I love oatcakes with cheese. And I am talking about a Scottish type oatcake (a savoury biscuit made from oatmeal) not a Staffordshire or Derbyshire oatcake – which is a type of pancake made from oatmeal. (I actually didn’t know this until I was searching round the internet when writing up this recipe).
A Lancashire oatcake is different again but a type of pancake. Anyone who has the traditional recipes for these type of oatcakes is welcome to write in with their recipe and how they serve their oatcakes.
Scottish oatcakes are a simple delicious food, and easy to make with few ingredients. Serve with cheese or spread with some butter
And of course oatcakes are a traditional Scottish cuisine because oats grow so well in Scotland – mild summers and plenty of rain!
I have always enjoyed oatcakes (the Scottish sort) with cheese. When made with oatmeal they are of course, wheat free and ideal for someone on a wheat free diet. Many of commercially produced oatcakes are a mix of oatmeal and wheat flour, but I wanted to do an exclusively oat based oatmeal. These are naturally gluten free, too!
Enjoy your oatcakes whenever you might have bread – so don’t just have it with cheese. It is good with soup, with salad or with any sandwich fillings – try hummus, peanut butter or even jam.
Oatcakes are very easy to make taking just minutes. And the result is delicious! I love it when I find out an item you might regularly buy is so easy to make. And of course you know exactly what is in it. I am not sure I would commit to never buying oatcakes again but it is good to know I can easily put some together. After all it is probably quicker than going to the shops.
Use this recipe as a great starting point and then add some flavourings. Try a couple of teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper or a sprinkling of chilli. Ground ginger is good or some dried rosemary – or other favourite herb. See which goes best with certain cheeses!
Oatcakes are made from oatmeal which is simply ground oats. Oats are well known now as a healthy food that can have many benefits including lowering cholesterol. It is most commonly used in porridge, muesli and flapjacks.
More Oat Recipes
Rather than greasing your baking tray – use these silicone baking sheets. No grease and can be washed and reused many, many times. Great time saver!
- Large baking Tray
- 250 g oatmeal
- 25 g butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 100 ml hot water add a little more if mixture seems too stiff
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Put the oatmeal in a large bowl
- Add the bicarbonate of soda and the salt
- Add the butter and hot water
- Stir well with a wooden spoon
- Finally use your hands to bring the soft paste together
- Sprinkle the work surface with oatmeal
- Roll out the dough - the thickness is up to you depending on whether you like thin or thick oat cakes
- Use a cutter to mark out the rounds
- Place on a baking tray
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a little
- Place on a wire rack to cool completely
- Keep in an air tight container to keep for a few days.
Thanks, they was really nice
Fabulous! I’ve just returned from my sixth trip to Scotland, and am so stoked to find an authentic oatcake recipe. For those who are somewhat clueless (i.e. Americans) to metric measurements, you’ll use 2 3/4 cups of oatmeal (I just ground whole oats with my coffee grinder), approx 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 cup of hot water – in addition to the sodium bicarb and salt. I used a wide mouth glass pint jar to cut the oatcakes and cooked at 350 degrees F for 21 min. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Many thanks!!
Thank you for the info! Glad they turned out so well!
I think that the soda is added just to make them crisp, at least that is what I have been told!
It gives a special flavour to the oats, just enhances the taste, as does ensuring that the oats are toasted.
Perfect recipe, if you want traditional Scottish oatcakes, look nowhere else. I made my own oatmeal in my spice mill from standard porridge oats. I also used vegan butter. I think the secret to rolling the dough is the warm water. Anyway, fantastic.
Thank you! Great to know it works with vegan butter too!
Ian McKenzie says
I tried making these oatcakes using coarse oatmeal from a local mill. It proved very difficult to get a cohesive paste which I could roll out.
I had to resort to placing the cutter on the baking tray parchment, spooning the mixture in and pressing it down to form a cake.
The result tastes very good, although the cakes are fragile and crumbly.
