Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (2024)

Oatcakes are a traditional cracker made out of oats that can be found in shops and restaurants all across Scotland, but not everyone has an easy Scottish oatcakes recipe for making them at home. Well, look no further…

Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (1)

Their versatility means you’re as likely to be served them with soup as with cheese or pate when you’re eating out, and there is a multitude of different varieties across supermarket shelves, including some with different flavour combinations.

Oatcakes are perfect as an addition to a meal or an in-between snack. They’re a bit like the bread of Scotland, and have been made here for hundreds of years.

While they’re widely available in Scotland, that’s not always the case around the world, so we decided to make a simple oatcake recipe for anyone who can’t easily get their hands on a pack, or for anyone who just fancies making up their own batch at home.

And in any case, when you’re making homemade oatcakes you can decide exactly what you want in them too! We’ll share a little more about some possible flavour combinations a bit further on.

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Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (2)

What is an Oatcake?

In Scotland, an oatcake can sometimes refer to something more bread-like, like a bannock. Which in turn is sort of like a flatter scone made with oats. Confused yet?

But in this Scottish oatcakes recipe, we’re referring to the hard oatcakes that are more like a cracker and have a snap.

They’ve been recorded as being made in Scotland since Roman times, but it’s widely thought that they were made there long before that.

There is tell of nuns in Scotland in the 14th Century making small pancakes the size of communion wafers; this is one of the earliest descriptions of the making of oatcakes.

Obviously, things have changed a little since then, and you’ll sometimes find oatcakes made with flour as well, rather than just plain ground oats. We’ve decided to stick to the more traditional and just use oats!

You can see what a bannock looks like in our recipe here.

Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (3)

Things you’ll need to make Oatcakes

Oatcakes are relatively simple to make with just a few kitchen items.

  • Rolling pin
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper or reusable baking mats
  • Cookie cutter, glass, or scone cutter (we use one like this)
Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (4)

Ingredients for Oatcakes

  • 100g rolled/porridge oats
  • 100g oatmeal
  • 25g butter
  • 1tsp salt
  • A few tablespoons of hot water

What oats you’ll need

Different types of oats go by different names, depending on the country you’re in. When you’re making oatcakes, the type of oats you have will have a big impact on how they turn out.

You want your Scottish oatcakes to have a little texture but not just fall apart because the oats are too big, so using the right sort is crucial to the recipe.

On the other hand, you don’t want the oats to turn into porridge and have no texture at all!

Let’s start with the UK

Rolled oats are usually the bigger, rounder variety that are flattened with a roller. Porridge oats are a little more broken down as they are crushed. Oatmeal is like a blended version that is smaller again.

For our recipe, we use a mixture of porridge oats and oatmeal. In this sense, the oatmeal is like ground-up porridge, as we often see oatmeal referring to cereal elsewhere!

If you only have access to rolled oats, then you can use these as they also break down well in water, or you can use a blender to make them slightly smaller. Not too much or they’ll be like oatmeal!

In the US things are trickier…

You can see the photos below, which is likely to be the most helpful because there are not even uniform names in some cases. They could possibly be called quick-cook rolled oats, Scottish oats, oat flakes, etc. You could use rolled oats instead if that’s all you can get.

The oatmeal is possibly ground oats or fine ground oats.

Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (5)
Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (6)

How to make Scottish Oatcakes – step by step method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C or 350F.

Take a large bowl and mix the two types of oats together.

Add the melted butter and mix to combine.

Now start to slowly add a little hot water until the oats and butter mixture comes together to form a pasty ball. You don’t want to add too much, so add 2-3 tablespoons and allow the oat mixture to absorb it. If you need to, add 1-2 more and then knead with your hands.

Form the mixture into a ball before transferring to a flat surface for rolling out. We like to use a non-stick rolling/pastry mat, but you can also sprinkle the surface with a little flour or oatmeal if you need to so they don’t stick.

