Oatcakes

Move over Cliff bars! Yesterday brought on my first batch of oatcakes for the season. The grey weather had finally cleared, and I was meeting up with a buddy to go for a long hike in the mountains.

The night before, I whipped up a batch of oatcakes to have on hand. Most of my friends who hike with me are familiar with these goodies. Loaded with oats, seeds, dried fruit, and natural sugars, they are perfect for curbing a hunger pang or added a much-needed energy boost mid-hike.

There is nothing more disappointing then being out in the mountains and having to turn around early because you are hungry! You will be very angry with yourself. Especially if you are missing out on views like this.

The oatcakes are hearty and a little dense, but perfect for holding up in your backpack. I like to eat one for breakfast sometimes too. The beauty of them is that you can add whatever you have on hand. No maple syrup? Sub in some honey or agave nectar. No flax seeds? Add some cooked quinoa. Get creative and have fun.

I recently bought some chia seeds by Bob’s Red Mill. Chia seeds are a new superfood trend, and for good reason. One ounce of chia seeds contains 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. They look like poppy seeds and can be tossed into almost any baked good.

These are an adaptation of Heidi Swanson’s oat cake recipe. She is the author of two incredible cookbooks, Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day. She also has a beautiful blog, called 101 Cookbooks. Her food is always healthy but indulgent and satisfying. Her recipes are inspiring. Check her out.

How to make this high altitude recipe:


Oatcakes (adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson)

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup safflower or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup natural cane sugar (raw sugar or browns sugar)
2 eggs
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan.

Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, whole almonds, chia seeds, and dried cherries in a mixing bowl.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the safflower oil, butter, maple syrup, and sugar and slowly melt together. Stir just until the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved. You don’t want it to be so hot it starts cooking your eggs, or you’ll have super dense oatcakes (the eggs provide some “lift” as they bake).

Pour the oil mixture over the oat mixture. Add the eggs and mix until everything comes together into a wet dough. Add the bittersweet chocolate pieces (you don’t want to add them with the oil mixture because they will start to melt).

Spoon the dough into the muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges of the oatcake are a golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Run a knife around the edges of each oatcake and tip them out onto a cooling rack.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

1comment
Mary - August 15, 2013

Thanks so much for this recipe and for your entire blog. I moved to the SLC area 5 years ago, and while our altitude is quite low compared to Vail’s, I have had a hard time baking. You give me hope! I have a cake that has failed me every time I make it here, but which always turned out perfectly when I lived in LA and Arizona. It is called Mardi Gras cake, and is such a delicious butterscotch cake. Are you open to accepting challenges such as this? If you, with your incredible baking skill-set, could alter and master this recipe, it would be amazing, because it would rescue my future birthdays. Thank you.

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