Oatcakes (Och Aye)

I’ve had a complaint about my blog.

Look up.  Underneath my blog title you’ll see the words: A Scottish Food Blog.  By this all I meant is that I am Scottish and this is a (mostly) food blog.  You get that, right?  Well, not everyone does. This week I received a complaint that my food wasn’t Scottish enough.

At first, I was really confused: didn’t think I’d ever suggested that I’d be writing about Scottish food.  Mince and tatties, cockaleekie, skirlie, cranachan, tattie scones: these are all delicious but I eat them only occasionally.  And I’ve never had a deep fried Mars Bar! 

Maybe I will blog about Scottish food more in the future.  For now though, I offer the disillusioned the following recipe.  Call them oatcakes, call them bannocks: they are undoubtably Scottish.  They are also ridiculously easy to make and, along with a good cheese and chutney or some smoked salmon and dill, make for an crowd pleasing canape/starter.  Especially if you use an cute shaped heart-shaped cutter. 🙂


225g Oats

60g wholewheat flour

30g butter

30g lard or vegetable fat

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda

50 ml boiling water

  • Mix together the oats, flour and bi-carb.
  • Add the butter and lard and rub together until the fats are incoporated and look like big breadcrumbs (this took the full length of Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell when I last did it).
  • Add the boiling water little by little and combine until a thick, stiff dough is formed.
  • Scatter extra flour and oats on a surface and roll out the dough until 1/2 cm thick (or thinner if you prefer daintier biscuits).  Use cutter to cut out shapes. 
  • Reroll dough and cut again until dough is used up.
  • Place shapes on baking tray and bake in 190oC oven for 20-30 mins until brown and crisp around the edges.
  • Remove from oven when golden and crisp around the edges. 

P.S. Marco is settling in very well.  He’s still a bit unsettled at night (hence the massive bags beneath my eyes) but is loving all the walks and hugs his new owners give him. 


32 thoughts on “Oatcakes (Och Aye)

  1. aye well deep fried mars bars are glasgowegian. they pretty much deep fry anything. in fact took great delight during the scotland v italy match bawling at the tv that they were gonna deep fry their pizzas. i didnt misunderstand yer blog title and yer blog is fab. and marco is very kewt.

  2. Ah yes and all Italians eat pizza and pasta, while down here in Aus we’re stuck on kangaroo, meat pies and beer.

    You’ve got to love cultural stereotypes. Surely the fact you’re in Scotland and Scottish makes it . . . well Scottish food?

  3. I’ve blogged about mince and tatties, cockaleekie and cranachan – and I’ve eaten a deep fried Mars Bar (just weeks before moving back home, and only one bite) 🙂

    I love your blog the way it is, though occasional Scottish recipes wouldn’t probably hurt. Those oatcakes look gorgeous, Wendy, pretty and crisp!

  4. Wendy, what are some people like?! I guess that once you make yourself public you are open to criticism from people who have nothing better to do. You aren’t the only person if it is any consolation!

    Anyway, thankyou for this. We eat a lot of oatcakes but shop bought. I’ve never really thought about making my own – but I am going to now! Top blogger.


  5. Kelsie – That’s hillarious. Got to remember that for the next time Scotland play Italy… 🙂

    Kathryn – You know, there is a definite lack of koalas on your site. Perhaps you should do something about that?

    Pille – Thank you. 🙂 You’re very brave for eating the deep fried Mars Bar. Not sure I could face it!

    David – They were quite polite about it, I must say, but I did find it a bit odd that someone went out of their way to email a complaint to me! lol!

  6. wendy, I love the recipe, thank you x

    our megan kept us awake when we first brought her home, but she soon settled and now snores happily all night long!
    ps. I am loving your photos of him , he is such a cutie xx

  7. Ha. Seems to me that it’s an Eats Shoots and Leaves issue. I’d love more Scottish recipes (and Finnish!) because I did so love the food I had there some years ago.

  8. I’m amazed that someone would actually write to complain about your wonderful blog! I love it just the way it is. Having said that, those oatcakes do look lovely (and very Scottish).
    P.S. Glad to hear that gorgeous Marco is settling in well. I hope the nights get easier soon.

  9. Megan – He’s settled down now. Very glad. Was pretty tired! 🙂

    Cynthia – Will do just that! x

    Alanna – Very true! And more Scottish recipes to come in the future.

    Antonia – You’re too sweet. 🙂 And the nights are steadilly getting easier.

  10. Although I can see (in a farfetched kind of way) that someone might misinterpret your blog as having Scottish content. I guess it does – you’re Scottish although not all your food is. Does a blog have to be ethnocentric? If an American calls their blog “The American Blog” does that preclude them from showing pizza which is Italian? And we all know how popular pizza is in the U.S.

    It’s your blog – do whatever you want and keep showing us some good food, who really cares where it’s from.

    Marco is special. My dogs saw his picture and my female said “hubba hubba….want a play date”?

  11. Well.

    I mean, really? People just complain about anything these days.

    Glad you shared these, though. Hope you don’t share any haggis, though. Come to think of it, I’ve never tasted the stuff…

    Marco…be still, my beating heart. Sleep will come. I promise.

