Simple Recipe: Scotch Whisky Syllabub

If you’re planning a Burns Night celebration and you’re looking for a simple but slightly different pudding for the night, this rich and easy Whisky Syllabub recipe really hits the spot. If you can whip cream, open a bottle of whisky and zest a lemon, then this recipe is for you.

Syllabub in various forms has been around since the 16th century. Originally a frothy, milky concoction, made with sweet wine or cider; it has evolved from a hearty, warming drink to the whipped pudding we eat today. Syllabubs are similar to possets and are closely related to the famous Scottish pudding, cranachan. I’ve given a standard syllabub a Burns Night makeover and swapped out the sweet wine for whisky, and it really works!

Simple Recipe: Scotch Whisky Syllabub

This recipe for Scotch Whisky Syllabub takes no time at all to put together and makes enough for four good-sized portions, or 6 smaller ones. It is very rich though, so a smaller portion might be better. Serve it with homemade shortbread and raspberries. Delicious!

Scotch Whisky Syllabub


55g caster sugar
1 lemon, zested
3 tbsp lemon juice
300ml double cream
25g icing sugar
100ml whisky

Simple Recipe: Scotch Whisky Syllabub

How to make Whisky Syllabub:

In a small saucepan, warm the sugar, lemon juice and finely grated zest until the sugar is dissolved. Stir the mixture a little to encourage the sugar to dissolve, once it has, leave it to cool completely. This shouldn’t take long, maybe 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl whip your double cream and icing sugar together until it goes in soft to medium peaks. I used a hand mixer for this as whipping it by hand would take me an age.

Add your whisky to the pan of juice and swirl it around, pour it into the cream mixture and fold the whisky and juice into the cream with a spatula. For good measure I gave it a quick 10 second mix with my hand mixer too.

Spoon the whisky syllabub into nice glasses and put in the fridge and chill for an hour or so. It’s fine to make it the day before and chill it overnight if you’d like. It’s also absolutely fine to serve it there and them without chilling it, it’ll just have a slightly softer texture.

Serve with some homemade shortbread and raspberries. It’s a fantastically simple pudding and one to impress the grown ups at any Burns Night celebration!

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Simple Recipe: Scotch Whisky Syllabub

FREE Printables: Learning about Scotland

If you’re looking for something to occupy the children whilst you’re cooking your Burns Night supper, I’ve put together some Scottish themed colouring sheets which would be perfect for children to do. I’ve included a few facts and information which might help stimulate further discussion on the subject of Scotland.

FREE Printables: Learning about Scotland

The free to download sheets include pictures to colour in and a few facts about –
  • Scottish Thistles
  • Robert Burns
  • Bagpipes
  • Kilts and Tartan
  • The Saltire or Flag of Scotland

Click here to download your FREE colouring sheets.

It’s enough to keep the kids occupied for a while and a good place to start if you’re going to start exploring the history and traditions of Scotland with them.

If you are looking for more information about Scotland and its history, there are plenty of resources online. I like which has a really handy history timeline which takes you back right from the Palaeolithic era to the present day. National Geographic Kids also has a really good resource for children about Scotland, its history, wildlife and culture.

Burns Night itself is an evening of ceremonial celebration and commemoration of Robert Burns. The celebrations have a set order and include a number of traditionally Scottish elements. From reciting some of Robert Burns poetry, to the playing of bagpipes and the serving of haggis, Burns Night is a real celebration of all things Scottish.

You could have a lot of fun recreating a Burns Night celebration in your own home; complete with haggis, neeps and tatties, some bagpipe music from YouTube and everyone taking it in turns reciting some poetry.

You can also try your hand at making your own Scottish thistle with my simple popsicle stick craft, or you could try your hand at designing your own tartan using your own favourite colours.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like these other blog posts:

FREE Printables: Learning about Scotland

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

With Burns Night fast approaching, my local butchers have stocked up with haggis. I’m always keen to try different things, so I popped in and picked up a small haggis, took it home and wondered what to make with it. Previously I’ve made a haggis, potato cake and poached egg stack, but this week I fancied making pasties from scratch. The pasties came out so well, I’ve decided to share my recipe for Homemade Haggis Pasties.

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

Haggis is one of those ingredients which is a bit love/hate. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but if you’re not already a haggis fan, they’re worth trying; my 8 year old scoffed a whole pasty and asked me to make them again, which really surprised me.

I’ve made Cornish pasties before, so I thought I’d make something similar, but with haggis, neeps and tatties. There was a bit of prep to be done, but the results are worth it, and I’ve got lunches for the boys for the next few days. The recipe makes 8 pasties if you’re pretty frugal with the pastry. I made my own shortcrust pastry, but as ever, there’s no shame in buying your own if you can’t face making it from scratch.

