Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Scottish cranachan with a wee twist

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 6-8
Dietary Vegetarian
From The Incredible Spice Men
Originally, the traditional Scottish cranachan celebrated the harvest, but now it is enjoyed year-round. There are many variations, but in all of them the trick is the slow toasting of the oatmeal; this is then mixed into the dish at the last minute so that its texture is retained. The quantities given here for the cardamom honey make a full jar, much more than you need for this amount of cranachan, but it will keep indefinitely; it is great over granola and in coffee.


  1. To make the cardamom honey, crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar to separate the dry pods from the seeds. Discard the husks. Toast the seeds in a dry pan to release their oils so they become aromatic.

  2. Pour half of the honey into a pan and add the crushed and toasted cardamom seeds. Gently heat through until the honey has become more liquid and starts to bubble at the edges; if you have a probe thermometer, the temperature should be 75C/165F. Remove from the heat and pour the flavoured honey back into the jar with the remaining honey. Stir gently, and leave to cool, uncovered. When cool, put on the lid and ideally store for 24 hours before using.

  3. To make the cranachan, heat a heavy-bottomed pan and toast the oatmeal over a lowish heat, stirring occasionally, until it smells warm and nutty and has changed colour. This will take 10-15 minutes, sometimes as long as 20 minutes. Leave to cool.

  4. In a bowl, crush half of the raspberries to make a rough mash. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream with the honey, whisky and rosewater until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed, then fold in the crushed raspberries.

  5. Fold in the toasted oatmeal and two-thirds of the remaining whole raspberries. Adjust the honey and rose water to taste. Spoon the cranachan into small glasses, and garnish with the remaining raspberries and some rose petals, if using. Drizzle with a wee bit more of the cardamom honey and serve.


For the cardamom honey

  • 1 x 250g/9oz jar clear honey
  • 20 cardamom pods, seeds only, finely ground

For the cranachan

  • 40g/1½oz medium or coarse oatmeal
  • 200g/7oz raspberries
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream
  • 2 tbsp cardamom honey (from above), or to taste
  • 3 tbsp malt whisky
  • ½-1 tsp rosewater, or to taste
  • rose petals, to garnish (optional)

Shopping List

Scottish cranachan with a wee twist

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled


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