Known as the “King of Scottish Desserts”, Cranachan means “to stir” in Scottish Gaelic. This simple yet incredibly delicious dessert combines some of Scotland’s most treasured ingredients: delicious rich cream, toasted oats, Heather honey, fresh raspberries and, of course, Scottish whiskey. Despite the few ingredients, this dessert evokes the heart and soul of Scotland.
Once you learn how to make it, you’ll find it easy to whip up anytime you want something a little sweet.
What Does Cranachan Have To Do With Night Burns?
Originally made as a way to use Scotland’s raspberry harvest bonus in June, and rooted in a traditional Scottish breakfast known as crowdie, canachan, one of Scotland’s most popular desserts , is now a year-round favorite.
It also became a tradition to serve on one of Scotland’s favorite holidays: Burns Night. Burns Night, which falls on January 25, celebrates the birthday of Robert Burns, an 18th-century poet, storyteller, composer and citizen of Scotland. Bard His work continues to inspire people in Scotland and around the world 222 years later. In an interview, Bob Dylan even reported that Burn .’s poem ‘Red, Red Rose’ is his greatest inspiration of all time.
Celebrated by good companionship, Burns nocturnal traditions include the “Burns Supper” featuring haggis, neeps and tatties, listening to bagpipes, reciting Burns poetry as well as a variety of breads including “ Toast the Haggis”, “Toast to the Lassies” and a “Answer the Laddies.” The night ends on a sweet note with a traditional dessert like a canachan, but one thing’s for sure, there’s always plenty of Scotch whiskey available.
For a dessert with few ingredients, its flavors are sophisticated, delicious and evoke the heart and soul of Scotland.
If you want to celebrate Burns Night, but you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online resources to guide you. You can also make it a special night to spend with those you love, to express gratitude and cherish the work of the friends, family, people or communities you most admire. Our congratulations go directly to our heroes: the front lines and the essential workers who have helped us through the challenges of the past few years. Your courage and dedication has kept our world spinning. We thank you!
How to make Cranachan
Once you learn how to make this Scotch whiskey-infused dessert, you’ll find it easy to whip up and add your own special touches. Maybe prepare it for a friend or neighbor to show your appreciation.
Here are the Cranachan ingredients you’ll need:
Steel-cut oats (pinhead oats): The oats in this canachan recipe are soaked in Classic Laddie Whiskey from Bruichlddich (overnight is best but 4 hours will do) and then bake gently in the oven. You can bake in a pan, but the oven method produces a more even toast and is harder to burn. You must see them.
The result is a warm and crisp oat with lingering whiskey flavors that add a lovely contrasting texture to raspberries and cream. You don’t have to soak the oats and you can simply roast them, but for when serving guests at a Burns night party, soaking is the way to go. Rolled oats, popular in the US, are not traditional to cranachan, but there is no harm in using them.
Authentic Scotch Whiskey: Scots are very serious about their canachan, but they are even more serious about their whiskey. For this recipe only the Scottish variety will do. Using Classic Laddie from Bruichladdich produced off the west coast of Scotland, on the Hebridean island of Islay (pronounced “EYE-luh”), which is world famous for their Scotch whiskey.
Unlike most scotch whiskeys produced in Islay, Bruichladdich’s Classic Laddie is an unblend (smoke-free) style whiskey. Smooth and warm with toffee, malt, vanilla, oak, caramel, apple and berries, it’s also perfect for this recipe. Made with 100% Scottish barley and triple-distilled, The Classic Laddie’s beautiful natural caramel yellow color comes from maturing in a variety of casks, without the use of additives. Other distilleries can’t usually say the same.
Try this even if you think you don’t like Scotch. Classic Laddie is delicious and easy to drink for anyone starting to explore the world of Scotch whiskey. You might be surprised how lovely and drinkable it really is. It also makes the perfect drama to top your Burns Night toast!
