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Pinhead oat biscuits recipe

Pinhead oat biscuits recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Oat biscuits

Using pinhead oats, or steel-cut oats, for these biscuits gives a toothsome texture. Super easy to make and nice to eat!

94 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 75g (3 oz) self raising flour
  • 75g (3 oz) pinhead oats
  • 75g (3 oz) sugar
  • 75g (3 oz) butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Mix in pinhead oats and sugar.
  3. Melt butter, syrup and milk in a saucepan and stir until heated through. Add to the premixed dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Spoon onto a baking tray and shape into rounds.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from tray.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

What a great recipe - includes ounces measurements which made it even easier. I use pinhead for my porridge - don't be put off by them if you're not sure what they are. Followed recipe to the letter (except I didn't have any golden syrup, so used maple) and the biscuits were perfect. Very crispy, Thank you!-26 May 2013

The easiest biscuits on earth to make and nicely plain and crunchy! If I were to make any change at all it would be to add the milk separately rather than heating it through with the butter and syrup - mine separated but it didn't seem to affect the taste or bake!-30 Oct 2016

They taste great but mine spread rather messily on the baking tray so their appearance is not great. I only added 40g of sugar and a few tablespoons of stevia so they taste very sweet. I used pinhead oatmeal so they have a very crunchy texture.-20 Jan 2018

Oatmeal Cheese Biscuits

These wholesome Oatmeal Cheese Biscuits are perfect for your breakfast or dinner plate!

Have you tried many kinds of flour? I have a couple friends who are gluten free, and they have talked about spelt, rice, almond, and coconut flours. I have not had the pleasure of trying any of them, and honestly, I have no idea what spelt is. (I’m sure it’s delicious…) While I’m not well versed in flour alternatives, I do know that whole wheat flour is better for me than white, and I presume that oats are even better since they have more fiber and protein than flour. With all that in mind, this weekend I wanted some bread. I love making garlic cheese biscuits with baking mix, but I wondered if I could do something similar in a healthier way. That’s how these oatmeal cheese biscuits were born, and I’ll never turn back. I think these may just be called “the biscuits” in our house now because this might be my new default recipe. I was actually thinking of these as a dinner roll replacement, which they are perfect for, but they are also a perfect grab and go breakfast! As much as I love an occasional doughnut or other sweet treat for breakfast, I generally like to start my day with something savory. Something like a biscuit loaded with hearty whole wheat, oatmeal, and cheddar cheese… These cheese biscuits have a secret ingredient that makes them super moist. OK, it’s not a secret anymore because I’m about to tell you, but let’s just keep it between us. Instead of butter or shortening, I used reduced-fat cream cheese with a little vegetable oil. If you haven’t tried cream cheese in biscuits (neither had I), you must do it! Simply work it into your dry ingredients until it’s crumbly like this:

Stir in milk and cheese, plop your dough onto a baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes. (These are drop biscuits, my favorite kind!)

Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a warm, soft, satisfying oatmeal cheese biscuit (or three)! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe, and please be sure to let me know how you like it!

Scottish Oatcakes

While some Scots may not like a Sassenachsuch as myself calling these savoury biscuits Scottish oatcakes, I really don’t have a choice.

That’s because I live in north Staffordshire and if you say ‘oatcake’ here people immediately think of Staffordshire Oatcakes . Not biscuits, but oat pancakes often stuffed with bacon or sausage and cheese, usually eaten for breakfast.

So, although you may think of these simply as ‘oatcakes’, I really do have to call them Scottish Oatcakes.

It seems that oats became the staple cereal in Scotland due to the country’s cooler, damper conditions. This meant the land was better suited for growing oats rather than the wheat more common further south.

Consequently, many oat-based dishes, including porridge and oatcakes, came to be associated with Scotland.


You’ve probably seen various types of oats and oatmeal in the shops. But it isn’t always obvious what the differences are.

So, here’s my quick guide to all things oaty.

The first stage in processing whole oats is to separate the kernels, or groats, from the outer husks. After cleaning and drying, these are prepared in various ways to create different products.

