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Scotland: Cranachan Cupcakes

Flag of Scotland. Ratio 3:5. The blue used is ...

Every so often you make something that works really well, and that needs to be repeated. These cupcakes were one of those recipes, one that was so popular that i was requested again and again, quoted as an example of a really good cake. Last time, I made this recipe as a cake, right at the start of writing this blog, but as a layer cake rather than cupcakes. Good, but less practical when there are only two of you. This time, I made it as cupcakes – a great improvement for a couple!

Cranachan Cupcakes

These cupcakes are boozy, featuring a oat-enriched cake soaked in Scotch whiskey, a raspberry whiskey compote and a whiskey-infused whipped cream topping. The cupcakes are then sprinkled with a combination of freeze-dried raspberries and rolled oats. The recipe is very similar to the original recipe, with just a few tweaks for a better flavour, based on feedback from the previous ones. Scottish or not, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like one of these cupcakes for an afternoon treat.

Cranachan Cupcakes 2

Cranachan Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 12-16, depending on your generosity)


  • 4oz plain flour
  • 4oz rolled oats
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 8oz butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of Scotch whiskey

Raspberry Compote:

  • 2 punnets raspberries
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup scotch whiskey

Whipped cream topping:

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 4 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a cupcake pan with liners

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Add in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Mix together the flour, oats and baking powder. Add this to the creamed mixture, mixing well to make a smooth mixture. Add the vanilla essence and stir in until completely combined. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

When the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer or sharp knife make small slits in the cupcakes. Pour over the whiskey, allowing time for the liquid to sink into the cakes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely. Use a small knife or a cupcake corer to remove the centre of each cupcake ready for filling.

Make the raspberry compote by reducing down the sugar, whiskey and raspberries in a small pan until the mixture is thick. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds and taste, adding more sugar as you feel necessary. Once it is sufficiently thick (you want it to be the consistency of raspberry jam) then spoon a small amount of the mixture into the centre of each cupcake.

[Cheat: You could use raspberry jam instead of the compote if preferred  -just ensure you choose a good brand!]

Whip up the cream, icing sugar and whiskey together for the topping, ensuring that it is really thick and creamy. Pipe the cream onto the top of each cupcake, before decorating with freeze-dried raspberries and rolled oats.

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