Mabel June’s Oat Cakes




Lakeside Dream

Twittering fourths awaken me from
This sweet yawning dream, no
Static hum to chafe
Or rouse

The stealth of lake sand’s touch
Beckons and my life led in
Longing bark stands creaks,

A hushed life drawn on trailing forest floor
Under a sky’s silver blanket, aerial
Strands of sunlit breezes
Over head

Balmy stillness traipses gentle in, it
Hikes slow and settles down
Pausing, it waits for me
To near

To shift to wake, to set adrift again
Near shore on water’s shallows
The steady swirl of smooth paddle
Carving down

This water’s longing wave moves
And possibility entreats, it lures,
This song that buoys limbs wide
To float

Lift windows wide, draw in and heed
This stirring morning’s lilting notes
And lift, an amoroso
Half cadence

Barbara Bamber, 2012

Our Mabel Lake cabin is accessible only by boat..

The Marina and store..

So mom’s kitchen is always well-stocked and food is home-made and planned in advance..

As you know, necessity is the mother of invention.. and should ingredients be lacking, a walk down the beach will often procure the required cup of something.. or recipes are tweaked to suit what’s on hand.

Early risers at our cabin are the ones who make the coffee and the muffins.. tiptoeing in apron covered pajamas.. but the scent of baking in the oven is enough to rise even the deepest of dreamers swimming at the bottom of their lakeside dreams.

Mugs of coffee steam and warm cold hands on our screened front porch as we chat and listen to neighbors’ quiet voices, screen doors, the drone of passing motorboats.. and we wave as Perry paddles by in his canoe, as he does every morning for as long as I can remember.

Together, we watch the sun rise over the shimmering lake… and if you were with us,

we would offer you one of these, warm straight from the oven..


Mabel June’s Oat Cakes

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Mabel June’s Oat Cakes


3 cups rolled oats

2 cups spelt flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp fine-grain sea salt

1/4 cup hemp hearts**

3/4 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

3/4 cup chopped dried figs

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup butter, unsalted

3/4 cup maple syrup, No. 3 dark

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease l8 muffin cups or line with silpat liners.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the coconut oil, butter, maple syrup and cane sugar then heat on low until sugar has melted. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the oats, spelt flour, baking powder, sea salt and hemp hearts. Add chopped pecans and dates, using hands to mix together.

Whisk the two eggs into the cooled coconut oil mixture. Gently pour this mixture into the dry flour mixture and fold to thoroughly blend. Do not overmix.

Scoop into greased or silpat lined muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve hot out of the oven or cool on racks and store.

Adapted from H Swanson’s Oat Cakes recipe.


** Hemp Hearts are made by shelling the hemp seeds.. they have a nutty flavor and are loaded with vitamins, protein, omegas, minerals and fiber. They come ready to use in a package, usually sold at Health Food shops and Whole Food type grocers. Hemp Hearts can be sprinkled on yogurt, salads, cereal.. Substitute with flax seed if you don’t have access to Hemp Hearts. Here is a link for a Canadian Brand I used, but I’m sure there are others: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts


** Hemp Hearts are made by shelling the hemp seeds.. they have a nutty flavor and are loaded with vitamins, protein, omegas, minerals and fiber. They come ready to use in a package, usually sold at Health Food shops and Whole Food type grocers. Hemp Hearts can be sprinkled on yogurt, salads, cereal.. Substitute with flax seed if you don’t have access to Hemp Hearts. Here is a link for a Canadian Brand I used, but I’m sure there are others:  Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts



  • viveka - April 22, 2012 - 11:03 am

    Green trees … rippling waters … fresh air … coffee … beautiful words … and cakes, can a Sunday become any better ????
    But what is hemp hearts ????ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 22, 2012 - 4:51 pm

      Thank you:) I hope you’re enjoying your day? Hemp Hearts are shelled hemp seeds.. (hence the heart of the hemp seed).. it is loaded with omega, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber… Mostly sold at Health Food stores or Whole Food type groceries.. Here is our distributor (in Canada) but I think it could be found elsewhere too
      xo SmidgeReplyCancel

      • viveka - April 22, 2012 - 6:20 pm

        Thanks .. my day was a little wet, but otherwise fully okay. I will have a look in our shops, if I can’t find it over here – I will bring it back from US or Canada. Thank you so much for your help.ReplyCancel

      • viveka - April 22, 2012 - 6:20 pm

        Thanks .. my day was a little wet, but otherwise fully okay. I will have a look in our shops, if I can’t find it over here – I will bring it back from US or Canada. Thank you so much for your help.ReplyCancel

  • susielindau - April 22, 2012 - 11:10 am

    They are like pot brownies with the addition of hemp hearts. Appropriate for the 4/20 weekend! LOL!
    Loved your poems and your lake house looks divine!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 22, 2012 - 4:52 pm

      Now that’s a thought? I could be the official Canadian Distributor of Pot Brownies with hemp hearts.. now that would be a business, lol! That’s not our house.. but the boats are in front of the marina and store. I should label my photos! xoReplyCancel

  • terry1954 - April 22, 2012 - 11:17 am

    1/4 cup hemp hearts can you tell me what these are? i would like to try making your recipe. it looks goodReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 22, 2012 - 4:54 pm

      A few have asked.. I’ll edit my post so everyone will know… xo Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • thecompletecookbook - April 22, 2012 - 11:25 am

    Oh Smidge, what a dream – “Our Mabel Lake cabin is accessible only by boat..” I had to scroll though your magical photos a couple of times to fully appreciate all the beauty!
    I would love to share a coffee and muffin with you while watching the sun rise over the water.
    :-) MandyReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 22, 2012 - 5:18 pm

      It is such a special place.. we were there lots growing up and lots when Katie and Phil were babies.. but have gotten so busy.. it’s my plan to head out there for a week soon! Mandy, that would be so fun if you could!ReplyCancel

  • Amrita - April 22, 2012 - 11:36 am

    The photographs of the lake are so beautiful. It reminds me that I need a vacation!ReplyCancel

  • recoverythrumylens - April 22, 2012 - 11:54 am

    Your place looks so peaceful…can’t wait to make these but what are hemp hearts?ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:20 pm

      Thank you:) I’ve added a note to the post.. A few people are unfamiliar with them.. They’re quite healthy:)


  • ceciliag - April 22, 2012 - 11:56 am

    awesome cookies and that shot of the cabin far across the lake, accessible only by boat.. idyllic smidge! cReplyCancel

  • Sonel - April 22, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    Such beauty and you are so blessed indeed hon. Thanks for sharing another yummy recipe! You will have to start an online “weight-less club” as well because we are picking up calories like crazy just by looking at your scrumptious yummies! LOL!
    *big hugs*ReplyCancel

  • Marianne - April 22, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    Photos, poetry, recipe – everything is so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - April 22, 2012 - 12:42 pm

    I have a weird urge to go to summer camp. Great photos!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:22 pm

      The one photo of the outboard boat is at the kid’s camp’s dock:) So maybe it looks familiar?? :D


  • Sam @ Fit for my Fork - April 22, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    Beautiful photos. And the oat cakes look absolutely delicious. I love it when food inspires memories and transports you to someplace you love just by taking a bite!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:23 pm

      I agree.. I think that’s what food does but then writing also takes it back the other way too:)


  • restlessjo - April 22, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    Sounds idyllic but SO bad for my fillings!ReplyCancel

  • Sawsan@ Chef in disguise - April 22, 2012 - 1:07 pm

    Stunning pictures Smidge and this caben sounds like a little heaven here on earth were you can leave everything behind and reconnect with yourselfReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:24 pm

      It’s sure remote.. No cell connection there, which is perfect but difficult to get used to at first!


  • Stan Shillingburg - April 22, 2012 - 1:10 pm

    Such tantilizing treats for the mind, body, soul, and spirit! now, for the coffee to wash it all down and savor the flavor, another awesome post Smidge!ReplyCancel

  • frugalfeeding - April 22, 2012 - 1:27 pm

    Stunning photos, Smidge. I can’t wait to get a really nice camera so I can take ‘em like you. Those oatcakes sound yummy too :D ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:27 pm

      You know.. I used my other camera for probs 7 years.. The difference isn’t in the body of the camera (although some settings are more automated) I find the best advice I’ve gotten is to get a great lens.. It really takes photos to a different level. Then when I got a new camera for Christmas, my good (old) lens still fits the new model, (Canon) so there wasn’t a new expense every time. Cameras are so much fun.. But I already thought you had a good camera.. You do an outstanding job already!?


  • saffronandhoney - April 22, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    This makes me crave summer, porch swings, stories and lots of cups of tea with oat cakes.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:27 pm

      Yes! And I want to be there, I think I’m itching to photograph new landscapes…


  • Chica Andaluza - April 22, 2012 - 1:35 pm

    Wow – what do I need to do to win a night in the cabin and a sunrise with oat cakes?!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:28 pm

      Now that would be a totally awesome contest to have!! I’d better check with my mom and dad first;)


  • Choc Chip Uru - April 22, 2012 - 1:49 pm

    It must be magical to go to your house accessible only by water – your photos and wonderful writing affirm for sure :)
    As for your oat cakes – sipping hot apple juice, eating a cake and watching the sunrise? Heaven of relaxation :D

    Choc Chip UruReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:28 pm

      It is a pretty magical place.. I have always felt so at peace there..


  • hotlyspiced - April 22, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    It must be so relaxing and peaceful at your cabin on the water. It must be a great place to un-wind. I’ve had some holidays at places that are only accessible by boat and find they are the best of holidays because there is nothing to distract you from just resting – something that’s becoming a bit of a lost art. Love how you plan all your meals in advance and get up in the morning in your pyjamas and cook up beautiful things like this (I’ve never heard of hemp hearts though!) Beautiful images. And in summer do you swim in the water? Is it fresh water or salt water? xxReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:30 pm

      It’s all the you say and more, Charlie.. Because of all the memories that were made there too. We jump on the boat and swim in the middle of the lake (lake itch near shore) and it’s icy cold.. So you want it to be in the heat of summer before you do that! Xoxo Oh, and it’s a fresh water lake:)


  • Bam's Kitchen - April 22, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    Stunning cabin and location Smidge. Did you go this weekend? Was it cold outside still? I am sure a hot mug of coffee and Mabel’s June oats cakes will warm you up. Take Care, BAMReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:31 pm

      I wish! My mom and dad are usually there around this time, but this year I might go give them a hand:)


  • ChgoJohn - April 22, 2012 - 4:47 pm

    When going on holiday, few phrases ring so true as “accessible by boat only.” I immediately think of a life far removed from the normal hustle and bustle. And when I hear of “Mabel June’s Oatcakes” I think of an heirloom recipe lovingly prepared. In short, snack food for a place only accessible by boat. Such a wonderful post, Smidge!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:32 pm

      My mom has so many recipes.. I’m just following right along in her footsteps:) Thanks so much, John!


  • Carolyn Chan - April 22, 2012 - 6:16 pm

    You always take us on such a serene and happy journey that ends in delicious food !ReplyCancel

  • niasunset - April 22, 2012 - 6:26 pm

    Beautiful voyage through your photographs… and what a delicious recipe… Thank you dear Barbara as wlays you were amazing, with my love, niaReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:33 pm

      I could just see you fitting right in out there, nia.. With your camera…


  • Karista - April 22, 2012 - 7:27 pm

    What a tranquil and lovely place! Love the oatcakes, I’m always looking for a new muffin recipe and this one looks tasty :) ReplyCancel

  • thekalechronicles - April 22, 2012 - 7:59 pm

    Beautiful lake photos. I always wanted to have a house on a lake. The closest I get is a water view from my bedroom window and summer swims in the Berkeley Marina.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:35 pm

      It’s wonderful that you are near to a body of water.. I’d be there a lot, I think. As it is.. We get out there in the summers, but with busy kids and their schedules, not as often as I’d like or we used to. Thanks, Sharyn!