  • PINHEAD, COARSE or STEEL CUT OATS These are the most minimally processed oats. Steel blades are used to cut the groats into pinhead sized pieces. These have a chewy texture and, if you’re making porridge with them, it’ll take longer to cook.
  • MEDIUM & FINE OATMEAL These are made of ground oats, milled to different degree of fineness.

  • ROLLED or JUMBO OATS Here the oats are steamed and then pressed between rollers. These are the oats I buy most of the time: they still have good texture but don’t take as long to cook as pinhead oats.

  • PORRIDGE OATS These are processed in the same way as rolled or jumbo oats but are rolled thinner and flakier. When used for making porridge, I find them too smooth for my taste. But they do cook more quickly.

Faced with these different types of oat, the next question is obviously…


The short answer is, any of them alone or in combination.

Obviously, the finer oatmeal and porridge oats will give you a finer textured oatcake. Coarse or medium oatmeal plus rolled oats will create a ‘rougher’ one.

Tip: you can make your own oatmeal by whizzing up rolled or porridge oats in a food processor.

For the Scottish Oatcakes you see in this post, I used a combination of medium oatmeal and rolled oats. I whizzed up the rolled oats (in a coffee grinder, actually) but not too finely. I think it’s nice to have some largeish pieces of oat remaining for a rustic feel and more interesting texture.

If you’re only going to buy one type of oat, then I’d go for rolled oats due to their versatility.


Making Scottish Oatcakes really is dead simple.

All you do is season your oats/oatmeal with a little salt, then make a dough by adding olive oil or melted butter plus boiling water.

I’ve made some batches with olive oil and some with butter. Personally, I think there’s next to no difference. The ones with butter were perhaps slightly richer, but this was barely noticeable. Both versions had good flavour and were nicely crunchy. So just use whichever fat you prefer.

The dough should be firm but not sticky. I experimented with resting the dough, but found it became crumblier and more difficult to work with.

Dust your work surface with oatmeal or flour, then roll out the dough no more than 3-5 mm thick. Cut out rounds 5-6 cm in diameter, re-rolling the scraps to make more oatcakes.

It’s worth noting that oats can be quite ‘thirsty’. This means that when bringing together the dough scraps to re-roll, I sometimes added a touch more water as it’d gone dry.

The dough is quite forgiving though. If, when rolling out, the edges start to split, just push everything back together and keep going.

Into the oven on a lined baking tray, Scottish Oatcakes should only take 30 minutes to cook. I turn them over after 20 minutes.

When they’re lightly golden and cooked all the way through, cool the oatcakes on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container when completely cold.


Oatcakes were traditionally a major source of carbohydrate so would be served with all sorts of meals. They can also take the place of bread or toast at breakfast and are good alongside soups.

But I love Scottish Oatcakes best with some really good cheeses.

Here there’s two local ones from the Staffordshire Cheese Company : Buxton Blue and Cheddleton Original, plus a French sheep’s cheese.

I should also give a shout-out here to my lovely Whispers of Wood cheese knife. A beautiful thing to own, it cuts cheeses (and charcuterie) effortlessly without marking wooden boards or scratching plates.

Smooth cream cheese is also a nice contrast to the pleasantly rough and rustic oatcakes. A blob of homemade chutney like my five-star rated Smoky Tomato- Chilli Chutney makes it extra special.

Of course, packet oatcakes, like other savoury crackers and biscuits, can be bought everywhere these days.

But, as with so many things, you can’t beat the flavour and satisfaction you get from homemade. You’ll also be avoiding the environmentally disastrous palm oil found in many brands of oatcake.

For very little effort and cost, you can enjoy wonderfully wholesome and delicious Scottish Oatcakes.

Have you made this Scottish Oatcakes recipe?
Leave a comment & don’t forget to rate the recipe!


Easy Oatmeal Crackers (Gluten Free and Vegan).

We love our snacks in this house. My two growing boys seem to be in a very “snacky” phase right now. They love to eat apples and bananas, or homemade granola, or some kind of crunchy snack.

