Yorkshire Recipes

Main Meals

Oatcakes (or Havercakes)


  • 6 heaped tablespoons of fine oatmeal
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ pint (10 fl oz) each of milk and water, so a total of one pint of liquid
  • Teaspoon of dried yeast, or 14 g (half an ounce) of fresh yeast

Oatcakes (also called Havercakes) were made across Yorkshire -and elsewhere in Northern Britain and the Midlands, particularly Staffordshire – and eaten either as a savoury or as a sweet.  They could accompany a main meal – great for mopping up gravy – or form the basis of a meal eaten in the fields or factory, either on its own or used as a wrapping for other food, e.g. cheese or ham.

They were originally cooked on a bakestone and the process involved was skilled and time-consuming, as the ingredients were allowed to ferment before cooking to give the cake its distinctive texture and taste.

However, ‘Mrs Appleby’ in her ‘More Yorkshire Recipes’ (1967), offers a much quicker way of making these delicious pancake-like treats.


  1. Mix together the dry ingredients
  2. Add warm (not hot) water and milk and mix well
  3. Crumble in the fresh yeast and let the mixture stand in a warm place for at least 20 minutes.
  4. If using dried yeast, mix well with the warm milk and water before adding to the dry ingredients
  5. Cook on both sides in a greased frying pan until both sides are brown.


See also the article ‘What’s Happened to Havercakes?https://traditional-yorkshire-recipes.info/havercakes/  at

2 Responses to Oatcakes (or Havercakes)

  • steven clarke

    does anyone still make these in Yorkshire?  I am from North Staffordshire and make my own.

  • Jon Davis

    Just started making them as have been diagnosed with coeliac disease so not allowed gluten. They’re fantastic.

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