Sweet, comforting, wholesome and blissfully uncomplicated, you can't beat a good old British flapjack. If you're after soft, chewy and oaty bars of deliciousness you've landed in the right place. From which oats to use, to how to bake to soft chewy perfection this easy flapjack recipe has got it covered.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
✅ 4 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Quick and easy with just 10 minutes of hands-on time
- Requires 4 core ingredients
- Versatile - add chocolate, nuts or dried fruit to jazz them up
- Packable - perfect for packed lunches and picnics
What are flapjacks?
In the US flapjack is another word for pancakes but for British people flapjacks are baked oat bars made from butter, golden syrup, sugar and oats.
🛒 Ingredients and variations:
These easy flapjacks are made from 4 core ingredients: butter, sugar, golden syrup and oats.
Which type of butter should I use?
A very small amount of salt enhances the flavour of the flapjacks. For best results I suggest using unsalted butter with a pinch of salt. This way you have control over the amount of salt added. The recipe will still work with salted butter, but you will not need to add additional salt.
Which type of sugar should I use?
I always opt for light brown/demerara sugar because I prefer a more mellow caramelly sweetness as opposed to the bright sweetness of white caster sugar. You can use white sugar if you need to.
This holds the flapjacks together and makes them pleasantly soft and gooey. Note that this recipe has only been tested with golden syrup, but you can swap it for maple syrup, agave syrup or honey.
Most flapjack recipes call for rolled or porridge oats because their small size means that they bind together well. I have found that a mixture of rolled/porridge oats and jumbo oats gives the best texture. Flapjacks using only jumbo oats tend to fall apart so I advise against using just jumbo oats.
🧑🍳 Flapjacks in 4 easy steps
1. Melt the butter and golden syrup
Add the butter, sugar, salt and golden syrup to a pan, heat gently on the stove, and stir until melted. To melt the ingredients in the microwave, place the ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between the bursts.
2. Stir in the oats
Stir the oats into the melted butter and golden syrup mixture until combined.
3. Add the mixture to a baking tin
Spoon the mixture into a lined baking tin and press down with the back of a large spoon or spatula until flat.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges turn light golden. Allow the flapjacks to cool for 5-10 minutes then cut them into squares. Leave them in the baking tin to cool completely and enjoy.
👍 Top tips
- Grease and line the baking dish - it might be tempting to skip this step but removing the baked flapjacks will be difficult and messy if you don't.
- Bake until golden around the edges - a subtle browning around the edges is a sign the flapjacks are baked to the right consistency. Remember that every oven is different so keep an eye on them and note that the baking time could vary a little.
- Cut baked flapjacks before they cool - it's easy to cut the flapjacks while they are still warm but tricky once they reach room temperature.
Which baking tin should I use?
This recipe has been tested in a 8-inch or 20cm square baking tin. Use a tin of this size for optimum thickness and remember that if you use a smaller or larger tin you will need to adjust the cooking time. Thicker flapjacks in a smaller baking tray will take longer whereas a larger tin with thinner flapjacks will bake more quickly.
How to line the baking tin:
First grease the baking tin with butter, you can do this with a brush or kitchen paper.
Then line the baking tin with a sheet of greaseproof/parchment paper.
Top tip: cut a piece of greaseproof/parchment paper to the correct size, ensuring it's large enough to cover the sides. Place the baking tin in the middle to see how much paper you need to cover the sides and fold the paper on all four sides. Then cut into each of the corners and line the tin.
How long do flapjacks take to cool?
You can cool the flapjacks in the baking tin. There is no need to transfer them to a wire rack.
The length of time it takes for flapjacks to cool will vary depending on the temperature of the room but will normally take 40 minutes to 1 hour.
It's best to cut the flapjacks while they are still warm and soft. Leave them to cool for 10 minutes and cut them while they are in the tin.