I love to make crackers for them to eat. Homemade crackers are so easy to make, and I find it relaxing. It just takes a minute to make the dough, then roll it out, score it with a knife, and sprinkle it with water and salt. I find the whole process to be very soothing.

Plus, they’re so much cheaper than buying gluten free crackers! Who wants to spend $5 on a box of crackers? I’d rather not, if I don’t have to!

I’ve shared cracker recipes on the blog before, but this time I wanted to add a little more whole grain nutrition to them. I decided to grind up some oats and use oat flour in addition to the gluten free flour blend. The oats gave these a great nutty flavor and made the texture a little lighter. These oatmeal crackers were gobbled up in no time flat!

If you happen to have of these oatmeal crackers left over (we never do), you can store them in a glass jar or ziploc bag. If you do want to have some left over, then I would suggest making a double batch. :)

Sweet oat cheesecake

A creamy, lemon-edged cheesecake with a crisp crust to contrast the soft texture. Serves 6-8.

Set the oven at 140C/gas mark 1. Mix the cream cheese and sugar in a food mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth. Stir in the eggs, lightly beaten, and the extra yolk, a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. Finely grate the zest from the lemon and beat it into the mixture along with its juice and a few drops of vanilla extract. Stop the machine and stir in the soured cream, slowly and thoroughly.

Take the cake tin from the fridge, wrap its base and sides thoroughly with tin foil, making sure there are no splits or tears and place it in a deep roasting tin. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake tin, then pour hot water into the roasting tin to come half way up the sides of the cake tin and bake for an hour. It should still be wobbly. Turn off the heat and leave the cake in the switched-off oven for a further hour. Remove the cake from the oven and refrigerate for four hours, or preferably overnight, still in its tin, before adding the oat crust.

To finish, melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the sugar and then the oats and the reserved biscuit crumbs. Stir occasionally, over a moderate heat until the sugar and butter have formed a caramel and the oats are golden brown. Tip on to a lightly oiled piece of baking parchment and leave to set.

Crack the oat caramel into pieces and scatter over the cheesecake before carefully removing it from the tin.

Step 1: Ingredients and Method


225g - 8oz rolled, pinhead or steel cut gluten-free oats

1 tablespoon butter or butter and palm oil, dripping, bacon fat or lard

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

8 tablespoons of hot water

Extra oats or oat flour for sprinkling

Chop up oats using a coffee grinder for a few seconds so as to retain the texture of the oats without making a flour.

Mix the dry ingredients and add the melted fat by pouring into the centre of the mixture.

Using a wooden spoon handle (or traditional spurtle) stir well whilst incorporating enough water to make a stiff dough.

Powder your hands, bowl or board with chopped oats or oat flour and knead the dough, working quickly.

Using plenty of chopped oats, roll out either into a thin round or divide dough into half and roll into two rounds (traditional).

Traditionally the rounds are then marked out into wedges but we roll thinly and cut out biscuit shapes.

Place on a buttered baking tray put in an oven pre-heated to 390°F or 200°C and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes.

If you decide to make the traditional wedges, then cook on a medium heated griddle or in a frying pan for approximately 3 minutes. When they are cooked the edges will begin to curl and turn golden brown.

If you are interested in finding out more about the history of this food and in learning what Dr Johnson wrote in his dictionary about oats and what Patrick Murray, 5th Lord Elibank replied, then you can find this and more pictures of goats and Scotland on my original blog article here and where you can also find many more recipes!

All the best and please share this recipe if you enjoyed it and do feel free to comment and or ask questions, here or on the blog,


When you emigrate to the other side of the world there are many things you can miss. For me, that is family and friends. Others miss places, culture, memories, the weather or food.

To be honest, in my two and a half years living in Australia, I haven’t craved or missed many foods from Scotland….that was until now.

This week I had some serious craving for Haggis! I kept seeing Instagram photos of Burns Suppers and I felt a little nostalgic. Haggis wasn’t something I wanted to attempt to make myself, so I decided to prepare a different Scottish food, (oatcakes), to celebrate Burns with the boys.

