The family recipes of Deborah and Simon Jessey

British-Style Flapjacks


  • 1 stick (½ a cup) of unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing a pan)
  • ½ a cup (packed) of golden brown sugar
  • ¼ a cup of golden syrup
  • 2⅓ cups of quick-cooking oats (not instant or old-fashioned)
  • Salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8 x 8 x 2-inch metal baking pan (a larger pan will make the flapjacks too thin). Cut the stick of unsalted butter into 8 pieces and combine with the sugar and syrup in a heavy medium saucepan. Stir the mixture continuously on a medium-low hear until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture has become smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the oats and a pinch of salt and then stir the mixture until the oats are coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and spread it out in an even layer. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. The top should be golden, with slightly darkened edges. The mixture will still be soft, but will harden as it cools. Overcooking will make the flapjacks harder. Remove the baking pan from the oven and place it on a rack for 5 minutes to cool. Cut into 4 squares, and then each square into 4 triangles (this is quite difficult). The mixture will still be quite soft, so be careful not to break it. Cool completely in the pan (a few hours is best) before serving. Keep the flapjacks in an airtight container to keep them relatively soft.

Additional Information

Try substituting ½ a cup of the oats for the same quantity of chopped nuts (walnuts are good), raisins, dried cherries, or a combination. It's possible to add chocolate chips, but these should be sprinkled over the mixture as it is pulled out of the oven or the heat will completely melt the chocolate.