Recipe – ‘Athol Brose’ (or, a taste of Scotland)

This classic Scottish dessert/pudding whatever you want to call it, also goes by the name ‘Cranachan’.

If you’d normally run screaming for the hills at the thought of eating something that’s every bit as traditionally Scottish as haggis, please take a leap of faith and add this to your repertoire. No ground-up sheep’s parts in sight and easy to assemble.

Athol Brose is made with steel cut oats soaked in fine single malt whisky and honey, then folded into heavy cream; sometimes with the addition of fresh Scottish raspberries. That probably sounds unlikely but it’s absolutely wonderful; incredibly fattening but wonderful.

In this lighter non-traditional version, I’ve substituted Greek-style fat free yoghurt for the cream; the oatmeal is caramelized with brown sugar and I’ve combined fresh raspberries and strawberries, soaked in Crème de Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) rather than whisky.

It tastes fabulous and has a nutty, toasty flavor that goes brilliantly with the macerated fruit.

You can make the caramelized oats ahead and they’ll keep for up to a week in an airtight container, or freeze them for future use.

Notes at the end.

BLOG Athol Brose, July 2011 012ATHOL BROSE (aka CRANACHAN)

(Serves 4)


1 1/4 lbs / 600g of combined fresh raspberries and strawberries

1 ½ tablespoons of Cassis liqueur

1 oz / 25g of fine white sugar

2 oz / 50g of steel cut oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill)

2 oz / 50g of soft brown sugar

16 oz / 500g of fat free Greek-style yoghurt


Thinly slice the strawberries; combine together with the raspberries, cassis and fine white sugar then set aside for 20 mins.

Put the oats and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan. Stir continuously over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the oatmeal is golden; approx 5 minutes.

Spread on a plate to cool and break up any lumps with a fork.

Just before serving, fold the caramelized oats into the yoghurt and layer with the berries and their soaking juices in individual glasses.


Cassis liqueur is available in most liquor stores and you don’t need to buy the expensive French variety. Try experimenting with other fruit based liqueurs or go the single malt whisky route for the ultimate Gaelic experience.

This also works with blueberries – alone or any combination thereof.

For a totally different flavor, substitute unsweetened desiccated coconut for the oatmeal.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Desserts, Gluten Free Desserts. Bookmark the permalink.

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