Five batches later, I finally made an oatcake that reminds me of home.

Let’s talk about Oats

Every country seems to have their own selection and names for different varieties of oats. This can make oat-based recipes confusing and is why, sometimes, recipes don’t translate well from country to country.

Many oatcake recipes simply state oats in the ingredient list. No other explanation is given and yet the type of oat you use can greatly affect the end result.

From my research, I discovered that Scottish Oatmeal is most commonly used. This isn’t something that is stocked in the supermarkets here, so I experimented using the more commonly available, rolled and steel cut oats.

A little breakdown of the oats I discuss.

  • Scottish Oatmeal – Oats ground into coarse, medium or fine oatmeal
  • Rolled Oats – Are created by steaming and rolling oats.
  • Steel Cut Oats (Pinhead) – Oats chopped into small pieces

How to Make Oatcakes

When developing this recipe I tried making the oatcakes with steel cut oats, rolled oats and a mixture of both.

  • 100% steel cut oats (blended) – The mixture was a little crumbly to work with but it produced a good, textured, rough oatcake.
  • 100% rolled oats (blended) – The mixture was easier to work with but the finished oatcake lacked in texture.
  • 50% steel cut / 50 % rolled mix (both blended). This was voted the favourite from both my kids and my husband.

If you can get your hands on some medium oatmeal, then you could use this and no blending would be required.

Once you have the oats all figured out, the recipe is pretty simple. With very few ingredients, they are easy and quick to prepare.

  1. Blend oats
  2. Add melted butter and mix until combined
  3. Add water and knead until the oats have absorbed the water and a ball can be formed
  4. Roll out (approx 3mm thick) and cut into rounds (or desired shape) using cookie cutters,
  5. Bake

Many oatcake recipes include baking soda or baking powder. I’m not sure of the reasoning behind this. Without an acid to react with the baking soda, it won’t do much, and you don’t really want the oatcakes to rise.

However, I did decide to try the recipe with baking powder to see if there was any difference. There wasn’t any noticeable difference in texture but the batch baked with baking powder were slightly darker in colour.

I chose not to include baking powder in my recipe card but if you wish, you can add 1/4 tsp to the recipe.

What Do Oatcakes Taste Like?

When I told my youngest that we were going to make oatcakes, his face lit up. He just heard the word cake and was imagining an indulgent, sweet treat.

When he saw and tasted the finished product, his face fell. It was not a cake as he knew it!

Oatcakes have a nutty, wholesome flavour and are maybe a food you need to have some familiarity with before you appreciate them

What Texture Should Oatcakes Have?

Oatcakes can vary widely in regards to texture. They can be rough to fine, depending on how the oats are ground. They can be slightly chewy, crumbly or crispy, depending on the water content, how thick they are rolled out and how long they are baked.

This recipe produces an oatcake that is crunchy with a medium to rough texture.

Oatcakes and Allergy Options

  • Gluten Free – Although oats are naturally gluten-free, most commercial oats are processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and rye. The gluten in these ingredients can contaminate oats. Make sure to buy gluten-free oats if intolerant.
  • Dairy Free – You can replace the butter with a different fat (e.g olive oil or lard)

How to serve Oatcakes

The great thing about oatcakes is that they can be enjoyed in many different ways and at any time of the day. Enjoy them with sweet or savoury toppings, crumbled into soup or as part of a cheese board.

Below I have illustrated nine different ways you could top your oatcakes, of course, this is just nine of many ideas. The toppings are limitless.

  1. Egg Salad
  2. Mashed Avocado and Tomato
  3. Peanut Butter & Raspberry Chia Jam
  4. Cream Cheese & Strawberry
  5. Hummus and Carrot and Cucumber
  6. Butter, Cheese & Grape
  7. Cottage Cheese and Tomato
  8. Nut Butter, Banana and Cinnamon

Have you tried this recipe? I love to hear your feedback, please rate and leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram.

Looking for more healthy kid recipes? Sign up for my free recipe newsletter to get new family friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing more kind-friendly inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.

