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Feb 19, 2012 12:33 AM

How to make Scottish Oat Cakes? (like the "oat cakes" from Macrina Bakery in Seattle)

While vacationing in Seattle last fall to escape the Texas heat, I experienced Oat Cakes from Macrina Bakery & Cafe.

It was 10am on a weekend morning, I had just stepped inside and was taking in all the delicious and interesting options. A runner comes in, takes a quick look at the goodies behind the glass, and starts to seem anxious. "You aren't out of Oat Cakes are you?"

At that point I had picked out a plum croissant and a sour lemon cherry coffee cake. The "oat cake" plate retrieved from hiding looked like uninteresting triangles of compressed something. But since Ms. Runner seemed so relieved to get one, I asked her what was the deal. She said, "Try it; I promise you'll understand."

I remember the plum croissant was completely delicious (I love plums), I don't remember the coffee cake, but I am absolutely craving those oat cakes.

Does any know how to make them?

Macrina Bakery's version looked more like these:

and not at all like these:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This works:

    Unflavoured of course. Mixing in some finely chopped dried fruits would probably work, if you want sweet flavours.

    1. http://bread-water-salt-oil.blogspot....

      makes a flat oat cracker that is quite close to ones made by Walkers (the Shortbread people). Basically these are oats made into a stiff dough with a bit of fat and hot water. However in their simplest form, they are dry and bland. There isn't much salt, no sugar, or tidbits. The trickiest part is getting the right oatmeal. I have fairly good success grinding regular rolled oats in a coffee mill.

      That recipe looks like an oat scone or biscuit.

      I've seen Macrina products, and bought a few, but am not familiar with their oatcakes.

      Another ancient oatcake is a rusk, supposedly eaten by Roman troops. That is essentially ground oats moistened with honey and baked. I've tried it, and had problems with an excessively sticky dough.

        This flickr photo looks like a sweet pie crust with rolled oats.

        1. Thanks PaulJ and Robin Joy.

          Those recipes don't sound like they could be as delicious as Macrina's.

          PaulJ, that picture is it. I remember them being triangular, but that pic is a diamond shape - yep.

          13 Replies
          1. re: sweet100s

            Apart from shape, what were they like? Taste? sweet, crisp, chewy? More like a cracker or oatmeal cookie?

            1. re: paulj


              I recall tasting:
              - delicious strong oatmeally flavor combined with sweetness
              - sweetness maybe from molasses or brown sugar?
              - butter
              They were much denser than a cookie, but not like a cracker.

              1. re: sweet100s

                Perkins is a Scottish oat biscuit with golden syrup. There's a variation from Aberdenshire with molasses. In Yorkshire they make parkin, an oat ginger bread. This perkins recipe could be made with partial rolled oats, and made much thinner. If done that way it might be closer to the Macrina cake.

                1. re: paulj

                  Do you have this recipe handy? All of a sudden this website started charging for access?

                  1. re: javaandjazz

                    I kept copies, and will try to remember to type up the ingredients

                    1. re: paulj

                      Perkins (Scottish)
                      Historical foods

                      250g flour
                      250g oatmeal (finely ground)
                      125g butter
                      170g sugar
                      2t baking powder
                      1t cinnamon
                      1t ginger
                      1/2t mixed spice
                      6-8T golden syrup

                      Grind oats if needed; may soak in a bit of milk to soften
                      rub butter into flour
                      Add rest of ingredients, stir
                      Finish mixing with hands, adding more syrup if needed, goal:
                      smooth, sticky, evenly mixed dough

                      Roll into balls and flatten (1cm thick)
                      Bake at 180c for 10 minutes, till golden and still soft

                      These are flatter, lighter colored cookies than the Aberdeenshire ones

                  2. re: paulj

                    Aberdeenshire Parkin Recipe
                    Historical Foods
                    a cookie version of Yorkshire Parkin

                    60g flour
                    200g oatmeal (British porage oats)
                    60g lard or butter
                    1T brown sugar
                    1 beaten egg
                    2T golden syrup
                    2T molasses
                    1/2 t mixed spice
                    1/2 t ginger
                    1/2 t cinnamon
                    1/2 t baking soda

                    mix dry, rub in fat, add liquids
                    mix by hand to get 'pliable, sticky dough' evenly colored
                    roll into 20 small balls, bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes
                    Ideal is crisp outsides, soft inside, so try not to overbake

                    Pictures are of dark brown rounded cookies, with cracked surface.
                    By American standards these are not particularly sweet.
                    I chop rolled oats in a coffee mill to get something closer to the British oats.

                      1. re: paulj

                        What would the mixed spice consist of?

                          1. re: javaandjazz

                            I hadn't looked that up, just assumed it was something like the American pumpkin spice (cloves, nutmeg etc). And in practice I just used ginger and cinnamon to my liking. The description ('warm mix') and ingredients of what you found reminds me of Indian Garam Masala, though the mix I have also has cumin and cardamon.

                            1. re: javaandjazz

                              describes a mix closer to American pumpkin spice. Nutmeg, allspice, and cloves would be additions to cinnamon and ginger already in the recipes.

                      2. re: sweet100s

                        This sounds a lot like a recipe I've used for "whole oat flapjacks" at

                        Here's my report: and when I accidentally doubled the amount of butter, it worked REALLY well.


                    These are rich and slightly sweet. Not sure how well they'd work with non-Macroom oatmeal.

                    Macrina is coming out with a second cookbook this fall; perhaps it will include the recipe for oatcakes.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: emily

                      ANZAC biscuits are an Australian/NZ version of these oat cookies, with coconut, and golden syrup.