Healthy Oatcakes (With Rosemary)

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These homemade healthy oatcakes are made with simple, natural, and wholesome ingredients. The perfect gluten-free and dairy-free snack!

I discovered oatcakes when I first moved to the UK, what seems like a lifetime ago.

Oatcakes are originally from Scotland and were baked as a long-lasting alternative to bread. Nowadays, they are often used to accompany cheese, but I find them great on their own or with some delicious hummus as a healthy snack. (Please, Scottish friends, forgive me!).

If you have never tried oatcakes, they are similar to crackers but more crumbly.

I find the version that you buy in the supermarkets too buttery, and a few months ago, I decided to try to make my own healthy oatcake version.

Oatcakes are very easy to prepare, and you should definitely try to make them.

They are normally made out of a combination of 5 simple ingredients:

  • oats
  • fat
  • raising agent
  • liquid
  • flavoring

What are oatcakes made with?

Oats

Of course! The star ingredient in oatcakes is oatmeal! Oatmeal is essentially the inside of the oat grains, minus the inedible outer husk, that has either been grounded or chopped. There are different degrees of ground oatmeal. I prefer medium oatmeal, as it keeps my oatcakes crunchy but still crumbly and crisp.

If you don’t have oatmeal, you can also blend some rolled oats or quick-cook oats in a food processor or a blender until they form a coarse flour.

Fat

The traditional Scottish oatcakes are made with lard and, more recently, butter. In some original recipes, fat should be half the weight of the dry ingredients. As you can imagine, that makes the oatcakes somewhat unhealthy!

By reducing the fat quantity, you can make a much healthier but still delicious alternative. I love my oatcakes with extra virgin olive oil. I admit they are not traditional at all, but I find that olive oil is a great vegan option for my recipe.

Top view of oatmeal, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, salt: all the ingredients needed to make oatcakes

Raising agent

I am not sure about adding a rising agent to oatcakes, as they don’t really need to rise. The traditional recipe includes a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, but I found that it really doesn’t make much of a difference!

Liquid

You will need hot water to create a dough and bind together the dry oats.

Flavoring

You just need a pinch of salt for the traditional recipe, but if you want to make some special oatcakes, you can try adding different flavors:

  • pepper
  • fresh or dry herbs
  • seeds (sesame, poppy seeds)
Top view of oatcakes ready to be baked.

In my version of oatcakes, I am going for a vegan alternative, using extra virgin olive oil as fat and a bit of fresh rosemary to give them a Mediterranean twist.

I have a serious problem with these oatcakes: yes, they are very healthy, full of fiber and good fats, but every time I make them, I can’t stop eating them!

Side view of 2 stacks of healthy oatcakes.

How to make healthy oatcakes

This oatcake recipe is extremely simple, but there are a couple of tips that will help you to get it perfect every time.

The steps are:

  1. Blend the oats (if using rolled oats).
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil, salt, and rosemary to the oatmeal.
  3. Boil the water, add it to the oatmeal, and knead until the oats have absorbed the water and a ball can be formed.
  4. Roll out (approx 3mm thick) and cut into circles using a cookie cutter.
  5. Bake.

F.A.Q.

How much water should you use to make oatcakes?

Different types of oats can absorb water in different ways. If your dough is too crumbly or too soft, just add more water or more oatmeal, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the perfect consistency.

What is the perfect consistency? I can hear you asking.
You need to be able to form a ball, but the dough doesn’t have to be too sticky. I normally find it quite hard to roll it out without it breaking a bit. You want it to be crumbly but enough to hold together.

How can you easily shape oatcakes?

I use some baking paper to help roll and cut the dough. By rolling the dough on baking paper, I can easily remove the oatcakes without having them stick to my work surface.

How can you cook healthy oatcakes to perfection?

Make sure to turn the trays halfway through baking if your oven doesn’t cook evenly.

You also need to watch them during the last 5 minutes as they can darken quite quickly.

I normally set the timer at 15 minutes and then check them and remove them only when they reach the perfect golden even color.

More Oat Recipes

More Savory Snacks Recipes You’ll Love

If you try this healthy oatcake recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!

Homemade healthy oatcakes on a white surface with rosemary in front of them.
4.80 from 15 votes
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Healthy Oatcakes with Rosemary

These homemade healthy oatcakes are made with simple, natural, and wholesome ingredients. The perfect gluten-free and dairy-free snack!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Scottish
Servings: 20 oatcakes
Calories: 51kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups medium oatmeal - (or rolled oats)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • If you are blending your own oatmeal from rolled oats, simply place the rolled oat in a blender or food processor and blend until you get a coarse flour.
  • Mix the oatmeal, finely chopped fresh rosemary, and salt in a bowl, and add the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bring the water to the boil and add it to the bowl. Mix with a spoon and let it cool slightly. Then use your hands to form a dough. Feel free to add a bit more water if the dough feels too crumbly. Just add it a tablespoon at the time.
  • Roll out the dough until very thin (3mm) and cut in circles with a round cookie cutter ( I used a 3 1/16 in – 78mm cookie cutter). If the dough is a bit sticky, I normally roll it out on a baking sheet, to avoid using additional flour.
    If the dough is too crumbly, don't add too much water. Simply roll out a quarter of the dough at a time.
  • Place the circles on a flat tray covered with a baking sheet, no extra grease required.
  • Bake until golden brown, for 15-20 minutes. If your oven doesn’t cook evenly, make sure to turn the trays half-way through baking. Keep a close eye on the oatcakes in the last 5-8 minutes, to avoid overcooking them.
  • When the oatcakes are ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. 

