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San Fran-style oatcakes?

This may be a stretch, but...a friend of mine is completely in thrall to those dense, hockey-puck-like oatcakes that you find sold at hippie cafes all over the Bay Area. These are thick, pale, bricklike wodges, nothing like a cracker-ish Scottish oatcake. They seem like they're compacted rather than baked--if you know what I'm talking about, does anyone have any idea how she might make her own at home?

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  1. Hmmm, have lived here for almost 10 years and have never seen one of those.

    1. They sound like the oatmeal scone I had from Starbucks here in Toronto. It was dense and crumbly.

      1. Are you sure they're oat, not rice? I have a friend who eats hockey-puck cakes--about 3 inches diameter, maybe 3/4 inch thick, and dry as the Sahara--and they're made from rice.

        1. I think I know exactly what you are talking about. They look like small hockey pucks and do not look appetizing at all. My friend's father eats them and once during a soccer match, I was so desperately hungry, I ate one. I was actually surprised that they tasted somewhat decent (or it might have been the hunger seasoning) and I have to admit, I had great energy for the second half. Anyway, I had never seen them before, so I asked about them, and he said they are Australian. So . . . maybe try to google Australian Oatcake recipes?

          1. I know what you're talking about. I used to eat these all the time. They're actually quite good if you can get past the fact that they look like pale hockey pucks. I buy them under the brand 'California Suncakes'

            Here's the ingredients from an apricot one:
            oats, apricots, brown rice syrup, brown rice flour, soy protein concentrate, soy flour, rice bran, natural fruit juice, dried plums, orange peel, almond extract.

            My. Doesn't that look delicious? :)

            Here's a recipe that may not exactly match but looks like it can probably be tweaked massively to resemble an suncake: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6271.0

            2 Replies
            1. re: muimi07

              They would probably be much tastier if the list went something like:

              oats, BUTTER, apricots, brown rice syrup, brown rice flour, soy protein concentrate, soy flour, rice bran, natural fruit juice, dried plums, orange peel, almond extract.

              1. re: JudiAU

                The original's ingredients were more like oats, butter, sugar, natural flavorings. No weird health-food-store stuff.

            2. I've lived in central SF many years and have never seen any oatcakes. What I do see at coffee shops with small pastry cases are scones. Could it be scones that you want?

              1. I'm pretty sure I saw them at a Marin 7/ll a couple of years ago -- maybe they still carry them?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sarah

                  They do! At least the one in Mill Valley does, I've seen them there recently.

                2. They've been around since the 80s. They're usually in a big glass jar near the register at health food stores, produce shops, corner markets. They're sort of the vegan version of Slim Jims.

                  My wife used to work with the woman who invented them. Hers were delicous, rich, buttery. She was driven out of business by an imitator who came up with a low-fat, fruit-juice-sweetened, vegan alternative, originally called A Better Oatcake, now sold as California Suncakes.


                  1 Reply
                  1. I LOVE these! They have them up here in Portland at Coffee People. I've had the suncakes as well, but Coffee People have a better one.

                    Just a note to the naysayers... these are great. They are dense, slightly sweet, my favorite has apricot bits, oats, and they taste a bit milky as well. Not a scone, which is not nearly as dense. Not a ricecake as that is lightweight.

                    I have also been looking for a recipe for these. I've tried a recipe off Epicurious, but it was definitely a Scottish oatcake. Too crispy and thin. I think it could probably be modified to be more like these American versions, but I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to venture too far into that realm.

                      1. re: krees123

                        I actually tried this recipe (it's clearer here:


                        the second batch is in the oven now--the first batch, warm out of the oven, tastes great! I will definitely make these over and over again. Yum!

                      2. They're definately worth a try. May not look very appetizing but they are actually quite good and healthy. You can find homemade ones at Cafe Abir on Divisadero. Enjoy!

