Simple Caledonian Cream Recipe

by Phil & Sonja
Caledonian Cream Recipe served in glasses on a tray

Caledonian Cream is the best kind of Scottish recipe. It’s quick and easy to create, and contains quality Scottish ingredients that when they’re combined, make a delicious dish!

Like Cranachan, Caledonian Cream contains whipped cream and whisky, but there the similarities end. The other main ingredients in Caledonian Cream are marmalade, and then the juice of a lemon or an orange, plus a little sugar for sweetness. 
You can learn how to make Traditional Scottish Cranachan here.

The history of Caledonian Cream is unknown, but it seems to have been popular since the invention of marmalade in Dundee in 1700. A ship carrying Seville oranges was damaged in a storm and so sailed into Dundee harbour to shelter. The oranges were sold off to a local merchant whose wife created “marmalade” from them as they were too bitter to eat normally, and hence the world-famous preserve was born!

The name Caledonian comes from “Caledonia” a Latin term coined by the Romans in the 4th century to refer to the area north of the Wall of Antoninus and roughly corresponds to the area that is now Scotland. You’ll still see it used today to refer to Scotland, hence Caledonian Cream.

Even if you’re not a big marmalade fan you should definitely give Caledonian Cream a try. The ingredients all balance each other out to make a citrus cream that can be served on its own, or with other fruits and desserts too. 

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Caledonian Cream Recipe - Traditional Scottish Dessert Pin

What do you have Caledonian Cream with? 

Honestly, you could just eat Caledonian Cream on its own, like you would Cranachan or any other chilled, cream-based, dessert. However, if you want to serve it with something to break up all that cream then there are lots of options. 

Put orange segments soaked in a little whisky or whisky liqueur in the bottom of the glass or layered throughout, or even over seasonal fruits, strawberries are our personal favourites. 

Caledonian Cream is also great to have at Christmas time. It just has that perfect Christmassy taste! It can be an alternative for brandy cream or custard with a Christmas pudding or used as part of trifle. Or even just as a slightly lighter dessert after a heavy Christmas dinner.

It’s delicious with a side of shortbread, so stick a petticoat tail in the top of the glass and enjoy!
You can find our Petticoat Tail Shortbread recipe here

Scottish Dessert - Caledonian Cream Recipe on a plate

Things you’ll need to make Caledonian Cream

We love how simple this recipe is to whip up! Literally. You’ll need an electric whisk unless you feel like beating the cream by hand, of course, and that’s about it. 

Depending on how you want to serve the Caledonian Cream, you might want four small glasses or bowls to put it in as well. 

Caledonian Cream Scottish Traditional Recipe in a glass

Ingredients for Caledonian Cream

Like many traditional Scottish recipes, there are different ways to make Caledonian Cream that have been passed down through families. We decided to stick with a fairly classic recipe that’s popular in our family, with a couple of minor changes. 

  • 300ml double cream
  • 5 tbsp (70ml) whisky liqueur (we used Glayva)
  • 7tbsp marmalade (we used Mackays Dundee Marmalade as slightly more bitter is best for a tart taste)
  • 25g (2 tbsp) caster sugar
  • Juice of a small lemon or orange (or both combined – around 2-3 tbsp)

You will see some Caledonian Cream recipes with the addition of cream cheese too, but this gives it more of a cheesecake-like texture. You could do this if you want to serve the Caledonian cream on its own, simply omit half of the cream and add cream cheese instead. We like to be able to have the cream with all sorts of other fruits and desserts as well, which would be a little strange with cream cheese in it too! 

We went with a whisky liqueur rather than a straight whisky for this version because it adds a nice sweetness to the cream to counteract the bitterness of the marmalade and the lemon juice. You could easily opt for a good Scottish whisky instead and balance with a little more sugar if necessary. 

Two glasses of Caledonian Cream on a tray with Dundee Marmalade and oranges

How to make Caledonian Cream – Step by step method

You need two bowls for the recipe. In one, mix together the marmalade, sugar, whisky liqueur, and orange or lemon juice. We used a measuring jug to mix in as it was all we had to hand!

In another bowl beat the cream to form stiff peaks.

Fold the marmalade mixture into the cream.

Like many other recipes as well, it will all come down to personal taste. I preferred the sweeter version we made with a mixture of orange and lemon juice, whereas others’ preferred the tartness of just lemon. 

Start with the above measurements and then add more ingredients to taste once you’ve combined it with the cream. Just remember the whisky taste usually strengthens a bit after it’s chilled!

If you’re serving individually then put in glasses (with a layer of fruit at the bottom if you like) or put straight into the fridge to allow it to chill and come together, removing just before you want to serve. 

Caledonian Cream recipe with ingredients
Yield: 4

Caledonian Cream Recipe

Caledonian Cream Recipe served in glasses on a tray

Caledonian Cream is yet another delicious Scottish dessert combining classic Scottish ingredients like whisky liqueur and bitter marmalade with cream, lemon or orange juice and a bit of sugar for sweetness!

It's easy to make and can be served on its own, with fruit, shortbread, as part of a trifle, or on top of Christmas Pudding.

It can be served immediately or left to chill in the fridge to bring out the flavours further.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300ml double cream (whipping cream)
  • 5 tbsp (70ml) whisky liqueur (we used Glayva)
  • 7tbsp marmalade (bitter is best for a tart taste)
  • 25g (2 tbsp) castor sugar
  • Juice of a small lemon or orange (or both combined - around 2-3 tbsp)

Instructions

  1. You need two bowls for the recipe. In one, mix together the marmalade, sugar, whisky liqueur, and orange or lemon juice. 
  2. In another bowl beat the cream to form stiff peaks.
  3. Fold the marmalade mixture into the cream.
  4. Try the mixture and add any extra of the ingredients if you want to for personal taste. Just remember the whisky taste usually strengthens a bit after it’s chilled!
  5. If you’re serving individually then put in glasses (with a layer of whisky soaked fruit at the bottom if you like). You can serve immediately or chill in the fridge to allow the flavours to develop further.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 531Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 3g

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2 comments

Yvonne August 7, 2020 - 9:46 am

I love the decadent look of this dessert in your photo, wow! Another one to try and sounds so simple to make, I like a citrus dessert. I am not going to run out of dessert recipes for awhile if I try all of the ones you have listed 🙂 I mostly like how easy they sound to make which is a bonus only after I have salivated over them first looking at your beautiful photo’s.

Reply
Sonja & Phil August 7, 2020 - 9:54 am

Thanks so much! It’s actually so easy to make and can be served on it’s own or as a substitute for plain cream. We like it with Christmas pudding, trifle or even just strawberries!

Reply

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