There’s a certain place in everyone’s heart and cookbook for a fruity flapjack recipe. The crunch of Scottish oats with an added bursting of fruity deliciousness makes a fruity flapjack the sweet treat that the whole family will love! While Raisin Flapjacks and Sultana Flapjacks are usually the most common variations, there’s nothing stopping you adding whatever other dried fruit or even fresh fruit pieces you’d like too!
What is a Flapjack?
The answer to this question very much depends on where you were brought up. If you grew up in the US a Flapjack is what we here in Scotland would call a pancake. A pancake in the UK is more like a crepe elsewhere, then in Scotland, we also have Scotch Pancakes or Drop Scones, which are like a smaller pancake. Confused yet?
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Back to flapjacks! In Britain, a flapjack is a sweet baked bar made of rolled oats, butter, sugar and often golden syrup, more similar to a granola bar in the US. Numerous ingredients can be added but traditionally you’ll find raisin flapjacks or sultana flapjacks. It’s these fruity flapjacks that we’ll be making today.
The oats soften in the oven and get deliciously sticky as the sugar, butter and syrup comes together around them. The fruit is the perfect interruption to the sweetness, making the British flapjack a force to be reckoned with! They’re cut into squares or rectangles and are perfect for taking on picnics or for hiking for a bit of extra energy.
Despite their deliciousness, when sitting in a cafe and looking at the cakes on offer the flapjack is usually underrated and low on the must-have list. It’s easy to forget how tasty they are and how they can stand up to any other traybakes!
So where do Fruity Flapjacks come from?
Ok so flapjacks aren’t strictly Scottish, but anything that uses Scottish oats definitely deserves a recipe here.
A variation of a fruity flapjack recipe was first recorded in Britain in the early 16th Century however, this recipe was probably more similar to a tart or pancake. The “flap” element seems to mean the flip or toss required to cook them while the reason for “jack” is unclear but may be regional. They were popular enough to even be referred to by Shakespeare himself!
“Come, thou shant go home, and we’ll have flesh for holidays, fish for fasting-days, and moreo’er puddings and flap-jacks, and thou shalt be welcome.”Pericles, Prince of Tyre
However, the first documented recipe where oats were used to form a bar was in 1935. Since then variations of this simple recipe, on top of the raisin or sultana versions, have become endless. You’ll often find them packed with seeds and nuts now as well!
Our Fruity Flapjack recipe becomes Scottish by using amazing Scottish oats, of course!
Are flapjacks healthy?
Since they appear to mostly be a bar of oats, people often think flapjacks are a healthy alternative to a cake or other sweet treat. However, there’s actually quite a bit of butter and sugar in flapjacks to negate that! While there are definitely versions that contain less of these ingredients, we’ve stuck to a more traditional recipe.
Things you’ll need to make Fruity Flapjacks
- Baking tray – we used a 22cm square tin, adjust the recipe to the size of your own tray
- Parchment Paper
- Medium size pan
- Spoon or flexible spatula
Ingredients for Fruity Flapjacks
- 375g Scottish Oats (1.5 cups)
- 175g Unsalted Butter (6oz)
- 140g Demerara Sugar (Just over 1/2 cup)
- 150g Raisins or Sultanas (Approx 3/4 cup)
- 5 tbsp Golden Syrup (This can be replaced with corn or maple syrup, honey, or a light treacle in the US, but Golden Syrup is best.)
How to make Fruity Flapjacks – Step by step method
The joy of the flapjack is how simple it is. Yet, like many of our recipes, it’s bursting with flavour. Once you get the hang of making them you can play around with fillings and toppings to your heart’s content! They’re a real family favourite in our house.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line your baking tray with parchment paper, leave enough paper to go up the sides of your tray a little. This will both stop your flapjacks from sticking but also help you get them out if you have a deep tray like ours.
Gently heat the pan on your stovetop and add butter, sugar and syrup. Stir slowly while the mixture blends together but do not allow it to boil.
Once the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted take your pan off the heat and add your oats and fruit. We made raisin flapjacks for these photos.
Stir the oats and your fruit in the pan until well covered by all that sugary buttery goodness.
Tip the mixture into the baking tray, being careful not to burn yourself on the pan or the hot sugar.
Once the oats are all in the pan use the back of a spoon to press them down into the tray. Make sure the whole of the base of the tray is covered and press down firmly to form a solid layer.
Once you have a solid layer place your tray in the oven for 35-45 mins depending on how crunchy you like them! They will go a light golden-brown on top but will still be soft, as they harden up as they cool.
Once baked, take out of the oven and leave for about 10 minutes before cutting to the shapes you would like, but don’t remove them from the tray until they’re cool.
The variations for this recipe are endless. You can add jam, chocolate, various seeds, marshmallow, honey, icing on the top, the list goes on and on!
The mixture is quite sweet so we would just suggest you try to balance this with an element of tartness to counter the sweet flavours. Maybe try some freeze-dried raspberries or blueberries or sesame seeds and honey? One we would love to try is a salted caramel chocolate topping to our fruity flapjack! Yum.
Let us know what you think and what variation you’d love to try!
- 375g Scottish Oats (1.5 cups)
- 175g Unsalted Butter (6oz)
- 140g Demerara Sugar (just over 1/2 cup)
- 150g Raisins or Sultanas (3/4 cup)
- 5 tbsp Golden Syrup (This can be replaced with corn or maple syrup, honey or a light treacle in the US.)
- Preheat the oven 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper, leave enough paper to go up the sides of your tray.
- Add the butter, sugar and syrup to your pan and heat. Stir slowly, but do not allow it to boil.
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted take your pan off the heat, add the oats and fruit.
- Stir the oats and fruit in the pan until well covered by the mixture.
- Tip your mixture into your baking tray, being careful not to burn yourself on the pan or the hot sugar.
- Use the back of a spoon to press the mixture into the tray. Press down firmly to form a solid layer.
- Place your tray in the oven for 35-45 mins, depending on how crunchy you like them.
- Once baked remove from the oven score the Flapjacks into rectangles after 10 minutes then leave to cool in the tray.
We like making raisin flapjacks and sultana flapjacks because they're so easy, but you can add any other dried fruit or even fresh fruit too, just be aware that the moisture may affect the cooking time a little.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g