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Nova Scotia Oatcakes


Nova Scotia Oatcakes

Nova Scotia Oatcakes

Photo © Molly Watson

I first had Nova Scotia-style oatcakes in Cape Breton. For years - years I say! - I have sought to re-create that magic. Sweet and a bit salty. Cookie-like but sort of cracker-like too. These oatcakes are perfect with a cup of tea or a cup of coffee. Serve them as a simple dessert or grab them as an on-the-go breakfast. They are flexible little numbers.

Note: You can learn more About Nova Scotia Local Foods here.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: About 16 oatcakes


  • 2 cups rolled oats/traditional oatmeal (not quick cooking, not instant)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup shortening or butter
  • 1/4 cup very hot or boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Add the shortening or butter and use two knives, a large fork, or your fingers to work the fat into the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the hot water and stir until everything sticks together into a thick dough.
  3. You can roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut into shapes, but I prefer to simply press it into an even 1/4-inch layer on a baking sheet and score (cut future cutting lines into) the large "cake" into smaller pieces.
  4. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. You can take them out now for chewier oatcakes or reduce the oven to 325°F and bake until lightly browned, about 10 more minutes.
  5. When they have finished baking,if you've cut them into shapes, let them cool; if you've scored them, cut them apart while warm so they cool into squares.
  6. Keep, stored in an airtight container, for a week or even two, depending on your kitchen.
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