Do you think that I should go for medium or fine oatmeal whenI buy again?
Fine or medium should be good. Add the last bit of water a little at a time to help get the right consistency.
Ken Moore says
I wiz the standard oatmeal in the liquidiser (dry), this ground oat powder also makes instant porridge at no extra cost from standard oats (the finer powder is the only difference from normal oats and expensive instant porridge).
The biscuits work easily after mixing and bake nicely. To enhance some I add coarsely ground peanuts, not peanut butter.
I’m moving away from ultra processed foods and those in particular that contain palm oil, so these are just what I was looking for. Do you think the butter and water could be substituted with buttermilk?
I think it should be Ok. The flavour may change a little and you may have to experiment a little with the quantity. DO let me know if you try it and is successful. Good Luck!
Have you thought about making them with Extra Virgen Olive Oil instead of melted butter (you will still need the hot water too.)? Olive oil is not tradional in Scotland as an ingredient, of course, but it makes wonderful oat cakes and is very minimally processed (No chemicals or heat just one mechanical cold pressing only.).
So excited to try these! I’ve been looking for a simple non-sugary oats recipe. I have a question which I don’t think is addressed above (sorry if it has been): I will start with “long-cooking” (not “instant”) rolled oats. Do I need to spin them in a food processor before using? How long? How fine do they need to be. I’ll appreciate any advice.
It needs to be as fine as oatmeal or a little coarser if you want rougher oatcakes. I have made them like this before when I ran out of oatmeal so it does work ok. How long? Not sure – should only take a few seconds. I hope that helps.
Nancy Lewis says
Are you sure this is only 100ml water as they were so hard to roll out, virtually impossible. With the second batch (love the flavour) so tried again, I put double the amount of water and they rolled like a dream
Thank you for your observation. I have made these many times to this recipe.I think it sometimes depends on the actual oatmeal you use – and even the humidity in the room! If you put too much water in it obviously gets too wet. Perhaps I will add in the instructions – add a little more water if it feels too stiff.
Hi Penny, thanks you for the recipe – I have made a batch of these and they are delicious. I made half with chilli flakes and cayenne pepper, and the other half plain. I did have a big struggle to get the mixture to meld together into a rollable dough, and ended up adding a bit of extra butter and water. Could this have been because I didn’t process my rolled oats into a fine enough meal? Or was my water too hot? I’m going to have another go tomorrow in any case!
Glad you enjoyed them. The dough isn’t a perfect smooth dough and I suspect it can be affected by how smooth your oats are and even the external temperature and humidity! Adding a bit of extra water is fine. Better to go on the side of caution and then add more than add too much! Enjoy!
This was a complete disaster
Glen Fiddich says
Hi Penny, I am a professional pastry chef from Edinburgh, Scotland and I wondered why it is that you are putting bicarbonate of soda in your recipe ?? I have seen this before in a few other peoples recipes, or they put baking powder in theirs but I find this strange because oatcakes are NOT meant to rise bicarbonate of soda is a bi-product of baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda is something you put into a mix if you want it to start a reaction and baking powder is a raising agent I think you would be able to make the exact same recipe but just leaving the bicarbonate of soda out all together as you don’t want them to raise at all
Out of curiosity though I am going to try your recipe sounds like they will be great with some cheese and a teaspoonful of apple and sultana chutney 😋
I think it is supposed to make the oatcakes a little lighter. – but to be honest I have made them without and they still work well. Many recipes do have the bicarb added so I don’t know if it is just kind of traditional. I will try and find out more. I hope you enjoy making the oatcakes!
Carol Bibby says
I had exactly the same question! I’m an ex baker/confectioner and am just about to make Penny’s recipe but have decided not to add the bicarb as I’m not keen on the chemical “bite” you sometimes get if the raising agents aren’t balanced. Looking forward to hopefully finding the perfect oat cake!
Excellent recipe. Everyone enjoyed them.
