Cranachan Cake

Picture of a Cranachan cake

Usually, Cranachan combines oats, whisky, honey, raspberries and cream. Traditional Scottish Cranachan has its roots in both the raspberry harvest in June, and in crowdie, a type of fresh, soft curd cheese traditionally made on small holdings and by crofters on the Scottish Highlands and islands. Crowdie itself has a long history, right back to the Viking and possibly Pict eras. But for this recipe, for simplicity, I’ll be using ordinary double cream.

Cranachan Cake

  • 4 handfuls oats (the cheap, flaky kind are actually better for the cake part, but both will work)
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 5 tbsp Scottish whisky
  • 1 punnet raspberries or 150g frozen and defrosted
  • splash of milk or cream
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or ½ vanilla pod
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • Honey, to decorate


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4. Line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. Combine 2 handfuls of the oats in a bowl with 2 tbsp of honey, 2 tbsp of the whisky, a handful of the raspberries and a splash of milk or cream. Mash the raspberries in a bit and leave to soak.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg to the butter mix, along with a tablespoon of the flour (to stop the mixture from splitting) and beat well. Repeat with the rest of the eggs, beating well in between.
  5. Add the rest of the flour in thirds, folding in gently until it is just combined and no streaks are showing.
  6. Stir in the vanilla and the soaked oat mixture until combined.
  7. Dollop into the tin, smooth over and bake for around 30-35 minutes, until risen and golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack. While still warm, prick some holes in the cake and drizzle over another tablespoon of whisky.
  9. Meanwhile, toast the remaining 2 handfuls of oats in a dry frying pan for a few minutes. Set aside to cool.
  10. Whip the double cream until just stiff. (Careful not to over-whip).
  11. Fold in the remaining 2 tbsp of honey and 2 tbsp of whisky along with the cooled toasted oats and the rest of the raspberries, reserving a few oats and raspberries to decorate.
  12. Cut the cake in half, and spread raspberry jam across the slices. Spread half of the cream mixture onto the bottom layer, and sandwich together. Smooth the rest of the cranachan across the top.
  13. Decorate with a few raspberries, a drizzle of a honey and sprinkling of toasted oats.

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