Milk Tablet

A Scottish favourite: crumbly, buttery fudge made with creamy condensed milk.
Ingredients
Serves: 18
  • Easy

    A guide to our ratings

    • Ridiculously easy!
    • Very easy
    • Easy
  • 30 mins
    total prep time

    3 hr 25 mins
    ready to serve in

2 pieces typically contain

  • Calories 296 15%
  • Sugars 63.1g 70%
  • Fat 4.5g 6%
  • Saturates 2.9g 14%
  • Salt 0.12g 2%

of an adult's guideline daily amount*
* GDAa are guidelines. Personal requirements vary depending on age, gender, weight and activity levels.

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  1. 1. In a large pan, melt the butter with the milk. Slowly add the sugar and boil briskly for 4 minutes.
  2. 2. Gradually stir in the condensed milk making sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Bring back to the boil and boil for approximately 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture is thick and a honey caramel colour. Take care while the mixture boils and during stirring as the tablet will be VERY hot!
  3. 3. Remove the pan from the heat and beat until set. Pour into the tin and leave to set fully then remove from the tin and cut into squares.

Discussion Board

  • dee
    November 02, 2013
    You need to leave the heat low as the sugar mix will heat up slowly it self. If you try turn the heat up it will burn. Time and patience is the key. Low and slow for best results. DEE
  • Libet
    October 21, 2013
    I have trouble cutting tablet into neat squares, any tips please? I've tried an oiled knife. Should i mark it when hot or leave till completely cold?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Liz, once the tablets set it is tricky. As it begins to set mark it into an appropriate size and then it will be easy to separate once cooled.
  • Shazzybee
    October 21, 2013
    We have a happy house today, just made this tablet with my boys while there on school hols.
    It is deelish!!
    Boys shouting this is the best tablet ever, it's epic!!!!
    :-)
  • Briny
    October 12, 2013
    I made this but added in a table spoon of sea salt at the time of the butter and sugar and it gave it a gorgeous sweet salty taste, my family love it so much they ask me to make it all the time!! :)

    Carnation says:
    Hi Sabrina, we love salted caramel at the moment! So glad you enjoyed it!
  • Becky
    October 05, 2013
    I just made this tablet for my Dad's birthday and it came out perfectly, all crumbly and lovely....but my little girl and I have managed to eat most of it! I'm going to make another batch tonight and wrap it up straight away!!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Becky, we find this is a common problem! It's why we always have to make extra!
  • Tammy
    October 05, 2013
    If I use a thermometer what temperature should it be and what when do I test the temp?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Tammy, soft ball stage is what you're after. This is at 118C, you'll see a change in the mixture with the bubbles getting bigger as it heats up. This is when you want to start taking the temperature. Otherwise try dropping the mixture into bowl of cold water. Enjoy!
  • Barnes
    September 26, 2013
    Can you make this recipe using Carnation Light condensed milk. Before I waste a tin of light goo and sugar etc trying

    Carnation says:
    Hi Barnes, light condensed milk will work as a substitute however make sure that you cook it to 116C before beating to ensure it sets.
  • Moreish
    September 20, 2013
    Made this last night using my new Maslin pan, it turned out lovely! I found it only took about 10 mins stirring all the time, tastes just like a tablet should do! Will be making more at Christmas.
  • NJ
    September 13, 2013
    I have made two batches of this in the last few days and it is delicious! I was super careful to add the sugar gradually and ensure each addition was fully melted before adding any more. I used a heat diffuser when boiling and stirred it almost constantly. I found using my electric hand whisk at the beating stage made it really easy and also used a square silicone cake pan which worked really well too. Recipe is brillant and was easy to follow. Just need to stop eating it now - impossible!
  • Kaanddii
    August 22, 2013
    WHAT HAS GONE WRONG??? My attempt has ended in a lump of brown goo with horrible black/brown lumps burnt and solidified to the bottom of the pan. Help.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Louise, it sounds like the mixture has cooked for too long. If you have a food safe thermometer at home use this to make sure it reaches 116C before taking off and beating, stir all the time. If you notice it catching or colouring place in a new pan and continue cooking.
  • Sweet Tooth
    August 11, 2013
    My son is holding a Coffee Afternoon as a fundraising event in September. How long will tablet keep if he makes it in advance?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Ashley we would suggest keeping the tablets in an airtight box in a cool dry place (no need to refrigerate!). They should keep fine for about 3 weeks.
  • Ladyofthestorm
    August 08, 2013
    I have been making this tablet for years now and in the past I have had a few disasters. And it took more than a few attempts to master this rather tricky sweet. first of all, Carnation needs to change their semi skimmed...to full fat, whole totally fresh milk..lets face it no worries about the waste with this recipe. Also you need to add 4 ounzes of butter, good quality salted. What ever you do don't through the whole bag of sugar in!

