British Flapjack

flapjack 1

It’s true – I often make things just for their name. Or the fact that they’re British (as if the food itself also has an irresistible accent) – especially when they’re called something that I generally associate with another completely different thing. Also: I’m a sucker for butter and Lyle’s Golden Syrup – particularly on toast, but really how could anything made with it not be spectacular? I also have a soft spot (many, actually, mostly in the thigh area) for things made with butter, brown sugar and oats.

So. When I learned eons ago about the existence of the British flapjack – a bar cookie made without eggs or flour, making them dense and chewy and grainy, the most buttery-sugary kind of granola bar possible, they had to be made. And again. And then I realized I should probably share.


You could, of course, doll up your flapjack with any number of things you might stick in a more familiar homemade granola bar, like raisins or nuts or chopped chocolate. And while they’d all be delicious, I kind of love the purity of a straight-up oaty cookie. Life has enough distractions. If you don’t have access to Lyle’s Golden Syrup – if you see it in a can, buy some – you can substitute Roger’s Golden Syrup or pure maple syrup. (I don’t bother with corn syrup, as it really has no flavour. Golden syrup is made from cane vs. corn.)

flapjack 2

flapjack 2
flapjack 2

British Flapjack

Recipe link


March 30, 2016


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar

1/4 cup Lyle's or Roger's golden syrup

pinch salt

2 1/2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats


1Preheat the oven to 350°F.


3In a small saucepan, whisk the butter, sugar, syrup and salt over medium-high heat until melted and smooth. Put the oats into a bowl - if you're using old-fashioned oats, you could pulse them a few times to grind them up a little if you like - and pour the caramel overtop. Stir to coat well, and spread into a parchment-lined 9x9-inch pan.


5Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Cut into squares or triangles while they're still warm. Makes 16.


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8 comments on “British Flapjack

  1. Kathleen
    March 31, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I make these at Christmas , however melt semi sweet chocolate chips on top. In our house they are know as Scottish Toffee Bars.

  2. Kathy
    March 31, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    We call this “oatmeal candy” in my family, and I thought it was my mom’s invention! Thanks for the info

    • Julie
      March 31, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      That’s totally what it is! Oatmeal candy!

  3. Karen
    April 8, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Sounds like ricketty uncle. I am going to have to make a pan tonight

    • Pam
      December 20, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      We called it crumb cake, but when I went to get the recipe from my mom, I could not find anything called crumb cake! But it was rickety uncle!

  4. Ian
    April 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Just finished making this , so delicious .

  5. Caroline Csak
    June 22, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    These were a staple growing up. Have you also tried chocolate caramel squares? AKA Millionaires Squares or, in our family, Scrumptious Lumps? Another British classic well worth a try.

    • Julie
      June 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Oh yes – Millionaires squares! How can you beat shortbread, caramel and chocolate??

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