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The North Staffordshire Oatcake

As A Stokie living abroad I had to learn to cook oatcakes so that I could getva taste of home.

When will you eat yours?

photo credit: dumbledad via photo pin cc


Have you heard of the North Staffordshire oatcake?

Unless you originate from, or have visited north Staffordshire in the English Midlands you have probably never heard of a British regional food called the North Staffordshire oatcake

Traditionally, there would have been shops all over the Potteries and North Staffordshire, where people would queue to buy their freshly cooked oatcakes, before taking them home to eat with breakfast, or to work for their snappin (Potteries dialect for the food you take to work with you).

It is a testament of the enduring popularity, that even in these days of the increased popularity of national supermarket chains and fast food outlets there are still somewhere in the region of forty oatcake shops in the North Staffordshire area.

The Staffordshire oatcake is not in fact a cake, in case you were wondering. Unlike its Scottish namesake, which is actually an oat biscuit, the Staffordshire oatcake is closer in resemblance to a pancake or its close neighbour, the Derbyshire oatcake.

As a Potteries expat living in Central America, I miss oatcakes with all my heart. I have embraced the Salvadoran pupusa, which comes close if I close my eyes while I'm eating and sing Robbie William songs at the same time, but it's not an oatcake!

Come with me as I take you on a culinary discovery of my all time favourite British regional food , the North Staffordshire oatcake.

Look at Ay Up Stoke on Trent! for more interesting Potteries information!

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What Is A North Staffordshire Oatcake?

Originally a poor man's food, designed to make people feel full cheaply, the oatcake was a favourite amongst the pottery workers and miners in North Staffordshire, who used to take the local delicacy to work with them.

Made from a mix of oatmeal and water and cooked on a griddle, they are best eaten fresh, and some say they taste their best when they are still warm, fresh off the rack in the local oatcake shop.

Traditionally, people would queue up on a Sunday morning to buy a 1/2 dozen or a dozen of them to take home to eat with their full English breakfast.

Nowadays it is common to buy them ready filled, and as such they make the perfect fast food. Who needs a "Maccy D's" when such a delicious alternative is available?

There popularity is spreading, and you can even order them online and have them delivered to your house.

Oatcake Recipe

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

50 min

1 hour

12 oatcakes (3-4 people)


  • 240 g (8.5 ounces) fine oatmeal
  • 240 g (8.5 ounces) flour (wholewheat or plain)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 x 7g (1/4 ounce) sachet dried yeast
  • 500 ml (1 pint) warm milk
  • 500 ml (1 pint) warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk for the final mix


  1. Mix the milk, water, yeast and sugar together
  2. Put this mix to one side in a warm place for a few minutes (it needs to froth)
  3. Mix together the flour, oatmeal and saltin a bowl.
  4. Add the frothed milk mixture to the dry mix
  5. Add the oil and whisk well
  6. Leave the mix to rise in warm place for about an hour
  7. After the mixture has risen, whisk again and add the 50 ml of warm milk.
  8. To cook, wipe a frying pan with oil and add a ladle of oatcake mix, and spread out in the pan (just like with pancakes)
  9. Cook on a high heat until the top bubbles and appears dry, then turn the oatcake over and cook the other side
  10. Cool on a cake rack

Recipe Video Guide

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Have I tempted you to try the North Staffordshire oatcake?

Kathryn Worthington from Oxford, UK on March 01, 2020:

As a Staffordshire girl (Burton on Trent) I'm ashamed to say I only tried these the other day!

They were DELICIOUS!

I ate mine with peanut butter and marmite. They're one of my new favourite things to eat and will definitely become one of my regular recipes!

Thanks for posting!

Geoff on March 03, 2019:

Having been born in Kidsgrove, and then living most of my life in and around Badleygreen and Chill finally ending up in Her Majesty's Force I found myself missing the Oatcakes.

I now live in Northern Ireland where I now have to rely on my sister to send me 24 oatcakes every week along with the Staffordshire Meat and Potato Pie. Another recipe I feel you should publish on here. Just a thought.