    Add milk butter and sugar together into a large good quality saucepan, turn heat to 1 or 2 max, the secret to this recipe is patience. and let the butter melt very slowly occasionally stirring while it does so, gradually over the space of 3hrs..yes this long.... the mixture will start to bubble away and turn slightly from a pale milky colour to something more golden... now you can add the carnation milk and turn heat up to four.... now you need to keep stirring this mix and if it starts to burn the pan, don't worry it will just give it an even nicer richer caramelised flavour, keep stirring and you may need to be it carefully with a whish... as it boils it will darken and become harder to sir until you run the spoon along the bottom of the pan the mixture will be delayed in returning so you can see the bottom of the pan, its nearly there now.... now as you stir you will see tiny bubbles appearing on the side of the pan as if the mixture is coming away from the sides...now its ready and take itand pour straight into the tray. If for any reason it doesn't set and is more like toffee put it back in the pan and heat it up again. hope this helps. I have found that no two batches are ever the same!
  • Amy_innes
    July 28, 2013
    Is the tablet supposed to go really hard when it is set

    Carnation says:
    Hi Amy, the tablet should be similar to fudge only crumblier. If it has gone hard and toffee-like it has probably reached too high a temperature when cooked. Next time you try it cook it till it starts to thicken and turns caramel brown.
  • astrid
    July 08, 2013
    I have made this recipe before and I normally use less sugar which works for me. Tonight I tried it using half butter, half coconut oil and used almond milk and 500g organic golden caster sugar, it set faster than any previous tries and has a slight hint of coconut and a bit more treacly because of the molasses content of the golden sugar. Nice but prefer using just butter and probably a more refined white sugar.

    Carnation says:
    Hi Donna, sounds like an interesting twist on a real favourite.
  • fingalcrom
    June 27, 2013
    Hi! Just made this for the first time and it worked perfectly. An important point that is not made clear in the recipe is NOT to stir the butter, milk and sugar stage. Let the sugar dissolve without stirring. Stirring at this stage results in a gritty tablet. I was taught this by my mum - who is an expert tablet maker! When you add the condensed milk, feel free to stir. Then once it has reached the soft ball stage (116C on a sugar thermometer or when it sets if you drop a small amount it into some cold water if you have no thermometer) take off the heat and beat with every last breath in your body! As soon as it starts to get stiff and wants to set, get it into the tin.
    Great recipe! The best!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Lisa, mum's always know the best tricks!
  • Libby
    June 27, 2013
    Hello Carnation,
    I have always made tablet with a small tin of evaporated milk with 2lbs sugar and a knob of butter, I don't think you can get the small tins anymore so I will try it with the condenced but what would be the weight of a small tin as I can't remember the love the site.Libby

    Carnation says:
    Hi Elizabeth condensed milk works a treat! The weight of the carntation tins are 397g. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!
  • Janey
    May 09, 2013
    Grrrrr! I made this exactly as it said but only boiled it for 10 mins as it was clearly going thick and grainy - I struggled to get it into the tin. It is not good - why has this happened? I need to make lots for our sons wedding - any idea what is wrong? Thanks

    Carnation says:
    Hi Jane, sorry to hear your tablet is misbehaving... Sounds like you might have got a few grains of sugar in the mixture which were not melted in the first stage. This has to be done really thoroughly to ensure you get the right end result. However tablet is more grainy and crumbly in texture than fudge - so perhaps better to follow our ultimate fudge recipe instead? Many congratulations to your son on his upcoming wedding!
  • simmy
    May 06, 2013
    Tried twice now with no luck. . .both times everything seems fine untill i take it off the heat and beat it, it turns into a big brain and sets really quickly in the pan so i cant pour it out and its full of air holes. HELP!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Lee, we wonder if it might be getting too hot - did you use a thermometer? Let it cool a little before you beat it - then beat gently until the mixture thickens.
  • chocolateeclare
    April 26, 2013
    i have made this recipe many times in the past but on recent occassions i cannot get it to set. Made it again tonight and i have a soft fudge instead of tablet and i cannot understand it, tastes lovely but wrong consistency.

