Posted on 32 Comments

Scottish Tablet (crumbly, melt in the mouth toffee) in the microwave.


Lots of people have asked for a recipe for Scottish tablet, so I think it’s about time I posted the simplest version of one online.  Home made Scottish tablet is wickedly sinful, but delicious.  It’s also quite difficult to make, and there are lots and lots of different ways to make it.  This version is in the microwave.

Please read all the comments below, before you decide to make this version of tablet.  Some people struggle with it.

If you only have a very small microwave, I’d be tempted to go for half these quantities.

I prefer to microwave to the melted stage as every time I try to do it in a pot, I burn it before the sugar is melted.

Microwave Scottish Tablet Recipe

Lesley S Smith
Very sweet, and you do need to keep an eye on this. The cooking time does vary by microwave. Some people have not found success with this, but if you can make it work, it's fabulous.
3.17 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 180 g butter
  • 800 g sugar preferably caster but I have used Demerara
  • 1 tin condensed milk - approx 400g


  • You need a large bowl that fits into your microwave. Some people may prefer to transfer into a thick bottomed pot to finish the tablet after the sugar is completely melted.
  • With the butter, condensed milk, whole milk and sugar in the bowl, put in your microwave and melt the sugar at 1 minute intervals, while stirring in between. You don't want the mix to boil as it will rise up in the dish and spill over if you're not careful.
  • When you think the sugar is completely boiled, use your finger on the back of your stirring spatula as it cools, to see if there are no sugar crystals left. You want the mix to be smooth.
  • From the melting point, the mix will boil very quickly. I do mine in 30 second bursts as I have a high wattage microwave. If you have a lower wattage one, you might get away with 1 minute + bursts. Remember to keep an eye out for the mix rising up the bowl as if it spills you will have a gooey, hot and sticky mess. Stir quite vigorously each time you take the mix out for a few seconds.
  • Keep going until the mix begins to turn from light brown to a darker brown. It could take 10 - 15 minutes to change.
  • To find out if it is ready, use a cup of water and take a teaspoon of mix from the bowl. Leave it for a couple of minutes and if it forms a soft ball between your fingers if you roll it, then it is ready. With a very soft ball, the tablet will be softer. If you take a bit longer and have a slightly firmer ball, your tablet will have the traditional hard and crumbly texture that makes it so popular.
  • This is the bit that makes the difference to how well it works. Take the mix out of the microwave and either use a hand whisk or a wooden spoon to beat the mix until it begins to cool and go slightly grainy. It takes anything from 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how large a batch you are making.
  • Once the tablet begins to thicken, move it quickly into a pre foiled tray and spread it out.
  • Put into the freezer for about 1 - 2 hours.
  • Turn upside down on a chopping board and score the tablet with a knife.
  • Cut or break the tablet into pieces.


I prefer to microwave to the melted stage as every time I try to do it in a pot, I burn it before the sugar is melted.
If you only have a very small microwave, I'd be tempted to go for half these quantities.
Cooking time will vary depending on the power of your microwave but could be anything from 15 - 30 minutes.

32 thoughts on “Scottish Tablet (crumbly, melt in the mouth toffee) in the microwave.

  1. Have tried it 3 times.
    First time, very messy. Stuck to foil. Would not set. However, spooned off and great taste.

    2nd time. It hardened. Not totally but hard not soft, so great.

    3rd time very smooth but won’t harden. Tastes great but have to keep it in freezer, to stand a chance of it not melting and running!

  2. I made this today and was really easy! Only did half the mixture so did two batches as bowl not large enough! I don’t know power of my microwave so did 12 minutes total, stirring every few minutes while keeping an eye out for it boiling over. I didn’t beat it very long either and it was perfect!

    1. Soo sugary, but so perfect too. I don’t make it very often as I just keep eating it if it’s in the house.

  3. This is an excellent recipe, tried and tested 3 times now

    Just hard to find on google, found it via another web site.

    After about 15 mins keep an eye and stop and beat mixture every 30 secs. Didn’t freeze just let set at kitchen temp.

