Home » Traditional Vegan » Easy Vegan Cranachan – A Traditional Creamy, Fruity Scottish Dessert

Easy Vegan Cranachan – A Traditional Creamy, Fruity Scottish Dessert

Vegan Cranachan recipe: if you’ve ever wondered if you can veganise this rich, creamy Scottish dessert, then wonder no more! Oats, raspberries, whipped dairy-free cream and whisky combine to make this luscious dessert!

Cranachan served in two glasses alongside some cookies for dipping.

What is Cranachan?

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.

Overhead shot of cranachan being scooped out with a spoon.

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 Whisky 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. Or, you could add a tablespoon of sloe gin to the raspberries, if you’d still like to add a boozy flavour.

How do I serve Cranachan?

How to 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. My vegan cranachan makes the perfect dessert for my vegan haggis.

Ingredients

Ingredients for makng vegan cranachan.
  • 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. I also found an Alpro Brandy Cream which was released for Christmas. This made a great alternative to using real alcohol in cranachan.
  • 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 white sugar when cooking.
  • 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.

Instructions

Toasting oatmeal for cranachan.

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. You’ll know when it’s ready because it will start to smell nutty or a bit like popcorn.

Toasted oatmeal in a bowl.

Once toasted, transfer to a bowl and leave to one side to cool.

Stewing down raspberries for cranachan.

Place ¾ of the raspberries in a saucepan with the sugar and place over low heat.

Stewed down raspberries.

As soon as the sugar has melted and they have started to collapse, remove from the heat. Leave to cool.

Whipped vegan cream.

Whip your cream to soft peaks.

Adding vanilla extract to whipped cream.

Then fold in the whisky, vanilla and maple syrup to taste.

Stirring toasted oatmeal into whipped cream.

Sprinkle most of the toasted oatmeal over the cream, leaving a tablespoon aside for decorating at the end.

Whipped cream with oatmeal folded in.

Then fold in the oatmeal.

Layering up the cranachan with raspberries.

Finally, assemble the cranachan in your glasses, starting with the raspberry puree.

Layering up cranachan with whipped cream.

Then a layer of cream, another layer or raspberry puree, finishing with cream. Top with some whole raspberries and the reserved toasted oatmeal.

Loved this? Try my other speedy vegan desserts

Vegan Cranachan

A simple, creamy, classic Scottish dessert, using the best of the season's raspberries
Freya
4.91 from 61 votes
Prep 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
cooling off of oatmeal and raspberries 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Equipment

  • Electric Hand Whisk optional

Ingredients

  • 284 ml Whipping Cream - vegan. I use Elmlea
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup - or to taste
  • 2 tbsp Whiskey
  • 300 g Raspberries - fresh
  • 1 tsp Sugar - for sweetening the raspberries
  • 4 tbsp Oatmeal - I like to use pinhead, but try to find a coarse variety

Instructions

  • 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! You'll know when it's ready because it will start to smell nutty or a bit like popcorn.
  • Once toasted, transfer to a bowl and leave 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 until you have soft peaks.
  • Fold in the maple syrup and whisky to taste. Be careful with the whisky 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!

Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cranachan
Amount per Serving
Calories
330
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
26
g
40
%
Saturated Fat
 
16
g
100
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Cholesterol
 
81
mg
27
%
Sodium
 
21
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
203
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
17
g
6
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
1075
IU
22
%
Vitamin C
 
20
mg
24
%
Calcium
 
73
mg
7
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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6 Comments

  1. I love how I keep learning new foods from this blog. This is a new one for me to try!!! Looks amazing, I am excited to make it

  2. 5 stars
    We loved this vegan version of cranachan! It does make such a lovely summer dessert. We served ours in large wine glasses and it looked so elegant!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for introducing me to vegan cranachan, I love how rich and creamy it is and wish fresh raspberries too 😊

  4. 5 stars
    Love this Cheesy dessert. I like that we can make it in vegan version. Addition of oats and raspberries looks perfect treat.

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