This flapjacks 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!
My favorite UK-inspired recipes are sticky date pudding and panna cotta. My go-to snack, however, would be flapjacks.
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. In America, flapjacks are thick and diner-style pancakes. 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.
Why this flapjack recipe will be a snacking staple:
- 4 ingredients. Just a combination of oats, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and syrup.
- Healthy. Traditional flapjacks use tons of butter and sugar but this recipe replaces the butter with coconut oil and cuts down on the sugar.
- Naturally vegan. There is no dairy or eggs needed.
- Easy to customize. Change up the flavors, add fruit, chocolate, and more.
What I love about this recipe is what a fabulous snack it makes. Enjoy one between meals to keep you energised and satisfied.
You will love the simple pantry-staple ingredients used for this recipe. Here is what you’ll need:
- 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.
- 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
With less than two minutes hands-on time, this recipe is very simple. The oven takes care of all the hard work.
Step 1- Make the batter
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.
Step 2- Bake the flapjacks
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 over-bake 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. 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. 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. Replace half the coconut oil with smooth peanut butter, along with replacing the golden syrup with honey.
- Apple. Replace half the coconut oil with unsweetened applesauce, and add 1/2 cup of dried apples OR 2 chopped granny smith apples.
- Chocolate. Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and drizzle the baked flapjacks with melted chocolate.
Storing and freezing instructions
- 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
Frequently Asked Questions
Flapjacks are diner-style pancakes in America. British flapjacks are often called baked oat bars or golden oat bars.
Homemade flapjacks are much healthier than store-bought ones, as they are much lower in sugar, fat, and saturated fats.
Flapjacks With 4 Ingredients | Bakes In 15 Minutes
- 4 1/4 cups rolled oats gluten free, if needed
- 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
- 1/2 cup golden syrup or honey
- 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.
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Can I half the recipe and pour into large cupcake tin molds? How long would I need to bake if I do that?
I don’t see why not! Bake it for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
Great flavors, but, like Brenda, my flapjack was not the brown color in your picture, nor as crispy looking.
It sounds like you underbaked it, cook it several minutes longer.
Can you use something besides corn syrup? Maybe agave ?
Yes that works!
Thank you for sharing your recipe, I had to end up using a mixture of 1/2 molasses and 1/2 pancake syrup because I realized I had run out of golden syrup so apart from them looking a little dark, they were still very tasty!
Can I use all maple syrup instead of honey?