Pinhead oat biscuits recipe - Recipes

Fine Scotch Oatmeal
Fine oatmeal is ideal for making porridge for young children. It has a smooth, creamy texture making it easier for babies to eat. Fine oatmeal can also be used as a thickening agent for soups, sauces and as a coarse flour for baking. Also available in 2kg bags.

Available in 500g, 1kg & 2kg bags.

Medium Scotch Oatmeal
Medium Oatmeal is ideal for making porridge. Its smaller granular texture can be used to coat fish before frying. We use it for steaks and diced beef before cooking. Also available in 2kg bags.

Available in 500g, 1kg & 2kg bags.

Coarse Scotch Oatmeal
Coarse oatmeal is a rougher cut of medium oatmeal. Often used to make oatcakes for a crumblier texture. Traditionally coarse oatmeal is used in stuffing and Skirlie, a scottish dish made with onions and seasonings. Also available in 2kg bags.

Available in 500g, 1kg & 2kg bags.

Porridge Oats
Aberfeldy’s porridge oats are ideal for making authentic porridge as well as flapjacks and is the perfect crumble topping. Aberfeldy oatmeal’s quality shines through every time. Also available in 1.2kg bags.

Available in 400g, 750g & 1.2kg bags.

Pinhead Scotch Oatmeal
Pinhead oatmeal is also known as “Steel Cut” or “Oat Groats”. It is a very coarse oatmeal, it makes an excellent, traditional style porridge and can also be used in soups to give body as well as a topping to pies, puddings and crumbles.

Available in 500g, 1kg & 2kg bags.

Aberfeldy Porridge Recipe This is the Aberfeldy Porridge recipe which we think is the Scotland’s best. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients: 1 cup of porridge oats, 2 cups of milk or water (whichever you prefer).

Method: Place the oats in a pot along with the milk (or water) and mix well over a medium to high heat. Continually stir until the mixture is bubbling and thickens up. Remove from the heat and enjoy. Top with fresh raspberries, honey or add a spoonful of Fife Jamming Co. Jam

Scottish Vegan Oatcakes

Scottish Highland Vegan Oatcakes are super tasty and moreish. Crunchy, nutty, and savoury!

Scottish oatcakes are the perfect between meal snacks as they are low in sugar and fat but high in plant-based energy and oaty goodness.

Origin of oatcakes

Oatcakes have been around in Scottish history for thousands of years.

Historically, 14th century Scottish soldiers carried their own bag of oatmeal complete with a piece of metal for cooking.

Water was added to the oatmeal to make a dough and then cooked over a fire.

Oatcakes would have helped soldiers sustain long marches and ward of hunger!

Oats are the perfect food.

Oats are high in protein, fibre ,good fats, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. There is even evidence that oats can help protect our heart health, maintain blood sugar levels and aid weight loss by keeping you filled up for longer!

These are all great excuses to prepare a batch of Scottish oatcakes!

Christina’s Scottish Oatcakes

recipe by Christina Conte makes 1 dozen triangular oatcakes

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)

Place the oatmeal in a food processor and process until it has become like flour a few hard pieces are fine. I love Hamlyn’s Pinhead Oats from Scotland.

Add the salt, butter, and baking soda and begin to process.

Then add the hot water through the feed tube on top until the mixture just comes together.

Sprinkle some oatmeal flour on the workspace and working quickly, divide the mixture in two.

Roll out into a round shape, about 1/4″ thick and cut into sixths. Repeat with the second half.

You can trace around a plate for clean edges if you like. As you can see in the lower left photo below, I trimmed one and not the other. A large cake lifter is excellent for moving the oatcakes to the tray, as well as moving cakes.

Place on a baking sheet (I use a silicone mat ), and bake for about 20 minutes.

Allow to cool, then store in a tin.

You can warm them in the oven just before serving, or just as they are with butter, jam, or cheese. The slate board and old fashioned scale are both very Scottish props. Aren’t they lovely?

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  1. Clayson

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  2. Osmar

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  3. Dayne

    you were not mistaken, everything exactly

  4. Vudoshura

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