Scottish Oatcakes

Scottish Oatcakes Recipe

It’s with some trepidation that I dub this a recipe for ‘Scottish Oatcakes’. You see, it isn’t entirely clear what fat should be used to bind a traditional Scottish oatcake, but it almost certainly isn’t olive oil. Everyone appears to hold differing opinions and methods, but the flavour of olive oil and the crispness it brings really does it for me. Honestly, these are so far above what you find in the supermarket you’ll never revert.

Scottish oatcakes are fantastic; enjoyably rustic, they are disproportionately filling and, if made according to this recipe at least, possess a really delicious flavour. Oatcakes are also incredibly versatile and work as well in a cheesecake as they do layered with cheese and pickle.

Scottish Oatcakes Recipe

As you can see, my favourite way to prepare Scottish oatcakes is with a hefty pinch of pepper and a generous glug of olive oil. Trust me, though simple these ingredients possess an awesome depth of flavour. Your after-dinner cheese and biscuits or lunchtime snack will never be the same again. If you’ve never even heard of them, you must give this recipe a whirl.

Scottish Oatcakes

Makes 18-20


  • 200g porridge oats

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil

  • A little boiling water


  1. Take half of your porridge oats and tip them into a food processor, along with the salt and pepper. Whiz until relatively fine and tip into a mixing bowl.

  2. Add the remaining porridge oats into the mixing bowl, stir briefly and pour in the olive oil. Incorporate the olive oil a little before pouring in a little boiling water – around 2-3 tbsp – enough to transform your oats into a soft, malleable dough.

  3. Gently knead your dough for 30 seconds, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll gently until 5mm thick.

  4. Take a 6cm round cutter and cut out 18-20 oatcakes. Preheat the oven to 160C/180C(fan). Pop the oatcakes onto a lined baking tray and bake for around 15 minutes, until they are crisp and a little browned.

Scottish Oatcakes Recipe (3) Scottish Oatcakes Recipe (1)

Cost: Let’s face it, oats are cheap.  The most expensive ingredient is the olive oil. This recipe is cheap. Indeed, this batch of delicious, olive-infused Scottish oatcakes should set you back no more than around 25p.

70 comments on “Scottish Oatcakes

  1. Katy Gilmorek
    March 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Your recipes nearly always wow me (only exception being meat ones since I don’t eat it, luckily meat is pricey and you don’t go there much), but your food is imaginative and I know the recipes to be delicious. Thank you so much!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      Well, that seems to be a glowing endorsement! I really should do a meat dish soon – I barely eat the stuff any more though.

  2. countrywoodsmoke
    March 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Definitely going to give this a go, they look fab, and I love oatcakes.

  3. Maya Oryan
    March 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm


  4. LorrielorrieB
    March 6, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I can’t imagine why I haven’t made these before. Thank you.

  5. cheri
    March 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    These look fabulous, I noticed there is no sugar in them, can you go sweet or savory with the toppings?

    • frugalfeeding
      March 10, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Well, oatcakes do tend to be savoury rather than sweet. But, yes, tey would work with a sweet topping.

  6. Corina
    March 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I love oatcakes with avocado as a snack. I’ve never actually made them myself though but these look great.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

      You should, much nicer than shop bought. I’ll have to try them with avocado.

  7. Joanna
    March 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    They look excellent! Love all things oaty, don’t think I have ever tried making a proper oatcake – one for the list of spring baking for me – thankyou!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 10, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks, Joanna! I think you’d definitely enjoy these and they’re simple. Far simpler than all that amazing bread you bake.

  8. Conor Bofin
    March 6, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    The quality of oatcakes varies so much. Some at the lower end of things tend to taste like cardboard. These look lovely.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Yes, I find that. Much safer to make them yourselves!

  9. thepaddingtonfoodie
    March 6, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I’ve always wondered how to make these and have bookmarked this post for a baking project when the weather finally cools down a little. Thank you.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 10, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Awesome – they’re really simple and quick. A great snack for the week.

  10. taplatt
    March 7, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve never had oatcakes but am always looking for portable snack-like things to add to my repertoire. Definitely making these soon!

