Scottish Oat Cakes
Member recipe

Scottish Oat Cakes

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(26 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 1 - 14 Pieces

Savory oatcakes (or bannocks) are quintessentially Scottish. Perfect with some hearty cheese, smoked salmon & dill or chutney.

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  • 225g oats
  • 60g wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 60-80ml hot water


    1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
    2. Mix together the oats, flour, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda.
    3. Add the butter and rub together until everything is mixed and has the consistency of large bread crumbs.
    4. Add the water (from a recently boiled kettle) bit by bit and combine until you have a somewhat thick dough. The amount of water varies; depending on the oats.
    5. Sprinkle some extra flour and oats on a work surface and roll out the dough to approx. 1/2cm thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes (the final number of oatcakes depends - of course - on the size of cutter you use. In a wonderfully Scottish twist/coincidence I found that using an upturned whisky glass makes the perfect size :-)
    6. Place the oat cakes on a baking tray and bake for appprox. 20-30mins. or until slightly golden brown.

Comments, questions and tips

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Liz Rae's picture
Liz Rae
5th May, 2020
Made with large flake oats (American), so I blended them in the food processor to make the flakes smaller. Would use slightly less salt but they're really tasty. Saves waiting for an Amazon shipment of Nairns during lockdown.
Norman Macleod's picture
Norman Macleod
7th Apr, 2020
Good recipe but, it doesn't need sugar.
Joe Godden
29th Nov, 2019
Made them with coconut oil as vegan and worked well. Great to avoid plastic wrapped, palm oil shop bought ones
8th Oct, 2019
Works absolutely fine but I found melting the butter and adding it with the hot water - 75 mls - and baking for 20 -25 mins was great. I tried with 60ml of rapeseed oil and got a good but crunchier oakcake. Also I rolled out to the necessary thickness, shaped to my baking sheet and cut into squares. This is much easier. I will try with olive oil but as with many of the other commentators , I used less salt.
Idris Jones's picture
Idris Jones
13th Dec, 2018
Great recipe. I used wholemeal spelt flour by accident, turned out very tasty.
21st May, 2018
This is a good recipe! Appart from two things: Have you ever seen a 0.5 cm thick oatcake in the shops? Neither have I. Add a little more water if need be and then roll them thin. The water must not be boiling as it will cook the dough making it impossible to roll out. Secondly: I see a lot of biscuit recipes which ask for Bicarb to be added when there is no acidic ingredient in the recipe to make it work. To quote Felicity Cloake - "I really can't see the point of adding it [ in this situation]." Baking powder will work. However I make mine without and they are very good. Having said that I see so many Scottish recipes saying add Bicarb. How can so many people get that wrong! There's the issue of tradition for you. Sometimes right and sometimes just a tradition. I bake without it and it's very little different. Remember low salt people it is the Sodium in salt which is the issue and Bicarb. and Baking powder are effectively salt because they are mainly a sodium compound. Sadly I no longer cook soda bread for this reason... a great loss.
11th Jan, 2018
These were great! On a mission to avoid evil palm oil (which is often found in oatcakes) so decided to make them myself. I did need a bit more water but otherwise all worked well!
3rd Dec, 2017
These are great - really delicious! I halved the recipe, forgetting to halve the amount of water though, but they turned out really well!
18th Aug, 2017
Great recipe! I have adjusted the salt & sugar in this recipe to taste also 2 tbsp ground flaxseed for some Omega 3 (need slightly more water to bind). Use your hands to mix all ingredients including the water and needs a floured board to roll. Grease baking tray then put a slight sifting of flour over to avoid oatcakes sticking to tray.
dougiemac's picture
15th Aug, 2016
Followed the recipe to the letter. Absolutely fabulous. The whole secret of the recipe is to use fingers to mix ingredients after adding the water. They mix superbly and a slight dusting of flour on work surface prior to rolling and cutting is required. Used fan oven and 23 minutes was enough, just when edges were going brown.


Simoni Brum de Sousa's picture
Simoni Brum de Sousa
11th Oct, 2019
Could someone tell me what kind of oats is used in original recipe? One post told that used two kinds of and it was good result.Thanks.
Aileen Macmillan's picture
Aileen Macmillan
14th Dec, 2018
What kids of oats please?
20th Oct, 2018
Can these be frozen.? I love oatcakes but made rather a lot:-)
24th Nov, 2018
I think they will keep well in an airtight tin
Pauline Brown's picture
Pauline Brown
28th Jul, 2018
This worked reasonably well, but needed more water, maybe even double or more. The water should be tepid. Get them all to the thickness you prefer. Bits left over with this, you can use in savoury crumbles, very successfully. If you are like Kevin000, who might not live in an area served by Scottish water, then it is possible to use supermarket Scottish water, or just acidify water with a little lemon juice or vinegar to activate the bicarbonate and achieve a similar result. That will substitute for the natural "lower" acids naturally present in Scottish water, which gives it that great taste to drink. This should apply to most Scottish recipes.
Berwick artist
15th Dec, 2016
I replaced the butter with 100% organic virgin coconut oil the sort that sets like lard. The results are very nice without the butter. Salt levels were perfect with a level teaspoon. The best recipe so far. Thanks
25th Jul, 2016
If you're having problems with them sticking together, add a half tablespoon more butter and slightly more water. I would also recommend baking powder instead of baking soda. You definitely want to roll these out--they do leaven! Great flavors!