Blog posts

Scottish Tablet – Outlander on STARZ Episode 106

Scottish Tablet – Outlander on STARZ Episode 106

Outlander on Starz

It’s going to be a tough Saturday. Even if you haven’t read any of the early reviews for Epsiode 106 of Outlander on STARZ, this picture says it all.

BJR is back, and it doesn’t look like his mood has improved greatly, madame.

Anyone hungry?

Scottish Tablet

I racked my brain for a few weeks on this one, trying to find even a tenuous link between “The Garrison Commander” and food. Stress, tension and physical brutality hardly whet the appetite.

A big heavy meal was out, no doubt. The lovely Atholl Brose liqueur was just a couple of weeks ago – too soon to resort to booze again – although if there’s an episode to pull the booze out, it would be this Saturday’s.

condensed milk

And then it hit me.


So sweet, you could never eat more than one bite; so noshable you can never resist just one more piece.

Scottish Tablet

Tablet is similar to fudge, but it’s cooked to a higher temperature and has less fat, resulting in a crumbly, rather than a creamy, texture.

First recorded in The Scots Kitchen by F. Marian McNeill (1929), the recipe dates back to the early 18th Century. The recipe has changed over the years, calling for only sugar and cream originally, but now including butter, condensed milk and vanilla. The additions make the cooking a lot easier, and a burnt-sugar mess a lot less likely.

Tablet’s sweet, slightly sandy-textured goodness is the perfect nibble to nurse as we all sit down to watch a rather intense hour of television.  I’ll try to remember, during the more uncomfortable bits, that I’ve waited years to watch this story unfold on screen…and I’m loving every minute of it.

Scottish Tablet

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Scottish Tablet

:A crumbly, fudge-like, super-sweet candy popular across Scotland.

Yield:  approx 10 dozen 1″ pieces

  • Sugar – 5 Cups
  • Milk – ½ Cup
  • Butter, cubed – ½ Cup
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 Can (15oz/300ml)
  • Vanilla – 1 tsp

Read all instructions through twice. Remove children, pets and anything else that may get underfoot in the next hour. Candy making involves boiling molten sugar for an extended period and is DANGEROUS. Use a long handled wooden spoon to stir and avoid splatters.

Heavily butter a 13” x 9” glass or metal pan.

Mix together sugar and milk in a large saucepan until all sugar is dampened. Stir in butter and condensed milk. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture boils, 10-20 minutes.

Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until mixture is 240° F (soft-ball stage) and a rich butterscotch colour, 10-25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Beat tablet with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until it thickens, but is still pourable, 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, beat vigorously with wooden spoon for 10-15 minutes. (Your mixing arm will not be happy.)

Pour into prepared pan and cool overnight, to allow it to dry slightly. Cut into squares. Store in airtight tin.

Pairs very well with the single malt of your choice, or a tall glass of milk.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)


  • Fill a bowl with ice water and keep it by the stove. If an accident or spill happens, plunge your affected area into the bowl and keep it there for 3 minutes. This will greatly reduce the burn — trust me, I know all about it.
  • I’ve included a wide range of times in this recipe. Everybody’s experience with this recipe (and candy-making in general) will be different. We all have different stoves, with differing medium heats. Differences in pans and humidity, etc. can also change timing.
  • Beating the tablet is essential to form sugar crystals that are big enough to set, but small enough to still pour from the pan. Beat it until it has thickened, but stop before gritty lumps form.
  • Sure, you could replace the vanilla with whisky, but unless you add a couple of tablespoons, you probably won’t taste it. I prefer my whisky in a glass.


  1. Bullrem
    September 10, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Theresa, the last time I was in Scotland (2009), I visited some Outlander sites and some Monarch of the Glen sites. At one of the MOTG sites – an old train stop – the very nice couple that ran the gift shop – had tablet for sale that they had made. She gave me the recipe and I made it upon my return home. However, since then the recipe has gone missing. Thank you very much for bringing this forward for me. I will made this recipe this week. Have a grand Wednesday. Helen in Ark.

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Happy candy making, Helen!

    • Stacey
      September 14, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      So I just made this recipe today and I think it’s a bit too sugary so I may cut the sugar down a bit and cook it a bit longer cause it doesn’t look like the picture lol but it’s trail and error right.. Love the show !!

    • Theresa
      September 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      You can’t cut down on the sugar. Candy making is very particular…a science…if you reduce the sugar, it won’t work. Tablet is that sweet — that’s what it is.

