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Vegan Scottish Smiddy Dumpling

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A Scottish smiddy dumpling is a curious name for a sultana cake but a vegan Scottish smiddy dumpling is even curiouser! But delicious none-the-less! And some may argue deliciouser!

A traditional Scottish smiddy dumpling is essentially a baked rather than a steamed or boiled dumpling and is similar to a Scottish sultana cake.

This recipe was adapted from The Scottish Maw Broon’s cookbook. Growing up in Scotland the Broon’s was a favourite comic strip and now as an adult I love the cookbooks.

Enjoy a slice of this traditional smiddy dumpling for a festive, Holiday or as part of a Scottish New Year (Hogmanay) buffet or treat. Robert Burns Day meals are also tasty with a slice of smiddy dumpling.

Or just enjoy this tasty vegan bake whenever you fancy!

vegan Scottish smiddy dumpling featured image, slices of cake on tartan napkin on circle chopping board, with tea towel with the text 'happy new year'.

Quick Origins Of Smiddy Dumpling

There is not much information readily available regarding the Scottish traditional smiddy dumpling.

Even Maw Broon’s cookbook which contains the original recipe, which my vegan recipe was adapted from, does not actually state any useful information about the cakes origin. The book does state that the smiddy dumpling is easier to prepare compared to other dumplings! Which I assume they are referring to the slightly more complicated Scottish clootie dumpling which is wrapped in a cloth and boiled for a few hours.

Smiddy is another name for smithy which refers to someone who works as a blacksmith. A blacksmith crafts items out of metal using fire and a hammer so perhaps the smiddy dumpling has connections with Scottish blacksmiths! Possibly a slice of smiddy dumpling was a tasty snack for the hard working Scottish smithy’s.

Whatever the smiddy dumpling origins are, the fact remains that Scotland historically loves its puddings and dumplings!

Sliced smiddy dumpling on tartan napkin and cake knife to side.
It is traditional in Scotland to have a buffet spread on Hogmanay and to munch on tasty bakes and treats during the lead up to the New Year Bells at midnight. Sultana cake is always a buffet favourite.

Vegan Scottish Smiddy Dumpling

Preparing this vegan Scottish smiddy dumpling is easy and simple. It does take a little longer to bake than ordinary fruit cakes but the result is worth it and this dumpling can be treated as more of a pudding than a cake.

A traditional smiddy dumpling would have the dried fruit boiled with the water, margarine and sugar for a few minutes before mixing through the rest of the ingredients. Eggs are also added.

However, I wanted to make this dumpling as simple as possible mainly to save time, so for this recipe the ingredients are simply combined before scooping into the loaf pan. The resultant vegan fruit dumpling cake retains the deliciously moist fruit.

A slice of vegan smiddy dumpling is so tasty served with a slather of vegan butter or margarine, or dollops of fruit jam/jelly/preserve.

But even better is warm or room temperature smiddy dumpling served with hot vegan custard. So comforting and satisfying.

For a vegan or plant-based custard recipe check out our jam and coconut sponge recipe.

close up slice of dumpling or sultana cake on a white tree plate with a spoonful of jam on top of cake, red tartan background.

How To Prepare A Vegan Scottish Smiddy Dumpling or Sultana Cake

Recipe Notes And FAQS

How do I store smiddy dumpling?


Smiddy dumpling can be stored wrapped in parchment/baking paper and a second layer of kitchen foil for up to 4-5 days, likely a few days longer. Pop into a covered container. If preferred the smiddy dumpling can be wrapped and stored in the fridge.

Staler slices of dumpling can be refreshed by toasting on a dry hot plate such as a panini hotplate or a dry fry pan/skillet. Add a pat of vegan butter to the pan if liked. Toast until nicely warmed through.

Or place slices in a warm oven just until heated through. Spread some vegan butter or margarine over to melt or serve with hot custard or a drizzle of vegan cream.

A slice of toasted smiddy dumpling is delicious served along with a vegan cooked breakfast.

Can I freeze smiddy dumpling?


Yes. Wrap well and place in the freezer for 3-4 months. Unwrap before defrosting (not in the fridge) to room temperature.

