Mabel June’s Oat Cakes



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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

P I N this to pinterestBalmy 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

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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..

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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.

P I N this to pinterestEarly 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.

P I N this to pinterestMugs 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
Cook time
Total time
  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease l8 muffin cups or line with silpat liners.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Scoop into greased or silpat lined muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Serve hot out of the oven or cool on racks and store.
  7. 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


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** 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

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

    • 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

      • 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

      • 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

  • 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

    • 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

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

  • 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

    • 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

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

  • recoverythrumylens

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

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


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

  • 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

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

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

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


  • 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

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


  • Sounds idyllic but SO bad for my fillings!ReplyCancel

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

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


  • 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

  • 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 😀ReplyCancel

    • 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!?


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

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

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


  • 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 😀

    Choc Chip UruReplyCancel

  • 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

    • 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:)


  • 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

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


  • 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

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


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

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

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

  • 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

    • 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!


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

  • …and you have me dreaming of lakeside cabins!ReplyCancel

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

    • 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:)


  • amazing pics! and thanks for teaching us about hemp hearts 🙂ReplyCancel

  • 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

    • 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


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

  • Sarah

    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 🙂

    • 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!!


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

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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:)


  • 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

    • 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

    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

    • 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!


  • Lovely! They look delicious 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I’m in love all over again! lol StunningReplyCancel

  • 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

    • 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


  • 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

    • 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


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • So lovely – what a slice of heaven.ReplyCancel

  • 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

  • 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

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

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

  • 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

    • 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?


  • 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

  • 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

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

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