The changing seasons // Oatcakes

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Like most Ontarians, I’ve been longing for spring since December. But after a couple of recent days in which the weather rose to almost 10 degrees, I really began to feel it in my body. My pulse quickened and my bones and muscles ached — it felt as though each and every cell was itching to be let into the sun.


So out I went, down the road, and over to the antiques market that runs out of the St. Lawrence on Sundays. As I browsed through the ourdoor stalls for tarnished silver spoons, I remembered that on the exact same Sunday a year ago, I was at the same market, even browsing for the same item. Then, too, it had been the first real warm day after a long-extended winter, and I spent the afternoon after the market (as so many of us do in 8-degree weather) sitting on a patio with a friend, trying to soak up as much of the sunlight as we could.  It made me wonder if I was undergoing some kind of miniature migration ritual. How many more years will I come here on the first warm Sunday without even thinking about it?


And then, of course, it turned cold again. To be specific: yesterday, we had one of the ugliest, wettest, nastiest snows we’ve had all winter, made all the more hideous by the fact that we’d felt such warmth only a few days before. I bundled up and headed off to work, with the wind whippping wet snow from all directions, and almost immediately gave up and shuffled into the underground path instead.

Now, there’s this one section of the path that’s always been one of my favourite spaces in the city. It’s this little stretch of a hallway that looks out onto the back of Roy Thompson Hall on the one side, and on the other, is usually back-lit white glass (supposed to be a place for advertisements, but the ads there are unusually scarce). This part of Roy Thompson’s been adorned with a handful of handsome trees, and because it’s in a recession below street level, the wind doesn’t even budge them.


There was something amazing about seeing the snow — which had so violently been assaulting pedestrians only minutes before — transformed back into these delicate puffs, floating leisurely down to frost the pines in a thick layer of white.

I couldn’t believe how many people, who were racing through this pathway to get to work, paused for a minute to stare at the transformation outside. Okay, spring, I thought, I can wait a few more weeks.


These oatcakes come from Heidi Swanson‘s Super Natural Every Day, and are the perfect snack as we transition from our sedentary winter lives to our busier spring ones. They’re not delicate like a muffin; rather, they’ve got heft. They can handle a day in a purse or a knapsack and won’t fall apart. They’re dense and filling and a little sweet, with a wonderful crunch on top. I usually make a giant batch and freeze them all, throwing one in my bag in the morning when I’m on the go.

The changing seasons // Oatcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 oatcakes

The changing seasons // Oatcakes

Delicious, hardy oatcakes for snacking, adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson.


  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 scant tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar/natural cane sugar + more for sprinkling
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
  2. Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds, and walnuts in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, butter, maple syrup, and sugar. Stir until the butter just melts and sugar has dissolved, but don't let the mixture get too hot (or it will cook the eggs on contact in the next step!)
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir a couple times. Add eggs, and stir again until everything comes together in a wet dough.
  5. Spoon evenly into muffin cups, filling them almost all the way. (Optional: sprinkle a tablespoon of demerara sugar over the tops for additional texture and sweetness.)
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of the cakes are deeply golden. Allow the pan to cool for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen them.* Tip them out onto the rack, and allow to cool before serving.

*Make sure to remove them from the pan while they're still warm! I've allowed them to cool completely before and prying them out was a pain.

The oatcakes freeze well for up to 3 months!

And one last thing! Tomorrow (March 14th) is the last day to nominate blogs for SAVEUR mag’s Best Food Blog Awards. I’d be honoured if you felt like throwing a nomination my way! Link here.

Until next time!



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7 Responses to “The changing seasons // Oatcakes”

  1. Anne January 18, 2020 at 8:45 PM #

    They taste delicious! I love how hearty they feel. I’m kind of new to freezing things; how would you go about freezing them for best results? Thanks so much!

  2. Martina March 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM #

    Just made them — delicious! Your father is enjoying the oatcake with a Corsican clementine marmalade…

    • onetoughcookie March 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM #

      That sounds like a wonderful way to eat them!

  3. DadaAveryTaylorJordan March 13, 2014 at 6:59 PM #

    Jordan and Avery and Taylor really like looking at this blog.

    • Uncle Andy March 14, 2014 at 11:03 AM #

      Just looking, Peter?? Aren’t they begging to help their Mom in the kitchen to bring these tantalizing photos into reality?

      Shabbat Shalom!

    • onetoughcookie March 18, 2014 at 10:16 AM #

      Haha, delighted to hear it.

  4. julia March 13, 2014 at 2:31 PM #

    Such a lovely read, and the cakes look great! Just one thing, it better be spring when I arrive… TWO WEEKS TOMORROW!!