Food & Drink Magazine

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 In honor of my impending departure from these lush and green lands, I thought I would make a Nova Scotia recipe for us all to enjoy. Nova Scotia is the province in Canada that I am from and where I am returning.

Known for it's great beauty and humble people the early settlers christened it after their home land. New Scotland.  I expect it reminded them very much of Scotland. Having been to Scotland now myself, I can see many similarities.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes
I have baked Scottish Oatcakes on here before. You can find that recipe here.  They are very good. I adapted the recipe from one which I saw on the Netflix series Martha Bakes.
They are crisp and buttery and quite sweet. I think they are more like a cookie than anything else, but they do go incredibly great with a good cheese. 
Nova Scotia Oat Cakes
I confess right now, although I spent most of my life in Nova Scotia prior to coming here to the UK, I had never had an Oat Cake.  I expect they are mostly a Cape Breton thing, because that is where a lot of the Scots ended up. 
My sister, however, has always spoken with great fondness of the Oat Cakes you can get at the Costco in Halifax.  I wanted to try them. Now I suppose I will have my chance!  Somehow I doubt they will be as good as homemade ones however.
Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 The dough for these is a very simple make, and involves the use of very simple ingredients.  Flour, old fashioned rolled oats, salt, butter, brown sugar and some baking powder.

You can add a touch of vanilla. I used a smidgen of vanilla paste as I am trying to use it up before I need to pack everything away. I don't think I can bring much in the way of food with me when I go, if anything at all. (I am so hoping I don't have to give everything up.)

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 You roll the dough out into a rectangle with a rolling pin.  I love my beechwood rolling pin. I have never had such a beauty before in my life, and it is probably one of the best rolling pins I have ever had.

It is nice and heavy and does a great job of rolling things out. You will need a rectangle about 5 inches by 11 inches in size and about 1/4 inch in thickness.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 Once that is done you need to cut them. They should be cut into rectangles.  I did a long cut down the center of the length, cutting it in half that way.

Then I made six evenly spaced cuts the other way. This creates 12 nicely sized oat cakes.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 Place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  I used a spatula to do this so I didn't risk them breaking apart.

You don't really need to leave a lot of space between.  Just enough for the air to circulate so that the edges can get nice and crisp.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes
You want the edges to be nice and golden brown. This is a good indicator of their doneness.  Don't let them burn.
You let them cool completely on the baking sheet.  This will ensure that they are lovely and crisp. I love crisp oat cakes. I do, I do, I do  . . .
Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 They do puff up a bit in the oven.  But they are lovely and crisp and will crisp up even more when they cool down.

Perfect for dunking. In a hot cuppa. In a glass of milk.  In a hot cocoa. In a horlicks. In an Ovaltine. In anything.  I bet if you were a hot toddy kind of a person they would even be great dunked in that!

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

You don't have to cut them apart prior to baking. You can just score the dough with a sharp knife into 12 rectangles right on the tray. 

Don't cut all the way through.  This will result in softer oat cakes.  Its all dependant on the result you wish for.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

Soft and a bit chew, or short and crisp. In all truth delicious both ways. I am a crisp cookie/biscuit lover. So I am.

I am actually really looking forward to my move. To seeing family again and being near my babies and grandbabies.  To be able to spend some time with my pa before he goes to be with my ma.  He is 86 now and will be 87 in January.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

 I pray every day that he lives long enough for me to be there and to have some time to spend with him. We do speak often on facetime, which is nice, but the real thing will be so much better.

I am looking forward to baking with my grandchildren given the chance. We might even bake these.  I have 8 grandchildren. 7 boys and one girl.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes
The oldest five boys are well acquainted with me. My two older sons are very good at facetiming and such. Oh but it will be good to give them all a hug when the time comes.
It has been 8 years since I have been home and since I have seen my children and grandchildren.  Two have been born since then.  Both boys. One just recently.
Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

I have never gotten to spend any time when them when they were wee babies. I am hoping and praying that I will be able to spend some time with this last one before he gets out of the baby stage.

There is something lovely about wee babies. Those little noises they make, the way they snuggle into your neck.  The smell of their little heads.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

I just can't wait.  I have high hopes and I hope they are not dashed.  Wish me luck! 

I am hoping to be gone from here by the end of November. I will have to isolate for two weeks before I can be with anyone.  I am a bit slow at getting things started, but expect that things will go pretty quickly once everything is set in motion.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes
In the meantime I hope that I can continue to bake a few things like these fabulously oaty Nova Scotia Oat Cakes.  And I hope that you will enjoy them.
And then when I get to the flip side, it may be a few days, but hopefully not long.  I expect to be up and running in one way or another rather quickly.
In the meantime do enjoy these Nova Scotia Oat Cakes. Baked with love.

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

Nova Scotia Oat Cakes
Yield: Makes 12 cakesAuthor: Marie Raynerprep time: 10 Mincook time: 15 Mintotal time: 25 MinButtery, crisply moreish oaten biscuits. Incredibly delicious with a hot cuppa.


  • 1 cup (90g) old fashioned oats (rolled/large flake)
  • 3/4 cup (115g) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed (100g) soft light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.
  2. Whisk the oats, flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter until light and fluffy.  Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Beat for a further 2 minutes until well creamed and smooth.  Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, until all have been amalgamated and the dough is beginning to clump together.  Knead for a few turns to bring it completely together.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Pat into a rectangle shape and then roll out with a rolling pin  to a 5 by 11 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife cut into 12 evenly sized rectangles. (One cut down horizontally and six across.)
  5. Carefully transfer to the baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes until perfectly set, and the edges are golden brown. Place the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  7. They will crisp up more as they cool. Store in an airtight container.


These are great with a hot cup of tea. You can also lightly butter them. Fabulous with slices of good cheddar cheese, fruit, lemon curd, jam, etc.
Did you make this recipe?
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Nova Scotia Oat Cakes

The oats cakes from the mainland tend to be a bit thicker and softer. These ones are more like the ones from Cake Breton Island which tend to be crisper. Both a delicious, however I hold a certain fondness for anything that is crisp and buttery. 

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