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Cranachan: a traditional Scottish dessert

This simple treat offers hearty sustenance.

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries, particularly in the Scottish Highlands. The exact origins of the dessert are unclear, but it is thought to have evolved from a dish known as crowdie, which was a mixture of oatmeal, cream, and honey.

Over time, other ingredients such as whisky and berries were added to the dish, giving it the name Cranachan. Whisky was a particularly local ingredient, as it was readily available in the Highlands and was often used in cooking and baking.

Cranachan was traditionally served at special occasions such as weddings and festivals, and it was also popular among soldiers and hunters as a nourishing and energizing snack. In fact, it was often served to soldiers during the Jacobite Uprisings in the 18th century, as it provided them with much-needed sustenance on long marches.

Today, Cranachan is still a beloved Scottish dessert and is enjoyed by people all over the world. While the basic recipe has remained largely unchanged, variations with different fruits, nuts, and liqueurs have emerged over time, adding new dimensions to this classic dish.



  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons whisky (optional)



  • Toast the oats in a dry frying pan over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  • Fold in the toasted oats and honey, stirring gently to combine.
  • Add the whisky and stir to combine.
  • Layer the whipped cream mixture and fresh raspberries in dessert bowls or glasses.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Optional: Before serving, garnish with additional fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of toasted oats. Enjoy!

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