A Scottish delicacy - oatcakes

Oatcakes are nutritious and easy to make. They are a kind of biscuit much liked in Scotland – and delicious!

Good with butter and cheese or yeast extract. (Or with honey.)

Being made from oats they are also:


The following recipe makes delicious oatcakes, but does contain white self-raising wheat – white (refined) flour – which doesn’t suit everyone. Because of the oats, the white flour seldom causes problems, but obviously, people very sensitive to wheat must take care: after all, nothing suits everyone!

Instead of self-raising white flour I’ve tried self-raising wholemeal wheat flour. However I think it makes the resulting oatcakes a bit heavy and harder to chew.

You may question the presence of sugar in this oatcakes recipe but if not in excess, the sweet taste assists the action of your Stomach and Spleen in digestion.

Ingredients for at least 40 oatcakes

  • 500g oatmeal (ideally made from organic oats)
Oatmeal for Oatcakes
The oatmeal I use is smaller than pinhead. The bag shown contains 1Kg, whereas the recipe is for 500g.
  • 250g self-raising white flour – organic, if possible
  • 250g melted butter (ideally organic, from grass-fed cows)
  • half a level teaspoon of salt
  • 2 level tablespoons of brown sugar (molasses type)
  • 140 –  180g cold water
Making oatcakes
Flouring the board before rolling out your oatcakes

Making your biscuits

Set your oven to 175C.

Place all the dry ingredients (ie, the oatmeal, flour, salt and sugar) into a bowl.

Mix them so there are no lumps (for example from the molasses-type sugar)

Make a hole in the middle of the mixture.

Pour the melted butter into the space in the mixture.

Mix it all up until well mixed and of the same colour. (I use my fingers, but an electric mixer does it equally well.)

At this stage the mixture will usually need some water to hold it together. Gradually add the water, mixing it before adding more.

Eventually it forms a sticky dough.

On a floured surface roll out the dough.

Cut it into circular pieces of between 25cm and 50cm diameter and 3mm and 5mm thickness, to your preference.

Place the oatcakes on a floured baking tray.

Bake for up to 30 minutes until pale biscuit colour but check after 20 minutes that they are neither too dry nor burning.

Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. When cool, store in a box. 

Ideally consume within 4 weeks. 

If you get the mixture right, you will probably find that your oatcakes are easily consumed within 4 weeks.

In future you may alter the quantities of salt and sugar: the aim is that the oatcakes are delicious and be eaten!

A food for the hungry
Oatcakes with Cheese – delicious!

Hint 1: If you are about to eat a large meal, but have not eaten for a long time and are hungry, I suggest that you eat several of these oatcakes, perhaps with a little butter, a little while beforehand. This will nourish your Qi and Blood enough for your stomach to digest and for you to enjoy the main meal. Of course, CHEW WELL before swallowing!

Hint 2: In the same way if before bed you are very tired and have not eaten for a while, a couple of these oatcakes will similarly supply the Blood you need to rest and nourish your shen-mind while you sleep. Chew well before swallowing.

(Recipe discovered at Beechwood Country House in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Sadly, this hotel closed many years ago.)

Other recipes on this site:


If you’re interested in Nutrition from an Asian perspective:



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