Mini Caledonian Cream. Traditional Scottish Gluten-free Dessert Recipe

Caledonian cream has long been associated with Burns' Night suppers and indeed it is a beautifully light finish to what is a substantial meal of soup, haggis, neeps and potatoes. However, it is also, like syllabub, often on wedding breakfast menus and according to a book I have just been reading, a firm favourite of Queen Victoria's Christmas fare at Balmoral. For us it certainly provides some sunshine in a wet Normandie Winter.

Mini Caledonian Cream. Traditional Scottish Gluten-free Recipe

As with many Scottish recipes it is difficult to date because it was often a family one and handed-down by word-of-mouth. Even the fact that one of the ingredients, Seville Orange Marmalade didn't become available until 1797 isn't decisive, as presumably that could have been substituted for some other ingredient in an earlier version!

Mini Caledonian Cream. Traditional Scottish Gluten-free Recipe

You can of course use shop-bought marmalade for this recipe. It is, however, quite simple just to make up a quick batch from a few citrus fruits and their rinds, if you are outside the (very short) season for bitter oranges. You may just need to use more lemon juice and less sugar to get that fine aigre-doux balance. This is a dessert that suffers, just as marmalade itself does,  if you overdo the sweetness. I will put a link to my marmalade recipe at the bottom of the page.

Here again, as this is a gluten-free recipe, I'm using rum instead of whisky. As previously discussed, the latter can contain added malt. I've even made this dessert with a fruit syrup/liqueur and that was good too!


(makes 18 - 20 dependent on the size of shot glass)

300ml or ½ a pint of raw crème fraîche épaisse*, whipping or thick cream

2 tablespoons of rum

2 tablespoons of Seville marmalade

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon of rapadura or raw cane sugar

For decorating - extra marmalade and (optional) dark chocolate.

organic syllabub
cream separator 1930's
*This is cream which has been left to stand and cool after full cream milk, such as A2 raw Normandy, has been run through a separator. I know this because some years  ago I got up at, what was to me, the crack of dawn to go and film the process at our local organic farm. I'll link the article below for those interested.


If you are using a thin crème fraîche then you will need to whip this up prior to incorporating the rest of the ingredients. You can over-beat cream so I usually beat it until it forms something that looks like the leaves of a book. However, for the last five years I have been able to get my cream directly from the separator - raw and organic and so thick a spoon will stand up in it.

Mini Caledonian Cream Recipe. Traditional Scottish Gluten-free Dessert

The sugar and marmalade are now incorporated by folding them into the cream with a large spoon.

Add the spirit and lemon juice and mix well.

Whisk the mixture together until thick.

Mini Caledonian Cream Recipe. Traditional Scottish Gluten-free Dessert

I do not sieve or break down the raw sugar, as we love the grainy texture and delicious toffee flavour these 'flecks' of sugar add to the cream.

You should end up with something that looks thick and textured.

Mini Caledonian Cream. Traditional Scottish Gluten-free Recipe

Add a layer of pure marmalade to the bottom of each shot glass and decorate the top with some more marmalade and some curls of dark chocolate. I also use home-made candy peels to decorate this dish.


All that needs to be said now is Bon Appėtit!

Hope to see you here again for another recipe from my 100 Gluten-Free Organic Party Foods Challenge!

All the best,


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©  Sue Cross 2017 

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