  11. Kate
    March 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    hiya have you tried making them with oatmeal? or is blitzed porridge oats best?

    • frugalfeeding
      March 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      I’m sure oatmeal is fine – it’s more or less the same thing I think!

  12. Laurie
    March 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I look forward to giving this recipe a try sometime.

  13. grainnep
    March 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Look lovely, great photos as always! G.

  14. K. (@running_kmlv)
    March 13, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Just made these with caraway seeds (my current crush) and they turned out amazingly delicious.

    Could just keep on eating these if they weren’t so filling. 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      March 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      I’m going to make some more son – I really enjoyed them. Glad you gave them a go!

  15. Jenny @ BAKE
    March 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    These seem so simple to make, there is no excuse to ever buy them again!

  16. baconbiscuit212
    March 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I love oatcakes and good cheddar together and these look like perfection.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Thank you, Daisy – I adore oatcakes and a good cheddar.

  17. Jude
    April 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    I made these yesterday and they are just fabulous! I decided to grind my own peppercorns and the taste was just scrumptious; very peppery. Not long ago I had tried a different recipe but it couldn’t compare to this. I do like the fact that this recipe is all oats and not partly flour. So wonderful with a bit of cheddar and some home-made chutney, or just on their own for a snack. Thankyou!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Glad you like them so much! They are really easy too. We had most of ours with cheese and pickle 🙂

  18. joyce gilman
    August 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    This is the recipe I have been looking for for Oat Cakes, but…what are ‘porridge oats’ – are they what we call steel cut oats in the US?….

    • frugalfeeding
      October 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      I’m not entirely sure, but I guess they must be. Sorry for the late response.

  19. Veronica Sheppard
    October 3, 2014 at 12:08 am

    You take the best photos, always makes me want to eat whatever’s on my screen

  20. emmaeatsitalian
    February 10, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Have been looking for a recipe for these, thanks a million for showing me how simple the are to make!

    • frugalfeeding
      February 17, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      MY pleasure – they’re actually very simple.

  21. Sharon
    June 2, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Just made these little beauties and they taste gorgeous, much nicer than the shop bought ones. Mine have turned out really crumbly though (fall apart when I pick them up) what did I do wrong? What can I do differently? Please help. Want to make them again….

  22. Sharon
    June 7, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I have just made these oatcakes and they are gorgeous, far tastier than any shop bought ones. Mine did turn out rather crumberly, any suggestions for what I did wrong? They just crumbled in my hands…

    • frugalfeeding
      June 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      That’s strange. It’s difficult to say since mine turned out just fine from the same recipe! Try again perhaps?

    • Suhashini
      March 31, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Sharon, this reply is years later, but perhaps the dough needed more hot water.

  23. Penelope Setchell
    July 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I love oatcakes, and these turned out very well. A really easy recipe, except for the rolling out. I found that the dough broke very easily, a bit like rolling out really short pastry for mince pies. But I persisted, and I’m glad I did. Thank you so much for the recipe, especially as it contains olive oil and not butter.

  24. Sarah Wilding
    August 12, 2015 at 1:14 am

    These are the best oatcakes I have ever tried. I am making 140 for my daughter’s wedding next week to go with her cheeses in the evening.

  25. wendypendy
    September 13, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Hi. Mine are very crumbly too. I’m using rice bran oil (because it’s cheaper) rather than olive oil. Do you think that would make much of a difference?

    • frugalfeeding
      September 20, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      I’m unsure – probably not. Mine weren’t at all crumbly. very strange.

  26. Julie-ann gledhill
    December 2, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve been looking for an easy oatcake recipe that didn’t involve a trip to the organic food shop for pinhead oatmeal plus organic rolled oats and other expensive nitems. This is a treasure, and although I left out the pepper .personal taste..its so quick, easy and yes, frugal, that I have made it once a week for the last month and have them for a fast healthy brekkie with a bit of cheese. Five stars!

    • frugalfeeding
      December 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      Thank you – what a review! Glad you enjoyed them so much. You know, I haven’t made them in ages – that needs to change.

  27. plasterers bristol
    June 20, 2016 at 6:15 am

    fantastic recipe, these turned out perfect. Thanks for shjaring.


