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Scottish Cranachan

If you're on a diet, then look away now! This traditional Scottish dessert is full of cream, raspberries, honey and oats. It has a generous dram of whisky too.

Scottish Cranachan

Scottish Cranachan

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert.

It is made with fresh Scottish raspberries, oats, cream and whisky. Not many ingredients and it's easy to make, but it's a really decadent dessert.

The fresh tangy raspberries are a great contrast to the boozy whisky, cream and oat filling.

Non-Alcoholic Cranachan

Cranachan is a boozy pudding, but it can be made non-alcoholic for children or those who don't want to eat something with alcohol.

Orange juice works well in the cream instead of whisky or you could just whip in some vanilla extract.

History of Cranachan

Raspberries are a traditional crop in Scotland. When the raspberry harvest was over there would be a feast of raspberries and cranachan would be made to make the most of the raspberries and local ingredients.

Cranachan is also known as Cream Crowdie and sometimes confused with an Atholl Brose, which is a drink with similar ingredients.

For more Scottish recipes have a look at my recipe index of Scottish Recipes for Vegans and Vegetarians

punnet of fresh raspberries


Scotland is famous for it's beautiful plump raspberries.

The climate is perfect for raspberries. We have the right type of soil, frost in the winter, long days of sunlight but not too hot in the summer and enough rain to keep them happy. 

Raspberries are very particular, don't you know?

England aren't so fortunate in growing the same quality of raspberries, so Scottish raspberries are transported down to Englamd. In the 1950s they were transported down in a steam train known as the Raspberry Special, but now they are driven down in lorries.

porridge oats


Oats are also a staple crop in Scotland. We use them in our porridge; in our fruit crumbles; we make oatcakes and flapjacks with them and we add them to bread.

Oats come in different forms from fine oatmeal to more coarse porridge oats and even bigger jumbo oats.

Porridge oats are the best type to use in cranachan as they have a bit of texture. They are lightly toasted before they are folded into the whisky and honey enriched whipped cream.

Recipes using Oats

You may be surprised at some of the recipes I use oats in. Here is a selection for you to try.

  1. Tomato Gnocchi Bake with Cheesy Oat Crumble
  2. Butternut, Red Pepper and Potato Pastry Plait
  3. Scottish Mushroom and Chestnut Pate
  4. Vegetarian Picnic Eggs
  5. Instant Veggie Haggis, Neeps and Tattie Burgers
  6. Veggie Haggis and Red Lentil Nut Loaf
  7. 10 Minute Spicy Bean Burgers
  8. Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
  9. Creamy Blueberry, Banana and Coconut Porridge
  10. Blueberry and Lemon Oaty Breakfast Bars
  11. Pineapple, Banana and Chocolate Flapjacks
  12. Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

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Scottish Cranachan - A recipe for Cranachan, a traditional Scottish dessert made with oats, raspberries, cream and whisky. Perfect for parties, as it can be made ahead or for Burns Night. #scottishcranachan #scottishrecipes #scottishdesserts #scottishpuddings #burnsnight #burnsnightrecipes #raspberryrecipes #raspberriesreipes #oatsrecipes #whiskyrecipes #dessert

whipped cream

Whipped Cream

The main filling of cranachan is flavoured whipped cream.

The cream needs to be fairly thick to hold the honey, whisky and oats, but don't over whisk it. Did you know if you keep whisking cream you end up with butter. Yep, don't overwhip it.

Vegan Whipped Cream

For a vegan cranachan, you can use stiffly whipped coconut cream instead of whipped dairy cream.

It's not so simple as pouring it out of a can and whipping. You need to put a can of good quality full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight.

Next day turn the can upside down to open it and pour the coconut water into a dish and set aside, this can be used in smoothies. 

Next scoop the thick coconut solids in a bowl, sweeten with some icing (confectioners) sugar and add a little vanilla extract and whip until thick.



Cranachan is traditionally sweetened with honey which would have been available locally. It adds to the flavour of cranachan, so don't substitute it with golden syrup or sugar, as the flavour will be different. Honey pairs so well with oats, raspberries and whisky.

Dairy-Free Sweetener

If you are making a dairy-free cranachan, you could use agave syrup instead of honey. The flavour won't be exactly the same, but it's a good option for dairy free cranachan.

glass of whisky


What can I say? Scots love a tipple and Whisky is our national drink, so of course it's added into desserts too.

As well as a boozy hit, it also adds a warm and flavour to the whipped, sweetened cream.

