Introduction: Oatcake Recipe

About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Martha…

The title for these traditional Scottish oatcakes really should have been 'Scottish Argyle Oatcake Recipe', but it was just too wordy for such a simple and easy project. These delicious biscuits are neither sweet nor savory. What they are is a perfectly neutral vehicle for all flavors of toppings, like: jam, lemon curd, cream cheese, lox, honey, Nutella, cheese, salami, butter, fig slices, etc. Mmmmm...

And of course they don't need to be argyle shaped (a round cutter with or without a scalloped edge is a more traditional shape), but I love to find any opportunity to play with my food AND pay homage to my heritage. Hence, Scottish style argyle oatcakes. :)

Let's get (Mc)Crackin'!

Step 1: Recipe

This first recipe is just the basic oatcake recipe. If you want to skip the argyle, use this one.

If you'd like to create the light/dark argyle oatcake pattern that I made, follow the Split Recipe instructions below the dashed line.

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk


Split Recipe - OPTIONAL

In order to create the argyle pattern, I split the recipe into two equal batches and added brown sugar/ cinnamon to one and white sugar/ no cinnamon to the other. The difference in color didn't end up begin as dramatic as I wanted, so I dipped the tops of the baked cinnamon ones in more cinnamon to make them darker. You can do this, or try adding more cinnamon or even cocoa powder into the dough for added darkness!

Light Batch

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 stick (1/2) cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk

Dark Batch*

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 stick (1/2) cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (and/or cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk

I bought the Diamond Cookie Cutter here.

Step 2: Prep School

Move your oven racks so that one is in the top 1/3 of the oven and one is in the bottom 1/3. You will see why in Step 7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter up two heavy baking sheets.

Step 3: Making Oatcakes

NOTE: The following steps are the same for both the single batch and the split batches, except that for the split batches you will mix only one batch at a time in the.

Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until the oats are finely chopped. (like pictured)

Step 4: Butter It Up

Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Add those and the rest of the ingredients, EXCEPT the milk into the processor.

Mix until everything is well blended.

Add the milk and mix again until a dough starts to form. It's ok if there are stray bits that aren't part of the main dough ball. They will be super easy to knead in.

Step 5: Get Rollin'

Dust a clean/dry surface with flour and roll the dough out* until it's 1/8" thick.

*For those of you doing a plain big batch, split the dough in half, wrap one half in plastic wrap and set aside until the other 1/2 has been rolled, cut, and baked. Then repeat the above step.

Step 6: Cut It Out

Using your chosen cookie cutter shape, cut out enough oatcakes to fill both baking sheets.

If you're making the argyle pattern, use a straight edge to press an 'X' across the diamond as pictured, without cutting all the way through.

Step 7: Get 'Em Baked

Place one baking sheet on the upper rack and one on the lower. Bake for 10 minutes then switch the baking sheets. Lower to upper and upper to lower for another 8-10 minutes. This will ensure the cakes bake evenly.

Repeat the rolling, cutting, and baking process for the other half/batch.

Those that chose the non-argyle route, your oatcakes are ready to eat!!

The oatcakes will last up to 1 week in an air tight container.

Step 8: Scottish Argyle Oatcakes

If your 'dark' diamonds don't come out dark enough, dip the tops in cinnamon or cocoa and arrange both the light and dark oatcakes (as pictured) to serve.

Happy highland-ness everyone!

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