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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.

How to make scottish oatcakes

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.

Recipe for Traditional Scottish Oatcakes 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.

78 replies on “Scottish Oatcakes”

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!

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!

Just a little slice of cheese and a glop of crabapple jelly. Lovely snack to tide you over to the next meal. Yummy!

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!

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?….

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….

Yes. I tried two recipes today. The first batch, from The Guardian ‘best ever’ had to be binned as they reverted to the bag of oatmeal they were made from at the first touch. My second batch, which mixed oatmeal and porridge oats, but was otherwise the same as the one here, were slightly better but still crazily fragile! How do you make solid ones? I refuse to buy the shop ones with naughty palm oil in!

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…

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.

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.

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!

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! 🙂

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

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.

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…..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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).

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.

.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

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.

I commented on these a few years ago, but I’m moved to do so again. Once I knew what consistency to aim for, they became fail-proof. I’ve been making these oatcakes for a couple of years, and they are an unusual and attractive handmade gift for those who don’t eat sugar and/or wheat. I’ve taken to adding onion and garlic in various forms as well as rotating through a variety of spices including nigella, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, etc.

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