Scottish Oatcakes are a healthy alternative to crackers for hors d'oeuvres.
Recipes on July 19, 2010 by

Bob’s Favorite Scottish Oatcakes

Scottish oats are ground on our millstones to create a creamy porridge.

Of the things that Bob brought back from his first visit to Scotland in the early 90’s was a taste for their style of oatmeal (ground), a renewed passion for stone milling and an affection for Scottish Oatcakes. None of these has been far from his heart since.

I had never heard of an oatcake when I started here six years ago. It sounded like a delicious little cake made from oatmeal. As an American, the word cake means something very different to me than it does to the Scots. Our cake is light and fluffy, full of sugar, flour, butter and eggs. A Scottish oatcake is a flat, cracker-like biscuit (for lack of a better descriptor) made using ground oats, water, salt, butter and a wee bit of baking powder.

It has been said that the oatcake originated from ancient Scots who would create a ‘cake’ out of the oats carried in their sporran and the water they had available; this they would heat this over the fire to sustain them. I have read a variety of opinions regarding what exactly was carried in sporrans and oats regularly top the list of what Scots carried.

When I first set out to make an oatcake, I genuinely thought I was creating a sweet biscuit. NOPE. An oatcake is a far cry from sweet and definitely nothing like the good ol’ American biscuit. What I discovered, however, is a wonderful treat- a perfect base for almost any topping. A whole grain goodie that holds up well in your bag while you’re on the go and keep you full through your day.

These cakes would be a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea. I love eating these on their own where the oat’s natural nuttiness can shine through, but I’ve also topped them with jam, honey, peanut butter and cheese (no, not together). They’re great with dips or set out as a base for an appetizer stacked with meat and cheese or cucumber with cream cheese. Enjoy!

Scottish Oatcakes are a healthy alternative to crackers for hors d'oeuvres.

Bob’s Favorite Scottish Oatcakes


Preheat oven to 325°F. Place all but 2 tablespoons of the Scottish Oatmeal in a bowl with flour, sugar, salt and baking powder; stir until combined. Add butter and stir until evenly distributed. With a fork, mix in water, just until moistened. Pat dough into a ball, and then flatten slightly.

Sprinkle reserved 2 tablespoons oats on a board. Roll dough out 1/4 inch thick. With a 2 to 3 inch round cutter, cut dough into rounds. Re-roll and cut scraps. Place oatcakes about 1/4 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake until Scottish Oatcakes are golden, approximately 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Enjoy plain, serve with jam or cheese, or use them to build hors d’oeuvres. Makes 12 Scottish Oatcakes.


Sam says:

Cut out butter and replaced with 3T. extra-virgin olive oil. Added 1t. ea. fresh minced sage, rosemary, basil, and oregano… whatever I had in my garden. Substituted brown for white sugar. Sprinkled rolling board and pin with some extra flour while rolling to prevent sticking. Cut rounds with a wine glass. Nice recipe– makes for easy and tasty modifications. Thanks! 🙂

What a great suggestion! Thanks Sam! I’ll have to try that soon. Yum!

Sandy says:

Question: I’ve never had these before and decided to try them. I made these this morning and kept them in the oven an extra 5 minutes and they never turned golden, but looked like they do in the photo. They were really crumbly and the oatmeal still had a “bite” or almost al dente quality to it. Is this how they are supposed to be? They honestly tasted a bit like cardboard. I am wondering if I should use boiling water instead of just hot to soften the oatmeal a bit?

Hi Sandy,

The oats will still have a bite. These are more like crackers than cookies. You can definitely try adding more moisture or using boiling water to soften them up a bit. If you want them sweeter, try adding 1 or 2 Tbsp more sugar. These are like traditional Scottish Oatcakes, so cardboard isn’t terribly far from the truth. They are meant to top with a bit of jam or cheese.

Jesse the K says:

If I wanted to make this GF, and still maintain the Scottish tradition, could I substitute Bob’s Oatflour for the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?

Yes, you could substitute the oat flour for the whole wheat flour. They may be a bit more crumbly. You can add a bit 1/4 tsp or so of xanthan gum to help them hold together better.

Chris M says:

As someone who’s home was in Scotland for 35 years, I can testify that this recipe produces the real thing. Any clue as to the calories per cake?

Each oatcake has 110 calories. View the full breakdown here:

Jody says:

My husband and I lived in England for two years and feeling nostalgic I wanted to make some of the things we used to eat. I just made these…and they are EXACTLY like the ones we used to buy in the UK. So, thanks for the great recipe. It’s a keeper. BTW I sometimes called them ‘cardboard’ too. They’re definitely not for everyone. lol.

Andrea Kimber -Locke says:

Great ideas and summary. My husband and I read your informative article while we choked down the mushy oatmeal I had overcooked in the crockpot last night, using regular oats. Next time I will Irish or Scottish oats. Thanks!

View Comments

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

Keep up to date on the latest from
Bob's Red Mill
Subscribe Now