Vegan Cranachan recipe: if you've ever wondered if you can veganise this rich, creamy Scottish dessert, then wonder no more!
Cranachan is a Scottish dessert, similar in many ways to Eton Mess or Pavlova or even trifle, but much simpler and made using more humble ingredients.
The creamy dessert was first prepared to celebrate the harvest of raspberries in June and July and to this day it is known as the "uncontested king of Scottish desserts". In fact, I'd be so bold as to call it one of the finest desserts worldwide.
Combining whipped cream with whiskey, honey, toasted oatmeal and fresh raspberries, this pudding is simple to prepare, but, happily, even easier to veganise!
I simply replace the whipped cream with a vegan whipping cream (I like Elmlea plant-based) and used maple syrup instead of honey.
Is Whiskey Vegan?
When you first switch to a plant-based diet, there are a few alcoholic beverages that aren't suitable vegans: but happily whiskey is vegan. It is made from plant-based ingredients and utilizes a natural fermentation process. Some whiskeys do contain extras like honey, but these are clearly marked, and obviously, you would avoid these.
What can I use in Cranachan instead of Whisky?
Because whisky is very hard to replicate in a non-alcoholic beverage, I think I would just omit it all together, rather than try and replace it.
How do I serve Cranachan?
Cranachan is traditionally served in individual dessert bowls or glasses. I like to serve mine in large gin glasses as it shows off the layers beautifully (and you get a very generous portion too!).
Whilst originally it was a Summer dish, these days it is usually served as a traditional Burns Night dessert.
- Plant-based double cream or whipping cream. As mentioned above, I like to use Alpro, but you could also use a coconut whipping cream if you prefer.
- Raspberries. Use fresh. The beauty of this dish is that you can now buy raspberries all year around. What's not so good is that winter raspberries can be very tart, so sprinkle them with a little icing sugar.
- Oatmeal. I like to use pinhead as it has a nutty texture. I don't recommend using a rolled oat though, try and find a coarse grain oat.
- Whisky. And if you use Scotch Whisky, you drop the e. (it means water of life). We used Talisker single malt whisky. And it would be rude not to serve a dram alongside.
- Firstly toast your oatmeal. Place it in a single layer in a dry frying pan, over medium heat, and toast. Keep moving the oatmeal around until it starts to smell fragrant and changes colour slightly. Remove from the heat as soon as this happens. It can go from burnt to toasty in a milli-squat of a second! Place in a dish and leave to cool.
- Secondly, make your raspberry puree. Simply place the raspberries (reserving some whole ones for layering) in a small saucepan with some granulated sugar and heat until they start to collapse and the sugar has melted. This will happen very quickly. Leave to cool.
- Whip your cream, then fold in the whisky, vanilla and maple syrup to taste. Then fold in the oatmeal, reserving a little for sprinkling.
- Finally, layer up the puree and cream in the glasses, finishing with cream, topping with some whole raspberries and the reserved toasted oatmeal.
Loved this? Try my other speedy vegan desserts
- Electric Hand Whisk optional
- 284 ml Whipping Cream vegan. I use Elmlea
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup or to taste
- 2 tablespoon Whiskey
- 300 g Raspberries fresh
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 4 tablespoon Oatmeal I like to use pinhead, but try to find a coarse variety
- To toast the oatmeal, place in a frying pan in a single layer over medium heat, and, moving the oatmeal around constantly, cook until toasted. This will happen quite quickly so don't take your eye off of it! Once toasted, place to one side to cool.
- Place ¾ of the raspberries in a saucepan with the sugar and place over low heat. As soon as the sugar has melted and they have started to collapse, remove from the heat. Leave to cool.
- Whip your cream using an electric hand whisk.
- Fold in the maple syrup and whiskey to taste. Be judicial with the whiskey because it is strong, so start with a little and add more to taste.
- Once the oatmeal has cooled, fold most of it into the whipped cream, leaving a little aside to sprinkle on the top.
- To assemble the cranachan, spoon a layer of the raspberry puree into each of your serving glasses, then a dollop of cream, then some fresh raspberries, and continue, but make sure you end up with a cream layer!
- Top with a few more fresh raspberries and sprinkle over the reserved toasted oatmeal.
- You can cover these with some clingfilm and chill them for a few hours before serving. Vegan whipping cream is very forgiving!