything like that. I might try some dried fruit, like cherries, I wonder if cranberry would taste good it would be festive anyway. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • Hi Katrina, Thank you for your reply. I have added dried cranberries to the ingredients at the end just before I pour it out and it is beautiful as the hot tablet plumps up the fruit. As you say, it’s great at Christmas as it can be wrapped beautifully and given as presents.

    • Jennifer,
      It takes quite a while to cool but after about an hour you should be able to slice it with a knife to whatever size you want. I put my tray of tablet straight onto a wire rack so it cools a bit quicker, but sometimes it sets much quicker than expected. I hope you have success with it, whatever – it should be edible.

  4. Hi Mrs Katrina, i am from Venezuela (southamerica), and i would like to prepare this product. Can you give me the recipe using grams and miniliters of each ingredient?
    Thank you and best regards

    • Daniel,
      I’ve added metric measurements to the recipe now, good luck with it and I hope you enjoy this, it is very sweet but delicious.
      Regards, Katrina

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