  28. J
    July 18, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Do you think this recipe would work without food processing/grinding the oats? (I would like to use whole oats if possible.) Thanks for all of your great recipes! 🙂

  29. tina S
    August 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Have you ever frozen these ? We are traveling,and I would love to take with for breakfast ? Or how long would they stay fresh ?

  30. Ian
    September 5, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    We are going to try the recipe this week based on your array of great reviews. Another reason for not buying shop-made is that many contain palm oil.

  31. Zayda Kebede
    November 19, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    I loved the idea of this recipe but the oatcakes just fell apart! is this because i used rapeseed oil instead of olive oil? other than that i followed recipe to the letter…..

  32. Ali
    December 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Could you use butter instead? If so, how much? Thanks

  33. liz watson
    January 13, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Just made these oatcakes & they were lovely.did add a little more oil & water to bring it together. Being Scottish I am very fussy with my cakes but will make them again. Thank you.

  34. Sitting duck
    February 12, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Looking for healthy snacks I though I’d give these a try. Very tasty indeed! However as an inveterate fiddler I made a slightly larger batch and split it between a third plain (anything but!), a third with a handful of mixed seeds and some finely grated cheese in the rest (Gruyere, but I guess any would do). Slightly less frugal, but all very tasty. Thank you for the inspiration.

  35. dramwright
    February 13, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Brilliant recipe. All commercial oatcakes eem to use sunflower oil – which I cannot eat. Your recipe is spot on.

  36. Andrew Temple Smith
    December 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Great taste and texture, but very salty, half a teaspoon would be ample!

  37. Valerie Ruma
    March 11, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I just made them and they are delicious and delicately crunchy. I wonder if you have a suggestion to make them a bit more sturdy? Would it be more oil or more water? Mine are delicious but they break up very easily so would not be good to transport. Any advice welcome.

  38. Suhashini
    March 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you, thank you for this recipe. I can no longer eat wheat and wanted a recipe for oatcakes so I didn’t have to keep buying boxes of Nairn’s! These are easy beyond belief, beautifully rustic, and delicious. I added coarse black pepper and some cayenne, and look forward to trying out other seeds and spices in the mix.
    Those who found the dough crumbly may want to try adding a bit more hot water and letting the dough sit for longer to absorb it.

  39. Steph
    July 31, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Just made these with my 4year old son. SO GOOD!
    Perfect with our lambs liver pate and some stinky cheese!
    Thank you loads!

  40. Pat
    October 15, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    hi. Used steel cut oats. Did not work. I believe some of the oats need to be ground to flour in order for the mixture to stick together. I guess my food processor did not grind it fine enough. Rolled oats would have been better, with some steel cut for rusticness (no such word).

  41. John Murphy
    November 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you very much for this. Having seen so many recipes demanding only oatmeal, which I can’t get where I live, it was great to see this recipe, and then find out that the result really is delicious oat cakes. I found I needed more water to get the dough, and some people might like to tone down the pepper a touch, but first time out of the oven they taste delicious, so bravo to you.

    December 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    .Sceptically I have just tried this recipe , thinking that at least it could go out for the birds. No chance. It was well worth the minimal effort involved. There is a second batch cooking at the moment, this time with added Parmesan
    They tasty nibbles for tonight’s visitors. Thank you

  43. Marg Minson
    January 6, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Hi Nick,
    I’ve been making these for a while now but combined elements from another seedy recipe to make it more savoury.
    I add onion powder, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and soya sauce to your basic recipe. (I can post specifics if anyone is interested)I make a 4X batch as they last – if they’re not eaten!!
    I divide the mix up into 4 lots and then roll it as a lump between 2 sheets baking paper with a plastic kids placemat on top and underneath. After this I put it onto a baking tray and then use a pizza cutter to run 6 lines each way in the flattened mix. Repeat 3 X for the rest of the mixture.
    Put it in the FF oven at 170oC for maybe 30 mins? I rotate the mix every 10 mins and when it gets nice and brown I turn the mix over, break the biscuits apart and take the side bits off. Kind of depends how thin your mix is and your oven.
    Cool on cake racks and store in airtight container.
    Thank you for the basic recipe.

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