This flapjack recipe is a British staple snack made with rolled oats and sweetened with golden syrup! Made with just 4 ingredients, they take minutes to make!
I first came across flapjacks when I saw Mary Berry present them on TV when I was living in London. I was intrigued by their simplicity and had to give them a go!
What are flapjacks?
Depending on where in the world you are, flapjacks may be something quite different. I first tried flapjacks when I was in America, and they were in the form of a pancake. British or English flapjacks are quite different. They are a thick and chewy oatmeal based bar that is flavored and held together with golden syrup and either butter or oil. They are comparable to a granola bar or baked oatmeal bar, although much thicker and much more satisfying.
This easy flapjack recipe will be your new favorite. It needs just four ingredients to make and requires minimal prep. The texture is thick, chewy, and baked until golden brown. It’s sweet and has a lovely golden syrup flavor, which goes so well with rolled oats!
As someone who often needs to snack all the time, having these flapjacks on hand has been a lifesaver. They use pantry staple ingredients and are super affordable to make. They also taste incredibly delicious!
Being such a simple recipe, this is the kind of recipe that benefits from using better quality ingredients. With these flapjacks, the one ingredient I find to really make all the difference is the kind of oats you use. Think about when you make a bowl of oatmeal or porridge. The brands that yield the creamier and smoother oats are perfect for this!
- Rolled oats– Also known as old fashioned oats or porridge oats. You can use quick cooking oats, but your flapjacks will be slightly more chewy and soft in the middle. To keep them gluten free, be sure to use certified gluten free oats (I love using Bob’s Red Mill). Do not use steel cut oats.
- Brown sugar OR coconut sugar- Obviously this sweetens the bars, but they also keep them soft in the middle. White sugar will work but will be a little denser throughout.
- Coconut oil- I used refined coconut oil, as there is no coconut flavor. You can substitute this for unsalted butter if you wish!
- Golden syrup– An extra thick and sticky syrup that is popular in Australia and the United Kingdom. Golden syrup will be hard to find in America unless you have a specialty store for British foods. If this is the case, you can use honey, as it has a similar thickness and consistency.
How to make flapjacks
Start by whisking together the rolled oats and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and golden syrup and mix well, until a sticky and wet mixture remains.
Next, transfer the ingredients into a lined 8 x 8-inch square pan and press down to form a smooth top. Bake the flapjacks for 17-20 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Remove the flapjacks from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Do not overbake the flapjacks, as they will firm up beautifully once they have cooled completely.
- For thinner bars, you can bake in a 9 x 13-inch pan and reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes.
- If you notice coconut oil bubbling too much on top of the flapjacks while they are baking, cover the baking pan with tin foil for it to seep back into the bars.
The beauty of these flapjacks is just how customizable they are. I prefer to keep them plain so the golden syrup flavor shines, but here are some delicious flavor options!
- Banana flapjacks– Omit half a cup of the rolled oats but add 2 large overripe bananas, mashed. Add 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon for some added flavor.
- Honey flapjacks– Instead of using golden syrup, use a good quality raw honey. I love using Manuka honey, as it has a more mellow flavor.
- Peanut butter flapjacks– Replace half the coconut oil with smooth peanut butter, along with replacing the golden syrup with honey.
- Apple flapjacks– Replace half the coconut oil with unsweetened applesauce, and add 1/2 cup of dried apples OR 2 chopped granny smith apples.
- Chocolate flapjacks– Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and drizzle the baked flapjacks with melted chocolate.
Storing and freezing golden syrup flapjacks
- To store: Flapjacks will keep at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze: Place leftover flapjacks in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To thaw: Allow flapjacks to thaw to room temperature before enjoying them.
More healthy snack recipes to try
Easy Flapjacks (4 Ingredients!)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the oats and brown sugar and mix until combined. Add the coconut oil and golden syrup and mix until fully incorporated.
- Transfer the flapjack mixture into the lined pan and press down until smooth on top. Place the flapjacks in the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until the edges are beginning to go golden brown.
- Remove the flapjacks from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, slice into bars.