Gooey Flapjack Recipe

Before I tried this gooey flapjack recipe, I hadn’t even heard of flapjacks. I would’ve associated the name with that of a pirate, sailing in the ocean, living on an island while drinking rum and singing pirate’s songs. There was nothing there that called out dessert to me.

However, as I was quick to learn after meeting Matt, a flapjack is one of the delicious recipes for an English dessert. While it’s uncertain exactly how old the soft flapjack recipe is, the name for flapjacks is over 5 centuries old. It was originally used for something akin to pancakes.

In the UK today, following a simple flapjack recipe (like this one!) will make you a delicious, sweet and fragrant batch of crispy yet soft and chewy square slices. Predominantly made of oats and golden syrup, it’s no wonder that this gooey flapjack recipe is a favourite delicacy for millions of people around the world, including us.

Different types of gooey flapjack recipe

Of course, today there are countless flapjack recipes with all kinds of additions like chocolate chunks, dried berries, caramel and so on. But the basis remains more or less the same: oats, golden syrup, sugar and butter.

We both have different preferences for our easy flapjack recipe. I like to add seeds and experiment a little, while Matt prefers to stick with the gooey flapjack recipe outlined here. He prefers soft and sweet, while I like mine to be a little more of a crunchy flapjack. The good thing about this easy flapjack recipe is that you can use it as a base to add a little panache.

Flapjack origins

It’s quite difficult to trace the origin of the dish and its name, but as mentioned earlier, the term “flapjack” has been used since the beginning of the 16th century. At that time, flapjack was more of a flat tart, which incidentally is mentioned in William Shakespeare’s play “Pericles” (Act II, Scene I):

“Come, thou shan’t go home, and we have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting- days, and moreo’er puddings and flapjacks, and thou shalt be welcome.”

Why flapjacks?

For Matt, a flapjack is the taste of nostalgia. He learnt the recipe at school and it was one of the first things he’d ever baked. Despite not trying them for over a decade, he still remembered how good it tasted.

On the contrary, I had never tried gooey flapjacks before. I thought that, if anything, they had to be pirates! So once I learned what it was, I was intrigued.

I asked Matt how to make these chewy flapjacks and I was surprised with the short list of the ingredients he said we’d need.

Flapjacks are oat bars or slices made from a mixture of rolled oats, butter, light brown sugar, and golden syrup. It’s that simple! But you know that everything brilliant, or in our case, everything tasty, is simple. A chewy flapjack is the perfect snack for a long journey, or ideal for dessert and afternoon tea.

enjoy Gooey Flapjack recipe😋

Gooey flapjack portion.

Gooey Flapjack Recipe

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

If you want to treat your tastebuds (and nostrils) then baking these gooey flapjacks is the best thing you could ever do...


  • Oats (porridge oats, jumbo oats or rolled oats): 250g
  • Unsalted butter: 125g
  • Light brown sugar: 125g
  • Golden syrup: 2-3tbsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 c and line a square tin or small baking tin with baking paper. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients required for the gooey flapjack recipe
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat.

    Melt the butter -- don't forget to smell how amazing it is..
  3. Add the sugar to the melted butter and stir well with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan.

    Add sugar to the butter and mix well.
  4. Once the sugar has blended with the butter, it's time to add the golden syrup. Heat gently and keep stirring.
  5. When the consistency is smooth, remove the mixture from the heat and add the rolled oats, stirring quickly. The mixture will likely get quite thick, but this is a sure sign of the perfect flapjack.

    Add the oats to the butter, sugar and syrup
  6. Pour the flapjack mixture onto the prepared baking tray and spread it in an even layer of roughly 2cm in height.

    Spread the flapjack evenly across the baking tray
  7. Bake the flapjack at a temperature of 180 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

    When baked, cut the gooey flapjack straight away
  8. As soon as the flapjack has started to go golden brown, take it out and cut it into 12 pieces with a sharp knife while the flapjack is still hot. If you leave it to cool first then it can be difficult to cut later.
  9. Leave to cool completely at room temperature. I know it's hard to leave them, especially because they smell so tempting, but you have to leave them to cool in the tin for about half an hour. I speak from personal experience when I say you will burn your tongue.
  10. After the flapjack is cooled, cut once again and remove from the baking tin. You can store flapjacks for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. You can also freeze flapjacks for up to 3 months if you wish, but they are best when fresh.

    Gooey flapjack portion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are flapjacks gluten-free?

Flapjacks are gluten-free, if you use pure oats that are gluten-free. However, always check the packaging before buying your oats as some contain cross-contamination.

Are flapjack vegan?

For a vegan flapjack recipe, just swap butter with margarine. Also be sure to use golden syrup, maple syrup or any other syrup of your choice instead of something like honey (which is recommended in some flapjack recipes).

How do you make flapjacks while travelling?

The answer is easy. For this traditional flapjack recipe, you do not need anything big like a food processor or even a large mixing bowl. You simply need a saucepan, an oven, a baking tin, oats, butter, sugar, syrup and a secret ingredient – a sprinkle of love. 😉

How many calories are in a flapjack?

One portion of chewy flapjack contains about 180 calories. In 100g there are about 440 calories. It varies depending on your sweetener.

How to make healthy flapjacks?

For a healthy flapjack recipe, you can add seeds, dried fruits, and use low-fat butter and/or honey instead of syrup.

Enjoy Your Gooey Flapjacks

If you like our gooey flapjacks, you should try our tasty granola recipe. It’s healthier and less sweet than granola from the shop, making it ideal for breakfast. You can also take a look at some of our other easy-to-make recipes like banana bites!
If you want some more dessert ideas, we have recipes for melt-in-the-mouth Millie’s Cookies, yummy coconut macaroons, and the best strawberry cheesecake ever.

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