    Thank you

  4. i have made this lots of times but with different ingredients,i use

    1 LB Castor Sugar
    Small Tin Carnation Milk
    4 oz butter

  5. 5 stars
    The trick with this to cook it at a lower wattage & keep it at a constant boil without it boiling over, I had mine on high until it began to boil & then medium (750) for 3 minutes at a time until it started to go a fudge colour then tested. I liked the tip about using a hand mixer, saved my arthritic hands, smoother tablet & no burnt bits. Used half mix, best I’ve made in years, thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    It was great and so easy. thanks

  7. 5 stars
    I was a bit wary of the mixture spilling so did my first batch very slowly. When I realised my bowl was big enough, I rushed through it in no time.

    I used a 2 litre Pampered Chef bowl/jug which I had previously thought a waste of money. I’m now going to splurge and buy all my pals one. Bonus of using the jug, the mixture is like moulten lava, so it gives you something to hold!

    If using a 2 litre, Use half the ingredients and stick in in the microwave on full blast for 3 minute bursts. A little bit of stirring each time. When my confidence had grown, the 2nd batch was done in 4 x 3 minute blasts and then another 2 mins. I used a wooden spoon and beat it for about 5 minutes until my arms gave out.

    To explain how easy this was, I had made dinner while I was doing this and even used the microwave at one point for some veg!

    I swear the tablet is exactly the same as my mother’s! Everyone at work is raving about it to the extent we are going to make it in here!

  8. 2 stars
    We have a 750w microwave and this took a little over an hour forty then we got bored and finished it in a pot.

    1. Can’t get it to go hard but I made one batch without the milk and was perfect

  9. Condensed milk is on recipe. What power is your micro because this can make a difference to the end result. Total time of 10 minutes at top of sheet is wrong. Will try making it soon.

    1. Hi Pamela. The 10 minutes is prep time. I haven’t put a cooking time as it varies by microwave to microwave. Some people struggle to make this work. I suspect different brands and strengths of microwave affect the outcome.

  10. Help…made this last night and it\’s still not set after being in freezer all night. What can I do to save it as I don\’t want to throw it away?

    1. That’s a shame. If that happened to me, I’d be tempted to put it into a pan and give it a boil for a wee while. You do have to be careful with the hot sugar still though. It might have something to do with microwave sizes and differences, I’m not too sure.

  11. Made your tablet today, followed it to the letter, great tablet, in about 15 mins, start to finish, will add some coconut next time, I think some people aren\’t giving it enough time, I used one quarter of ingredients, 700w microwave, 1 min full power, 1 min whisk, for about ten mins. Then beat for about 5 mins at the endCheers Scottish mum

    1. Glad you liked it. I have a lot of people to feed, so my quantities can sometimes be more than most are used to.

      1. Ive made this a few times and it hasnt always hardened. What I done was after you have microwaved it for the total time leave to stand for 5 mins before you beat. This worked for me.

        1. Thanks Elaine. For most people, I suspect slightly smaller quantities would help too.

  12. 1 star
    I tried this recipe today and it’s rubbish. I have made tablet lots of times on the stove top, very successfully, but thought this sounded an interesting alternative method. I followed the recipe very carefully but it has turned out like a cross between rather sloppy English fudge and toffee – not that unique tablet texture at all 🙁 Very disappointed at the waste of time and ingredients. I began to get suspicious when I read at the top that it takes 10 minutes, then later down the recipe longer times are mentioned. It doesn’t add up. I should have stopped at that point!

  13. 1 star
    I tried to make this and it didn’t work i got left with brown milk. Waste of time.

    1. Sorry it didn’t work for you. If the quantities are not exact, it can be difficult to make, and it does take a lot of microwave sessions.

  14. Not sure if I’m missing something, but when do you put the condensed milk in?
    It states that with the butter, whole milk and sugar in the bowl, melt in microwave, but no mention of the condensed milk…

    1. Sorry, everything goes into the bowl at the same time. Missing off the recipe there.

  15. Oh this looks so easy and sounds so delicious. I love the microwave version as I am notorious for burning things on the stove top! I’m pinning this for later!

  16. This looks amazing I need to make it. x

  17. wow I love Scottish tablet! Looks fab!

  18. Thanks for that. I love tablet!

  19. I LOVE butter tablet.

  20. I am so going to have a go at making that tablet!! x

  21. I loved Tablet when I lived in Scotland; haven’t had it since

  22. I am thoroughly upset that you made tablet and didn’t keep me some.

  23. Thanks for this,will need to give it a try. I am always scared to do it on the hob but hubby loves tablet.

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