Scottish Cranachan with Raspberries and Oats

Scottish Cranachan with Raspberries & Oats

Growing up, I was fascinated by Scottish culture: The Highland Games, tartans, traditions, and so much more. I heard stories about my Great-Great-Grandma McKay from Scotland, who immigrated to the US with all her Scottish heritage and history. I learned about the Clan McKay of Cape Wrath in the Highlands and the resilient people who still live there through harsh and unrelenting conditions.
The traditional foods of Scotland tend to be beautifully rustic, hearty and filling. They are full of the flavors of the earth and many utilize the deep and complex flavors of Scotch whisky. Cranachan (Kran-uh-ken) is a layered dessert that combines the nutty flavors of toasted oats with the lightness of whipped cream, the tart flavor of raspberries, and the warmth of honey and whisky. It’s all the things you’d hope for in a simple dessert.
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time15 mins
Prepare Oats and Berries the Night Before15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: European, Scottish
Keyword: Baking, Berries, Oats, Raspberries, Whiskey, Whisky
Author: Brittany Kulland


  • Cup Steel Cut oats split
  • ⅓+¼ Cup single malt Scotch whisky use something you'll enjoy, we use Glenlivet 12
  • ½ Cup hazelnuts
  • 3 Cups fresh raspberries
  • 4 Tbs honey split
  • 3 Tbs sugar split
  • 2 Cups heavy whipping cream


Prepare in Advance

  • The night before you want to serve, toast ⅓ C of the steel cut oats in a dry pan over medium heat till they smell nutty. Don’t allow them to scorch! Allow to cool. Place in a bowl and cover with ⅓ C of whisky. Cover and allow to sit overnight.
  • In a separate container, mash 2 C of the raspberries with a fork. You’re not trying to puree them, a few larger chunks are okay here. Mix in 1 Tbs of sugar and 2 Tbs of whisky. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the berries to macerate.

Day of Service

  • Toast hazelnuts until they just begin to brown. Remover from heat and wrap in a tea towel to steam for about 5 minutes. Rub them between your hands in the towel to remove the skins. Allow to cool completely, then roughly chop them.
  • Toast remaining ⅓ C of steel cut oats. Allow to cool, combine with the chopped hazelnuts and set aside.
  • Combine the whipping cream with remaining 2 Tbs of whisky and 2 Tbs honey, and whip to soft peaks. Drain any liquid from the oats that has not soaked in, and fold the oats into the whipped cream.

To Assemble & Serve

  • In individual glasses or ramekins, build your layers. Start with a layer of toasted oats and hazelnuts, then a layer of whipped cream, then raspberries, and repeat to fill the containers.
  • Drizzle with the remaining honey and top with fresh raspberries.