recipe

Cranachan: the delicious recipe for a traditional Scottish layered dessert

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist
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Ingredients
steel-cut oats
1/3 cup
pinhead oats
1/4 cup
scotch whiskey
1/3 cup
fresh raspberries
2 cups
extra scotch whiskey
3 tbsp
Honey
3 tbsp
Sugar
2 tsp
heavy whipping cream
2 cups

Cranachan is a fantastic traditional no-bake Scottish dessert that is sure to delight the taste buds. This tantalizing layered dessert is made from raspberries, Scotch-soaked oats, honey, and rich whipped cream.

It's perfectly sweet, light, and a wonderful treat to serve when you're entertaining guests, especially because it's so easy to make!

You'll need to soak the oats in whisky overnight, but other than that simple step, you can whip up cranachan in no time. If you're in the mood for a wonderful, light dessert that is focused on simple, high-quality ingredients, cranachan is perfect for you!

What is Cranachan?

Cranachan (pronounced cran-ach-an) is a traditional Scottish dessert. The name comes from the Scots Gaelic word “to churn.” Like a trifle, it's a layered dessert that's made with cream and fruit. Cranachan also features classic Scottish ingredients like oats and whisky.

It's sweetened with honey and sugar. Cranachan is enjoyed all year round, but it's especially popular during the summer when raspberries are in season, as well as around Christmas and Burn's Night on January 25th. Traditionally, it was made as a celebration of the harvest.

How to Make Cranachan

Cranachan is phenomenally easy to make, but you'll need to plan ahead slightly to give the oats time to soak in the Scotch. To make cranachan, start by lightly toasting the steel-cut oats – make sure not to burn them! Pour them into a bowl then stir in the Scotch. Cover and leave the oats overnight.

The next day, toast the pinhead oats. Let them cool. Mash the raspberries, then add the sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 tablespoon of Scotch to the raspberries. Stir and set aside. Beat the whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add in the honey and whisky and keep beating it until stiff peaks form. Fold the Scotch-soaked oats into the whipped cream.

To assemble the cranachan, layer a few spoonfuls of the raspberry mixture on the bottom of the serving glass. Top it with whipped cream then sprinkle the whipped cream with toasted oats, repeating until the glass is full. Garnish with reserved raspberries. Keep chilled until you're ready to serve, and enjoy!

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Can You Make Cranachan Ahead of Time? 

It's best to assemble your cranachan close to the time you're planning on serving it, however, you can make it up to one day in advance.

Tips for the Best Scottish Cranachan

Be mindful not to burn the oats when you're toasting them. It won't take long for them to turn brown in the skillet.

For an extra sweet, rich-tasting cranachan, use brown sugar or muscovado sugar instead of white sugar.

You can swap out raspberries for blackberries or blueberries or do a mixture of all three.

You can use Drambuie instead of Scotch for a tasty twist on a classic cranachan.

If you don't want to use alcohol, substitute it for orange or apple juice.

How to Store Cranachan

Cover your cranachan and place it in the fridge. Enjoy it within one day.

Instructions

Toast 1/3 cup of steel-cut oats in a cast-iron pan until light brown.

Place the oats in a bowl with 1/3 cup of Scotch. Cover with cling film and leave overnight.

Toast ¼ cup pinhead oats in a cast-iron pan until light brown.

Take the skillet off the heat and leave the oats to cool.

Set a few raspberries to the side to garnish your cranachan later.

Smash the remaining raspberries, then add the sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 tablespoon of Scotch to the raspberries. Stir and set aside.

Beat the whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Beat honey and whisky into the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.

Fold the Scotch-soaked oats into the whipped cream.

Place a few spoonfuls of the raspberry mixture on the bottom of the serving glass. Layer with whipped cream.

Sprinkle the whipped cream with toasted oats, repeating until the glass is full.

Garnish with reserved raspberries. Keep chilled until you're ready to serve.

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