Thank you. 5⭐️
Excellent recipe great with everything even broken in a bag on a walk nice nibbles.
So simple and easy
So pleased I found this recipe. Easy, delicious and they don’t contain PALM OIL. 🥰
Thanks for a simple but brilliant recipe. I won’t be buying Nairn’s oatcakes again. I added camelina seeds and will try other seeds next time. Perfect with some butter and jam or jam and cheese
OMG thank you for this recipe! I have been looking for something comparable to the Nairn’s GF oatcakes that I had out in Ireland and Scotland over the last couple of years that I can’t get stateside for less than $10 a box. Most of the recipes are just plain cookie recipes but these are actual oatcakes! Thank you so much!
Jane Jackson says
I make mine with porridge oats as well as pinhead oatmeal, from on my Mum’s recipe. In Scotland we also eat them with stovies, one of our national dishes.
Laura Brown says
I’m gathering ingredients and will attempt this recipe this afternoon…wish me luck! I had to google to find out what bicarbonate of soda is…I never heard of it before. I will have to substitute baking soda because I don’t think bicarbonate of soda is readily available here in the forest 2 hours west of Seattle….and the conversion to Fahrenheit from Celsius was another google search… Well, let the adventure begin! I’m excited to try this!
Bicarb is baking soda…so you are good to go 😁
Yes bi-carb is the British name for what Americans call Baking Soda. It is exactly the same thing.
plasterer bristol says
fantastic recipe, these turned out perfect. Thanks for shjaring.
Helen McGonigal says
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I made these yesterday and they turned out brilliantly. The whole family loved them. We’re on a zero waste journey, trying to avoid plastic and packaging if possible. We’ve really missed oatcakes so it’s great to know I can rustle up a batch pretty quickly. Would you mind if I reblogged this on my own blog, Spot of Earth, with appropriate links to your recipe of course?
Glad you liked them. Well done for trying to reduce your waste too! Very happy for you to shar ethe recipes! 🙂
Penny, what a lovely recipe. I absolutely love oatcakes, and used my food processor to achieve the same refined look as yours. I also tried using olive oil in place of butter successfully. Thank you (all the way from Canada).
Thanks for this recipe, which is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I found it adapts really well to a food processor.
1. Put the (rolled) oats in the processor and run briefly to reduce flake size.
2. Add the bicarbsoda and butter cut into small pieces and process to blend evenly.
3. Add water, process a ball of dough formed.
4. Roll out etc.
Thank you for your healthy oatcake recipe.
Nice to be able to eat intelligent oatcakes (ie. without lard, sucrose, flour and too much salt).
Really glad you like them – I think they are a real treat!
Lesley Astbury says
Dear Penny, made some Oatcakes yesterday from your recipe, though I think I used the wrong oatmeal as mine looked a bit more ‘rustic’ than yours. They were delicious though, and went down very well with a bit of soft goat cheese. I must tell you how much I appreciate your website and look at it almost every day. Newly retired, I am really revelling in having time to think about meals, and make delicious meals for just two, – myself and my husband after many years of catering for a 3 generation household. I was inspired by your piece on marrowfat peas to make my own mushy peas last week, and a yellow split pea soup, adding a few chorizo scraps to it for flavour. We love pulses so I will be coming back for more ideas. Just wish we had lovely markets and farmer’s markets here in West London, as you do in Exeter. Oh, before I go, I regularly make the Glamorgan Sausage, husband loves them, so do I. I added a small dash of balsamic vinegar for a tang, and for ‘browning’, best veggie sausage ever, thank you! Lesley
PS, I am from Staffordshire originally, and have a recipe for Staffordshire oatcakes. I will share it when I’ve managed to make them successfully, first attempt was a disaster!
I also make own bread now, but use 250g Spelt, 150g Kamut, 100g strong white flours, plus 450ml water. Not the 400 ml recipe states ( Roman Bread on back of Dove’s Farm Spelt Flour bag).