Sharing another simple treat today: a vegan version of cranachan -- a traditional Scottish dessert made up of layers of whipped cream, toasted oats, delicious Scottish raspberries, and some Scotch whiskey (optional).
It's a simple parfait-like pudding dessert, and there are so many possible variations relying on a few flavorful ingredients you likely have at home. Easy! Plus this recipe can double as a fancy breakfast treat too...
This traditional dessert is made in many different ways. The recipe below is just one variant (made dairy-free), but lots of other options you can go with. Here are some ideas:
Oats: steel cut (or pinhead) oats are classic here. They give this treat a nice nutty and chunky texture. But other hearty oat varieties can be used as well.
In the recipe below I toasted the oats with some coconut sugar to create a slightly more caramely taste and a more cluster-like texture, but that is optional and you can just toast the oats plain if you prefer.
To save time, you can even go with some ready-made granola instead if you prefer.
Although raspberries are the classic, you can use other fruit for this treat as well.
Although it's probably a major transgression to take the whiskey out of a traditional Scottish treat, I'm just not a big fan of alcohol in something like this, so I prefer to leave it out. But up to you how you want to roll here, and you can increase the amount to your liking.
In general, if your raspberries are sweet and really flavorful you can cut back on the sweetener in this recipe. However I find North American raspberries to often be on the rather tart side, so I sweeten mine for something like this. Sweeten the raspberries and the whipped cream to your sweetness preference. Cranachan is often flavored with honey, but for a vegan version I used maple syrup instead.
Traditional cranachan is often made with either whipped cream or something called crowdie cheese. Since I've never tasted crowdie cheese, I wouldn't know what to imitate here in dairy-free form, so I went with the more common whipped cream option. I used coconut whipped cream here, but if you're looking for for a coconut-free alternative, you can use another vegan whip of your choice. Aquafaba whipped cream makes a nice coconut-free alternative, if you prefer:
Grain-Free and Raw Vegan Cranachan ideas:
- For a grain-free or oat-free version, use raw hemp seeds instead of toasted oats for this dessert. Another idea is to use toasted chopped sunflower seeds, pistachios, or other nuts to your liking. I know it's kind of crazy to take the oats out of a Scottish recipe, but hey, if you can't do oats, whatchagonnado... :)
- For a raw vegan version, you can pre-soak some oats or use them raw in this treat or go with the hemp seeds idea above instead (and use a raw sweetener of your choice).
Last, but not least, keep in mind it's a treat best served freshly made. The good news is that it's super quick to whip up on the spot, and often it's actually served as an assemble-it-yourself-at-the-table sort of a treat so you can always go that classy route if you run out of time ;)
A vegan take on the lovely Scottish classic cranachan, with layers of sweet raspberries, whipped cream, oats, and a optional hint of whiskey.
- ⅓ cup steel cut oats
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 ½ cups fresh sweet raspberries (about 170gr)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or more, to taste)
- ⅔ cup coconut cream from can of chilled full fat coconut cream*
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (to taste)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- optional: ½ tablespoon whiskey (or more, to taste)
1. OATS: Spread the oats over a skillet and sprinkle evenly with the coconut sugar. Toast, stirring frequently until the oats are nicely toasted and the coconut sugar begins to melt and lightly cluster some of the oats together. Set aside.
2. RASPBERRIES: Set aside 4 raspberries for garnish. Place all remaining raspberry layer ingredients in a small bowl and mash together with a fork. You want to leave some texture to them, so no need to fully puree. Taste the raspberry mixture and make sure it is sweet, if your raspberries are too tart, add more coconut sugar to taste. Set aside.
3. WHIPPED CREAM: whip the coconut cream with a hand mixed until fluffy, then add in the maple syrup and whiskey (if using) briefly mix again to combine. Reserve about a tablespoon of the toasted oats mixture for garnish, and gently fold the rest of the oats into the whipped cream with a spoon.
4. ASSEMBLY: Use 2 glasses (or 8oz mason jars) to assemble the cranachan. Fill the glasses with alternating layers of the whipped cream and oats mixture and the raspberry mixture, ending with a layer of whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with the oats and fresh raspberries set aside for garnish. Serve immediately.
*Coconut whipped cream can be made at home from a can of full fat (aka "regular" coconut milk, not "lite"). I like the Thai Kitchen brand best for this purpose, and for this recipe I used two of the small 160 ml can. Chill the cans in the fridge overnight, which will cause the cream to separate in the can and firm up near the top (when you open the can you’ll see firm firm white stuff gathered at the top — you should get about ⅔ cup of it). You want to scoop out this solid white cream only into a mixing bowl, taking care not to scoop any of the coconut water along with it (as it will make your whip runny and not stiff). Note that it’s very important for the full fat coconut milk can to be chilled first so it separates. If the solids aren’t this thick when you open the can, the whip isn’t going to work as well and will be too runny: