Freedom and Whisky


Freedom and whisky gang thegither,
Tak aff your dram.

-Robert Burns

I considered saving this cake for a Burns Night celebration, but it just looked too good to wait until next January 25th.  And now that I think about it, if you want to gather your friends and recite a few Robert Burns poems over your Scotch Oat Cake, that doesn’t have to wait either.  Why defer a small pleasure?  Life is fragile and uncertain enough, after all, without regretting missed opportunities to eat a boozy cake.

In the face of the natural disasters and wars that fill the news, tragedies large and small, and even just the stresses of daily life, a cake recipe may seem utterly trivial.  And it’s true that a cake won’t change the world.  But when we cook something warm and sweet and comforting, and share it with the loved ones at hand, it will change our little corner of the world for the better, just a bit.

This simple loaf cake only takes about five minutes to assemble.  The finished product is moist, and only mildly sweet.  While the strong alcohol edge does cook off, you are still left with a distinctive scotch whiskey taste.  Therefore, it is best not to use cheap whiskey in this recipe–use a good scotch, one that you would enjoy drinking.  The mellow, smoky flavor of the scotch contrasts nicely with the tangy buttermilk and cranberries.

Scotch Oat Cake

(adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches)

  • 1 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup good scotch
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • sugar for sprinkling over top

Preheat oven to 375F.

Prepare 2 loaf pans by buttering and dusting with flour.

In a medium bowl, pour the buttermilk over the steel cut oats and let them sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir cranberries into the dry mixture.  Beat the egg into the steel cut oat and buttermilk mixture and pour into the dry mix along with the oil and whiskey. Stir to combine.  Pour into prepared pans, drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with a handful of sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out dry.

Let cool for 5 minutes before removing pan.  Cool on a wire rack.

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3 thoughts on “Freedom and Whisky

  1. Cristina

    I would have to defer to Hubbs to select a good quality Scotch. I like that this recipe yields two cakes – great for when entertaining guests and/or one to freeze to bring out for later. Also, luv the use of wheat flour too.

    I’ve been enjoying using wine and other types of alcohol in cooking and baking. Haven’t found a great cookbook yet that is geared to “both” sweet and savory (savory preferred).

    Bookmarking this…looks like it’s a keeper!

    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      This recipe is really a keeper, and I’m so glad to have it in my repertoire now. Thanks!


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