Cape Breton Oatcakes

"This is the best oatcake recipe. It has the perfect balance between salt and sweet. This recipe comes from the Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia. It is a traditional treat as we have a strong Scottish culture in this province."
photo by Katieg342 photo by Katieg342
photo by Katieg342
photo by Jim W. photo by Jim W.
photo by lareine27 photo by lareine27
Ready In:
4-8 varies




  • Stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Rub in shortening with fingertips until crumbly.
  • mix in water with a fork until a ball forms, divide in half.
  • On a floured surface roll out to 1/2" to 1/4" thickness.
  • Traditionally they are cut into 2 1/2 inch squares, then triangles but some people like circles. your choice.
  • bake on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cheers!

Questions & Replies

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  1. luvadacook
    Are the rolled oats, instant or 3 minute oats, or the larger old fashioned oats? Thanks.
  2. Annie S.
    can butter be used as the shortening?
  3. luvadacook
    What size of pan should be used? Thanks.
  4. Louise C.
    What to serve these cookies with traditionally? Cheese? Thank you


  1. Katieg342
    Great recipe and a bonus since I am from Cape Breton. Found the baking powder taste a little strong and might try reducing amount a little next time. Also I used a 3 inch round cookie cutter and found the size perfect especially for little hands. A quick and simple favourite kind.
  2. Jim W.
    This is a terrific recipe and I wouldn't change a thing. Apparently there are some problems that have cropped up for some and these might very well include the possibility that the dry ingredients were not mixed before the shortening and water were added. Furthermore, I believe the mixture should be worked with one's hands to ensure complete mixing. And finally where the finished product might be a bit too crumbly, I would also recommend that the baker should be prepared to add small amounts of water in order to create a completely thorough mix.
    • Review photo by Jim W.
  3. Kathryn M.
    Making and taking these with me to my chronically under-nourished 'ex, in hospital, so as to nibble whilst he convalesces by and by. Happened to pick up Scottish Oats today and this recipe will showcase their distinct texture. I will use quality grass-fed butter as the shortening component.
  4. sillysarahc123
    Oh my gosh, these are SO good. They turned out perfectly--just like the oat cakes I grew up eating. I did make a few changes. I replaced a cup of the flour with a cup of wheat germ (actually it was more like 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour and 3/4 cup of wheat germ) to make it a little healthier (didn't have any whole wheat flour). I also used about 1/4 cup of shortening and 3/4 cup of butter because that was all the shortening I had. Butter has more water than shortening so that meant I used a little less water. They are delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
  5. Rexanna K.
    Last night, I made these oatcakes for my son and I who enjoy oatcakes in coffee shops. I made them with 1 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and increased the water to 1 cup. We also used quick oats. It made a sticky dough that could be re-rolled again on a well floured board. The cakes turned out even better than the ones we buy in the shops. I also melted chocolate chips with a little shortening and drizzled it on the cakes, just like in the shops. Like them, you could also dip half of each cake in the chocolate.


  1. Emily R.
    1/4 cup cold water, otherwise they're too wet.



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