Traditional Scottish Oatcakes

Homemade Scottish Oatcakes on plates and board

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
63 Calories
2g Fat
10g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 98mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 51mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Oatcakes are to Scotland what a baguette is to the French. The flat cakes made mainly from oats have for centuries been considered the Scottish national bread. There is documentation of them existing in Scotland as far back as 43 AD, and likely even before then.

The oatcakes are similar to a flatbread or biscuit. They are quick and easy to prepare and make a delicious snack or accompaniment to cheese. Traditionally, they are made in an oven or on a griddle. For some in Scotland, they replace toast as a breakfast staple.

There can be a wide variety in regards to the texture of an oatcake. Depending on how the oats are ground, the oatcake can be very rough to very fine. They can be slightly chewy or hard. This depends on the water content in the batter and how long they are baked for. Today there are a number of commercial bakers that mass produce oatcakes. Many local bakeries also make their own oatcakes. And now, with this easy recipe, you can make your own at home.

This recipe calls for melted goose or bacon fat. This can be found at good butchers. Another option is to save the bacon fat from when you cook bacon. It can be stored in a glass jar and kept in the refrigerator. Melt what you need for this recipe and keep the rest for another day.


  • 4 ounces (125 g) medium oatmeal (ground oats), plus extra for kneading

  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

  • 1 pinch kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons goose fat or bacon fat, melted

  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.

  3. Drizzle in the melted fat and stir vigorously until a thick paste is formed. Add the hot water and mix again. 

  4. Cut the paste into 2 small balls. Sprinkle a work surface with oatmeal and roll each ball on the surface to coat and prevent sticking.

  5. Knead each ball for a few minutes until the mixture starts to dry slightly and stops sticking to the surface. Add a little more oatmeal as required but use sparingly; you do not want the cakes to become too dry.

  6. Roll each ball into a roughly 1/4-inch (1/2-centimeter) thick disc, then cut into quarters.

  7. Place the oatcake dough on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until brown at the edges.

  8. Serve the oatcakes warm or cool.


  • Oatcakes are tasty for breakfast, on a cheese plate, or with some jam at tea time.
  • Store any leftover oatcakes on a plate covered with plastic wrap or sealed in a zip-top bag. They can last a day or two, but you don't want them to become soggy or stale.

Recipe Variation

  • Alternatively, the oatcakes can be cooked in a hot frying pan for 3 minutes on each side.