Caledonian Cream

A lesser known Scottish dessert is the Caledonian Cream, a tasty mix of cream cheese, cream and marmalade on a bed of boozy oranges. Cream and booze, really whats not to like? This is tasty alternative to Cranachan, the more common Scottish dessert.

Marmalade would seem to be a weird choice to mix in a creamy dessert and its not just any old marmalade, but Seville Orange marmalade. In the late 18th Century, a Spanish ship coming from Seville was forced to take refuge in Dundee during a storm. On board were boxes of fresh, juicy oranges and the longer the boat stayed in port, the less fresh the oranges would become. So, instead of letting them go to waste, a local grocer had the foresight to buy the oranges and preserve them by making marmalade, hence the invention of Seville Orange marmalade.

I believe that this dessert was invented by Mrs Dalgairns, a nineteenth-century Scottish-Canadian cookery writer, when she mixed mixed Seville Orange marmalade, brandy and the juice of a lemon through a couple of pints of cream.

This is a simple dessert which could be served on its own, with some homemade shortbread or even as an accompaniment to another popular Scottish dessert – the Clootie Dumpling.

Calendonian Cream (Serves 2)


For the Base

2 oranges, peeled, pith removed and segmented
4 tsp Rum or Brandy

For the Cream Filling

125ml double cream
125g pack cream cheese
1 tbsp Seville Orange marmalade
2 tbsp Rum or Brandy
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice


  • Place the orange segments and 4 tsp of rum or brandy into a bowl, cover and leave while preparing the rest of the dish
  • In another bowl place all the ingredients for the cream filling and beat until combined and smooth.
  • Layer the orange segments in 2 glasses and spoon the cream filling over the top. Decorate with a some grated orange zest or a fancy orange twist

Whilst the recipe uses rum or brandy (not very Scottish I know!), you could swap that out for a Scotch malt whisky, something light like Monkey Shoulder, or a Speyside Malt. Alternatively Glayva, a whisky liqueur would work or even bourbon.