Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Pancakes

Easy overnight pancakes made from oatmeal.

Scottish? I don’t know if they are traditionally “Scottish” but that’s what our family has always called these oatmeal pancakes. They are made out of mostly oats, a traditional Scottish staple. Plus, the name sounds so wholesome. The outside of these oatcakes is a beautiful, lacy, crispy contrast to the soft, moist interior. In my mind, these far exceed the taste of boring old pancakes, any day.

Scottish Oatcakes - Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Super simple to make, the biggest thing with these is the overnight soak of the buttermilk and oats. I’ve even forgotten to make these and left the oatmeal/buttermilk mixture in the fridge for two or three days and they’re even better. (The final product may need to be slightly thinned when you do that, though, as the oats absorb so much of the moisture there’s not much left to allow the pancakes to spread out.)

My favorite way to make these is plain, with just a bit of cinnamon (or apple pie spice), but raisins or chopped dried fruit are great in these oatcakes, too. Dress them anyway you’d like – plain butter, a bit of jam or a syrup of your choice.

Scottish Oatcakes - Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Oatmeal pancakes are sturdy enough to grab one on the go, too, if your kids are like mine were – running out the door last-minute for the school bus. These are a wonderful, too, for a casual weeknight dinner on a dreary day.

Cost for the pancakes, plain, is about $1.65 – butter and other toppings are additional, as is any fruit, etc. I imagine a substitute could easily be used to replace the small amount of flour if one were looking for a gluten-free alternative to pancakes.

To speed things along in the morning, mix up the dry ingredients in a bowl and set it on the counter, cut the butter in pieces and put them in a microwave proof container, and set out any jellies, jams, syrups, etc. Don’t forget the eggs! Take out two and place them on top of the container that holds the oat/buttermilk mixture (in the fridge.)

Scottish Oatcakes - Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Scottish Oatmeal Pancakes

  • Servings: 18 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 cups rolled oats (“Regular” not “Instant” work best here)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit (optional)
  • 1/2 cup flour (white or wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Soak oats in buttermilk, overnight, in the refrigerator. In the morning, in a separate bowl, mix eggs, then add butter and raisins or dried fruit. Add to the oatmeal mixture and stir gently.

Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl, the flour, baking soda & powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to the oatmeal mixture and stir until just moistened.

Spoon 1/3 cup onto an oiled griddle or pan, spreading a bit with a spoon or spatula, if needed. Cook until one side is well browned, then turn and finish cooking on the other side.


  • Depending on length of soak and type of oats, the consistency of this mixture may be a bit thick. If it is too thick to easily spread, add a bit more buttermilk.
  • These freeze beautifully: cook, lay out on a lined baking sheet. Freeze until hard and stack in a ziploc bag.

From the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving money/time and managing this recipe.
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  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
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No fruit included, per pancake, lowfat buttermilk, white flour:

Calories 89; Total Fat 4 6 %; Saturated Fat 2 10 %; Monounsaturated Fat 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 31 mg 10 %; Sodium 300 mg 12 %; Potassium 85 mg 2 %; Total Carbohydrate 10 3 %; Dietary Fiber 1 4 %; Sugars 1 g; Prot 3 7 %; Vitamin A 2 %; Vitamin C 0 %; Calcium 4 %; Iron 4 %

Kitchen & Cooking Hack:


Use a kitchen scoop for evenly distributing or measuring – A 1/3rd cup scoop makes easy work of these pancakes.

Left Overs?

Freeze flat on a cookie sheet, wrap and store in your freezer in a Ziploc Bag for another day. Better yet, double and freeze half just to have them left over for another breakfast later.

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • Once the basic recipe is down, the variations are almost endless. I don’t typically make these with fresh fruit, but why not?
  • The cinnamon is very subtle and could be increased, and these could be flavored, as well with other spices.
  • If you’re avoiding flour, a substitute could be made for the 1/2 cup.

Recipe made April 2014

Same pancake old photo - I still think this looks good enough to eat! Is it a good enough photo to draw in people - nope. But it does show the nice crispy, lacy top!
Same pancake recipe – old photo – I still think this looks good enough to eat!It does show the nice crispy, lacy top! The pat of butter melted before I could even get the shot.

26 thoughts on “Scottish Oatcakes – Oatmeal Pancakes”

  1. I have just soaked the oats in almond milk to substitute, can I use an alternative to butter. I thought of coconut oil but I’m not keen on the taste. I’m trying to cean eat right now. Thanks I’m looking forward to these, all the family are going to join me. 😀😀

  2. These look good, although I think they are only called Scottish due to the oatmeal! A traditional Scottish item wouldn’t be a pancake but a Bannock cooked on a girdle (griddle) traditionally made with oatmeal, fat and water, more like oatcakes. However now some recipes also use whole wheat flour and can be more of a scone. However there are so many versions depending on where you are!

  3. We had these for breakfast this morning and thoroughly enjoyed them. Theye were nice and soft for my ten month old to gum on. I soaked the oats in a thin yogurt as that’s what we had on hand, but I don’t think that would have made a difference from the original recipe. Meets my three criteria for a meal: Filling, nutritious and cheap!

    1. Hi Laura, I’m glad you liked them and it was so nice of you to stop back and comment. 🙂 I think you’re right on the yogurt because I used to make these years ago before Greek yogurt was available (and the whole country went crazy over it, lol!)

  4. I can attest to the fact that substituting another type of flour to make these gluten free works well. I did a half and half mixture of oat flour and oat bran. Love the texture of these oatcakes!

    1. Thanks, Dianna! It’s great to have the feedback. I just pulse up oats in the food processor for a few different recipes and it always seems to work well. I bet the bran adds a bit, too, to the texture.

  5. I looooove these pancakes! I’ll definitely give them a try soon. They look so divine. Healthy/delicious…yum! Thanks alot!
    P.S. Thank you for checking out my post. It’s always great to see you.

        1. I love that nutty flavor! Next time. So funny in all these years I’ve been making these I haven’t done that yet. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and dropping the comment.


    1. Thanks! I think you’ll love them! No one I’ve ever served them to has ever guessed they’re “healthy!”

      If you try them, feel free to comment back and let me know what you thought! 🙂

  6. A good friend texted me the other day with a recipe that I just had to try–this one. We share a meal planning website and it turns out that she has quite a few of your recipes bookmarked. No wonder we’re friends. 🙂

    In any case, these were fantastic; super filling and carried me right through to lunch. I liked that they are sugar-free too.

    1. Oh my gosh, I’m so flattered! 🙂 Tell your friend thanks, and feel free to comment back with your site so the url is here! I’d love to visit!

      I’m glad you liked them, too! With no sugar, there’s no worries, either, about feeding them to the “littles” as we’ve started calling children in our family. 🙂

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