A recipe for Cranachan! This Scottish dessert is made with layers of crushed raspberries and whipped cream flavored with Scotch whisky, toasted pinhead oats, and honey.
Disclaimer and Disclosure: This recipe contains alcohol. It is intended only for those over the age of 21 (in the United States). Please drink responsibly.
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We are in the middle of our big move from Northern Virginia to Los Angeles and while clearing out the pantry, I needed to make something to use up bits of remaining honey, whisky, and heavy cream.
My mind immediately went to the Cranachan recipe I saved from Caroline’s Cooking last year.
Cranachan is a Scottish dessert made with toasted pinhead oats, whipped cream, crushed raspberries, Scotch whisky, and honey.
This dessert comes together fairly easily, though I did come across a handful of ways to prepare it. I layered the raspberries and whipped cream for a nicer photo, but you can combine everything together right before serving instead of layering.
Crowdie (a soft Scottish fresh cheese) can also be mixed in with the whipped cream.
A Few Tips
According to Christina’s Cucina, North American raspberries are a bit more sour compared to their Scottish counterparts. To help bring out the flavor, I stirred in a large pinch of sugar to taste in addition to the honey and whisky.
Pinhead oats (also called steel-cut, coarse, or Irish) are created by cutting the groat into pieces instead of rolling it flat. They generally take longer to cook than instant or rolled oats, have a chewier texture, and are lower on the glycemic index.
They can be found in the oats section of many larger supermarkets and are also available on Amazon: Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats.
Be careful when toasting the oats. They go from toasty and fragrant to burnt quickly.
Looking for more Scottish recipes?
Scottish Cranachan Recipe
- 5 tablespoons pinhead oats divided
- 1/4 cup Scotch whisky divided
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup fresh raspberries divided
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey heather if possible, divided
To prepare the oats:
- Place a large, dry skillet over medium heat.
- Add the oats and cook, constantly stirring, just until toasted and fragrant. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Place 3 tablespoons of the toasted oats in a small bowl, cover with 2 1/2 tablespoons of the whisky, cover, and allow to soak overnight.
- Cover the remaining oats and set aside to use for garnish.
To prepare the raspberries:
- In a medium bowl, add 3/4 of the raspberries (set a few aside to decorate the top) and gently mash to break up and release some of the juice.
- If needed, sweeten with granulated sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of the honey, and 1/2 tablespoon of the whisky. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.
To prepare the cream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
- Beat in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon whisky until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold in the whisky-soaked oats from the night before.
- Place a spoonful of the raspberry mixture into the bottom of two serving glasses.
- Cover with a layer of the cream mixture and a small pinch of the set-aside toasted oats.
- Repeat with more raspberries followed by more cream, finishing with a layer of cream.
- Top with the remaining toasted oats and a couple of whole raspberries.
- Allow to chill, removing from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving and top with a final drizzle of additional honey.
- These are best within a few hours of being prepared.