Raspberry cranachan trifle, the national dish of Scotland!

I love to drink whisky, but I also love to cook with the drink too. And I don’t mean ‘drink while cooking’, although that is good as well!

Forget haggis, neeps and tatties, for me cranachan wins every time.

The word ‘cranachan’ comes from the Gaelic word, meaning ‘churn’. Originally, the dish was made to celebrate the harvest of raspberries in June/July. I think ‘churn’ is an appropriate description for this fine dish.

This is one of my favourite recipes, a very traditional Scottish dessert made with cream, fruit and oatmeal. The raspberry cranachan trifle is a lovely dessert for the summer months.

Here are the ingredients (makes enough for six people):

  • 900ml double cream
  • 250ml mascarpone
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp Scottish whisky (a single malt is best)
  • 1kg frozen raspberries, defrosted (Scottish raspberries are best!

For the crunchy oats:

  • 140g butter
  • 4 tbsp honey (Scottish heather honey is wonderful)
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g roughly chopped hazelnut
  • 85g plain flour

First, make the crunchy oats. Melt the butter and honey in a large saucepan, then stir in the other ingredients until everything is well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet, then bake in a preheated oven (160C or gas 4) for about 20 minutes until crisp. Cool, crumble into pieces and leave to the side.

For the whisky cream, beat the double cream with the mascarpone, icing sugar and whisky until it is smooth and holds peaks.

In a separate bowl, stir in two tbsps icing sugar with the raspberries.

In a glass bowl, spoon in some raspberries and then add a layer of cream and then a layer of oats. Repeat this two or three times. Scatter a final layer of oats over the top.

This is an awesome summer recipe and the flavour of the whisky really cuts through the raspberries.


Let me know if you tried the recipe, and let me know which single malt you used. A nice peaty island malt will add a smokiness to the flavour, while a lowlands malt will give the taste a more mellow whisky flavour.