Traditional Scottish Cranachan Recipe

Joerg Beuge
Ratings (37)
  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
323 Calories
29g Fat
15g Carbs
3g Protein
(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 it is perfect for any celebration. Especially at Christmas, Hogmanay, and rounds off a Burns' Night Supper beautifully.

While this dessert is usually reserved for the aforementioned holidays, we feel that Scottish Cranachan is too good to save just for special occasions. We feel that with it's flavor profile it 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 raspberries in the store. Any raspberries will work with the wonderful ingredients in the Cranachan.


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

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat a large, heavy-based frying skillet on the stove until hot, but not burning.

  2. Add the pinhead 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.

  3.  Once toasted, remove immediately from the pan.

  4. Keeping a handful of the raspberries to one side, place the remaining 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.

  5. Alternatively, you can, if you wish, also simply crush the raspberries with a fork if you prefer, this will give you a more rustic-looking dish.

  6. In a large, clean bowl, whisk the cream and whisky to form firm peaks taking care not to over-whip.

  7. Finally, fold in the honey, if using, followed by the toasted oatmeal.

  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.

  9. Always finish with a layer of the cream and oatmeal.

  10. If you wish you can even sprinkle a little oatmeal on the top for decoration.

  11. Cover the bowl or individual glasses with clingfilm and chill for a minimum of one hour, or several if possible. (Note: the dessert does not keep more than several hours.)

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