  12. Wendy, when my father was over at Christmas he left me the following recipe for oatcakes (he made them with Lucas): 100g oats to be milled, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1tsp sugar, 8-9 tbsp boiling water. They were delicious and different from your recipe but he didn’t cut them into love hearts. Very cute.

  13. Oh Wendy dear, dont you fret. At least it wasnt kin who complained! That is why I have my comments set to moderate! My friends and fellow bloggers are wonderful…kin…ummm…sometimes not so much. Sad but true. Don’t take anything like that to heart. I love, love LOVE your blog. So happy I found it and I stop by at least once a day. I had a Scottish granny and she made oatcakes…I had almost forgotten them…thanks for the memory!

    Speaking of haggis when Husband was in Scotland 3 weeks ago, he was at a lunch buffet with colleagues, and haggis was right there for the taking. Not brave enough-too much bad publicity! I would have at least tried it. I think maybe, just maybe it gets a bad rap. Couldnt be all that bad or people wouldnt still be making and eating it! BTW, he really did love Scotland and has promised me a trip soon.

  14. Giz – Marco is at the age where he is just discovering girl dogs and would luuurve that play date. 😉

    Lucy – Oh Lucy, haggis is absolutely delicious. Really, I love the stuff. And the vegetarian version’s really good too. Will have to try and make it some time.

    Kathryn – Can’t stop thinking about carrot munching koalas practising yoga now. That’s not a bad thing, you understand. 😉

    Ross – Thank you! Shall keep the haggis to myself though. 🙂

    Shona – Will have to try that recipe out. I did wonder about adding just a little sugar.

    NotquiteJuneCleaver – Thank you!! Wish your husband had tasted the haggis. I’m certain he’d have loved it. It’s really, really good. A bit like a slightly spicey ground beef mixed with oatmeal.

    Kay – Hee hee. “Pish and tosh” made me laugh. 🙂

  15. A complaint? About your blog? Youwhat?!! I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. Maybe you could call it ‘a Scottish food blog, because I’m Scottish and I live in Scotland but sometimes I will blog about other foods, because I don’t just live on haggis because that would be weird – I hope that’s ok with everyone?’ Personally, I get a real sense of Scotland from your blog, I love the out and about photos because the light you have up there is so beautiful. Does this all sound a bit gushy?! Oh well, I may as well say that the picture of Marco is fab too, darling…..

  16. These cranky, complaining sorts are not to be taken seriously. Flick them off, Wendy.

    Marco is a fine lad. Look at his deep-brown soulful eyes, and that moist gumdrop of a licorice nose. I want to kiss that dear face forever. : }

    Your oatcakes are lovely. I will be making a berry crisp today with an oat crust….how very “American” of me. ; )

  17. Hi Wendy, I actually think your blog is very Scottish, from one Scottish blogger to another and you do throw in way more Scottish recipes than I do and very nice they are too!

    Phooey, I say to that person!

    Macro is gorgeous! I showed Graham and he was impressed. We always have a “if we were to have a dog, which kind would we have?” conversation and we never agree, I always like small cute dogs, while Graham would like a stonking big dog. But …we have agreed on Macro, so now I just have to work on the cats!

  18. Dear wendy. All of your food is Scottish – it is, after all, cooked in your kitchen!

    When I think about what Australian food is, it’s food that’s cooked by Aussies – because we don’t really have a tradition of our own food.

  19. People will complain about anything :P!! But your blog is cute, as are these little oat cakes, so I wouldn’t pay any attention to their comments :).

  20. Pia – Thank you from Marco and me!

    Susan – Berry crisp, you say? Sounds divine. Will have to head over to your blog shortly, methinks!

    JennDZ – Thank you! Enjoy those oatcakes. 🙂

    Holler – D and I had a similar conversation. I love all dogs, big and small, but knew my parents might not want to dog-sit a huge alsation. D didn’t want a “silly little” dog. Marco is perfect. 🙂

    Little Miss Moi – Australian food always gets such good press here. Probably because, as you say, it doesn’t have a traditional food of it’s own; it just picks the best from other cultures.

    Sophie C – You’re too sweet. Thank you. 🙂

  21. Great blog. I have some heart shaped crumpets to post in a wee while. Took pics at brekkie this am.

    SPent 6 months in Scotland (grandparents lived outside Paisley) in 1978 and then revisited in 1988. Habe to return to the highlands and the heather.

    Lily says Hi Marco, woof, woof and good luck.

  22. Wendy – I didn’t want to eat a deep-fried Mars bar. But during my last week in Scotland (after living there for seven years) my friends challenged me to try it – just for the heck of it 🙂

    Not something I’d like to do again, mind you. 😀

  23. Love the website! Google a recipe for Wee Oat Cakes…and there you were. Have also noticed the Tablet Recipe….my hips thank you in advance…lol. Haven’t had that for years when my dad used to make it…..and yes, we were all ushered out of the kitchen too, never got to help.

    I have one comment about the recipe for oat cakes…some or the ingredients are in imperial, some in metric, and some in weights(g). The oats were in grams, not cups for instance.

    I had to get out my calculator to convert the recipe. I am still greatful for the recipe and will look forward to more recipes 🙂

    Crystal Dunlop

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