Traditional Beltane Oatcakes


This recipe can also be found on The Great Kosmic Kitchen

It's May, the lusty month of May
That cheery month when everyone goes blissfully astray.
It’s time to do a shocking thing or two.
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks,
Everyone makes divine mistakes! The lusty month of May.

- Guenevere singing the Lusty Month Of May from Camelot

It's happening! That blessed time of year when the plants are gracing our dreary winter eyes with their presence once again.  There's an incredible amount of beauty in celebrating the return of our floral friends, which is why we recognize Beltane and in some cultures, it is considered the most important day of the year.  It's the time to marvel at Mother Nature's reawakening and give thanks to our fertile lands.  ((However, as I type this, there is a thick layer of snow on the ground.. it's late April, but it's also Maine so I can't be too shocked.))

These oatcakes (or Scottish bannocks) were a traditional breakfast on Beltane morning, consumed to guarantee a wealth of crops for the new growing season.  The round shape of the cakes are meant to represent the sun and its generous spirit. 

This recipe traditionally calls for the fat from an animal, but here I suggest ghee unless you have access to some good quality fat and are into that.  I've also added cinnamon, brown sugar and maca root, the latter of which is a valuable adaptogenic herb.  Maca, otherwise known as Peruvian Ginseng, is said to balance hormones, build endurance and increase libido, all of which, in my opine, are admirable qualities for a proper May Day celebration.

1 1/2 cups oats

2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon maca root powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1/2 cup hot water

Honey to top cakes

Combine oats, powders, salt, sugar and baking soda and pour warmed ghee over the mixture.  Add hot water and stir until ingredients form a stiff dough. Lay the dough onto a long sheet of wax paper and fold over so your oat mixture is completely covered.  Pat dough flat, remove wax paper and cut into quarters. Shape the quarters into balls and press lightly with the palm of your hand to flatten.  Place cakes onto an oiled griddle and cook until golden brown.  Remove from heat and drizzle honey onto each cake.

Serve warm and pair with Greek yogurt, fruit, edible flowers or all 3.

Makes 4 oat cakes