                        1. I know exactly. I used to get them when I lived i San Francisco...They sell them at WHOLE FOODS. I'd like a recipe.

                          1. You might be talking about Ultimate Cookie's Fat-free oatcakes.
                            The sell them at $20 for a dozen, you can stop by as a walk-in at their bakery on folsom and 12th SF or call them. I am obsessed with them too :) I have no idea how to make fat-free anything, though, unfortunately :(

                            1. I don't know if your still lookin for this oatcake, but I'm with you. no one seems to know what I'm talkin about. but I did remember recently that in santa clara, CA there was a coffee shop that I'd buy them from a few years ago. here is the address :
                              Mission City Coffee Roasting‎
                              2221 The Alameda, Santa Clara, CA‎
                              (408) 261-2221‎

                              I hope they still sell them there because I sure can't find them on the web anywhere

                              1. Sounds like that Hawaiian one I have been trying to find a recipe for: http://archives.starbulletin.com/2005...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: toberah

                                  actually, it's not at all like the hawaiian one you have pictured on the site you listed. The one that I'm speaking of and is being sold at the Mission city coffee roasting. The one I had was about the size of a hockey puck and about 2 inches high and it almost looks as if it's raw. I don't think it is but it's very bland. Good with coffee.

                                2. This is not a specific-to-SF item; we have them here in the Midwest, and I've also seen them in Virginia. they are frequently locally made, and can often be found at health food stores.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    Actually, we have a couple of coffee shops in Broad Ripple here in Indianapolis that sell them as well. The ones here are made by Ultimate Cooke of San Francisco and can be found on the web at www.ultimatecookie.com/oatcakes.htm. I am looking for nutritional information as I eat these all the time and would like to make sure they really are healthy. They are rather tasty once you get past the hockey puck look. And they are handy to throw into a backpack or sports bag.

                                    You can actually order them over the phone but a 6-at-a time minimum and they will ship to you. 440 calories per cake but no fat and 7 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein. 91 grams of carb and 34 g of sugar according to the nice lady who answered the phone.

                                    1. re: Rammeld723

                                      At 34 grams of sugar, they qualify as "dessert" in my book.

                                  2. I've also been searching for a recipe for these, too. They sell them at Second Cup cafes and Mrs. P's on the east coast of Canada... and for a short period even sold them bulk at Costco. I took some time to figure out a recipe and here are the results! You can find the link to original page at the bottom, where you'll find a step-by-step photo-guide. Good luck!!! <3, Ally

                                    The Renaissance Oatcake
                                    Recipe makes about 9 small or 4 large oatcakes. See notes if doubling recipe.*****

                                    MIX DRY:

                                    2/3 c. oat flour

                                    1/3 c. quick oats

                                    1/3 c. ground rolled oats*

                                    1/3 c. millet flour**

                                    1/2 tsp. salt***

                                    1 tsp. baking powder

                                    1/3 c. blond sugar

                                    CUT IN BUTT’R:

                                    1/2 c. earth balance

                                    COMBINE WET & ADD TO DOUGH:

                                    3 tbsp. non-dairy milk

                                    1 tsp. vanilla


                                    Preheat oven to 325 f.

                                    Pour rolled oats into a food processor and pulse ’til roughly chopped.

                                    Combine with quick oats, flour, salt, and baking powder.

                                    Cut in Earth Balance butter with hands.

                                    Mix milk and vanilla, add to batter.

                                    Roll out onto floured surface with rolling pin or hands (yes!), and cut into 2.5-3.5 inch round, 1/2-1.5 inch thick, discs.****

                                    These can bake straight from the freezer, so freeze what you don’t need and put the rest on a baking sheet.

                                    Bake at 325 f for 20 minutes (1/2-inch thick, 2.5-inch round) or 25 minutes (1-inch thick/3.5 round).

                                    They shouldn’t really brown at all, which means they are slightly under-baked and need to be left on the baking sheet 5-10 minutes before setting on a cooling rack. Get antsy and they may fall apart before setting. The key to the perfect oatcake is under-baking it so it remains soft.

                                    RECIPE NOTES

                                    *use all quick oats if you can’t be bothered with the extra step.

                                    **sub spelt or barley if no millet.

                                    ***use himalayan salt for boosted mineral-awesome.

                                    ****RE: SIZE OF OATCAKE: Cafes typically serve 1-inch thick, 3.5-inch round oatcakes. The smaller size makes them more like the cookies, so it depends what you’re going for.

                                    *****RE: Doubling recipe: This recipe doubles easily, but increase the salt and baking powder 1.5x, not 2x… so 3/4 tsp. salt and 1.5 tsp. baking powder.


                                    1. Was it california suncakes/hearthrives you were looking for. I'm from california and they are absolutely my favorite. Definitely fits the description, also dying for a recipe considerig i live overseas and cant get them anymore. http://suncake.stores.yahoo.net/nutsn...

                                      At least you can buy them online, i used to do that when i still lived there.