Scottish Oatcakes

These oatcakes are available at the café at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck and are often served at special events. They are best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea!

Scottish Oatcakes

Origin: Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
Region: Atlantic (Nova Scotia)
Period: 19th Century
Course: Desserts and Baked Goods

Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel Hubbard Photo of Alexander Graham Bell et Mabel Hubbard
© Parks Canada

Alexander Graham Bell (Alec) and Mabel Hubbard, pictured above, were married on July 11th, 1877 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their honeymoon took them to Niagara Falls and then to Brantford, Ontario where Mabel met Alec’s mother for the first time. “At the insistence of the elder Bells, the Symonds girls (Alec’s relations on his mother’s side) observed the old Scottish tradition of invoking good fortune and happiness upon the bride by breaking oatcakes above her head as she entered the house.”

Adapted from: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude, by Robert Bruce, page 134

Scottish Oatcakes


  • 3 cups | 750 ml flour
  • 3 cups | 750 ml rolled oats
  • 1 cup | 250 ml white sugar
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml salt
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml baking soda
  • 1 cup | 250 ml butter or margarine
  • 1 cup | 250 ml shortening
  • ½ cup | 125 ml cold water


  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry cutter. Then add the water until the dough holds together. Roll out to ¼" thickness on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
  • Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.


Recipe tested by Chef Sean Edwards, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

This traditional recipe was submitted by Parks Canada staff at Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.