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  • Writer's pictureLouise Clarke

Cranachan Cake | Louise Cooks

The thing about traditional Scottish Cranachan is that it’s very rich and creamy. A delicious melange of oats, whisky, honey, raspberries and cream, lots of it, and very good it is too, but just sometimes one has to at least give a nod towards restraint, and Cranachan Cake does that; mind you it’s only a small gesture.

Cranachan Cake is pretty naughty too, especially if heavily drizzled with Whisky Caramel Sauce which, as far as I am concerned, is unavoidable.

Wonderful in quite a different way, Cranachan Cake is certainly not traditional; in fact in many ways it’s quite a plain cake with a lovely, slightly crumbly oat topping, perfect for that whisky caramel and, now I think about it, most things are.

Raspberry Cranachan Cake

Oven 160c

9” spring release cake tin, greased and bottom lined

250g fresh raspberries

3 tbsps. whisky

Crumble Topping:

100g plain flour

70g butter (block)

80g demerara sugar

100g porridge oats


175g soft light brown sugar

175g baking spread

3 eggs

80g ground almonds

175g self raising flour

2 tsps. ground cinnamon

· Start by putting the raspberries into a small bowl and pour over the whisky. Leave to absorb the flavours for up to an hour.

To make the crumble topping:

· Whizz the flour and butter together in a food processor until they look like breadcrumbs.

· Stir in the oats and demerara

To make the cake:

· Whisk all the ingredients together until thoroughly blended and smooth

· Drain the whisky from the raspberries and add to the mixture. Now stir a good tablespoonful of the raspberries into the mixture too.

· Transfer the cake batter to the prepared cake tin

· Spread the remaining raspberries over the top

· Gently but firmly press the crumble mixture over the whole lot

· Bake 160c for about an hour, maybe a little longer, or until a skewer or thin knife inserted into the centre comes out clean

· Allow to cool in the cake tin for at least 15 minutes before attempting to remove it.

Whisky Caramel Sauce

50g butter

75g light soft brown sugar

2 tbsps. runny honey

200 ml double cream

Whisky to taste (optional)

Stir the first 4 ingredients together in a small saucepan on a very gently heat until the sugar has dissolved and bubble for a minute or so. Stir in the whisky to taste.

Raspberry Cranachan Cheesecake

Originally cranachan was made with crowdie, the traditional soft cheese made by crofters using milk from the family cow, in place of cream. Crowdie was regarded as good to line the stomach and lessen the ill effects of too much whisky so it was often eaten with oatcakes before ceilidhs.

It is surely therefore a small and acceptable step to move to this recipe combining cheesecake with cranachan.

Unfortunately, crowdie is not always easy to get hold of, so a mixture of ricotta and cream cheese is perfect, but all cream cheese (full fat) is fine too.

We are back to rich and creamy, so I like to serve this Raspberry Cranachan Cheesecake with a simple fresh raspberry puree, easily made by crushing raspberries (fresh or frozen)and passing through a sieve; sweeten to taste with icing sugar.

Raspberry Cranachan Cheesecake

Oven 180c

9” spring release cake tin, well greased and bottom lined.

(My photograph shows the cheesecake baked in a smaller spring release cake tin, so I have lined it fully with baking parchment)

200g fresh raspberries

2 tbsps. whisky

250g Hobnobs (or other oat biscuits)

80g unsalted butter

2 tbsps. honey

60g oat bran or pinhead oatmeal

50g caster sugar

50g runny honey

350g ricotta

350g full fat cream cheese

6 eggs

Extra raspberries to garnish

· Put the raspberries into a small bowl and pour over the whisky. Put aside to absorb the flavours.

· Melt the butter and honey together in a saucepan

· Crush the Hobnobs, combine with the melted honey and butter and press into the base of the 9” cake tin. Leave to set in the fridge, about 20 minutes.

· Put the oatmeal or oat bran and a teaspoon of the caster sugar into a dry frying pan and toast on a gentle heat until it smells nutty and goes golden. Set aside to cool.

· Put the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, cater sugar and

honey into a food processor and whizz to smooth.

· Stir in the cooled oatmeal. Drain the whisky from the raspberries, stir this in too and pour the lot over the biscuit base.

· Add the raspberries

· Bake approximately 40-45 minutes until set; ideally the centre of the cheesecake should have a very slight hint of wobble in the centre.

· Leave in a warmish place to cool slowly – this helps prevent the top from cracking, but have no worries if it does crack, just cover with raspberries.

· Serve with raspberries piled on top and with the raspberry sauce.


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