Homemade Haggis Pasties

For the pastry:

450g plain flour
110g butter, margarine or lard
1/2 teaspoon of salt
5fl oz of water

1 egg, beaten

For the pasty filling:

1 small haggis weighing 450g
200g potato, diced
200g neeps (otherwise known as turnip), diced
1 small onion
1/2 carrot (optional)
1 teaspoon of butter
Salt and pepper

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

How to make your haggis pasties:

Begin my making your pastry as it benefits from being chilled for at least an hour, but longer is best. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, cube the fat and rub that into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the water and mix with your hands until it forms a dough. Don’t work the pastry too much, a light touch is best. Once the pastry has formed a dough, wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once the pastry is chilling in the fridge, wrap your haggis in tin foil and bake it in the oven for an hour at 190°. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until you’re ready for it.

While the haggis is cooking; dice your neeps (turnip), potatoes and your half a carrot if you’re using and boil for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and put in a bowl, season well with salt and pepper and add a teaspoon of butter, put to one side. Finely dice a small onion and add that to the neeps and tatties.

When your haggis is cooked, remove it from the casing and add the haggis to the vegetable mix, stir well. Your filling is ready to be made into pasties.

Pre-heat your oven to 200°.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. To make your pasties, roll your pastry until it is about 5mm thick and using a side plate (I use a plastic one because it’s easier to handle) cut around the plate. You should get 7-8 pasties out of the pastry.

Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

Heap 2 dessert spoons of the filling in the middle of the pastry circle. Brush along one half of the circle along the edge with the egg, fold over the pastry and press the edges together. Crimp your pastry, don’t worry, this seems harder than it is, and it’s easier for you to watch this video than it is for me to explain it. Once your pasty has been crimped, brush with the beaten egg, place on your baking tray and bake for 50 minutes.

Once your pasties have been baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least ten minutes before eating.

The haggis pasties are delicious; all the familiar charm of a Cornish pasty, but with a Scottish twist which even my 8 year old enjoys!

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Recipe: Homemade Haggis Pasties

Kids Crafts: Make a Popsicle Stick Scottish Thistle

Celebrate Burns Night or St Andrews Day with this simple popsicle stick Scottish thistle craft for kids!

Kids Crafts: Make a Popsicle Stick Scottish Thistle

Every year on 25th January the good people of Scotland (and beyond) celebrate Burns Night. Burns Night is the annual celebration of  the birth of  the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns who was born in 1759.

Burns Night celebrations typically involve the eating of haggis, neeps and tatties; drinking drams of whisky and lots of speeches and singing. It’s also a good opportunity to do some crafts with the children and talk to them about his poetry.

This is a super-simple craft which is really great to do with kids. They might need a bit of help with the cutting out, but the result is really effective.

How to make a Popsicle Stick Scottish Thistle

You will need:

Some green paper or card, card is better
Green popsicle sticks or straws
Purple tissue paper
A glue stick
Two pegs (optional)
A pencil

Kids Crafts: Make a Popsicle Stick Scottish Thistle

How to make your Popsicle Stick Scottish Thistle:

Using a pencil, draw the outline of your thistle leaves and thistle head on your green card and carefully cut it out. I drew one of each, cut them out and drew around them again as templates for the other side. An adult might want to help with this part.

Take a strip of the purple tissue paper about 10cm long and cut a fringe about 2/3 of the way down the width of the paper at regular intervals. Using the glue stick, glue along the edge which hasn’t been cut and carefully wrap this around the top of the popsicle stick.

Using the glue, stick the green thistle head at the top of the stick so it covers the base of the tissue paper, stick the other head on the other side. Put a peg on the head to press the green card into place.

Glue the thistle leaves in place about halfway down the stick and hold those in place with another peg. Leave the glue to dry for 15 minutes or so, remove the pegs and your Scottish thistle is ready to be admired. You don’t need the pegs if you don’t have them. I just find they’re good at holding things in place while the glue sets.

It’s as simple as that. They look great, we’ve made a few and stuck them around our kitchen. They’re a simple craft which you can do for Burns Night, St Andrews Day or for just celebrating Scotland!

If you enjoyed this, you might also like these other blog posts:

Kids Crafts: Make a Popsicle Stick Scottish Thistle

Recipe: Crumbly Cranachan Shortbread with Whisky

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish pudding, usually made with whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in a little bit of whisky. Whilst my Cranachan Shortbread recipe isn’t faithful to the original, it is considerably inspired by this Caledonian classic.

This Cranachan Shortbread recipe is a beautifully short and crumbly whisky shortbread, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with dried, crushed raspberries. It’s a biscuit and a half and a real Scottish inspired treat.

Recipe: Crumbly Cranachan Shortbread with Whisky

Dried raspberries are available, but hard to find. Unsuccessful, I ended up drying my own in a very low oven for many, many hours. I then crushed them in a pestle and mortar. I was pleasantly surprised with how they turned out, they didn’t smell especially powerful, but they certainly packed a flavour punch. They’d be great sprinkled on all kinds of cakes and desserts.

Cranachan Shortbread with whisky

225g butter
130g caster sugar
350g plain flour
3 tablespoons of whisky
Caster sugar for sprinkling
100g milk chocolate
1 punnet of raspberries, dried

Recipe: Crumbly Cranachan Shortbread with Whisky

Pre-heat your oven to 180. You’ll need to have a couple of baking trays covered with greaseproof paper ready.

