Scottish Oatcakes can easily be made in your kitchen and are naturally gluten free. Perfect for breakfast, brunch a snack or cheese platter.
You should really get to know Scottish oatcakes.
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What are Oatcakes?
Oatcakes are truly unique, not being a cake in any way, shape or form, and not really being what we would term a “cracker”; oatcakes are in a class by themselves. If you’ve never tasted a real Scottish oatcake, put it on your culinary bucket list, or your baking list.
You can make them yourself using the recipe that follows (it is extremely easy using a food processor). However, you should know that not only are they really versatile and delicious, they are sugar free, gluten free and really quite nutritious and healthy. They pair perfectly with cheeses, but also jam and butter. Eat them with soup, too.
I have seen recipe for “oatcakes” which are like soft pancakes, but these are NOT SCOTTISH OATCAKES; do not be misinformed.
Scots are particularly passionate about our food (and drink), so I don’t want you to be confused about this traditional Scottish baked good.
What are Scottish oatcakes made of?
Scottish oatcakes are simple fare made of oats, lard (or butter or oil), a little leavening and water. They are easy to make at home.
Are Oatcakes Good for You?
Absolutely, oatcakes are very good for your health! Oatcakes are essentially almost all oats, which contain vitamin B1, B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and more minerals. You can read more about it on Nairns oatcakes website.
You may also enjoy more of my Scottish recipes.
I usually just eat them with butter, and when using a really good quality butter. The flavor of the oatcakes is simply enhanced. Of course, they can also be served with jam, marmalade or honey, or alongside soup, or with cheese. They are savory, but can be sweetened with the topping you choose, so I hope you do choose to give them a try!
If you’d like to try some before making them yourself, you can order some from The Scottish Grocer. Use code CHRISTINASCUCINA for 10% off your entire purchase. I bet you find some other delicious goodies there, including Hamlyn’s pinhead oats to make these oatcakes from the best oats, ever!
adapted by Christina Conte from an old Scottish cookbook makes 1 dozen triangular oatcakes
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
- steel cut/pinhead oatmeal (with a little extra for sprinkling on workspace, once ground)
- Kosher or sea salt
- butter (or lard) or (Miyoko’s) vegan butter for vegan oatcakes
- baking soda
- hot water
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
Make the Dough
Place the oatmeal in a food processor and process until it has become like flour; a few hard pieces are fine. I love Hamlyn’s pinhead oats from Scotland.
Add the salt, butter, and baking soda and begin to process.
Then add the hot water through the feed tube.
Just add enough water until the mixture comes together.
Sprinkle some oatmeal flour on the workspace, and working quickly, divide the mixture in two.
Shape the Dough
Roll out into a round shape, about 1/4″ thick and cut into sixths. Repeat with the second half.
You can trace around a plate for clean edges if you like. As you can see in the lower left photo below, I trimmed one and not the other. A large cake lifter is excellent for moving the oatcakes to the tray, as well as moving cakes.
Bake the Oatcakes
Place on a baking sheet (I use a silicone mat), and bake for about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool, then store in a tin.
You can warm them in the oven just before serving, or just as they are with butter, jam, or cheese. The slate board and old fashioned scale are both very Scottish props.
Aren’t they lovely?
Christina's Scottish Oatcakes
A gluten free oatmeal "cracker" that is part of Scottish cuisine.
- 1 ¼ cups (225 g) steel cut (pinhead) oatmeal (with a little extra for sprinkling on workspace)
- 1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt
- 1 oz - ¼ of a stick (28 g) butter (or lard) or (Miyoko's) vegan butter for vegan oatcakes
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- about 4 Tbsp hot water
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Place the oatmeal in a food processor and process until it has become like flour; a few hard pieces are fine.
- Add the salt, butter, and baking soda and begin to process.
- Then add the hot water through the feed tube on top until the mixture just comes together.
- Sprinkle some oatmeal flour on the workspace and working quickly, divide the mixture in two.
- Roll out into a round shape, about 1/4" thick and cut into sixths. Repeat with the second half.
- You can trace around a plate for clean edges if you like.
- As you can see in the lower left photo below, I trimmed one and not the other.
- Place on a baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then store in a tin.
Nutrition info using butter (not lard).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 oatcakes
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 70Total Fat: 4.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Life in LA…
I was lucky with a shot of this little hummingbird as I was taking pictures of my oatcakes!
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Thank you for this recipe! Most of the oatcakes I find have wheat in them and I need gluten free.
I can’t wait to make these. Thank you so much for all the Scottish recipes.
Your recipe for Scottish oatcakes says 1 oz – 1/4 stick ( 28gms) butter or bacon fat. Since 1 oz is 25 gms. , do you mean I should add 25 – 28 gms of fat?
Yes, that is correct. Let me know how they turn out, Rosalind. :)
Four batches later and I’m still missing something that makes these a good support for jam, cheese or chutney (my personal favorite).
Mine are a crumbly mess too fragile to serve. I obviously don’t know what I’m doing that’s just plain wrong. Help! I want to make and share oatcakes!
Hi PJ, are you weighing the ingredients? If not, you definitely need a scale. If you are, try adding a little more water. Do they crumble before or after baking?
Is the quantity of oats the ground amount or before grinding. I ground mine then measured. They were good.
Would really like to try this recipe, but being a continental European, I have a bit of trouble with the measures. Would you know how much a “cup” is in millilitres? And do you use US or UK of ounces? (According to conversion sites there is a difference, even though it is quite small.)
All the best!
Hi Danielle, this is one of my older recipes, so I’ve updated it to metric. US and UK ounces are the same (it’s just a pint that’s 16 vs 20 oz). Whatever conversion site you went on is incorrect. A scale for pounds and ounces works the same no matter if it crosses the pond! Enjoy the oatcakes. :)
Can you use Splenda instead of sugar for making oakcakes, as it calls for 1/2 cup of sugar.
I’m sorry, Lynn, you must be looking at a different recipe as there is no sugar in my oatcakes recipe (there truly should never be sugar in oatcakes and if it has ½ cup, I’d run the other direction).
[…] – Dunlop or Scottish Cheddar served with Oatcakes […]
I hadn’t tasted oatcakes while in Scotland(my bad) so I had nothing to go on for taste or texture comparison. My 1st attempt seem too crumbly. I think I need to grind the pinhead oats more?An order of Orkney oatcakes came this week. They taste and have consistency close to our graham crackers. Is that the norm?
Off to do another batch. A bit of bacon grease sounds wonderful. Any idea how much and when to add?
Love your comments, recipes and readers responses. My Scottish born Mom and grands are smiling upon me thanks to your recipes.
The Orkney oatcakes will be a good example of most oatcakes, but they do vary depending on how fine or coarse the oats are ground. They are definitely similar to graham crackers in how they crumble. Use the bacon grease in place of the butter/lard. Or do half and half. Enjoy! Let me know how they turn out!