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Tart and Creamy Scottish Cranachan Recipe

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Treat loved ones to a rich, hearty, and creamy dish that oozes Scottish charm with my cranachan recipe, which brings to life this historic dish in no time at all from the comfort of your home kitchen.

Cranachan Recipe

Cranachan has been the pride of Scotland for generations, and this beloved dessert combines some of the country’s most iconic foods in a meld of rich, sweet, and creamy flavors.

What is Cranachan?

Traditionally a celebration of the tart, juicy raspberries that grew throughout the country and were harvested in the summer, today cranachan continues to be loved by Scots from all walks of life.

The modern cranachan is a dish of layers of whipped cream, mixed with Scotch whisky and Scottish heather honey, fresh raspberries, and toasted Scottish oats, topped and garnished with the likes of fresh raspberries and honey.

The dish, both classic and modern takes, however, has taken on several different variations, as we’ll discover in the next section.

Variations / Serving Suggestions

Crowdie Cheese – Traditionally, local crowdie cheese was used instead of, or later on with, whipped cream. We’ve opted for the modern whipped cream recipe, but for a purely authentic cranachan, crowdie cheese should be used.

Heather Honey – Traditionally, local heather honey was used. If you can’t source this, however, use another type of honey.

Raisins – Some modern versions use raisins, sometimes soaked in whisky, instead of fresh raspberries. This is especially during months of the year when raspberries are not in season.

Shortbread Round Base – Shortbread, another beloved Scottish food, can be used in modern variations of cranachan. Shortbread can be crushed in a round base, on which the dessert can then be layered.

Other ModificationsSpiced rum, which is mixed in with the whipped cream and layered on a shortbread base, chocolate, and orange cranachan are some of the several modern takes on this Scottish classic.

Serving Glass – While I have used a shorter, wider-base glass to serve my cranachan, you will often see tall glasses used to serve it in.

Ingredients

To make my cranachan recipe, you’ll first need to assemble the following ingredients:

  • Scottish Oats – 1/3 cup (6 tbsp) Scottish oats
  • Scotch Whisky – 3 tbsp Scotch whisky
  • Honey – 3 tbsp Scottish honey
  • Double Cream (Heavy Cream) – 1 cup heavy cream/double cream
  • Raspberries – 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Salt -pinch of salt

Note: This recipe makes about 2 portions.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Toast the oats in a pan over medium heat, tossing and stirring them, until they are lightly toasted. Set them aside to cool off.

Step 2 – In a large bowl, add the cream and a pinch of salt and beat the cream with a hand mixer until you get soft peaks. You could also use a whisk, but it will take you longer.

Make sure both the cream and the bowl are cold before you start whipping the cream.

Step 3 – Add 2 tbsp of whisky and 1 tbsp of honey and mix for a few seconds to combine and bring back to soft peaks.

Step 4 – Set aside 6 raspberries (for garnishing) and take the rest of the raspberries and add 1 tbsp of whisky and 1 tbsp of honey to them and mash them with a fork.

Step 5 – Assemble the cranachan in glasses or small serving bowls. Layer in the cream, then a layer of mashed raspberries, then a layer of oats, and then repeat the layers.

Step 6 – Top with some fresh raspberries. Finish with a drizzle of honey for a dessert that oozes Scottish-infused creamy goodness.

Great for any time of day, but especially a sweet and creamy dessert following dinner, cranachan brings friends, family, and loved ones together, Scottish-style!

Cranachan Recipe Card

Yield: 2

Cranachan

Cranachan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (6 tbsp) Scottish oats
  • 3 tbsp Scotch whisky
  • 3 tbsp Scottish honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream/double cream
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Toast the oats in a pan over medium heat, tossing and stirring them, until they are lightly toasted. Set them aside to cool off.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cream and a pinch of salt, and beat the cream with a hand mixer until you get soft peaks. You could also use a whisk, but it will take you longer. Make sure both the cream and the bowl are cold before you start whipping the cream.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of whisky and 1 tbsp of honey and mix for a few seconds to combine and bring back to soft peaks.
  4. Set aside 6 raspberries (for garnishing) and take the rest of the raspberries and add 1 tbsp of whisky and 1 tbsp of honey to them and mash them with a fork.
  5. Assemble the cranachan in glasses or small serving bowls. Layer in the cream, then a layer of mashed raspberries, then a layer of oats, and then repeat the layers.
  6. Top with some fresh raspberries. Finish with a drizzle of honey for a dessert that oozes Scottish-infused creamy goodness.

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Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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