Cranachan Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger

Cranachan is a Scottish layered dessert made with whipped cream, raspberries, oats and Scottish whiskey. It’s a lovely way to end the day.

The Scottish love their Scotch so much, that they took to using it in two areas of this dessert and it works very well. The recipe is started the night before by soaking the oats overnight in Scotch (that would make for quite a breakfast). Raspberries are mashed and sweetened with sugar and whipped cream is sweetened with honey and spiked with Scotch.

Cranachan Photo

These 3 components are then layered in a glass bowl (for a pretty presentation) then served. Speaking of breakfast, this dessert really would make a lovely morning meal, but the very crunchy oats would need to be soaked in something other than Scotch, or they could be cooked.

Cranachan Picture

Cranachan (pronounced kran-e-ken, a Gaelic word) is lovely use of seasonal berries and a popular summer dessert. When it comes to the ingredients, steel cut oats must be used because of the texture and they absorb the whiskey perfectly.

Cranachan Image

The recipe has been adapted over the years since its inception in the 18th Century. It was originally made with crowdie, which is a soft Scottish cheese that is mixed with the cream, but now only cream is usually used as I’m sure it is next to impossible to find crowdie outside of Scotland.

Cranachan Pic

This is a classic Scottish dessert and is just one of many dishes served on Burns Night, each January. Burns Night is a Scottish celebration that can range from informal to huge formal evens to celebrate the life and work of poet Robert Burns.   

File 1 Cranachan

As easy as Cranachan is to make, because of its presentation, it is good enough to serve for dinner parties and I have even served it at Christmas given its festive colors. But don’t just save this delicious dessert for special occasions, enjoy it in the summer for a nice cooling treat. Who doesn’t love a delicious, boozy dessert?

File 2 Cranachan

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Cranachan Recipe

      6 Servings


  • 1/3 cup Steel Cut Oats
  • 3 tablespoons Scotch Whiskey, divided
  • 12 ounces Fresh Raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Honey


  1. Add the oats to a large sauté pan and toast over medium heat, stirring often until they smell nutty. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl with a lid. Mix in 2 tablespoons of whiskey, cover and allow to soak overnight.
  2. Add the raspberries to a small pan along with the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon water over medium low heat.
  3. Mash the raspberries a with a spoon and cook until the sugar dissolves and it resembles a chunky sauce.
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.
  5. Whip the cream, honey and remaining whiskey using a stand or hand mixer until it forms stiff peaks.
  6. Using a glass bowl or glass tumbler, add a layer of raspberries to the bottom of the bowl. Top with cream, then sprinkle with oats. Repeat the layers until the bowl is full.


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Related Recipes:
British Recipes, Berry Recipes, Fruit Recipes, Summer Recipes, Easy Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Oat Recipes, Raspberry Recipes, Boozy Dessert Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 740 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 77
Calories 180

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g
  Saturated Fat 0g
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 16g
  Dietary Fiber 3g
  Sugars 6g
Protein 2g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!

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