Mark Greenaway recipe: Cranachan

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Cranachan is a Scottish dessert which was originally made with crowdie cheese, oats, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries.

More modern recipes have swapped the crowdie cheese for a simple whipped cream, although the recipe itself has remained much the same. Traditionally, the oats are toasted then soaked in whisky overnight, so I wouldn’t recommend having too much of this for lunch!

Some recipes involve serving the ingredients separately so that each person can alter the quantities to their taste, although I prefer serving it as Cranachan Mess with the addition of the meringue for texture. It is slightly similar to Eton Mess but made with Scottish raspberries and a good glug of whisky. Eton Mess was originally seen as a summer dish using in-season strawberries when they are at their best, but I think it should be enjoyed all year round!

Just swap out the fruit with whatever is in season at the time, so other suggestions might include rhubarb or even stewed plums with a little brown sugar. I find the Cranachan Mess is best served in a tall dessert glass, but you could also use a large wine glass or whatever you like really. There are a few different variations of the dish, but here is my favourite.


(Makes 4 large portions)

250mls double cream

80g caster sugar

One 200g punnet of Scottish raspberries

60g rolled oats

A good glug of your favourite whisky

One packet of meringues broken into shards or you could be brave and make your own


Add half the sugar to the oats and roast in your oven or under the grill until golden brown then leave to cool.

Add the rest of the sugar to the cream and whip to soft peak.

Add in the cooled oats and raspberries, reserving some of the raspberries for garnish and add as much whisky as you dare.

Gently fold all together and spoon into glasses.

Garnish the top with the rest of the fresh raspberries and crumbled meringue.