Cranachan, the King of Scottish Desserts

Some articles on this site contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to yourself. This helps towards the upkeep of this website for which I am very grateful.

Sharing is caring!

The Scottish are well-known for their love of whisky. But whisky is not just for drinking. Scots try to incorporate it into their cooking too, pouring it over haggis, marinating salmon, adding it to marmalade, cakes and desserts. The King of Scottish desserts is Cranachan.

Prepared using beautiful Scottish produce, Cranachan combines heather honey, raspberries, cream and oats with whisky to produce a rich creamy dessert which is also quite light, and definitely moreish.

The ingredients for Cranachan including fresh raspberries, cream, honey, toasted oats and whisky
The ingredients for Cranachan

Cranachan is based on the old Scottish breakfast of crowdie which was made with oats and crowdie cheese – a type of Scottish soft curd cheese using skimmed cow’s milk. To celebrate the harvests in June in Scotland, when the raspberries were at their best, the crowdie was embellished with raspberries and honey.

Cranachan is now served all year round and is particularly popular after a heavy meal like haggis or a Burns Supper in January but is equally delicious in the summer when Scottish raspberries are plentiful.

The recipe for Cranachan is very simple to make, but variations have replaced the raspberries with orange, mixed berries or other fruits adding chocolate and even replacing the whisky for rum and introducing raisins. This for purists, is almost sacrilegious.


Delicious creamy dessert with honey, whisky, raspberries and toasted oats
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Servings 4 servings


  • grill
  • sieve
  • whisk


  • 2 tbsp medium oatmeal
  • 300 grams raspberries preferably Scottish
  • 1 tsp caster sugar to taste
  • 350 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp honey preferably heather honey
  • 2-3 tbsp whisky to taste


  • Spread the oatmeal out on a baking tray and place under the grill. Toast until golden brown and has a right nutty smell. Set aside to cool.
  • Crush the raspberries and pass through a sieve until you have as much pureé out but leave behind the pips. Slowly sweeten with the caster sugar to taste
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the double cream until it starts to thicken. Gently stir in the honey and the whisky. Taste and add more of either if needed. Don't over whip.
  • Once the oatmeal is cooled, stir in the oatmeal. The mixture should be quite stiff and if not whisk it lightly.
  • Divide the between the 4 serving dishing, alternating the cream with the pureé and remaining raspberries. Pop in the fridge to chill before serving.


Try one of these toppings for an extra treat:
  • a swirl of rose syrup
  • some toasted seeds – a mix of pumpkin, sesame, golden flax, sunflower and chia
  • a sprinkling of crushed nuts
  • toasted desiccated coconut
Keyword cream, vegetarian, whisky

I hope you enjoy making Cranachan and if you have any questions or wish to share any tips of your own cranachan cooking, please comment below!

Don’t forget to pin this article so you can come back to it later!

One thought on “Cranachan, the King of Scottish Desserts

  1. […] only five ingredients Cranachan is a sweet creamy Scottish dessert with a warming alcohol hit that is very […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating