Scottish Oat and Walnut Biscuits

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

oven to 350 
makes about 2 dozen 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

  • Put the oats and the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground
  • Add in the oat flour, sugar, salt and soda and pulse to combine.
  • Pour in the buttermilk and melted butter and pulse until the dough comes together.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and bring the dough together.  If it feels wet, knead in a little more flour.
  • 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.
  • Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Cool on a rack.  Store in an airtight container.



  • 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.

  • Leave a Reply