As I said before, for an alcohol-free version, you may substitute it with orange juice.

also try a Scottish Hot Toddy made with whisky

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Scottish Cranachan

Scottish Cranachan

A traditional Scottish dessert is full of cream, raspberries, honey and oats. It has a generous dram of whisky too. Can be tweaked to a vegan recipe.
prep time: 12 Mcook time: total time: 12 M


  • 500ml/2 cups double (heavy) cream (or whipped coconut cream, see notes)
  • 100g/1 cup porridge oats
  • 4 tbsp whisky
  • 3 tbsp honey (or 2 tbsp agave nectar)
  • 250g/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners sugar)


How to cook Scottish Cranachan

  1. Toast the oats in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, being careful not to burn them. Tip them onto a plate and leave to cool.
  2. Whizz up half the raspberries with the icing sugar.
  3. Whip up the cream, with the whisky and honey (or agave) until you have soft peaks. Then fold in most of the oats, but keep some aside for serving.
  4. Layer small glasses or dessert bowls with raspberry sauce, then carefully add the cream mixture. Sprinkle with oats and top with raspberries.
  5. Chill until you are ready to serve.
  6. Enjoy!


Vegan version of cranachan - pop a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Next day turn it upside down, open and pour out the liquid, which can be kept for smoothies or adding to your porridge. Whisk the solids with a some icing sugar to sweeten and 1 tsp vanilla extract until thick. Use in place of cream.

Coconut cream - I have had one fail with coconut milk, when I used a different brand from usual. Until you know which type works every time, pop two different brands in the fridge. If the first fails, the other hopefully we ill be ok.

Non-alcoholic cranachan - add orange juice instead of whisky to the cream. It's better with whisky, but sometimes you just need to remove it.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

The reason I said small glasses, is that it is very rich!
The wine glass I filled would have been enough for a family of four to sit down to for a week! Honestly!
For a lighter version, try folding in some natural yoghurt and serve it in a small glass!


  1. It does sound yummy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have plenty let to share Ruth! Pity you live so far away :(

  3. Holler, love the dessert's name, the ingredients (very Scottish) and the fact that it's NOT diet!

  4. I told myself I was NOT going to look at the picture..I lied..I want to jump in the bowl. I love raspberries and everything you put in this..whiskey!! I'm there!!

  5. When in Scotland do as the Scottish do...and I would dive into a bowl of this dessert too:D

  6. Oh,oh--I looked anyway! What an amazing dessert!

  7. small glass? small? What is the meaning of this strange word?

  8. I have always wanted to try Cranachen and after seeing your I want to even more so.

  9. Yum - something I have always wanted to try - looks gorgeous - and I like the suggestion of substituting yoghurt for cream - much more my thing

  10. Yum! I'd wondered what was in the stuff ... but more than that, I wonder how to pronounce its name. ;)

  11. What a pretty picture! The dessert sounds lovely.

  12. Finally, a Scot that writes about Cranachan! I made an ice cream version a few years back and it was just disgusting unfortunately. And I didn't like the one I had at Three Chimneys last summer either (which might have something to do with the smokey whisky in it), but isn't it three times a charm, I will possibly try this version then, because somehow, with these ingredients it should taste grand...:)

  13. I've never made cranachan myself - this looks delish

  14. I don't want to look away:-) This is gorgeous!

  15. Very, very not diet Peter :)

    I am glad you could not resist it Staci. That makes me feel very pleased!

    Maybe if the swimming pool is empty Val. Who knows, it may be good for the skin :)

    Thanks Rita :)

    He he! Got you Ricki :)

    You would soon find out if you tried it Cc :)

    Go for it Sylvie! I dare you! Try it (in a small glass, LOL)!

    You are way too good Johanna, but I bet it would be good with the yoghurt too!

    Now you are asking Davimack! I have had this discussion with a few people it is either cran -(like bran) ach (like bach)-kin or cran (like bran) ik (like tick) can! Who knows! If anybody does, they can tell me :)

    Thanks VV :)

    It will Pia! how disappointing about the ice cream and the three chimneys is supposed to be amazing!

    Thanks Beth :)

    You can keep looking Soma! You have my permission, he he :)

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  17. Luckily I am not on a diet, although I should be! That looks so rich and delicious.

  18. This sounds very interesting, I've never tried it before! I wish I had this during our Burns Supper :)

  19. Oh those rasberries look so enticing!! Love this creamy dessert!!! Looks delicious!

  20. At least you had a burns supper Lorraine, I still have a veggie haggis languishing in my fridge :)

    Thank you Aggie :)

  21. Oh, yum! A fruity oaty dessert sounds absolutely delicious!

  22. Definitely not on a diet and you are definitely speaking my language with a double cream dessert. Yum

  23. I've always heard about this dessert and seen recipes for it but have never tried this wonderful looking dessert! Yours looks really tempting.


  24. Wow, that sounds incredible! I could eat oats every meal of the day! I will have to give this one a try!

  25. Thanks Diann :)

    It is an occasional purchase I think Apples :)

    Thanks Maria :)

    Hi Sarena, thanks for visitng! Oats are always good to have on hand when you are making desserts or puddings :)

  26. Love the look of that dessert!

  27. Oh that does look good, I do like cranachan.

  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x