Roll the mixture out to about 1/4 inch or 0.5cm thick. Use a cookie cutter, glass, or the round edge of a scone cutter to cut the dough into circles and then move them into your baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning once. Allow to cool and eat!

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Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (8)

Oatcake variations

You’ll find plenty of varieties of oatcakes in the supermarket, but now you can make your own too!

We have made these traditional oatcakes with just oats, but you can add in a few other ingredients for flavour too.

Add in some grated cheese and black pepper or some sesame and poppy seeds. Try peri-peri and a hint of chilli for some spice or even herbs like rosemary.

What to serve Oatcakes with

As we said, oatcakes can be like the bread of Scotland. That means you’ll often see them served with soup, cheese, or with a variety of toppings.

They can really be served with anything you like! Pickle and cheese is one of our favourites, as is cream cheese and a bit of cold-smoked Scottish salmon.

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Yield: 15

Scottish Oatcakes Recipe

Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (10)

Oatcakes are a traditional cracker made out of oats that can be found all across Scotland.

Their versatility means you’re as likely to be served them with soup as cheese or pate when you’re eating out, and there is a multitude of different varieties across supermarket shelves.

Perfect as an addition to a meal or an in-between snack. They’re a bit like the bread of Scotland, and have been made here for hundreds of years!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes

Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g porridge oats (or rolled oats - see notes)
  • 100g oatmeal
  • 25g butter
  • 1tsp salt
  • A few tablespoons of hot water

Instructions

How to make Oatcakes - step by step method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C or 350F.
  2. Take a large bowl and mix the two types of oats together.
  3. Melt the butter then mix with the oats to combine.
  4. Slowly add a little hot water until the oats and butter mixture comes together to form a pasty ball. Don’t add too much too quickly, so add 2-3 tablespoons and allow the oat mixture to absorb it. If you need to, add 1-2 more and then knead with your hands.
  5. Form the mixture into a ball before transferring to a flat surface for rolling out. We like to use a non-stick rolling/pastry mat, but you can also sprinkle the surface with a little flour or oatmeal if you need to so the mix doesn't stick.
  6. Roll the mixture out to about 1/4 inch or 0.5cm thick.
  7. Use a cookie cutter, glass, or the round edge of a scone cutter to cut the dough into circles and then move them into your baking tray.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning once. Allow to cool and eat!

Notes

Oatcakes are a delicious and easy snack! You can top them with chutney and cheese, jam, peanut butter, banana, whatever you want! They're also lovely with soup.

Different types of oats:

Rolled oats are usually the bigger, rounder variety that are flattened with a roller. Porridge oats are a little more broken down as they are crushed. Oatmeal is like a blended version that is smaller again.

For our recipe, we use a mixture of porridge oats and oatmeal. In this sense, the oatmeal is like ground-up porridge, as we often see oatmeal referring to cereal elsewhere!

If you only have access to rolled oats, then you can use these as they also break down well in water, or you can use a blender to make them slightly smaller. Not too much, or they'll be like oatmeal!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

The nutritional data in this recipe is provided by a third party and these values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed.

Other Scottish Savoury Baking Recipes to Try:

  • Simple Scottish Bannocks Recipe
  • Forfar Bridie Recipe – Scottish Handheld Meat Pies
  • The Perfect Scottish Morning Rolls Recipe
  • Butteries Recipe (Also Known As Rowies and Aberdeen Rolls!)
  • Easy Haggis Sausage Rolls Recipe

Sonja and Phil x

Easy Scottish Oatcakes Recipe - Scottish Scran (2024)

FAQs

What are the ingredients in Nairn's Scottish Oatcakes? ›

Ingredients. Wholegrain oats (90%), sunflower oil, sustainable palm fruit oil, sea salt, raising agent: sodium bicarbonate.

