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Scottish Oat Cakes

I love simple recipes that I can easily incorporate into my routine.  Growing up, my best friend’s  dad could make two things, these biscuits and spaghetti, so we had them often if her mom was out.  They’re mildly sweet, dense, a little crispy on the edges and perfect with butter, jam and a cup of tea.  Or with a bowl of chicken soup, or even just as a snack.  My son calls them cookies and I don’t correct him, happy to indulge him in something so healthy.  Although I enjoy the occasional fancy meal out, I really do prefer simple, traditional food; beans and rice, greens from the garden, homemade bread and jam…  I love that these are something people have eaten for generations, that they’re cheap and simple to make, and consist of ingredients that I always have on hand.  And I love the simple, slightly sweet flavor, and hearty dense texture.

I adapted this recipe to include real butter instead of margarine (yuck!) and sucanat instead of brown sugar.  I also used whole wheat flour instead of oat flour simply because I didn’t feel like grinding up oats when I already had wheat flour on hand.  It works great with whole wheat flour and rolled oats, though I imagine it would be tasty with the oat flour as well.  These don’t really rise much at all, so don’t be alarmed when they look about the same when you pull them out of the oven.  They’re nothing fancy, but they’re certainly satisfying and tasty.  I’ve been keeping a cookie jar full of them on the counter, having a few with tea in the morning, and letting the kids help themselves whenever they like.  Try them alongside a hearty, autumn stew.


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Scottish Oat Cakes


Course: Desserts-Bars and Cookies



  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 14 cup sucanat
  • 34 tsp. baking soda
  • 12 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour plus more for dusting work surface
  • 14 cup butter cut into small pieces
  • 34 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter 2 heavy large baking sheets. Place oats in large bowl. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into same bowl. Using fingertips, rub in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; stir until dough forms. Transfer dough to floured surface. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Arrange on prepared sheets, spacing apart. Gather scraps, reroll and cut out additional rounds.
  2. Bake oatcakes until edges are pale golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to racks and cool 5 minutes. Transfer cakes to racks; cool completely. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

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