Recipe for North Staffordshire Oatcake

north staffordshire oatcake

Recipe for North Staffordshire Oatcake sent in by: John Harrison

Ingredients for North Staffordshire Oatcake:

  • 225g fine oatmeal
  • 225g wholewheat or plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 15g yeast
  • 450ml warm milk
  • 450ml warm water
  • 1tsp sugar

Method for North Staffordshire Oatcake:

  1. Mix the water and milk together.
  2. Mix the salt to the flour and oatmeal in a large bowl.
  3. Dissolve the yeast with a little warm liquid and add the sugar. Allow the mixture to become frothy.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the yeast liquid to make a batter adding the remainder of the warm liquid.
  5. Cover the batter with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour.
  6. Pour out enough batter on a well-greased griddle to make an oatcake of about 22cm. The surface will be covered in holes as it cooks.
  7. Flip the oatcake after 2-3 minutes when the top side has a dry appearance and the underneath is a golden brown colour and cook for another 2-3 minutes.



Try to use the heaviest frying pan available as this will keep the heat constant which is best for making oatcakes. Great served with fried bacon, mushrooms and cheese as a savoury snack or with butter and jam as a sweet treat.

Oatcakes can be frozen and a microwave is the ideal method of defrosting and reheating them.

History, Secrets and Health

I heard that soldiers returning from India in days gone by tried to duplicate the chapattis they had enjoyed but using local ingredients and the North Staffordshire Oatcake was born.

The exact recipe varies between oatcake shops and was for many years a closely guarded secret. There would be an oatcake shop on nearly every street corner years ago. Not just selling the oatcakes but also hot filled oatcakes. This was fast food prior to the Golden Arches and supersize me.

Being very much a regional dish – indeed, less than a county – oatcakes were always missed by ex-pats from the Potteries. There used to be a hotel in Leamington Spa that sent someone up to Stoke-on-Trent at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to get supplies.

Being made with oatmeal, they are actually quite high in fibre but filling with melted cheese and fried bacon may reduce the health benefits somewhat.


My favourite is to place under the grill with thin slices of cheese on. When bubbling, add a generous amount of Branston pickle and roll up.

You can buy North Staffordshire oatcakes from some of the major supermarkets in the UK. For those poor souls in far off lands, this is how to make them,

Posted in Breads and Bakes, All Recipes
172 comments on “Recipe for North Staffordshire Oatcake
  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for this! I lived in Stoke for 10 years & loved oatcakes. Now im in “far off lands” (Japan) I miss them…

  2. Trudi Grocott says:

    Match day = oatcakes, now living in Cyprus …got to have em! Thanks for this, x love to castle.

  3. Lindsey Stout says:

    Lovely and much nicer than the one I bought in a cafe. Good way to remember relatives.

  4. Mary says:

    Thank you for this recipe my husband grew up with these and now I’ve learnt to make them for the whole family! Simply delicious great tried and tested recipe!

  5. Dom says:

    I’m a Yorkshire man and you can’t buy them up here. My wife’s from North Staffordshire and we have them every time we visit but it’s really good to have them when you fancy them at home.
    So a big thank you for the recipe

  6. Ann Ware says:

    I would like to thank for the recipe for North Staffordshire Oatcakes. I come from Stoke On Trent and I love Oatcakes and when I used to visit I’d bring some back with me or when my Aunt used to visit, always bought some with her.
    Ann Ware

  7. Marlene Watson says:

    Definitely going to give these babies a ago. My husband is a ex Stokie and he and our son are craving these gems. So am I just quietly. If they are not good I can blame the recipe. Might start a craze here in OZ. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Glenn says:

    I lived in Sheffield as a kid and we used to buy oatcakes from a guy who used to sell them in the street. He’d travel around the suburbs on his bike. Live overseas now and I’m happy I can once more fry my oatcakes in bacon fat. Yummy.