How many oatcakes should I eat a day? ›

Throughout the day people are advised to snack on fruit, such as an apple, as well as two oatcakes and reduced fat soft cheese. This meal plan equates to seven portions of fruit and vegetables, four portions of starchy foods, two portions of protein and three portions of dairy.

Are Scottish rough oatcakes healthy? ›

Oatcakes also have a high mineral content especially manganese and phosphorous and are excellent for maintaining our energy levels. They also have a low glycaemic index which makes them helpful in managing blood glucose, especially if topped with a good quality protein/fat such as a nut butter.

Are oatcakes Irish or Scottish? ›

Oatcakes have been a staple of the Scottish diet since at least Roman times and probably long before. In the 14th century, Jean le Bel accompanied a French count to England and Scotland, and describes nuns making "little pancakes rather like communion wafers", and this is thought to describe the making of oatcakes.

Do oatcakes raise blood sugar? ›

They are a rich source of soluble fibre which health experts say helps to fill you up and balance blood sugar levels, making oat based food low GI. They are also a source of insoluble fibre which is essential for healthy digestion.

Do oatcakes spike blood sugar? ›

As we have seen, oats are a superb food choice for blood sugar control. You can eat them as oat flakes (cold) or soak and cook them to make porridge. Oatcakes are the best 'bread' choice, for example, with your scrambled or boiled egg, or as a snack during the day with a high-protein spread such as hummus.

Are oatcakes better for you than bread? ›

Lots of calories – there are about 80-100 calories in a slice of bread and about 40-50calroies in an oatcake. Also condiser that a bagel or croissant can have 3-4 times the number of calories than a single oatcake and have very little fibre.

Are oatcakes good for the gut? ›

Oats are one of the foods that can help keep our gut happy. They're high in gentle fibre, which not only helps us stay regular, but also 'feeds' the friendly bacteria in the gut. These bacteria then make a substance called butyrate, which helps keep the gut lining healthy.

Are oatcakes anti inflammatory? ›

An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant bonus

So, now you know why oats are so good for your digestion, why not try including more of them in your diet?

Do oatcakes help you sleep? ›

Oatcakes with cheese are a great bedtime snack as it contains complex carbohydrates and protein to optimise tryptophan levels.

Are oatcakes good for high blood pressure? ›

“Oats seem to promote healthy bacteria in the gut. They also seem to reduce blood pressure and the levels of cholesterol in the blood which may be responsible for the development of heart disease.

Why are my oatcakes so crumbly? ›

Mix together thoroughly, adding small amounts of water as necessary to bring the ingredients together into a dough. Too much water will make a harder, denser oatcake. For a crumbly, crisp texture you need just enough water to make a dough.

Who invented the oatcake? ›

Jean Le Bel, around AD 1357–1360 describes the Beguine nuns making "little pancakes rather like communion wafers". This is thought to be an early description of a Scottish oatcake.

What is a healthy topping for oatcakes? ›

  • Hummus and spring onion. Hummus is a truly nutritious snack which is great to include in your diet. ...
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese. ...
  • Smashed avocado and cherry tomato.

Are Nairn's oatcakes healthy? ›

The good news is over 95% of Nairn's product range are high in fibre and can help increase your fibre intake. When you're well on to achieving your recommended amount, your body will feel better and your mood better in turn.

What are Scottish oatcakes made of? ›

Scottish Oatcakes are traditional savoury biscuits or crackers that are perfect with cheese. So easy and satisfying to make, I think they're head and shoulders above shop bought ones. Containing just oats, salt, olive oil or butter plus water, you'll be surprised just how good homemade Scottish Oatcakes are.

Why are oatcakes so high in calories? ›

As oatcakes are flour based, most of the calories they contain come from carbohydrates. Having said that, they're also a great source of fibre.

Are Nairn's fruit and seed oatcakes healthy? ›

They're loaded with good things – wholesome wholegrain oats, currants and flaxseeds and are packed with soluble fibre to help keep you going throughout the day. A tasty, nutritious snack for on the go.

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