Justin on February 24, 2015:

Many of my friends here in Devon give me stngrae looks when I tell them we eat haggis, Jeannette! I'm sure you'd be pleasantly surprised if you tried it it's peppery and warming. My new cooker is wonderful It's lovely to have the extra space (5 zones', 2 ovens and a grill) + a responsiveness comparable to that of gas + the child-safety elements of induction. My husband finds the buzzing noise a bit irritating, but apparently that's caused by our stainless steel pans rather than by induction per se. Our cast iron pans are silent (and I have to say that I don't mind the buzzing at all!).

Giovanna from UK on February 09, 2014:

Yes you have! I shall be making these very soon! Thanks for sharing.

anonymous on October 07, 2012:

Hoping to go back by myself to Wolverhampton our kid and if they are selling any I will try them. Thanks mate.

anonymous on October 07, 2012:

To be very honest no and I am from Wolverhampton but I worked really long hours and did not travel too far or wide then.

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on September 20, 2012:

I think this will be my trial recipe for Saturday! They sound very yummy. I make a Swedish oat and buttermilk pancake that sounds like it might taste a little bit similar. Angel blessings to you and your lovely oatcakes!

CruiseReady from East Central Florida on September 19, 2012:

I think I would surely like these Staffordshire oatcakes!

happynutritionist on September 19, 2012:

I am very tempted to share this with my husband who loves oatmeal, congrats on the front page, great page and recipe, *blessed*

Stephen Bush from Ohio on September 19, 2012:

Only a Purple Star oatcake will do! SquidAngel Blessings.

niralal on September 18, 2012:

really good, thenk you!

MarcellaCarlton on September 18, 2012:

Yes, they sound very good. I like to try one with my morning tea.

Thamisgith on September 18, 2012:

Speaking as a Scot who lives and works in Stafford, I am somewhat conflicted here. I like both the Scottish and Stafford versions - but, apart from the name, they really are very different - so I don't feel obliged to choose between them.

Stafford oatcakes for a treat with a full breakfast one morning a week, Scottish oatcakes at night with some nice cheese.

MartieG aka 'survivoryea' from Jersey Shore on September 16, 2012:

Really sounds good - thank you for a new recipe! ~~~Blessed~~~

nicks44 on September 14, 2012:

Not yet, but now I really want to ...

blancaverome on September 13, 2012:

Sounds delicious! I love to cook, so I will have to try the recipe!

JoshK47 on September 13, 2012:

I'd certainly like to try them - I'll put them on my eating bucket list! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

writerkath on September 12, 2012:

I'd be tempted to make these soon! I'm pretty sure I have oats here in the house... oh YUMMMMY!

SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on September 12, 2012:

Oh yes, you have most definitely tempted me to try one, or more than one. They sound delicious!

anonymous on September 11, 2012:

I just saw bacon and cheese as a choice....consider me tempted. I think the increased popularity will continue because oatmeal is considered to be our heart healthy friend as well as having a nice flavor that goes so well with many foods. Congratulations on your purple star!

Tea Pixie on September 10, 2012:

Yes. Yes. Yes! Yummy. :)

sweetstickyrainbo on September 10, 2012:

just cookies for me! with rasins

fathomblueEG on September 10, 2012:

They look yummy. Would love to try them:-)

BillyPilgrim LM on September 10, 2012:

They look tasty - would love to try one!x

John Tannahill from Somewhere in England on September 10, 2012:

I grew up in the Midlands not far from Staffordshire but I've never heard of Staffordshire Oatcakes. They sound great.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on September 09, 2012:

It sounds delicious and really healthy. Great lens.

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on September 09, 2012:

I've never heard of these but they look absolutely fabulous!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 09, 2012:

Yes, I will certainly try it. Maybe, better in England.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on September 09, 2012:

@Expat Mamasita: Thanks. One of these days I should learn 'metric'... LOL.

Expat Mamasita (author) from Thailand on September 09, 2012:

@Wednesday-Elf: Thank you. I have converted them for you!

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on September 09, 2012:

Certainly sounds interesting. I'd try making my own if I can translate your recipe into non-metric terms like ounces.... LOL. Some of us over here in the 'States' never learned the metric system. :-). Congrats on your Purple Star.

WriterJanis2 on September 08, 2012:

Yes you have!

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