    • Joyce Rankin
      October 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Traditionally tablet was made with either whole milk or cream. Many people now use canned evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed) in place of the cream, and it works very well. That makes it less sweet and introduces a note of richness with the milk flavour.

    • Sharon
      November 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      My Grans recipe is 4 cups of sugar. 1/4 cup of water, table spoon of butter and 1 can on condensed milk. No electric mixer. Boil water, add butter, add sugar. Once all melted add can of milk. Stir over heat for 45 Mins give or take. Pour on greased pan. Let sit/cool, cut and eat. Don’t need to wait overnight. It always works and tastes great. We use the crumblie bits in coffee. So good.

  2. medievalrose2
    September 10, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Though he has shown himself to be partial to other methods that don’t involve burns, it occurs to me that BJR would approve of the dangerous nature of this recipe. Just don’t ask him to join you in the kitchen!

    Would the timings or instructions need to be altered if I decided to cut this in half and use an 8″ x 8″ pan? 120 pieces is too many for my small family!

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 7:04 am

      It may go a little more quickly on the stove…watch it carefully.

    • Jacki Porter
      September 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      BE CAREFUL! Candy can be VERY picky about its recipe being messed with in any way. My Betty Crocker cookbook mentioned this pretty strongly, and that’s been my experience, too. If this recipe makes too much (which it will for my family, too!) consider wrapping the pieces in small pieces of regular waxed paper. I do that with my homemade caramel, and it keeps for awhile and is still soft and yummy. This would also allow you to share it with friends and coworkers. 🙂

  3. Heike Woolard
    September 10, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Re: Printing – I just highlighted the recipe, then right click to print in Chrome and it printed just like it was supposed to on 1 page. 🙂
    Delightful recipe. I will definitely make this for our Outlander Party on the 20th of September.

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Thanks for the printing tip!

    • Liz Langford (@ElizabethALangf)
      September 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Copy and paste also works in Word…just had to customize top and bottom margins to fit on one page .

  4. Cynthia
    September 10, 2014 at 6:53 am

    LOVE Scottish tablet! Every time I visit the UK I gorge myself on it. You’re going to be responsible for my massive weight gain, now that I have a recipe for this super-sweet, delicious treat!

  5. Karen
    September 10, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Hi, My Gran always made tablet and we loved it, she would mix up a batch in no time, and no mixers here, all by hand. No fudge compares!
    From Karen in South Africa

  6. Terri
    September 10, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I have never been good at candy making. But, I am going to try this. Thanks.

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

      My fudge is never great, Terri, but I got a really great batch of tablet out of this recipe. Let me know how it goes!

    • Absynthe
      September 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I have a great recipe for fudge that uses Marshmallow Creme. It comes out creamy and delicious every time!

  7. Alyson
    September 10, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Oh good!!! I’ve wanted to learn how to make Tablet!
    And WTF is Google docs’ problem? There are ssssoooooooo many inappropriate things on the internet, why mess with good food? Bizarre!
    Anyway, thank you for this recipe, I WILL be trying this! 😀

  8. Debbie Shawver
    September 10, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Yum, I’m going to have to try this. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Suzanne Lucero
    September 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Our high school band plays at half-time during home football games and we moms supply a dinner for them–the band, not the team–before the game starts. This Friday is Italian night, but I bet the kids won’t turn their noses up to this Scottish treat. No more than 2 squares per person, though, or they might get sick. 😉

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Maybe they can have another piece after the game? 🙂

  10. Bonnie Brooks
    September 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Oh, THANK YOU!! We used to have a Scottish neighbor when I was a little girl who made this for me. I never got the recipe, and I had no idea how to look for it — she didn’t call it Tablet. Can’t wait to make it!

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

      My pleasure, Bonnie!

  11. Richard W. Hobbs
    September 10, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Dear Theresa,
    I plan on making this but was wondering what if anything I should do for “high altitude” baking? Any suggestions other than being careful?
    The recipe sounds fantastic and I am lookin’ forward to it.
    Thank you.
    Kind regards,

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      I’ve lived at sea level my whole life, so I really no absolutely nothing about altitude baking/cooking. I don’t think there’s anything you need to do differently, but maybe google high altitude fudge, and see if they have any tips?

    • Richard W. Hobbs
      September 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you, Theresa.
      I researched it and this is what I found for “high altitude” fudge-making.
      ” If you are boiling this fudge you reduce the temperature you cook it to by 9 or 10 degrees (1 degree for each 500 feet of altitude).”
      I thought I’d send you the information in case you get any further questions like mine.
      Thanks again.

