Traditional Scottish Cranachan Recipe

Scottish Cranachan

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
323 Calories
29g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 323
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 18g 92%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 22mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 3g
Calcium 63mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Scotland has a wonderful relationship with desserts and none more so, or more traditional, than with a dish of Scottish cranachan. You will sometimes hear the dessert called 'crowdie,' as the cheese of the same name was sometimes used instead of the whipped cream.

A traditional Scottish cranachan is a very quick, easy recipe and is also a very festive recipe so is perfect for any celebration and especially at Christmas and Hogmanay, and rounds off a Burns' Night supper beautifully.

However, Scottish cranachan is too good to save just for special occasions and is especially good in the summer, making the most of the delicious fresh Scottish raspberries which gives a truly authentic touch. But don't worry if you can't find Scottish, any raspberries will work with the wonderful ingredients in the cranachan as it tastes good anyway.


  • 2 ounces/55 grams steel-cut oatmeal (or pinhead oatmeal)
  • 8 ounces/250 grams fresh raspberries (Scottish if possible)
  • 1 pint /475 milliliters heavy cream (or double cream)
  • 3 tablespoon malt whisky (good quality)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon honey Scottish honey (plus more, to serve)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Scottish Cranachan
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  2. Heat a large, heavy-based frying skillet on the stove until hot, but not burning.

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  3. Add the oats and continually stirring, toast the oats until they have a light, nutty smell and are only just beginning to change color. Do not leave the oats unattended as the oatmeal can quickly burn, so they will need constant attention. Once toasted, remove immediately from the pan.

    Oats in skillet
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  4. Keeping a handful of the raspberries to one side, place the remainder into a food processor and whiz once or twice to create a thick purée. Do not over blend. It's okay if there are a few bigger lumps of fruits.

    Raspberry puree in food processor
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  5. Alternatively, you can simply crush the raspberries with a fork, if you prefer. This will give you a more rustic-looking dish.

    Raspberries crushed with a fork
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  6. In a large, clean bowl, whisk the cream and whisky to form firm peaks. Take care not to over whip.

    Cream and whiskey in a bowl
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  7. Finally, fold in the honey (if using), followed by the toasted oatmeal.

    Cream and oatmeal mixture in bowl
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  8. In either a large glass trifle bowl or into individual serving glasses, layer the dessert. You can start with a layer of the cream or raspberries; it is up to you. Always finish with a layer of the cream and oatmeal. If you wish you can even sprinkle a little oatmeal on the top for decoration.

    Cream and oatmeal mixture in bowl
    The Spruce 
  9. Cover the bowl or glasses with clingfilm and chill for a minimum of one hour. 

  10. To serve the cranachan, drizzle over a little extra honey (optional) and if you fancy, a piece or two of Scottish Shortbread.

    Scottish cranachan and honey
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  11. Serve and enjoy!


  • The dessert does not keep more than several hours. However, as you can see, this is very quick easy recipe, so no need to make too far in advance. 
  • If serving a younger crowd, feel free to leave out the whisky.