Make Ahead

Scottish Oatcakes

November  6, 2013
4 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 1/2 dozen
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stacy
  • Coco Morante
    Coco Morante
  • fiveandspice
  • Rebecca Ong
    Rebecca Ong

11 Reviews

Rebecca O. March 13, 2021
Great recipe. Easy ingredients and kid friendly in terms of helping and eating.
Lolostar January 30, 2017
"It's" : a shortened form of 'it is'...for example, "It's a nice day."
"Its" : denotes possession...for example, "The book lost its dust jacket." Or, " its true origins are...".
Great recipe, thank you!

mariam January 24, 2015
These were really good. I used only 1/4 cup sugar and found them sweet enough to my liking (maybe next time I might use 3 tablespoons). However, I found I needed a bit more buttermilk and longer cooking time. Either way, they were better than I expected, and I preferred them more after they cooled down.
Shweta March 10, 2014
Are these cakes Soft to chew or a little hard to bite like a cookie?
fiveandspice March 13, 2014
They are on the crispy side.
Stacy February 8, 2014
I made these for a breakfast potluck at the office (you can only have so many egg/meat/cheese casseroles) and served them with Washington apple butter. They were a hit! Folks snacked on them all day.
fiveandspice February 8, 2014
That's so great!
Scot November 22, 2013
Nothing like traditional Scottish oatcakes - more like a cookie. If you like Nairns or any other oatcakes, you'll find these quite different. Theses are very sweet - and identical to the recipe on epicurious. Omitting the sugar might bring these closer to real Scottish oatcakes.
fiveandspice November 23, 2013
Interesting. I've seen a recipe that's basically the same as this in a whole bunch of different places. I just looked at the one on Epicurious and it looks like they use shortening. I'll have to try that and see how it compares! I haven't ever been to Scotland, so I've never had the opportunity to try real Scottish oatcakes, but hopefully someday I will!
Coco M. November 14, 2013
Oatcakes were one of my favorite discoveries while traveling in Edinburgh last summer. Nairn's is the popular brand, I ate so many of those!
fiveandspice November 14, 2013