Crunchy Rough Scottish Oatcakes

A while back I decided to cut wheat from my diet for a whole year. One of the first things I did was stock up on oatcakes.

Crunchy Rough Scottish Oatcakes

They do make life a little bit easier and you can still enjoy your favourite toppings like Smoked Salmon Pâté or cheese on them. When Gabriel started eating solids I got a sudden rush of motivation to make them myself. Surely, it can’t be that difficult, I thought. It wasn’t. The addition of dried fruit makes it just that more special and fresher as and crumblier than the shop bought ones.

Crunchy Rough Scottish Oatcakes

Crunchy Rough Scottish Oatcakes
Makes 20 small oatcakes
Preparation: 15 mins – Cooking: 20 minutes
Can freeze raw dough
  • 225g (2½ cups/8 oz) medium oatmeal, plus extra for dusting
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) salt
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) unsalted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Put the oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix well. Heat the butter and 150ml (3/4 cup/5 oz) water in a small pan until the butter melts.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the oatmeal mix, pour in the liquid and use a palette knife to mix everything together. The mixture will initially seem a bit wet, but the oatmeal will gradually absorb all the liquid to give a soft dough.
  3. Lightly dust a clean work surface with oatmeal. Tip out the dough, then roll out to about 5mm thick. Use a small round cutter to stamp out the oatcakes or use your favourite shapes. Re-roll any trimmings and continue to cut out the biscuits. (Cut biscuits can be frozen uncooked, for up to a month. Freeze flat before packing into bags or boxes.)
  4. Brush off any excess oatmeal, then space the oatcakes over 2 baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes, carefully turning the oatcakes every 5 minutes or so to stop them from steaming and going stodgy. When cooked they should be crisp and lightly golden. Lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool. (Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.)
Serving Suggestion
  • Serve with your favourite after-dinner cheese or any preferred topping, for example Smoked Salmon Pâté.
  • Alternatively, bake the oatcakes on a rack – no flipping required!
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding 25g (1 oz) of roughly chopped dried fruit like cranberries or apricots to the dough. A downside to using the fruit though is at times it can make the dough sticky. Add small amount of oatmeal to the dough until the stickiness goes away and proceed with the recipe.
  • For a more savoury oatcake, coarsely grind 10ml (2 tsp) black peppercorns and tip into a sieve. Shake and discard any fine dust, then add the remaining coarse grinds to the oatmeal mix.
  • You could also try adding poppy seeds or finely chopped herbs like rosemary and thyme.

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    • david mc donnell says

      a lovely healthy filling snack is scottish rough oatcakes[you can get these in tesco]topped with a thin layer of almond butter and drizzled with agave nectar[you can get this in holland and barrett.on the subject of oats try my power porridge.50g porridge oats,20g wheatgerm,teaspoon of mixed chopped nuts,teaspoon of chopped almonds,teaspoon of mixed seeds,half teaspoon of cinnamon powder,use whatever flavour soya milk you like ,i personnally prefare vanilla flavour, all ingredients into a pot for approx 2 mins, add drizzle agave nectar at this point .into bowl an top with fresh just your average joe that lost five stone in a 2 year period using these type of recipes.if anyone tries these recipes please let me know by email id be happy to share some more recipes with you.ireland

      • Tessa Cross says

        Hi David

        I liked your power porridge recipe as it is very similar to the one I make every morning after my early morning swim. I add linseed,cranberries, sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds. I also add chopped banana whilst it is cooking so I don’t need to add any syrup. I sprinkle cinnamon and ground ginger on the top before serving.
        I eat for my blood type so these types of foods work well for me as I avoid dairy and wheat products amongst many others.

        I would be interested in any other recipes you would be willing to share with me.

        Best Regards


  1. says

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who fell in love with oatcakes after moving here 😉 Now I’m addicted. I would really like to try and make them and your recipe sound very doable…

  2. Dia says

    I am just waiting for the 2nd round of oatcakes to bake. Great recipe, little problem with sticky dough but lovely taste after all. Thank you so much…from a very addicted person.

  3. says

    Dia: Thank you for your feedback. It is always appreciated!

    Due to the fruit’s sugar content it makes the dough a bit sticky, so if you omit them the dough will be easier to work with. The fruit does make them taste more exciting though…

    Happy baking! :-)

  4. says

    I love your site – you have a ton of information here. Now I’m just wondering why you only have one Scottish recipe. Hasn’t haggis made it into your repertoire yet? Or what about mince and tatties, or treacle scones? Oh, not the scones if you are off wheat. Scotch Broth is good too. Well, thanks for the recipe, I miss British food and I’ll have to make some oatcakes one of these days (they’d go well with the lemon curd I’m drooling over the idea of making).

  5. says

    Alison: I’m afraid to tell you that my knowledge of Scottish cuisine is very sparse. Haggis I haven’t had the guts to try yet. (Bad pun!) Mince and tatties I haven’t got around to try yet and it’s the first time I’ve heard of treacle scones and Scotch Broth. Yes, I know nothing! Since I try to avoid wheat in general I’ve come to love oatcakes though so hence the recipe. You seem to be an expert though! Please do let me know how you get on with the oatcakes. :-)

  6. xan says

    THANK YOU for an oatcake recipe to try that doesn’t include sugar or dairy products! I’ve been searching for this type of version high and low. I’m off to the kitchen right now to give my first batch a whirl!

  7. Amy says

    For those Americans out there, 5 oz water is 3/4 cup, and 8oz of oatmeal is about 2.5 cups of oatmeal. I’ve made these once, and I realllllllly liked them. It’s a great healthy alternative to crackers.

    I came back here to make another batch (hence posting the conversions so I don’t have to look them up every time!), but this time I am not going to make circles. I’ll just roll them out and cut them into squareish shapes, it’ll save a lot of time, and they’ll taste the same!

    • Amy says

      Another way to cut corners (no pun intended in response to my previous post!)…
      I got tired of all the flipping, on my 3rd batch (I’m working in a toaster oven here!) I cooked them directly on the rack. Worked perfectly, no flipping required!

      • says

        Thanks so much for the conversions, Amy! I’ve updated it in the recipe so that you don’t have to scroll down every time. Traditionally oatcakes are round but it really doesn’t matter which shape they come in. If you have kids make them dinosaurs!

  8. Polly Rodger Brown says

    Your oatcakes recipe is fantastic – one of the simplest things I’ve ever cooked and delicious. It occurred to me ages ago that it must be easy to make home-made oatcakes and now I know it is! And incredibly cheap. I’ve passed on the recipe to all my family and they love it too. Thank you very much.

  9. Jean says

    As a newly diagnosed diabetic I decided to make these as a healthy alternative to bread. They are so expensive in shops! I was amazed how easy peasy these are! I put olive spread in instead of butter and low salt. They are delicious I made three batches as I don’t think I could get 12 rounds. I cut them into fingers and am currently baking my second batch on a rack and have frozen my third batch. Thank you for this recipe!

    • says

      Not only is freshly baked oatcakes are cheaper than shop bought ones, they taste better too! Yikes, this recipe needs a makeover, hopefully I’ll get to it next year.

  10. Glenn says

    I was looking for a sugar-free but satisfying snack and stumbled upon your recipe. I love pretty much anything involving oats, so I decided to try them out. They’re delicious! The texture is lovely and they’re just salty enough, making them very more-ish but not terribly guilt-inducing.
    They’re very nice plain, and I’ve also enjoyed several with some warm, thick tomato sauce on top. Very versatile. I’ll definitely make them again. Thank you for sharing this simple but delicious recipe!


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