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

sweet100s Feb 19, 2012 12:33 AM

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. emily Feb 19, 2012 06:53 PM

    Here's an actual picture of the Macrina oatcake:

    Effie's makes something that seems similar. I've had the corncakes and they're good. They may be available in a store near you:

    2 Replies
    1. re: emily
      paulj Feb 19, 2012 07:48 PM

      Effie's are 'Cape Breton Oatcakes', with a number of recipes online
      All have equal parts flour and oats, some sugar, butter or other fat, bit of baking soda, and hot water.

      I just made a 1/4 size batch of this recipe. It was pretty easy, and results nice and crisp, with just enough sweetness.

      1. re: paulj
        sweet100s Feb 20, 2012 12:57 AM

        >> I just made a 1/4 size batch of this recipe. It was pretty easy, and results nice and crisp, with just enough sweetness.

        Dang! May I come over pleeease?

        I will give that one a try when I get back next weekend.

        Thanks everyone, and thanks paulj for trying the recipe! Do you think added slivered almonds would be OK?

        That recipe reminds me of a compressed form of my Oatmeal Streusel that I like to put on top of pies.

        I'm kind of bummed it's so rich, just from a calorie budget standpoint.

        For first time I make it, I'd rather keep the recipe intact (save maybe a few slivered almonds...).

        Time after that I'll try a healthier version...

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

        !!! oh my gosh.

        I have sworn off buying more cookbooks... but I will make an exception.

        There are some unique, innovative, and delicious things happening inside that Bakery.

    2. emily Feb 19, 2012 06:40 PM


      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
        paulj Feb 19, 2012 07:49 PM

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

      2. sweet100s Feb 19, 2012 03:43 PM

        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
          paulj Feb 19, 2012 04:01 PM

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

          1. re: paulj
            sweet100s Feb 19, 2012 04:43 PM


            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
              paulj Feb 19, 2012 05:36 PM

              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
                javaandjazz Mar 2, 2012 01:42 AM

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

                1. re: javaandjazz
                  paulj Mar 2, 2012 08:38 AM

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

                  1. re: paulj
                    paulj Mar 2, 2012 11:27 AM

                    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
                  paulj Mar 2, 2012 11:20 AM

                  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
                    javaandjazz Mar 2, 2012 01:03 PM

                    Thanks so much!

                    1. re: paulj
                      javaandjazz Mar 2, 2012 03:44 PM

                      What would the mixed spice consist of?

                      1. re: javaandjazz
                        javaandjazz Mar 2, 2012 03:53 PM

                        found it.


                        1. re: javaandjazz
                          paulj Mar 2, 2012 07:03 PM

                          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
                            paulj Mar 2, 2012 09:20 PM

                            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
                      Chris VR Mar 2, 2012 10:56 AM

                      This sounds a lot like a recipe I've used for "whole oat flapjacks" at http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/main-ingredient/oats/whole-oat-flapjacks.html

                      Here's my report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2770... and when I accidentally doubled the amount of butter, it worked REALLY well.

                3. paulj Feb 19, 2012 01:27 PM

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

                  1. paulj Feb 19, 2012 01:23 PM


                    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 food.com 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.

                    1. Robin Joy Feb 19, 2012 01:21 AM

                      This works:


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

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