A recipe for delicious easy oatcakes

My name is Laurie Goodlad and I am a writer and a tour guide with a business called Shetland with Laurie. During this time of lockdown, or, as I like to think on it; this slower pace of life that we are all experiencing, more and more of us are turning to the kitchen to find solace and comfort in home-cooking and baking.

“This is a sweet oatcake recipe that I got from my Grandad who, after retirement, took up baking for the first time. If you’ve never baked, my Grandad is proof that it’s never too late to get started.”

Rolling the oatcake mixture

In this blog, I’d like to share with you a favourite recipe that I bake, usually in time for Christmas, but for now, as a welcome escape from the daily news, one that is made from simple ingredients and makes for a yummy treat for the larder. It’s also great to make with the children!

Cutting the oatcakes to size

This is a sweet oatcake recipe that I got from my Grandad who, after retirement, took up baking for the first time. If you’ve never baked, my Grandad is proof that it’s never too late to get started, and this is a super easy and incredibly tasty recipe to get you into your pinny and in front of the oven.


  • 3 cups of medium oatmeal
  • 3 cups of self-raising flour
  • ½ to 1 small cup of sugar
  • A splash of milk
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 8oz margarine (I used butter)
  • 1 beaten egg
Oatcake mixture


  1. Rub the margarine into the dry ingredients (I used my Kitchen Aid because I’m lazy).
  2. Add the beaten egg, and a little milk (just a splash) until the mixture binds together into a dryish consistency.
  3. Roll the mix out onto a floured surface to about ¼ inch thick (or however you personally like them).
  4. Cut into small circles and place on a tray lined with grease-proof paper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes in a moderately high oven.
    (For AGA ovens: bake on a rack in the foot of the top oven with the cooling tray above to prevent burning).
  6. Allow to cool before enjoying with copious amounts of cheese, butter, and, my personal favourite, sweet chilli jam.
Delicious oatcakes

For those not from Scotland; an oatcake is a type of flatbread, similar to a biscuit or cracker. Oatcakes are traditional to Scotland, including Shetland and Orkney. They are prepared with oatmeal, and in this recipe, a dash of sugar to give them a sweet lift which I’m sure we all need! Oatcakes can be cooked on a griddle or in an oven, as I have done. They are well-documented in Scotland and can be traced back to Roman times – or Norse times, in the case of Orkney and Shetland. These simple treats would have been a regular part of any northern diet, and today, that is no exception – you would be hard-pressed to find a home in the isles that doesn’t have a packet of oatcakes squirrelled away in the cupboard.

Oatcakes going into the oven

I’m often asked by visitors to Shetland what oatmeal is and where they can find it. Oatmeal is a type of coarse flour made from hulled oat grains that have been either milled (ground), steel-cut or rolled. For my recipe, I use medium rolled oats, but any kind will do. Depending on the oatmeal used, you will get a coarser or finer oatcake, but use what you have available.

We would love to see your oatcakes from wherever you are in the world, so remember to share them online and tag @northlinkferries and @shetlandwithlaurie in your creations. We hope that you will give these a try and enjoy a little taste of Shetland and Orkney.

Laurie GoodladBy Laurie Goodlad
Born and raised in Shetland, Laurie loves the unique history and culture there so much that she started her own tour company offering visitors the chance to see the isles through the eyes of an islander. Find out more at www.shetlandwithlaurie.com

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