    • Karin
      September 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Remember, you do decrease the temperature but that means you have to cook it longer and use a little more liquid or it will dry out due to the longer cook time. I just moved to Colorado and and am learning quickly. It took me a while to figure out how not to mess up rice.

  12. William Still
    September 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Great recipe for Tablet!! I remember as a child going to Canada with my Grandmother to visit her sisters who still lived in Canada. She would stop by a small candy shop and buy Scottish tablet made with Maple syrup. It was amazing!! I remember the grainy texture and the sweetness of it. She would tell me of eating it as a child when she grew up in Canada. Oh what memories you have brought back to me today!! Thank you

  13. Celeste Swaim
    September 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    did you use cutters or molds to make the shaped pieces in the picture? Can’t wait to try!

  14. Traci
    September 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Just wondering if high altitude or humidity will affect this recipe? I live at 8,800 feet above sea level and it has been more humid lately. The altitude has never been an issue when I’ve made candies in the past, however the humidity does cause an issue when I make divinity.

  15. Rosie
    September 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    This recipe looks pretty much identical to what us Franco-Ontarians (French Canadians in Ontario 😉 ) call “Sucre à la crème”(meaning “Creamed Sugar”, loosely translated). It’s been made for many generations in our family. And although many people call it “maple fudge” in English, a good “sucre à la crème” is crumbly and much dryer, similar to what you described in your recipe. 🙂
    And yup, you can also do it with maple syrup, giving it a slightly different texture!

    (Example recipes on google:

    • William Still
      September 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      This is exactly what I had as a child in Ontario when I would visit!! Tres Bien!!

  16. Kim
    September 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    This looks delish! I wonder if it could be modified to make a chocolate version.

  17. Cheri Fry
    September 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    This Tablet recipe is so similar to my Grandmother’s, and I shall try it. I love all of your recipes (the helpful hints are always spot-on and very much appreciated!) I still wear a few small scars, myself, from previous candy making “mishaps” and know how dangerous-and painful- it can be! I use a candy thermometer and keep the water near-by as well.
    I can not imagine why Google would have labeled any of your recipes as inappropriate! My goodness!
    We all love your recipes (receipts) and find them MOST appropriate for Outlander viewing and sheer culinary enjoyment.

  18. Cheri
    September 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    My mother (Clan Bruce descendent) made Peanut butter fudge like this and it always had to be beat for a long time before pouring into the pan. It came out grainy too but so delicious. Could be a Scottish thing.

  19. Robin
    September 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for the recipes! With this one in particular, might there be any substitutions to accommodate dairy allergies? Margarine for butter and Coconut milk for cows’ milk is easy ~ but is there any substitution for sweetened condensed milk?

  20. Sally
    September 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Thought I would post an alternative recipe that’s not so difficult to cook (I’m not so brilliant in the kitchen!) Hope that’s ok? What you need is 4 bars of caramac chocolate, 2 tablespoons of milk and a whole box of icing sugar! Steadily melt the caramac in the milk in a big bowl in the microwave using 10 second bursts until it is all liquid then quickly stir in the whole box of sugar! Keep putting it back in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time stirring vigourously in-between. Stop when it starts to look glossy…usually after about 6 mins. Pour it into a tray and leave to set……its just like tablet but without the boiling sugar! Make sure you have lots of friends or kids round though because its far too easy to eat it all yourself!

  21. Jacinthe
    September 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    In Quebec, we have something a lot like that, that we call “sucre à la crème” (literally “creamed sugar”). Some make it with maple syrup, or add nuts or marshmallow. There are dozens of versions, and it’s always delicious. I’ll add this one to my collection!

  22. Lisa Branford
    September 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    OK, now I HAVE to make this. Substitute a little vanilla for a few tablespoons of whisky and I’m there. And, yes, I WILL remember the bowl of ice water this time. Thanks for another “keeper,” Theresa!

  23. Scothart
    September 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I grew up eating Scottish Tablet….. but didn’t know it. My grandmother made it, and so do my aunt and cousin. They call it refrigerator fudge. It’s SO addictive!

  24. Lindsay Miller
    September 10, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Have been making tablet since i was a teenager. Have had some disasters, but more successes! I don’t use vanilla as it’s sweet enough. Funnily enough my mum was making some today, made me want to be home in Scotland!