In this recipe, Scotch whiskey is added to your whipped cream for some serious Scottish flavor. You can also soak oats in it before baking.
Heavy Cream and Mascarpone (optional): In Scotland, canachan is made with a cream called double cream, which has a fat content of 48%. Richer in taste and texture than the heavy cream available in the US, (fat content around 36-40%), we decided to add a bit of Mascarpone to our whipped cream to increase the richness and making it taste close to the original Scottish one. Adding Mascarpone is completely optional.
Warm honey: Traditionally Scottish canachan is made with Heather honey, which is used to sweeten ice cream
This dense, amber-red honey has a slightly bitter, pungent, and smoky caramel-like flavor and is produced by bees that pollinate heather, a low-growing flowering shrub native to from Europe, growing and developing all over Scotland.
In the United States, heather honey can be difficult to find, but there are online stores where you can order specials if you want to be completely authentic. You can substitute with dark amber honey or simply use whatever you have in your pantry.
Make sure the honey is warm before adding it to the whipped cream so the cream can blend easily.
Fresh raspberries: The raspberries in the cranchan are gently mashed and layered in the cream. Scottish raspberries, in season each June, are considered the finest in the world and prized for their large size and exceptionally sweet taste. They are also different from the more tart raspberries we get here in the states, so it’s best to add a little sugar or honey to sweeten them a bit after mashing, to recreate the natural flavor. course that you get with Scottish raspberries. Letting them stand gives the raspberries a chance to release their natural juices and make a beautiful dessert!
Get the Recipe!
Serve this super easy, delicious Scottish dessert made with cream, oats, raspberries, whiskey and honey at your next Burns Night dinner! Ice cream in Scotland, known as double cream, has a richer flavor and texture than close-ups, but is unlike the heavy cream available in the US due to its higher fat content. We’ve added a bit of Mascarpone to our whipped cream to give it extra richness and make it taste closer to the original Scottish. For this recipe only Scotch whiskey does! We recommend The Classic Laddie from Bruichladdich, mellow and warm with notes of toffee, malt, vanilla, oak and caramel. Don’t forget to add an extra drama for baking!
- 2 glass 12 oz fresh raspberries (can be frozen out of season)
- ½ Cup Steel cut oats also known as nail head oats, soaked in whiskey overnight
- ¼ Cup Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Scotch Whiskey
- 4 Tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 glass cream
- ½ Cup Mascarpone cheese optional
- shortbread optional
Chill your ice cream bowls and bowls: Place the whisk and bowl of the mixer in the refrigerator or freezer to cool. If you beat the eggs by hand, just chill the whisk.
Mash the raspberries: In a small bowl, mash the raspberries with a fork until you get a smooth puree, leaving the remaining raspberry flakes. Add honey or sugar to sweeten. Add more to taste if you like. Set aside.
Bake the oats: Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and spread the oats in a thin layer on a small baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes or until fragrant and they are light chestnut brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
Whip the cream: Once your bowl and whisk are well cooled, add the whipped cream to the bowl. Beat cream on medium-high speed until starting to thicken. Turn off the mixer. Scrape off the sides of the bowl, then add mascarpone (optional), scotch whiskey, and honey. Beat until completely combined and the cream holds a soft peak.
Assemble Cranachan: In a small jar, a tall glass or parfait dish begins to stack the ingredients. First, put some fresh raspberries in a glass. Top with whipped cream, toasted oats and raspberry puree. Repeat until the jar or glass is full. To serve, top with a final layer of cream, sprinkle with toasted oats and then garnish with a few fresh raspberries to complete. Place in the refrigerator or use immediately.
Alternative method: Place dessert ingredients on individual tables and allow guests to make their own however they want.
Serving Cranachan: Serve with shortbread and a can of whiskey or two. Interesting!
Visit Bruichladdich to learn more about The Classic Lady and how it was made, their great history, their people and their passion for Scotch whiskey.