British Flapjacks

When we were in England, my mom and I fell in love with flapjacks, apparently a classic British dessert. Actually, the first time we tried one, we had no idea what it was. We were in a small bakery in Bath, starving, and ready to buy anything that looked good. We both ended up choosing a flapjack, mainly because it looked like a sweet, gooey granola bar. And it was incredible. We couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. The buttery, chewy texture, the sweetness, the oats – we loved it. It actually tasted like a cross between a granola bar, and baklava – which sounds kind of strange, but trust me, it works.

We subsequently bought flapjacks at every available opportunity. I even took Mike to a bakery specifically so he could try one, since we kept raving about them.

*(side note: Mike was in England for work, but I came along for the first week, and brought my mom and a family friend to hang out with me. So while Mike was working, the rest of us were sightseeing and having fun. Mike was sad to have to work, but I think having a flapjack cheered him up.)

When I came home I immediately searched for a recipe, and found one that seemed promising. Imagine my excitement when I made them and they tasted exactly like I expected! And so easy to make. The texture is a little chewier, and less gooey than I’d hoped, but I’m thinking I might have baked them too long. Regardless, these are a wonderful and delicious dessert, and a fun taste of British culture.

*recipe note: golden syrup is a type of syrup that is popular in Great Britain. I was able to find it at my local Meijer, in the international food section. If you can’t find it, I’ve read that you can substitute half honey/half corn syrup. I haven’t tried it, but it seems like it would taste great.

British Flapjacks


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup*
2 1/3 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant or old-fashioned)
Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Combine the butter, sugar and syrup in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until butter melts, sugar dissolves, and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add oats and salt; stir until coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press it in the pan in an even layer.

Bake until the top is golden (edges will be slightly darker), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut into 4 squares; cut each into 4 triangles (mixture will still be soft). Cool completely in pan before serving.