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Scottish Oaty Cranachan with Strawberries

A traditional Scottish dessert made with lightly toasted oats, cream, whisky and berries. Pronounced cran-i-kin.

Scottish Oaty Cranachan with Strawberries

Scottish Oaty Cranachan with Strawberries

We Scots love our oats and this Scottish Oaty Cranachan is a good example of how fabulous oats can be.

I know you probably use them to make the occasional bowl of porridge but do consider them when making dessert too.

What is cranachan?

First of all let me help you pronounce it, here we go, cran-i-kin.

Cranachan is an old Scottish dessert that was originally called cream crowdie and was traditionally served at harvest time.

It was made with crowdie cheese, a creamy cheese which was mixed with cream and oats and a little bit of honey to sweeten it.

When raspberries were in season they would be added and if a crofter was feeling flush he would add a spot of whisky.

Try - Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes (vegetarian and vegan recipes)

Scottish Oaty Cranachan  in a glass dessert bowl, topped with strawberries

Crananchan made with strawberries?

You really can't beat the flavour of Scottish berries and I usually make cranachan with Scottish raspberries, but this time I decided to try it with strawberries for a change and it was rather wonderful.

I filled the dessert glasses with some pureed strawberries, then topped the puree with a glorious mixture of whipped cream mixed with lightly toasted oats and whisky, sweetened with a little maple syrup.

I finished off the desserts with some squirty cream I happened to have in the fridge, some fresh strawberries and a sprinkle of finely grated lemon peel.

Cranachan is usually made with honey, but the maple syrup worked really well.

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


Vegan Cranachan

I've not tried it yet but I plan to make a vegan version of this.

I'm thinking that coconut cream would work well instead of double cream.

The kind you make by chilling a tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, pouring out coconut water (keeping it for smoothies), then whipping up the solids until thick and creamy.

I think it will be rather lush. I'll report back once I've tried it.

Close up of Scottish Oaty Cranachan

Scottish Oats

I said we love our oats.

You really would not believe how much we love oats and how many dishes they are used in.

Oats have always been a basic crop here in Scotland and a cheap way of bulking out dishes.

Porridge oats in a patterned white bowl

16 Uses for Porridge Oats

  1. Porridge
  2. Oaty Breakfast Bars
  3. Overnight Oats
  4. Oaty Flapjacks
  5. Cookies
  6. Picnic Eggs
  7. Bean Burgers
  8. Savoury Oaty Topping
  9. Nut Loaf
  10. Veggie Sausage Rolls
  11. Bean Pate
  12. Homemade Sausages
  13. Oatcakes
  14. Cake
  15. Fruit Crumble
  16. Smoothies

also try a Scottish Hot Toddy made with whisky

cranachan, dessert, strawberry dessert, Scottish dessert
Scottish, vegetarian
Yield: 4-6 (depending on size of glass)

Scottish Oaty Cranachan with Strawberries

Scottish Oaty Cranachan with Strawberries

A traditional Scottish dessert made with lightly toasted oats, cream, whisky and berries.
Prep time: 10 MCook time: 5 MTotal time: 15 M


  • 400g/14 oz strawberries
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 55g/½ cup porridge oats
  • 300ml/3 cups double (heavy) cream
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp whisky


  1. Whizz up most of the strawberries with the icing sugar to make a puree. Reserve a few to serve.
  2. Lightly toast the oats in a frying pan for a few minutes, being careful not to burn them. Tip them onto a plate and leave them to cool.
  3. Whisk the cream, with the whisky and maple syrup until you have soft peaks. Then fold in most of the oats, but keep some aside for serving.
  4. Layer small glasses with strawberry puree, then carefully add the cream mixture. Sprinkle with oats and top with strawberries. You can add a swirl of whipped cream and some grated lemon peel as a garnish, but this is optional. Chill until ready to serve.
  5. Enjoy!


This is traditionally made with raspberries.
If you don't want to add whisky you could add orange juice instead.
Best served fresh. You could make the oat and cream base the day before in glasses, then top up with cream and strawberries on the day.
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. I love the sound of this dessert -- and the name. I said it three times out loud just to hear what it sounded like! Love the whiskey, too -- it makes it a grown-up treat!

    1. Haha, it is a rather good word. You really need to hear it said by a Scot. I do hope you try it.

  2. This looks interesting, definitely worth trying! :)

  3. We love our oats too - I start to worry if they aren't there are the supermarket! your cranachan looks very posh and I am sure it tastes great with scottish strawberries (which are a cut above ours).

    I like the sound of the creamy cheese and cream rather than just cream - which sounds a bit more like a simple cheesecake - could you do a vegan one with a mix of a vegan cream cheese and some coconut cream or is the creamy cheese different from a cream cheese.

    1. I don't think I would make it with cream cheese. You are right that is more like a cheesecake filling and a very old recipe. I thinking whipped cream or whipped coconut cream with the oats and whisky is enough.

  4. A perfect and easy recipe for strawberry season. YUM!

  5. Mmmm yum! I do love a good Cranachan me, and I love the idea of having it with coconut cream too!

    1. I really hope it will hold the whisky. I've added a little lemon juice to whisked coconut cream before and that was fine.

  6. Mmmmm, that looks sooooo good! thanks for including the pronunciation too. Now I know I'm saying it correctly when i tell all my friends!

  7. Love the idea of a strawberry Cranachan. I use oats in pretty much everything and have a huge container full of oat flour which I have to top up every week. They are such a fantastic food. x

    1. I don't use oat flour, but I do like you get through lots of oats.

  8. That sounds like a must make summer treat! Love anything with strawberries :)

  9. Oh yes! I think a vegan version with coconut whipped cream would be amazing. I love the whisky addition. I am all over that!

    1. I'll let you know if I try it and it works well.

  10. Never heard of Cranachan, but it sounds absolutely delish! I love oats and use them in everything from breakfasts, desserts, baking and savoury dishes. I basically try to use them in the place of plain flour. Oats are incredibly versatile!

  11. I think this would be equally fab with coconut cream, though I think you can't beat cream. It whips so perfectly! I've only had cranachan a few times before, must be inspired to make it again!

    1. Yes, although I am hoping the coconut cream will work well too. Time will tell.

  12. I'm sure I've got a bit of Scotland in my blood somewhere. It's certainly in my heart and I adore oats and cranachan. Your strawberry version looks so decadent and delicious, I'm very much wishing I had a glass in front of me :)

  13. I can't wait to hear about the vegan version of this! I'm sure with coconut milk it will be awesome

  14. This looks so delicious. I love the inclusion of some maple syrup too.


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