Appetizer Gluten Free Healthy

Scottish Oat and Walnut Biscuits

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Scottish Oat and Walnut Biscuits ~ these unassuming little oatcakes are the hottest things in upscale markets and cheese shops these days.  They’re called oatcakes or biscuits in Scotland; we Americans would call them crackers.  

But they’re not like any crackers we’re used to.  They’re rustic, earthy, and a little shaggy around the edges.  They’ve been favorites in the British Isles for centuries where they eat them with tea, or cheese and other savory toppings.  They’re amazing with a sharp crumbly English cheddar or a creamy soft blue cheese and a dab of honey.  Or even a thick layer of peanut butter.   Best of all they’re quick and easy to make.  The simple naturally gluten free dough is made from ground oats and oat flour, mixed with buttermilk, and a little melted butter to form a flat ‘cake’, and then baked till crisp.  A touch of brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness, and the walnuts add great flavor.

Making these reminds me that the whole concept of flavor is in transition right now.  I’ve been really horrified by the ‘flavor overload’ in commercial food these days.  Have you seen the ads for ‘water enhancer’?  It turns your plain water a neon color of your choice, and flavors it with god knows what.  They have the same basic concept for canned frosting, too.  Even Crayola has gotten into the act with their own line of vividly colored liquid  ‘juice alternatives’.

I don’t know where all that leaves plain old simple pleasures like these oatcakes.  You have to pause and let them linger on your tongue for a moment to appreciate their subtle oatiness, their delicate crumbly texture, and the faint hint of brown sugar and walnuts.  But the time is well spent.  And once you add a chunk of English cheddar you’ll really ‘get’ these crackers.

You can pay a lot of money for the priviledge of having someone else bake and import these rustic cakes for you, or you can just whip them up yourself and spend the money on a nice bottle of wine.  Or a few extra bottles of Guinness.

Scottish Oat and Walnut Biscuits
Rate this recipe
71 ratings

Category: cracker, appetizer

Cuisine: Scottish

Servings: makes about 2 dozen biscuits

Scottish Oat and Walnut Biscuits


  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Put the oats and the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground
  3. Add in the oat flour, sugar, salt and soda and pulse to combine.
  4. Pour in the buttermilk and melted butter and pulse until the dough comes together.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and bring the dough together.  If it feels wet, knead in a little more flour.
  6. Roll out the dough to about 3/8 inch thick.  Cut with a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter.   You can prick the crackers with the tines of a fork if you like the look, but it's not necessary, the dough doesn't rise or puff up.
  7. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Cool on a rack.  Store in an airtight container.

Scottish Oat and Walnut Biscuits ~ these little oatcakes make the perfect homemade crackers for all kinds of cheese. #crackers #homemade #crackers #biscuits #scottish #recipe #wholegrain #easy #appetizer

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    September 29, 2019 at 7:59 am

    These turned out amazing! I was on vacation in Scotland and fell in love with oatcakes. Was super excited when I found this gluten free recipe. The walnuts are a nice bonus too. I made my own oat flour in the food pro. I baked them on convection at 325 for 22 min and they came out nice and crisp. I new staple recipe!

    • Reply
      September 29, 2019 at 8:15 am

      That’s great to hear, this recipe was inspired by my time living in London, and we’ve got nothing here in in the US like them.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Skiffington
    July 16, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Any idea how many calories are in one oatcake?

    • Reply
      July 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      I’m not sure Phyllis, I recommend running the ingredients through a nutrition calculator to see.

      • Reply
        July 16, 2019 at 1:04 pm

        I just ran it for you and came up with 103 calories.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Daniels
    May 31, 2019 at 7:09 am

    I recently discovered you and have made alot of your recipes. The Lemon Poppy Seed Cake has quickly become a favorite. I recently made these and whilst the flavor is great, they didn’t crisp up. I rolled them out to about a 1/4 inch. Left them in for about 25 mins. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong? I really want to master these.

    • Reply
      May 31, 2019 at 7:33 am

      Hey Suzanne! I’m so glad you like the lemon cake, I do too :) As for these biscuits, keep in mind that the traditional oat biscuits don’t really get crisp, they have more of a soft bite, even when fully cooked. It’s a little difficult to describe because, to me, they’re uniquely British, we don’t really have any equivalent here in the US to compare it to.