    Carnation says:
    How odd Clare, sounds like you are semi professional at this recipe already! Did you test the temperature? Did you beat it until it turned thick and grainy towards the end? These factors should be the main reason why the texture would be different. Best of luck with the next batch!
  • MOB2B
    March 09, 2013
    Second failed attempt! After first one when the tablet didn't set (tasted fine though), I went out and bought a large Maslin pan and a sugar thermometer. This time the mixture started to burn as soon as it got over 110C, even though I was stirring all the time. The bottom of the pan was black. How do I get it hot enough to set but not so hot that it burns?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Hilary, was the pan non-stick? The only thing we can suggest is use a non-stick pan, keep stirring and gradually build the heat until it reaches temperature. So sorry its misbehaving - hope you can find a solution!
  • Anne
    February 22, 2013
    Maybe this is sacrilege but I plan to try adding cocoa to make a chocolate version. If you have any suggestions for me I'd love to hear them. Thank you!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Anne, we'd be intruiged to know what the cocoa would be like in this recipe - let the purists sneer we think it sounds delish! Our advice is to add it when melting the other ingredients. Or you could add melted chocolate instead at the end of the beating stage when its starting to set. Let us know how you get on!!!
  • fif
    January 25, 2013
    After many attempts at tablet I finally made two successful batches of tablet thanks to this recipe try it it works !!!!

    Carnation says:
    Well done Fiona! 2 batches eh? You'll be popular!
  • patchi
    January 24, 2013
    WHAT IS SEMI SKIMMED MILK?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Fazla, there are 3 different types of milk - whole (full fat), semi skimmed (half fat) and skimmed (lower fat). You can use whichever you like for this recipe - but we tend to use semi skimmed as it is the most commonly consumed in the UK.
  • Tasha
    January 22, 2013
    I have made this loads of times recently, but the last five times I have made it it won't set hard. Could the outside temp have anything to do with it as we are in the middle of a hot hot summer?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Natasha - can we come and stay?! Its pretty chilly where we are! We don't think the hot temperature will make a difference to the initial setting - have you checked the temperature of the mixture with a thermometer? This is usually what can guarantee setting. Aim for about 116C. However probably best to store in the fridge once made. Best of luck!
  • Sprog89
    December 21, 2012
    I want to make this but I only have whole milk.. will that do or will I have to go and buy some Semi-skimmed?

    Carnation says:
    , Hi Rachael, we haven't tried this in the Carnation Kitchen but I'm sure the whole milk will still work.
  • Janey
    December 20, 2012
    I have just made this recipe for the 3rd time, this time I didn't cook it as long and used a sugar thermometer - but it seems much more grainy than the other batches in spite of me adding the sugar slowly and boiling if for the full 4 mins.. I find that boiling for a further 20 mins is much too long - I reckon 11 mins is all it needs.

    Carnation says:
    , Hi Jane, there are 2 very important stages to get right when making tablet - the heating and the beating! The tablet mixture needs to get hot enough to set (about 116C) and then you need to beat it until it starts to go grainy and very thick. We find some have their own preferences and twists to our recipes which is great.
  • bigred
    December 20, 2012
    Can I use the caramel instead of condensed milk

    Carnation says:
    Hi Lorraine, we tend to stick to using condensed milk in this recipe and we haven't tested this in the Carnation kitchen.
  • Francesca
    December 16, 2012
    I have just made this for the second time, and its not worked out as great as the first time, it set really quickly without the 20 mins boiling, and I only beat for about 4-5 mins, and before I could get it into the pan, it had stuck and set in the saucepan! I managed to get it out, but its all bits.. I am sure it still tastes great though! But what did I do wrong?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Francesca, sounds like it might have got a little too hot. If you're a fudge or tablet fan best to get yourself a sugar thermometer then you can be sure it reaches the right temperature. Glad it still tastes great - sure it will be perfect again next time!
  • emzkeld2007
    December 02, 2012
    so easy to make and tastes great!
  • Juney66
    December 01, 2012
    I am waiting till the weekend before christmas to make mine. I made this and the peppermint creams last year for family and friends as i was unemployed and skint. Turned out to be the best presents ever, so will be doing same again this year. Going to try the fudge as well.