  • Kristy - April 22, 2012 - 8:47 pm

    These photos are gorgeous! So bright and sunny. And who doesn’t love a good muffin. :) ReplyCancel

  • charlotte au chocolat - April 22, 2012 - 8:52 pm

    …and you have me dreaming of lakeside cabins!ReplyCancel

  • glutenfreezen - April 22, 2012 - 10:17 pm

    Great photos and I’ve never heard of hemp hearts. Very interesting! :) ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:07 pm

      They’re so healthy and a totally fun name.. I’m going to have to bake something and use it as the recipe’s title:)


  • Tandy - April 23, 2012 - 3:13 am

    amazing pics! and thanks for teaching us about hemp hearts :) ReplyCancel

  • Just Add Attitude - April 23, 2012 - 6:43 am

    Your only-accessible-by-boat-only cabin sounds and looks so idyllic and peaceful. Mugs of steaming coffee, fresh from the oven muffins and a view of the water; I cannot think of a nicer way to start a day.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:06 pm

      It’s so peaceful there in the mornings when the temperature is just right… And you can hear the windchimes tinkling.. I love it.. Xo Smidge


  • Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition - April 23, 2012 - 7:35 am

    Those gorgeous photos make me want to get out of NYC (my concrete jungle) for the weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - April 23, 2012 - 7:58 am

    I love starting the week with your posts Smidge. I really, really, really do. Your poem is just as beautiful as your photos. I wish I was there right now…just lovely my dear. Thank you for taking the time to post all of this, it means a lot to us! I hope you know that :)

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:06 pm

      I’m so glad.. Sarah.. I love beginning Mondays reading everyone’s newest posts.. I try to catch up on the weekend, but this past one was pretty busy, I guess it’s that time of year… Xoxo I’m glad you enjoyed it!!


  • Sandra (@SECooking) - April 23, 2012 - 9:19 am

    Wow..what a peaceful your photos, and Oat Cakes recipe is just divine!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany - April 23, 2012 - 9:29 am

    These photos are gorgeous! I want to be on a boat with the sun and trees asap!! These oat cakes look so tasty too. YUM!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - April 23, 2012 - 10:06 am

    I was son intrigued by ‘Mabel June.’ :) What a great name. And your cabin looks like a little slice of relaxing heaven, you lucky lady. I would be very excited to be your neighbor, if I could have one of these tasty oatcakes.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:03 pm

      It’s a combination of Mabel Lake and my mom’s name June (also my middle name:) It is heaven for sure.. I think it’s my mom’s baking that makes it so:)


  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial - April 23, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    Smidge, it sounds like absolutely heavenly – the perfect place to unwind and relax. How wonderful that you’re obviously close to your family and enjoy spending time with them!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:03 pm

      Some years I go there and I think I just sleep for days on end, trying to catch up from working and looking after the kids and running the house…


  • Eva Taylor - April 23, 2012 - 2:55 pm

    The oat cakes look wonderful, Barbara, I can imagine the wonderful aroma whafting through the air (remember that Flinstone cartoon where Fred is sleeping but senses an aroma and sleep floats to it’s source? that’s the image I have of your cabin guests. The photos are incredible, you are fortunate to have access to such a lovely place.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.comReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:02 pm

      Hahaha.. I’m sure I watched all those Flintstones shows growing up.. I think it is something like that for sure:D Thanks so much, Eva.. We feel thankful, my parents bought it sooo long ago and it’s my favorite place to escape!