  25. Jill
    September 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Do you cool overnight at room temp or in a refrigerator?

    • Christie
      September 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      I saw on another recipe for tablet: “Either allow to cool for several hours at room temperature or cool in the fridge for about 90 minutes or until set. Cooling in the fridge makes the tablet grainier.” Also if you score the top before putting it the fridge it will come apart into squares better. I just finished my first try at this and will see how it turns out!

    • Jill
      September 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks! I have it cooling now on the counter, and I scored it as you suggested. From the bit I sampled on the spoon, it is going to be delicious, and very very sweet!

  26. Lynn
    September 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Theresa, thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it!
    My aunt (Addison of clan Gordon) used to make this every Christmas, and anyone who would ask for the recipe simply got a knowing smile (but no recipe!). One year, she made me an entire batch and parceled it out and to freeze. It freezes verra well indeed!

  27. Lauren
    September 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Could you put these episode recipes on the outlander pinterst account so we can pin them. I am trying to collect recipes from outlander to do a test in the winter time. I am following the outlander board but these episode ones are not on there.

  28. Valerie
    September 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    My grandmother (from Greenock) used to make this. My mother craves it once in a while. I’ll bring her a batch of this. Thanks!

  29. Laurie
    September 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    going to try and make this thursday for saturday. on the mixing part it says use electric mixer. then it says alternately mix with wooden spoon. Is it one or the other? or both?

    • Theresa
      September 10, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      One or the other. If you have a handheld mixture, I suggest using that.

  30. Karen Frost
    September 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    The best remedy for a burn I’ve found is this: Grab an egg and rub the egg white all over the burn. Let it dry. It takes away all the pain right away, and often prevents any redness or blister.

  31. Christine
    September 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    My Grandma always made this along with treacle toffee. I have her recipients now and they are so vague that I had trouble making tablet. So excited to try this. Armstrong proud!

  32. Debbie
    September 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I was thinking whisky in the tablet AND whisky in my glass (with a splash of water, of course). I decided on Monday tablet was going to be offered at the screening this week. I am thrilled you agree!

  33. Sam G
    September 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I thought that Scottish Tablet looked very much like Maple Candy, then I wondered if there were Maple Trees in Scotland that you could make syrup from and it looks like you can and they made wine from the tree, also.

  34. Elaine
    September 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    This sounds delicious. You cannot go wrong when the first ingredient is “Sugar – 5 cups”!

  35. Colleen
    September 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I’m not sure which I’m more excited about…coming across your blog, the fact that there is a food blog which revolves around one of my favorite books/shows, or making this recipe as soon as possible!

    • Theresa
      September 11, 2014 at 12:03 am


  36. Leeann
    September 11, 2014 at 1:38 am

    We call that Russian fudge in New Zealand no idea why. And if you add cocoa is chocolate fudge. I laughed to myself when you said to keep children out of they way as my brothers in and I used to make it when mum went out. We would hide it to eat later, but we were usually found out as mum would notice that she was running out of sugar faster than she should be. Also remember the time we heated up a golf ball and it exploded. No one hurt but there was a lot of clean up to do before mum came home!

  37. Jennifer Hoffman
    September 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Sounds good but it must be really sweet! 5 cups of sugar, yikes, and sweetened condensed milk too (can’t resist licking the spoon).

    • Theresa
      September 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Yup, it’s totally “yikes” sweet. It’s sweeter than fudge.

  38. Susan Enright
    September 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I look forward to the new receipes each week! Have enjoyed making them!
    My friends have enjoyed eating everything!

  39. Kerri
    September 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I have made this for many years… it’s my husband’s favorite… and says it is not Christmas without it. It’s sweet, but ohhhhh so delicious!

  40. Kerri
    September 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    (Traci – I too am high altitude, but it’s never been a problem making Scottish Tablet, however I do think moisture in the air will. I know not to make any candy on a rainy day – it won’t set right or harden.)

  41. Margaret Schmidt
    September 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    OMG! Just made the Tablet for our watch party tomorrow night. So excited! It reminded me of a candy my mother made every Christmas with finely chopped nuts in it as well. Just the beating with the mixer brought back memories.
    Just love your Kitchen!

  42. MaryFran
    September 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Just finished this for the viewing for tomorrow – one problem – it is very tasty while it is still warm – one whole row is gone already! The kids were teasing me about making food to go along with the show and they are the ones eating it.

  43. Laura
    September 16, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I usually just have non-fat milk around the house. I am wondering with the pickiness of candy making if I want to use 2% or whole milk instead?