    Carnation says:
    Hi June! What a lovely idea! Happy cooking and Happy Christmas!
  • Janey
    November 30, 2012
    I have just made this recipe - it is perfect. I have made a lot of tablet in my love and cannot believe I have found one that was so easy and it worked perfectly - and on the plus, it is not sickly sweet. I will be saving this recipe and using it forever.
  • dee2105
    November 30, 2012
    obviously didn't get the 'heating and beating' right on this one -no set! can i melt it down and reheat and beat again?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Denise, yes you can - do this very gently in a non-stick pan for the melting and re-heating (helps if you have a sugar thermometer). Good luck!
  • Beany
    November 27, 2012
    This was my first attempt at tablet. It tastes sooo nice but I don't think I stirred it enough whilst it cooled cos it's really soft.
  • astrid
    November 21, 2012
    I just made this and it is perfect. I used less sugar though, just 650g and stirred continuously. It didn't burn or boil to the top either, though I used a 7ltr cast iron casserole. It tastes delicious and is pale and creamy, the way I like it...I grew up in Scotland and this is one of the Scottish foods I will always like, and aren't so available elsewhere...yet.
  • Caz
    November 13, 2012
    Perfect tablet first time but I did use a sugar thermometer which was only £3.99 and is shaped like a pen and clips to the side of the pan. Only question is (if it isn't all eaten today) how long will it keep?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Caroline, we would suggest keeping the fudge in an airtight box it should keep fine for about 3 weeks. Though it never lasts that long in the Carnation Kitchen!
  • Lisa
    November 11, 2012
    It's sooooo easy!
    Taste is super,friends are so jealous as wont tell them how easy it was,my little secret

    Carnation says:
    Hi Lisa, shhhh we won't tell! : )
  • Lindyloo
    November 10, 2012
    Made this today, perfection, the best tablet recipe and very easy to make. Can anyone tell me how long it will keep for?

    Carnation says:
    Hi Linda, we would suggest keeping the tablet in an airtight box it should keep fine for about 3 weeks. Though it never lasts that long in the Carnation Kitchen!
  • Todd
    November 09, 2012
    My first time making but didn't seem to thicken and I left it on for 30 mins and bet it for 10.... Good exercise for the flabby arms... Waiting for it to set so will see what happens!!!!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Dorothy, so whats the verdict?
  • Sue
    November 03, 2012
    I made this for the first time yesterday, it was really easy and tasted delicious! One tip, use a really big saucepan as it can boil over suddenly, as I found out, and it is extremely hot and I got a nasty burn on my finger.

    Carnation says:
     Hi Susan, so glad you liked the tablet – but do hope your finger is ok?! We do suggest a large pan but have now added an extra bit of guidance so hopefully others will take extra care when the mixture boils.  Thanks for your comment.
  • tweedledee
    October 25, 2012
    Tweedledee
    October 25 2012
    I made the tablet today ..just waiting for it to set ..very easy to make ..i have tried others with out success ..fingers crossed .

    Carnation says:
    Hi Carol, so how was it? We'd love to know!
  • DJ Paulo
    October 16, 2012
    Hi everyone. I've made this the same way for years so here are some tips. Constant stirring/scraping is a must to prevent burning. DON'T use 1kg of sugar use 900g, it really makes a difference. If you can resist the urge to eat it straight away it will be MUCH more delicious after 24 hours. I find it much less grainy and the flavour develops with time.
  • nanamaria
    October 14, 2012
    I use timer for each step when making this tablet, stirring regularly and boils at no3 perfect tablet both times xx
  • KandySkull
    October 11, 2012
    I used this recipe to make my very first attempt at tablet. It turned out awesome! Going to be making more!
  • hazelk2909
    October 06, 2012
    This is the first time i have ever made tablet and it is gorgeous and the best i have tasted. very easy to make

    Carnation says:
    Hi Hazel! Yipee for homemade - great for Christmas presents too! Oops did we mention Christmas already?!
  • fynona
    August 14, 2012
    Complete disaster. At step 2 my tablet had turned into a black burnt mess long before the 20 minutes were up. My pan and wooden spoon will never be the same again!

    Carnation says:
    Hi Fions, sorry to hear the tablet caught - it does need stirring regularly and cooking over a medium-high heat. If it starts to catch turn the heat down a little. You can also watch our fudge making video for a few more tips...http://www.carnation.co.uk/Pudcasts/Category/20/Sweets
  • Madkopite
    July 13, 2012
    I've had a few tablet disasters in my time, but have found one vital piece of information that will help! Always use cane sugar and don't use sugar obtained from sugar beet. Then your tablet will work!
  • cate
    June 03, 2012
    My tablet seems soft and ot crumbly what am I doing wrong

    Carnation says:
    Hi Catherine, there are 2 very important stages to get right when making tablet - the heating and the beating! The tablet mixture needs to get hot enought to set (about 116C) and then you need to beat it until it starts to go grainy and very thick. If your arm gets tired get some hired muscle! Or tip the mixture into a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer - soak the beaters in boiling water after.