  • Bluejellybeans - April 23, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    Lovely! They look delicious :) ReplyCancel

  • cookiemomma - April 23, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    I’m in love all over again! lol StunningReplyCancel

  • Karen - April 23, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    Your lake reminds me of the lake in Maine where our summer cottage is. Summers are so special there…the way life used to be. Nice post Smidge.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 10:00 pm

      I have never been to Maine and it’s definitely on my bucket list.. I think you are so fortunate to have a cottage there.. It’s quintessential cottage country in my books (at least according to all the movies I’ve seen that were filmed there!. Thanks, Karen xo


  • Geni - Sweet and Crumby - April 23, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    Oh, how I wish I could visit you at the lake house. How wonderful it sounds and looks. Your poetry is beautiful Smidge. It floats like the water you were paddling on.

    Those muffins look fantastic! I would love to wake up to the smell of those baking and be offered a nice steaming cup of coffee. I am so ready for my Smidge bed and breakfast stay….more ready than you’ll ever know.ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 23, 2012 - 9:59 pm

      I think I would love to have a bed and breakfast out there, but the rest of my siblings and my parents might have a thing or two to say about that, lol! And all the grandkids:) and their kids.. Well, you get the drift.. But I could start one here and you could come Stampeding with me!! Hahaha.. Oat cakes makes me think of horses now.. Xo


  • promenadeplantings - April 24, 2012 - 3:57 am

    Stunning photos and magical evocative words. you have painted a beautiful picture of your lakeside cabin, of the smells and sounds and the quiet. I love watching water and I know I’d sit on that porch and just wonder and stare. And if someone were to bring me a mug of coffee and an oat cake I would sit happily all day!ReplyCancel

  • Granny - April 24, 2012 - 9:40 am

    Your poetry combines the ebb and flow of water and wind and nature’s sounds… and subtle plumes of aroma from something warm and made with love.ReplyCancel

  • Purely.. Kay - April 24, 2012 - 12:50 pm

    I have to agree with Greg.. I do feel like I want to go to summer camp and have sing-alongs after reading this post :). Just beautiful Ms. Barbara :).. simply beautifulReplyCancel

  • TasteFood - April 24, 2012 - 1:37 pm

    So lovely – what a slice of heaven.ReplyCancel

  • The Hook - April 25, 2012 - 5:56 am

    As always, this has been a pleasure! Great work; you combine prose, a beautiful design and wonderful ingredients to create something truly special, young lady.
    Good for you!ReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 26, 2012 - 8:07 am

      Thanks so much, Hook.. I always enjoy your visits:) Good luck on your book!ReplyCancel

  • spree - April 25, 2012 - 10:19 am

    Lovely words pairing with lovely images, beautiful water morning, a bit of chill, hot coffee and warm hearted muffins. How you brought me there, how fed I feel! Thank you Smidge! xoxReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 26, 2012 - 8:09 am

      It’s the wonderful chill that breezes in off the icy lake in the mornings there.. that warms my heartxoxoReplyCancel

  • Ashley Larkin - April 25, 2012 - 2:39 pm

    Nummers! What beauty here in photos and word. And those muffins sound so cozy in that love-filled place…and this one, too.ReplyCancel

  • Three Well Beings - April 26, 2012 - 10:30 pm

    What a haven…who would ever want to leave your wonderful lake cabin. What a special place! And I’m a fan of oak cakes, but these are a big step up from any I’ve previously enjoyed. I’m thrilled to have a good recipe! As always, Smidge, you have so many lovely things to share! DebraReplyCancel

    • Just A Smidgen - April 30, 2012 - 6:20 pm

      Not me! Too late, I did and I’m home, lol! I’d love to be out there, but responsibilities can get in the way, eh?


  • - April 27, 2012 - 11:07 pm

    Mabel Lake Cabin – now that has a nice ring to it. Lucky you!!ReplyCancel

  • [...] begin on a poetic note with Mabel June’s Oat Cakes, at Just a Smidgen. The author’s poetry combines the ebb and flow of water and wind and [...]ReplyCancel

  • profiterolesandponytails - April 30, 2012 - 11:09 am

    I can’t help but wonder where Mable Lake is located. Is it in BC or Alberta? Makes me wish summer was here already!ReplyCancel

  • sybaritica - June 9, 2012 - 1:55 pm

    I used to love oatcakes when I was a kid. I must try your recipe.ReplyCancel

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