Monday, December 23, 2019

Cranachan for Christmas – or For Any Holiday You Celebrate!

from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Holiday greetings from all of us in Inversgail, Scotland! You’re most likely busy so I won’t keep you, but I do want to share a recipe with you. It’s one I’ve shared before, but it’s worth sharing again for quite a few reasons. First, it’s a traditional Scottish dessert, and I love both—desserts and Scotland. Second, it calls for whisky and oatmeal and I like both of those, too. Third, it’s dead easy to make and who isn’t onboard with that? Fourth, it’s pretty. And that’s really enough, isn’t it? So, from my kitchen to yours – I give you cranachan. Pronounce it with a bit of a guttural on the ch and you’ll sound like a pro.


4 tbsp. pinhead oatmeal (steel cut oats)
1 ¼ cup whipping cream
2 tbsp. whisky (optional) (so they say)
3 tbsp. liquid honey (preferably heather honey)
2 cups fresh raspberries
4 parfait or other tall glasses

Toast the oatmeal in a frying pan over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Shake the pan from time to time until the oatmeal is lightly browned. Meanwhile, whip the cream until it is thick but not stiff. Fold in the whisky and honey. Reserve the best raspberries to decorate the top. Fold the rest into the cream gently. Spoon the mixture into the parfait glasses, sprinkle with the toasted oatmeal, decorate with the reserved raspberries, and chill until ready to serve. A variant is called Ale-Crowdie and calls for ale, treacle, and whisky with the oatmeal.

Oh, and if you’re looking for any last minute presents, stop by Yon Bonnie Books. Our newest inventory is online here, and we’ll be open until noon on Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays!

Thistles and Thieves, book 3 in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries, is available for pre-order now, and will be available in libraries and bookstores January 7th, 2020!

The women of Yon Bonnie Books return in the latest Highland Bookshop Mystery, now embroiled in the death of a local doctor, which sets off a chain of other curious—and deadly—events.

Molly MacRae writes the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter  or Instagram.


  1. That sounds so tasty. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Does this taste better with Scottish whisky? Asking for a friend... 😉

    1. The flippant answer is "Yes! Of course!" But in truth, your favorite whisky or whiskey of whatever persuasion will be perfect.

  3. Sounds yummy...