Whole smiddy dumplings can be frozen or sliced into portions with a piece of greaseproof paper between each slice. Freezing slices makes it so much easier to just pull out one or two servings at a time.

smiddy dumpling baked and in loaf pan sitting on wire rack with tartan oven mitt to side.

More Delicious Vegan Traditional Fruit Cakes And Bakes:

Traditional Fruit Loaf Cake

Pumpkin Spiced Fruit Loaf Cake

Gluten-Free Fruit Loaf Cake (amazingly also fat and sugar free! this recipe is the ideal basis for an alternative festive Holiday cake)

Three-Ingredient Quick And Easy Christmas Cake

Old-Fashioned Christmas Pudding (can be quickly microwaved as well as traditionally steamed)

Traditional Scottish Border Tart (makes a nice change from festive mince pies!)

Traditional Scottish Wee Shortbread Biscuits (Crunchy cookies perfect to enjoy with a Hogmanay Scottish buffet)

*** For cup measurements click on the US Customary button within the recipe card***
vegan smiddy dumpling baked and cooling on wire rack with tartan oven glove to side.

Vegan Scottish Smiddy Dumpling

Print Recipe
A smiddy dumpling may be a curious name for what is essentially a baked sultana pudding cake similar in flavour to delicious fruit loafs or tea cakes, as well as the more well known Scottish clootie dumpling.
Easy and simple to prepare, a slice is perfect for the festive season, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year) buffets, New Years and Robert Burns Day suppers. Or just whenever you fancy something tasty with your cup of tea or coffee.
Serve with a dollop of your favourite fruit jam/jelly or a good helping of hot custard.
Course Afternoon tea, Dessert, pudding
Cuisine Scottish
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8 slices
Calories 335
Author Jacq

Equipment

  • 1 Ib loaf pan/tin
  • greaseproof/baking paper lining or a paper loaf pan case (may not be necessary depending on the type of your loaf pan)

Ingredients

  • 300 grams plain flour or all-purpose flour, sieved. (weight/cup measurements are before sieving)
  • 100 grams vegan butter or margarine
  • 160 grams soft brown sugar light brown or replace with caster/granulated sugar
  • 300 grams sultanas golden raisins (or replace with raisins, currants, dried fruit mix)
  • 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice powder or replace with pumpkin spice/apple spice powder or similar. Or 1 tsp of ginger powder and 1 tsp of ground nutmeg powder.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 250 ml water

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 130 Fan/ 150 Celsius/ 300 Fahrenheit/ Gas 2.

  • Prepare the loaf pan by greasing the inside and adding a layer of greaseproof/baking paper or a loaf pan paper insert. If you have a non-stick loaf pan this step may not be necessary.
  • Add the flour, baking powder/soda, sugar, sultanas, vegan butter, cinnamon and mixed spice to a bowl. Mix.
  • Pour in the water and mix until everything is combined.
  • Scoop the dumpling into the loaf pan and level the top.
  • Bake for 70-90 minutes on the middle oven rung.
    Exact times will depend on your oven. My fan oven took 70 minutes to bake the sultana cake. Check for doneness between 60-70 minutes.
    Dumpling is ready when it is risen, golden and a skewer or similar comes out clean when popped into the middle of the cake.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
  • Cup measurements for flour are taken before sifting through a sieve.
  • Smiddy dumpling can be stored wrapped in parchment/baking paper and a second layer of kitchen foil for up to 4-5 days, likely a few days longer. Pop into a covered container. If preferred the smiddy dumpling can be placed, wrapped and stored in the fridge.
  • Staler slices of dumpling can be refreshed by toasting on a dry hot plate such as a panini hotplate or a dry fry pan/skillet. Add a pat of vegan butter to the pan if liked. Toast until nicely warmed through.
  • Or place slices in a warm oven just until heated through. Spread some vegan butter or margarine over to melt or serve with hot custard or a drizzle of vegan cream.
  • A slice of toasted smiddy dumpling is delicious served along with a vegan cooked breakfast.
  • To freeze smiddy dumpling wrap well and place in the freezer for 3-4 months. Unwrap before defrosting (not in the fridge) to room temperature. 

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

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