Mini Scottish Oat Cakes with Roquefort Salad - Gluten-free

As the recipe for the oatcake was handed down through families, it is difficult to know its exact origins. However, like the ancient Mongolians, who used their shields to cook their food, documents show that in the 14th century the Chieftain and his clan used theirs to bake oatcakes. It is even believed that the Romans, whilst in the country, to misquote Saint Ambrose; 'did as the Scotch did' and survived on oatcakes! As for Dr Johnson in his famous dictionary of the English Language, published 1755, under the entry for the grain he wrote: 'Oats n.s. [aten, Saxon.] A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.'

Organic gluten-free recipe Scottish Oat Cake with Roquefort Salad

To which the writer Walter Scott returned:
'Did you ever hear of Lord Elibank's reply when Johnson's famous definition of oats was first pointed out to him? 
"The food of men in Scotland and horses in England," repeated Lord Elibank; "very true, and where will you find such men and such horses?"

FOREWORD on Gluten-free Oats

Oats do not contain gluten, however it is best not to buy them, if you are gluten intolerant, unless they are labelled as certified gluten-free. In countries where oats are not a traditional crop, fields can be contaminated by stray plants when other cereal crops are grown in close proximity. Here in France, for example, where there were no dedicated oat-growing areas, we used to find it impossible to buy certified organic gluten-free oats. However, due to the ever increasing popularity of gluten-free foods and international cuisine, we are now seeing certified oats on the shelves. It is also worth noting that post harvest, certified gluten-free oats are processed in dedicated mills where they can not be contaminated with other grains. This is why people often get confused about why all oats are not labelled as suitable for those allergic to gluten.



(makes 30 small oatcakes)
225g - 8oz rolled, pinhead or steel cut gluten-free oats
1 generous pinch salt 1 tablespoon butter or butter and palm oil, dripping, bacon fat or lard
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
8 tablespoons (120ml) of hot water (steel cut oats may require a little more water)
Extra oats for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 390°F or 200°C. Cook for approximately 20-30 minutes.


Oats in recipes and porridge are traditionally mixed with a wooden spurtle in Scotland. One day we will get around to turning one on the lathe but until then we use a wooden spoon handle!

Chop up oats using a coffee grinder or similar for a few seconds so as to retain the texture of the oats without making a flour.

Mix the dry ingredients and add the melted fat by pouring into the centre of the mixture.

Scottish oat cake organic gluten-free recipe

Using a wooden spoon handle stir well whilst incorporating enough water to make a stiff dough.

Powder your hands, bowl or board with chopped oats or oat flour and knead the dough, working quickly.

Using plenty of chopped oats on your board and pin, roll out into a thin round, traditionally these are cut into wedges but for finger food we cut them into small biscuits.

Scottish oat cake gluten-free organic recipe
Place on a buttered baking tray put in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes.

If you decide to make them in the traditional way, cook on a medium heated griddle or frying pan for approximately 3 minutes. When they are cooked the edges will begin to curl and turn golden brown.



Scottish oat cake gluten free organic recipe
Traditionally oatcakes are eaten with butter, honey, game, smoked salmon, soup and cheese. I am matching them with a Roquefort salad, a simple yet satisfying accompaniment made from:
-  a slice of pear
- a smidgen of raw butter and a bed of  nasturtium leaf (to prevent sogginess) 
-  arugula/rocket flowers
-  a crumble of Roquefort (or your 'local' blue cheese)
-  walnuts in season

The salad is dressed with a simple vinaigrette made of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts olive oil.

Oatcakes will keep well in an airtight tin  so can be prepared in advance. We usually crisp them up in a warm oven for around 5 minutes.

Stirlingshire countryside Scotland


All that needs to be said now is Bon Appėtit!

Hope to see you here again for another recipe from my 100 Gluten-Free Organic Party Foods Challenge!

All the best,




©  Sue Cross 2017 

¹ Letter from Sir Walter Scott to Mr Croker March 14th 1829, The Croker Papers Vol ii p. 35

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