There are lots of options for add-ins if you want to jazz up this traditional flapjack recipe:
- Fruit: add dried fruit like sultanas and cranberries
- Chocolate: add milk, white or dark chocolate chips
- Nuts: add your favourite chopped nuts. Almonds, walnuts and pecans are all good choices.
- Seeds: add pumpkin or sunflower seeds for additional, taste, texture and protein
- Bakewell flapjacks: if you are a Bakewell tart fan, try my Bakewell flapjacks.
Oats are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants and are considered one of the healthiest grains. Although flapjacks are rich in oats, they also contain large amounts of butter, syrup and sugar. It's possible to make flapjack healthier by adding fruit and nuts and using agave syrup or honey instead of golden syrup. However, reducing the sugar content can mean that the flapjacks will not bind together as well.
The most common cause of hard flapjack is over-baking. Flapjacks are done when they begin to brown around the edges. Brownness across the top is a sign they are overdone and will be too hard.
Not having enough butter and/or golden syrup is the most common cause of crumbly flapjacks. Flapjacks made from jumbo oats can also tend to fall apart because these larger oats do not bind together as well as smaller rolled or porridge oats.
This depends on whether you are in the US or the UK. In the US pancakes are informally referred to as flapjacks. However, in the UK they are baked bars made from oats, golden syrup and sugar.
Flapjacks are done when they begin to brown around the edges. They will still be soft when you remove them from the oven but will harden to the perfect consistency once they cool. It might be tempting to bake them for longer but remember that when they are light brown across the top they will be overdone and probably a little on the hard side.
📦 What's the best way to store flapjacks?
Baked flapjacks can be stored in an airtight tin for up to 5 days. I recommend putting some baking paper in between them to prevent them from sticking together.
Is it okay to freeze flapjacks?
Flapjacks can be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply place them into a freezer bag or airtight container and defrost slowly in the fridge.
😋 Check out my other sweet treats
If you enjoyed these flapjacks you should check out my other sweet treats. My Bakewell flapjacks, Raspberry and White Chocolate Cookies, Pistachio Date Balls and Shortbread Cookies are delicious, packable and make great gifts.
Did you try this recipe? It would be really great if you could leave a comment and a star rating ⭐️. I would love to receive your feedback and know that other readers find it helpful too.
Don't forget to tag #knifeandsoulrecipes on Instagram or @knifeandsoul on Pinterest!
- 1 square baking tin (20cm or 8 inches)
- 1 saucepan
- 165 g (⅔ cup + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter (Note 1)
- 55 g (⅓ cup) demerara sugar (Note 2)
- 110 g (⅓ cup + 2 tbsp) golden syrup (Note 3)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 300 g (3 ½ cups) oats porridge / rolled oats or half porridge/rolled oats and half jumbo oats (Note 4)
- Heat your oven to 180°c or 400 °F.
- Grease a baking tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper/baking parchment paper
- Add the butter, sugar, salt and golden syrup in a pan. Place on a low heat and stir gently until melted. To melt in the microwave, place the ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time stirring in between the bursts.
- Stir in the oats and spoon the mixture into baking tin. Press down with the back of a large spoon so the top is flat.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges start to turn light golden.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes and cut the flapjacks into squares.
- Leave the flapjacks in the tin to cool completely. Then serve or store in an airtight tin for later.
- Butter: For best results, I suggest using unsalted butter with a pinch of salt. This way you have control over the amount of salt added. You can use salted butter but you will not need to add additional salt.
- Sugar: I always opt for light brown/demerara sugar because I prefer a more mellow caramelly sweetness but you can also use white sugar.
- Golden syrup: this recipe has been tested with golden syrup but you could use maple syrup, agave syrup or honey instead.
- Oats: Most flapjack recipes call for rolled or porridge oats because their small size means that they bind together well. I have found that a mixture of rolled/porridge oats and jumbo oats gives the best texture. Flapjacks using only jumbo oats tend to fall apart so I advise against using just jumbo oats.