      • Reply
        Suzanne Daniels
        May 31, 2019 at 8:19 am

        Well I guess I already mastered them and didn’t even know it! They are definitely going on rotation :) Already printed off the bean salad and am going to try that this weekend. We don’t eat alot of meat in my house and we are always on the lookout for different takes on salads. So glad I found your website.

        • Reply
          May 31, 2019 at 8:41 am

          So glad to have you here <3

  • Reply
    January 24, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    We had some commercial oatcakes for Christmas. Ok but had some stuff in them we didn’t want to eat. Then my brother bought some really expensive ones but with walnuts. My wife then searched the web and found these little rippers! I made them and now having trouble keeping up a supply for children and grandchild as the simply inhale them. They are so good and the walnuts just add that extra dimension. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Lynda Shehorn
    January 12, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    So happy to come across your recipe. I was so anxious to make these, and then realized I did not have any oat flour or buttermilk. Something this minor has never stopped me yet, so I made oats into oat flour in my food processor and then splashed a small amount of vinegar into my milk and voila, I was ready to bake. Also, I substituted pecans for walnuts. I’m trying these out for possibly using at my granddaughters engagement party, and her Mommy does not like walnuts. They turned out delicious!

    • Reply
      January 12, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      I’m so glad you were so resourceful Lynda!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Sue.
    When you say old fashioned oats do you mean the large flaked rolled oats or steelcut oats? These crackers sound like a lovely addition to a charcuterie board.

    • Reply
      December 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      I mean the rolled oats, Quaker calls them Old Fashioned to distinguish them from the quick cooking.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Furnari
    October 14, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Can you substitute the walnuts for Brazil nuts? They are high in selenium which is good for thyroid.

    • Reply
      October 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

      I haven’t tried that, but I think it would be worth a try!

  • Reply
    Jodi Labowe
    July 18, 2018 at 12:43 am

    Hi!! So happy to have found these. I made them the other day – when do you know to remove them from the oven. Mine are turning out to be a little more brown than yours. If you press down on them, should they be hard and a tad soft? My oven may run differently, it’s a convection oven. Let me know when you can!

    • Reply
      July 18, 2018 at 6:45 am

      Great question, I think you can cook them to different textures, but if you want them really crispy they can cook a little longer. I love them firm but also a little soft when you bite into them. They will firm up as they cool, so you can take them out of the oven when they are slightly soft, if that makes sense. If you love them you can experiment, or, do what I do, bake a test cracker or two to see how your oven performs.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I recently discovered oat cakes. What temperature did you bake the biscuits at?

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      I bake them at 350F Lisa.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Just seeing these now, since you said you had them on your blog. To be honest, I’ve never tried anything other than plain oatcakes, but these sound wonderful! They look absolutely perfect, too!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have been searching for the perfect oat and nut biscuit for ages, and this really hits the spot. I made a huge batch (double the recipe) today, and I know it will be the first of many.

    • Reply
      May 20, 2014 at 7:16 am

      I’m so glad to hear it, Gail. I love these crackers!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    March 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Yesterday, in the middle of the florida sun, mom and i were talking about what to do for st. patrick’s day dinner, if anything. We keep going back and forth about it, but now i feel like these need to make an appearance for the day.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    These sound absolutely delicious and are going into my must try pile! I can’t wait for your rice cracker recipe too.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Here’s my biggest problem when I come to your site…which photo(s) shall I pin? They are all so gorgeous! I sometimes find myself looking up a recipe from one of your posts while at the grocery store…making these!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    You just made my day.I am celiac and really miss a savory cracker. I am not a fan of potato or rice flour crackers, although I will have one from time to time. I can not wait to try these. Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    These look delicious, and I love that they’re gluten-free. Definitely planning to give them a try! Love your site- looking forward to reading more. :)

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Gorgeous crackers – love the ruffled edges and hearty oat texture and these are just so…you! I just used up my buttermilk last night – wish I had seen these! But there will always be more to use up another day :)

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 12, 2013 at 1:23 am

      I’m finding that I use buttermilk in just about everything, so I finally bought a tub of dried buttermilk powder for just those occasions!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 11, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    I love these! So nice to have the recipe. And I have buttermilk, but no walnuts!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t know how you do it Sue – but I want everything you make. These biscuit crackers must be fantastic. The hunk of cheese and a cold beer – gosh we could have such fun!

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    March 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Oh I am taking your word for it and printing before my printer dies on me again..
    They look just perfect.
    Thank you.