Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert (Recipe for US Kitchens) (2024)

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Cranachan is a lovely Scottish dessert with oats, raspberries, cream and whisky. Perfect for a finishing flair at a Burns Night supper. Cranachan may be difficult to pronounce, but not difficult to enjoy!

If you live in North America, you have probably never heard of cranachan, a lovely Scottish dessert.

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Edited on June 10th, 2020: Today, on Good Morning America’s IGTV, Ginger Zee, and Sam Heughan, from Outlander, made my recipe for cranachan! I’m over the moon that they chose this recipe. You can find the video clip at the bottom of the post after the recipe card.

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What is Cranachan?

Cranachan is a quintessential Scottish concoction, because it combines so many ingredients that Scotland is known for: whisky, oats, heather honey and raspberries.

Another main ingredient is cream, and unfortunately for us in the US/Canada, our cranachan will never taste exactly the same as true Scottish cranachan. This mostly due to the differences in the raspberries and cream in this most renowned of Scottish desserts.

We can buy Scotch whisky with no problem, and steel cut/pinhead oats. Heather honey may be a bit more expensive, but there are many benefits when you support The Scottish Bee Company.You are using top quality honey which not only tastes fantastic, but goes to help save the bees and environment.

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Unfortunately, there is no way we can get our hands on anything close to the marvelous cream which Scottish cows produce, or the incredibly delicious Scottish raspberries, which everyone in the UK covets when they are in season. (North American raspberries are more sour, and less flavorful).

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Sam did an interview where he admitted that his most favorite dessert is mince pies, and I have that recipe, too! I know that this is something quite foreign for most Americans, but don’t be intimidated! They are truly easy to make and do taste delightful! I think Sam would definitely approve of these, too!

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On that note, after looking all around the internet and my Scottish and British cookbooks, I came up with a cranachan recipe just for us in North America, which takes into account the fact that our raspberries are just not up to par with those in Scotland. Adding sugar, honey and whisky to the crushed raspberries helps sweeten and flavor the little berries quite nicely.

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There’s nothing I can do about the cream, except to suggest you buy the best quality you can get your hands on. But don’t despair–this dessert will still have everyone begging for more!

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Cranachan for Burns Night dessert

January 25th is Burns Night, traditionally celebrating the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns (or Rabbie Burns). Haggis is served with a bagpiper piping and the haggis being paraded into the dining room. Then the poem, “Address to a Haggis” is recited, hopefully by someone from Scotland to get the proper pronunciation! Cranachan is a perfect ending to this traditional meal.

More Scottish Recipes

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I must add that in my research, I came upon a London based blog and it was “love at first site”! Please check out London Eats where you will find engaging writing, fabulous photography and more great recipes than you can shake a stick at. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the author is Scottish!

Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert (Recipe for US Kitchens) (10)

Scottish Cranachan

a recipe developed for North American ingredients makes 6 (5 oz servings)

FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW

Ingredients You Will Need

  • steel cut/pinhead oats
  • Scotch whisky
  • fresh raspberries
  • Scottish honey
  • sugar
  • heavy whipping cream

Special equipment: whisky glasses or dessert glasses

Prepare Ahead of Time

The night before you want to make the dessert, toast the first measure of oats in a cast iron or very heavy pan until very lightly browned- this won’t take long, so keep a close eye, as you don’t want burnt oats.

Put the oats in a bowl and cover with 1/3 cup (3 oz) of whisky.Cover and let stand overnight to soak.

The Next Day.

The following day, the oats will have absorbed all the whisky and look like this~

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When you are ready to make the cranachan, toast the second batch of oats, exactly the same as you did the first ones. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

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Now, choose a few choice raspberries to decorate the tops and set them aside.

Crush the rest of the raspberries in a bowl, with a spatula or fork. Sprinkle the raspberries with 2 teaspoons of sugar.

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Then add 1 tablespoon of Scottish honey.

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Lastly, add 1 tablespoon of whisky.

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Mix well and set aside.

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Whip the cream until it starts to thicken.

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Now add the other 2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of whisky. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.Next, fold in the whisky soaked oats.

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Assemble the Cranachan

At this point, we are ready to assemble the dessert. I would recommend doing this relatively close to serving time as the dessert will taste better fresh (if possible, don’t make it in the morning to serve for dinner).

Place a spoonful or two, to cover the bottom of the glass, of the raspberries, then add some of the cream mixture.

Next, sprinkle the cream with some of the toasted oats, then repeat the layers.

Finally, top the cranachan with the sprinkled oats and a raspberry or three.

Refrigerate until ready to eat, but take them out about 20 minutes before serving, for better flavor.

A Perfect Cranachan Specimen!

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Enjoy a wee bit of Scotland, and let me know what you think of one of the most traditional Scottish desserts!

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Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert (recipe for US kitchens)

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

A very traditional Scottish dessert made with oats, cream, whisky and raspberries. Very delicious, if you haven't already guessed!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (57 g) and 1/4 cup (43 g)steel cut/pinhead oats
  • 1/3 cup (78 ml) Scotch whisky
  • 2 cups (12 oz/340 g) fresh raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp Scotch whisky
  • 3 Tbsp Scottish honey
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups (473 ml) organic heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. The night before you want to make the dessert, toast 1/3 cup (57 g) of the oats in a cast iron or very heavy pan until very lightly browned- this won't take long, so keep a close eye, as you don't want burnt oats. Put the oats in a bowl and cover with 1/3 cup (3 oz) of whisky. Cover and let stand overnight to soak.
  2. When you are ready to make the Cranachan, toast the second batch of oats, exactly the same as you did the first ones. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Choose a few choice raspberries to decorate the tops and set them aside.
  4. Crush the rest of the raspberries in a bowl, with a spatula or fork, (just a bit, we're not making jam).
  5. Sprinkle the raspberries with 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of whisky. Mix well and set aside.
  6. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add the other 2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of whisky. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form, then fold in the whisky-soaked oats.
  7. At this point, we are ready to assemble the dessert. I would recommend doing this relatively close to serving time as the dessert will taste better fresh (if possible, don't make it in the morning to serve for dinner).
  8. Place a spoonful or two, to cover the bottom of the glass, of the raspberries, then add some of the cream mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the cream with some of the toasted oats, then repeat the layers. Finish with the sprinkled oats and top with a raspberry or three.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to eat, but take them out about 20 minutes before serving, for better flavor.

Notes

It's important to use good quality ingredients for this dessert to taste as it should. For example, Hamlyn's pinhead oats, The Scottish Bee Honey, Sam Heughan's The Sassenach whisky, organic heavy cream, and organic or homegrown raspberries :)

If you place an order through this link at The Scottish Grocer, use code CHRISTINASCUCINA for a 10% discount.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1 glass
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 116Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is only estimated.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review by clicking on the 5 stars above, in the purple header (a form will appear) or tag me on Instagram! 😍

Click below for the video:

Ginger Zee and Sam Heughan on IGTV Live, Good Morning America

LA Living…

you learn to deal with brush fires as a regular occurrence.

Christina’s Cucina is a Scottish Grocer USA affiliate and participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Cranachan, A Lovely Scottish Dessert (Recipe for US Kitchens) (2024)

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