  9. Miriam says:

    I remember the oatcake shops on the street corners. Over 45 years ago I had a boyfriend who lived in Stoke on Trent and these were a proud tradition in his family when I visited. I was delighted to find them in a wonderful farm shop this weekend (Denstone Hall Farm shop and cafe, Alton) and bought a batch, treating myself to the bacon, cheese and mushroom variety for my Mothers’ Day lunch! They were amazing. I am so pleased that I have found your recipe so that I can try and make them for myself but I am sure they won’t be quite as good as the real thing! Thank you.

  10. Jill says:

    I am from the Potteries and these were an important part of my diet growing up and I missed them when I moved down south. My mother used to bring 3 dozen down to Kent every time she came to visit and so my children grew up knowing that they are the best breakfast food ever. So pleased to have found this recipe!

  11. Frank baker says:

    I was evacuated to Stoke on Trent in 1940 and lived with a fireman, his wife and daughter, in Tunstall. He used to buy these Oatcakes from a local shop and we always had them for breakfast with bacon & melted cheese (rations permitting). I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but I will as soon as time permits. I lived & worked in Stoke on Trent for 6 yrs. and although I am now 88, still try to get up there as much as I can.

    Regards Frank Baker.

  12. Nicola says:

    These are delicious, thank you for the recipe.

  13. John says:

    Cheers for this! Had this page on my phone for a year, before I plucked up the courage. I live in London now, and often when I’m visiting parents in Stoke, the local shop is closed. I’m about to make my 3rd batch as I write. I have a heavy bottomed pancake pan. The mistake I made before, was making them fill the pan. They were too thick, but my family said the flavour was good (thanks to you!). This time I’m just gonna spread the mixture out with the ladle, like they do in the shop. Fingers crossed!

  14. prem says:

    I’m from Cheslyn Hay near Cannock area now living in Taiwan. I remember eating oak cakes and taken then for a snack in my early days, now I can cook them for myself even if I’m a veggie I can cook without meat produces. Thank you for the blessing of the recipe of oatcake – bring good memories back.

  15. Roger. says:

    @John, Re thickness.”Like the man did in the shop” That’s right, he used a ladle, starting in the middle and poured a Catherine Wheel shape following the edge of the circle outwards. Only saw it once, 45yrs ago now but I remembered, and using a 100ml ladle for each one works perfectly.

  16. Janet Leighs says:

    Just made my first oatcake – to your recipe but used half the amount just in case and yippee worked out great – I lived in Stoke for 57 years and now live in Wales so I can now cook my own instead of purchasing them when we can get them – oatcakes, bacon and eggs in the morning – thanks very much

  17. Gillian says:

    I live in Qld Australia, when I visit Relatives in the potteries where I was born, the first thing is find oatcakes and enjoy them. Just love them.

  18. Janet Leighs says:

    Made these the other day and wow result – I come originally from Stoke on Trent where the oatcakes are legendary so this recipe is perfect for me and they taste better than the bought ones – well done and thanks

  19. Tricia Brookes says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I was born in Staffordshire but now live in Canada so no oatcakes treats for me, except on visits. Like a fool I shared with friends and family who are now just as addicted! Will have an oatcakes party!

  20. Lisa downes says:

    I love Staffordshire oatcakes and grew up with them as a child, finding this recipe is great and can’t wait to try it, just one question you say 15g of yeast can I use fast action dried yeast and at what quantity. Thanks Lisa Downes

  21. Eve says:

    Delicious! Thank you very much for this recipe. And they weren’t difficult to make.

  22. Keith Leese says:

    News from Australia. Been here for 40 odd years missed my oatcakes, I found this recipe and it worked. I made them for our friends and they loved them.

  23. Su Evans says:

    I grew up in Newcastle-under-Lyme and oatcakes were our favourite. Fried bacon, grilled cheese, fried egg and drizzle of ‘dip’ from frying pan. Oh bliss. Heaven on a plate. Now living in another county I buy them from supermarket, but not the same as the little shops that worked through the night.
    NB For Oatcake Aficionados please note – must be served on old fashioned white enamel plates. Good and hot! Okay me duck?

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