These Nova Scotia Oatcakes are the perfect balance of sweet and salty, and require just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand!
As a proud Nova Scotian, it may surprise you that I actually never knew that oatcakes weren’t popular everywhere. In Nova Scotia, it’s pretty much impossible to go to a coffee shop and not see oatcakes on the menu, but this definitely isn’t the case everywhere.
Oatcakes are originally from Scotland- Since Cape Breton (a part of Nova Scotia) has a large Scottish population, oatcakes have become popular all across Nova Scotia. Traditional Scottish oatcakes, which are usually found in Cape Breton, are a bit thinner and crunchier than Nova Scotian oatcakes and often cooked in a rectangular slab and then cut into pieces, whereas Nova Scotian oatcakes are more of a cookie-cake hybrid and shaped like hockey pucks. Some people call these chewier oatcakes ‘Halifax Oatcakes’, which is what this recipe is based on since I’m from Halifax so they’re what I’m most accustomed to.
When I was creating this recipe, I was instantly transported back to a local coffee shop in Halifax, splitting an oatcake alongside a coffee or tea with my parents or friends. There’s something about the power of food that can bring back such incredible memories and feelings, which is why I always tell my clients that it’s okay to have an emotional connection to food. For me, personally, oatcakes remind me of these special bonding moments with my loved ones. Eating my Mom’s (veganized!) French Onion Soup (recipe in my Soup Recipe Ebook!) and her mandarin orange salad always reminds me of Christmas Eve, and having ice cream out of a waffle cone always reminds me of my Grandmother serving my brothers and I ice cream in waffle bowls for breakfast when we stayed at her house.
It’s okay to have these emotional ties with food, and it’s okay for food to hold a special place in your heart. The important thing is that we evaluate these relationships regularly, and ask ourselves whether they’re helping or hurting us. Did you grow up seeing a parent eat chips for comfort, so now you always reach for chips after an argument? Do you associate eating chocolate with ‘cheating’ on a diet, so now you overeat it when you do allow yourself to have it? Get curious about why you have these emotional ties to food, and remember that no food is off-limits, and when we allow ourselves to have these foods on a regular basis, no strings attached, they can provide happiness and comfort, without needing to feel guilty afterward. Of course, it’s always encouraged that you reach out to an intuitive eating Registered Dietitian to help you do this if needed. Feel free to get in touch with me!
Why You’ll Love These Oatcakes:
- These oatcakes are the perfect balance of salty and sweet. If you’ve never had oatcakes before, you might expect them to be super sweet like a cookie or cake, but they’re not. They’re relatively neutral on the salty-sweet scale (until you add chocolate, that is!).
- These oatcakes use super simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. They’re essentially just oats, vegan butter, sugar, and salt- Plus chocolate if you want!
- They’re perfect to pair with coffee or tea. Because these oatcakes aren’t too sweet, they’re delicious to have in the morning, afternoon, or in the evening. I love pairing them with a hot cup of coffee or some tea after dinner.
- You can keep them classic without chocolate, or add chocolate for a sweeter version! Most coffee shops in Halifax half-dunk their oatcakes in chocolate, which is what I’ve chosen to do, but feel free to just add a drizzle or omit the chocolate all together!
- They’re seriously easy! If you feel intimidated to try making these vegan oatcakes because you’ve never had them before, don’t be! This is one of the easiest recipes out there.
Vegan Oatcake Main Ingredients
Oats: Obviously oats are the base of oatcakes! I recommend using rolled oats, as they’ll lend the best texture to these oat cakes.
Flour: I used white all-purpose flour for these vegan oatcakes!
Cold Vegan Butter: Butter is the only ingredient in traditional oatcakes that makes them not vegan, so I’ve swapped regular butter for vegan butter! Any vegan butter will work, but make sure that it’s cold.
Sugar: I used brown sugar in this recipe.
How to Make Vegan Oatcakes
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
- Using your hands or a knife, ‘cut’ the vegan butter into the dry mixture. Try to move quickly so the butter doesn’t melt too much during this process. In the end, you’ll be left with a crumbly flour mixture that mimics the texture of sand.
- Pour hot water (I boiled water then let cool for about a minute) over the mixture. It’s vital that the water is hot, because this helps to break down the oats and make them more tender.
- Add in the vanilla, then stir to combine all ingredients.
- Using about 1/4 cup, roll dough into balls then flatten into circles. They should be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Bake the oatcakes for 10-12 minutes, until they’re very slightly golden brown around the edges.
- (Optional) Let oatcakes cool, then dip in melted chocolate and coconut oil mixture. Place on a plate lined with parchment paper, then put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes until chocolate has hardened. Serve and enjoy!
- Dipping in chocolate isn’t necessary, but totally recommended!
- I’ve added coconut oil into the chocolate mixture since the coconut oil helps the chocolate set better when cooled. The coconut oil doesn’t leave a strong coconut flavor, but feel free to omit this
- This recipe makes about 6 large oatcakes, but feel free to make them smaller based on your preferences. Just note that the cooking time may need to be reduced slightly.
Vegan Oatcakes Recipe
These Nova Scotia Vegan Oatcakes are the perfect slightly-sweet snack to pair with a hot cup of coffee or tea! They use simple ingredients and are so easy to make!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold vegan butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips plus more as needed
- 1 tsp coconut oil optional
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Using your hands or a knife, 'cut' cold vegan butter into the dry mixture. Once done, it should be a similar texture to sand.
Pour hot water over dry mixture. Add vanilla, then mix until well combined.
Shape dough into hockey puck-sized rounds, about 1/4 inch thick.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are just slightly golden brown.
Optional: Let oatcakes cool. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together, then dip oat cakes in chocolate. Place on a parchment paper lined plate and place in fridge for 30-60 minutes, until chocolate has set. Serve and enjoy!
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