    • Theresa
      September 16, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      In this case, non-fat will work…even water would. The liquid is needed to wet down the sugar so it doesn’t scorch as easily.

  44. Karen Tidlund
    September 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Do u have a good recipe for oatmeal dressing. My grandparents from Scotland made it as well as my father. Have tried a couple on line, but nothing like what I remember,

    • Theresa
      September 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      I don’t…never tasted it, but I think I want to now!

  45. cheriaz
    September 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Lived in Aberdeen for 5 years and read most of the books while there. I am enjoying the show and love seeing your recipes! Any chance you’ll post a skirlie or stovie recipe? Miss these two very much.

    • Theresa
      September 18, 2014 at 7:39 am

      I’ve got my eyes on stovies once it gets a little colder!

  46. Farrah
    September 25, 2014 at 12:29 am

    I just love how detailed your recipes are! I am finding that every one I try is coming out perfectly, even though I have never attempted things like candy making or short pastry, I am doing it! Thanks for making me look like a pro to my husband and friends 😉 What a talent you have! The tips and tricks at the end are especially helpful. The recipes are so much fun and SO delicious! Thank you!

    • Theresa
      September 25, 2014 at 6:31 am

      I’m glad you’re enjoying cooking along, Farrah!And thanks for that kind feedback — I love what I do. Theresa

  47. Susan
    October 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    This is almost identical to my dad’s recipe which I have made for years. Only difference I see is his called for 2 lb of sugar (which I always weighted). I have to make several batches each Christmas. Actually made a batch recently while visiting relatives in Scotland to take to cousins in Newcastle

  48. Emmaline Rankin
    November 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you so much! I just finished making this to see if it would be a nice Yulemas gift, and, for my first try it’s good, my mother licked the pot clean hehe!

  49. Penelope
    December 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I make tablet quite regularly, and find that when using the electric beaters I beat for about 1/2 minute, check the consistency, beat again for 1/2 minute, check consistency and so on. It can go from pourable to DISASTER in seconds! I make it in summer and winter, regardless of the weather so don’t think weather/humidity will affect it. I LOVE it, and LOVE giving it – always is well received, even for those who don’t have a sweet tooth! Can’t remember the recipe I use, but have made it often enough that I don’t really need the recipe anymore.

    • Theresa
      December 2, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Good to know. Thanks for the tip!

  50. pam
    March 11, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Speaking of the Garrison Commander, wasnt there mention of venison roast?

    • Theresa
      March 13, 2015 at 6:38 am

      I believe so…in the meantime, you’ll find a venison recipe here.

  51. Emily
    March 29, 2015 at 1:19 am

    This recipe lifted the tBlet making curse off my family my mother never was able to cook tablet and my grandmother struggled the condensed milk fixes everything Thank You

    • Theresa
      March 29, 2015 at 7:27 am

      making fudge without that condensed milk sure is a whole lot trickier!

  52. Leigh A.
    May 29, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Do you have any troubleshooting tips for this recipe? I tried to make it last night to have for the season 1 finale, and I fear I’ve failed miserably. After leaving my “tablet” out on the counter overnight in the pan, I went to cut it this morning and it’s a very grainy, squishy, almost runny mess despite it thickening while I was beating it. I tried to follow your recipe as best as I could (even got out the scale for the sweetened condensed milk to get 15 oz, US cans seem to be 14oz), though it seemed like all of my steps took 5-10 minutes longer than your longest time. In particular, it was 15 minutes of using my hand mixer before the sugar mix started to thicken.

    I’ve never made candy before, so I’m hoping there’s some kind of general candy making strategy I’ve just not figured out. Thank you for all of these recipes! I’ve loved making several of them for Outlander viewing. When you read the books you can taste and smell the food. It’s wonderful to have someone who’s actually made that “Taste of Outlander” reality instead of just imagination. 😉

    • Theresa
      May 29, 2015 at 8:43 am


      I’m so sorry you had troubles! Give me a little bit to think about where it might have gone wrong, and I’ll try to help.

  53. Christine
    September 1, 2015 at 2:15 am

    I am also wondering how you made the heart shapes. I have a small heart cutter, but I’m thinking that it will either be too brittle and break…or will be far too hard to press through. Any tips??

  54. Duncan Pitkeathly
    May 20, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Iused to make it when i was a wee lad in Edinburgh , i sometimes put dessicated coconut in it .Duncan

Comments are closed.