Make Ahead

Scottish Oatcakes

November  6, 2013
Author Notes

These nubbly, crumbly little shortbread-like cakes make for a tasty little breakfast or snack, especially when paired with a bit of cheese or jam and a cup of tea. This recipe is adapted from one that is on Epicurious but that I've seen in a whole bunch of different places as well, so it's true origins may be lost to time. —fiveandspice

  • Makes about 1 1/2 dozen
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled, salted butter (I like to use Kerrygold) cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
In This Recipe
  1. Heat your oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk and use your hands to press everything together into a messy ball of dough.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll or pat the dough out until it's 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles and transfer these to a baking sheet leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch between the circles. Gather the scraps and roll them out again and cut more circles.
  4. Bake until the oatcakes are golden brown around the edges, about 12 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve plain or with cheese and jam. Store the oatcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.