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly beat the butter and sugar together. Once fluffy, add the whisky and little by little add the plain flour. Mix with a wooden spoon as best you can. Try not to overwork it too much or the dough will go gluey.

I find the following method tidier and it stops you manhandling the dough too much. Once the shortbread dough is almost mixed, tip it out onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper; bring the dough together with your hands and then fold the paper in half with the mixture sandwiched in between.

With a rolling-pin, roll it out so it’s about 5mm thick and cut into rounds. I used a glass for this and carefully lifted each shortbread biscuit onto the baking tray. You should get around 18 shortbread biscuits out of the dough. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar over each round.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the shortbread, they still need to be pale and not brown. Once they’re baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.

Whilst the shortbread biscuits are cooling, melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Once melted, dip each shortbread into the chocolate and half coat it, put your biscuit back on the greaseproof paper and sprinkle the dried raspberries. Try to resist eating your shortbread until the chocolate has set.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or a wee dram if you’re so inclined! Sláinte!

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, you might also like this Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack or these delicious haggis pasties.

Recipe: Crumbly Cranachan Shortbread with Whisky

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Celebrate your Scottish heritage (or admiration for the highlands) with this lovely Scottish Thistle brooch. It’s pretty simple to make and it took me around an hour to sew together and finish off. The thistle is one of the most enduring emblems of Scotland and this brooch is the perfect thing to wear on Burns Night, Hogmanay or St Andrew’s Day.

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

I confess that the idea for this craft came when I was scrolling through Pinterest and I came across something similar. The version I spotted looked quite basic and something for children to make, you can see that version here. I took the original idea and turned it into a brooch an adult would want to wear on a jacket or coat. I’m really pleased with how my Scottish Thistle brooch has turned out and it is now on my winter coat ready for showing off later.

Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

You will need:
Green felt
Large green button
Green and purple embroidery thread
Brooch back or a safety pin

With a pen or pencil, sketch a thistle shape on your felt (take a look at the sketch below as a guide) making sure there’s enough space for the button with some room around it. Carefully cut out the thistle shape. Pin the thistle to the felt and use it as a stencil to cut out a second thistle shape. Pin them together.Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Using the green embroidery thread, stitch the two felt thistles together. I’ve sewn them so the stitching is a little feature around the edges of the felt. Once you’ve sewn the thistles together, take your purple embroidery thread and in long stitches sew the purple prickles on the top.

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Take your green button and sew it in place with the purple embroidery thread. Finish off the detail on the thistle with some green stitches across the thistle leaves. To complete your brooch, sew on the brooch back or safety pin on the back of your thistle. I stitched my safety pin behind the button.

Your Scottish Thistle brooch is now complete and ready to wear with pride!

Crafts: Make your own Scottish Thistle Brooch

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

The most famous foodstuff in Scotland is haggis, (followed by much more appealing sounding things like shortbread and whisky). It’s traditional to serve haggis with neeps and tatties, but I wanted to try something a little different and perhaps make haggis a bit more appealing, a little bit sexy even. That’s a tough gig. Even tougher given that I’m vegetarian and I’ve never tried haggis.

I tried to think of it like black pudding. Being a Lancashire lass this put me firmly in my comfort zone. It’s sort of like black pudding in that’s it’s made from fairly unappealing bits of animal in a sausage shape; although haggis holds together less well than black pudding.

I decided to try to turn it into a brunch or lunch meal, served with homemade potato cakes and a poached egg it’s a fairly well-balanced, interesting meal that’ll satisfy anyone with a hearty appetite. I’ve made my own potato cakes as they’re much nicer than shop bought, but if you want to buy them I recommend you get them from a good bakery.

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

One haggis
One egg per person
Oil for frying

For potato cakes (makes 6 large cakes) –
2 mugs of mashed potato
Half a mug of plain flour
Salt & pepper
Oil for frying


Start by putting your cold (leftover) mashed potato in a bowl with the plain flour, season and snip in some chives. Mix thoroughly by hand and shape into 6 equal sized potato cakes. Fry them off gently until they’re golden brown on both sides. Set aside somewhere warm until you’re ready to serve them. They can be kept warm in a low oven for a little while.

Take your haggis (unsteamed) and cut into 1.5cm thick slices. Fry gently in oil until brown and crispy on both sides, make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Set aside and keep warm with the potato cakes.

Poach an egg per person.

To plate up, stack your haggis on top of your potato cake and place your poached egg on top. I snipped chives all over mine because I like chives, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want.

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack

It’s really simple, it took me hardly any time at all and it was quite delicious. The boys once again returned clean plates to the kitchen. Winner winner haggis dinner?

If you enjoyed this recipe you might also like this recipe for Crumbly Cranachan Shortbread with Whisky. or these delicious haggis pasties.

Recipe: Haggis, potato cake & poached egg stack