Notes

  • Nutritional values are per oatcake.
  • Oat is naturally gluten-free but if you want to ensure the oatcakes are completely gluten-free, please remember to check that the oats you buy are certified gluten-free. 
  • You can store your oatcakes for over a week in an airtight container, once they are completely cool (but they never last that long)!

Nutrition

Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Sugar: 1g

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50 Comments

  1. Cath Coffey says:

    5 stars
    Just made these. Added blitzed sun flower seeds, black pepper and a small handful of crushed walnuts. Absolutely delicious!
    Eating now with hummus and brie. Yum…… thank you so much.

  2. 5 stars
    These are delicious! I added a little extra rosemary, but otherwise made them exactly as written. Right in between a cookie and a cracker and so satisfying. Will make them again and again! Thanks!!

  3. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious oatcakes. As a Scottish person who has eaten oatcakes all her life, this recipe is a blessing as I’m fed up searching the supermarkets for oatcakes that are made without unhealthy oils. This recipe is fantastic as I can use organic oats and the EVOO and feel no guilt when eating the lot!!!! Made half the recipe amount today which made 17 small oatcakes. They have a lovely snap to them and still chewy inside, exactly as they should be. Thank you so much.

    1. Thanks so much, Fiona! Your comment makes me so happy, coming from a Scottish person! I am over the moon!
      And I agree about how difficult it is to find good healthy oatcakes in the shops. Even the ones without butter are filled with so much oil!
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment πŸ™‚

  4. TONIA KAUFMAN says:

    Lovely quick and simple recipe ! Thank you very much ! I appreciate the minimum ingredients as I don’t see the point of complicating things when it’s not necessary. Nor wasting money on extra ingredients when you can enjoy it just the same using less. (I enjoying cooking and rarely go shopping, just use up odds and ends !) I omitted the salt but wonder if I should have added it for a little more flavour ? I loved the touch of rosemary ! I needed to bake mine about 25 minutes. Much appreciated !

    1. Salt just gives them a little bit of a punch! Without it, I find them a bit plain but it really depends on what you eat them with. If you dip them in hummus they are delicious without salt too!

  5. Andi Beyers says:

    4 stars
    Made them at home for the first time tonight. Used a finer grind of flour and some quick oats. The flavor was amazing! Rosemary and salt, just like yours, Not sure about the texture, which was sort of like a nutrient bar or a fig nouten. Are they supposed to be crackers or cookies? Or did I do them right?

    I have several generations of Scottish ancestors watching me make these, and they are groaning in my ears. I can’t tell if it’s a groan of laughter, pain, or pleasure.

    1. Thank you, Andi!
      The texture isn’t really like a cracker or a cookie, to be honest πŸ™‚ It should be like a very friable biscuit, I would say!

  6. 4 stars
    Thanks for posting this – I too had problems with the butter and never thought of olive oil. Brings to mind Italy’s lovely farinata di ceci made with olive oil and chick pea flour.

  7. Geraldine says:

    I wasn’t sure of my dough, which was soooooo sticky. I put it between 2 silicone sheets and rolled it properly and it all worked nicely! I see what you mean by “they won’t last 5 days!

  8. julia Norman says:

    these were great the first time I made them but the 2nd time they were too crumbly. The dough was on the wet side when I cut the circles so I am not sure what went wrong…any suggestions would be appreciated.
    thanks, Julia

    1. Hey Julia, have you changed type of oats? It can really make a difference with the water absorption. Try to keep the dough a tiny bit on the dry site. It might be slightly harder to cut them into shape and work with it, but they should hold their shape better.

  9. Anita Lovitt says:

    Delicious, easy, perfect!

    1. I am glad you love them, Anita!
      I bet they are incredible with coconut oil. It’ll just give them a beautiful flavor and aroma πŸ™‚

  10. 5 stars
    easy to make and really delicious!

  11. Hello
    I got porridge too, and too much salt, but that is my taste so i will tone it down next time. Most recipes call for baking soda, how come you don’t use it?

    1. Hey David,
      Oh gosh! I am sorry! I just had a look at the Metric/US conversion and it looks like the automatic conversion didn’t really do what was meant to do! I have updated manually the ingredients and tested it myself this morning and it works perfectly now!
      About the baking soda, I mention the reason in the post: I tried the recipe with and without baking soda and adding baking soda doesn’t really do anything to the recipe. Plus you really don’t want your oatcakes to rise so I am not sure why some recipe call for it, to be honest!
      I am all for using fewer ingredients, especially if they don’t help the texture of flavor πŸ™‚
      I hope this helps!

      1. Kyra Sable says:

        5 stars
        The baking soda isn’t for leavening, it’s to absorb excess moisture and yield a crisper oatcake. It’s particularly relevant in humid areas (e.g. Scotland) and acts as insurance elsewhere. Ammonium carbonate is another option, though best avoided if you make them as thick as I do (8mm).

  12. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I definitely don’t have a dough. It’s more of a loose porridge.

  13. My grandmother used to make these but I’m sure they had some brown sugar in them. She would flatten in cookie sheet then score in squares before baking.
    Any idea of recipe with a bit of br sugar?

  14. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    I made them into heart shaped oatcakes. I love the rosemary taste to them. We’ll be having them with bean dip tomorrow.

  15. These sound just great! Can’t wait to try them. I fancy finely chopped celery leaves and poppy seeds, and another batch with chives and paprika!

  16. I love oatcakes! I’m addicted to Effie’s Oatcakes and the ones in Scotland too.
    I look forward to making these and I’m very appreciative of the gluten free aspect of this recipe.
    Thanks,
    Marie

  17. 5 stars
    Very easy to make.
    Wonderful taste.
    (Instead of rosemary I used cumin, coriander and salt.)
    Thank you

  18. Looking forward to trying these!

  19. What KIND Of Oats did YOU Use? Rolled, quick, goat flour, Etc.