Brownies & Bars

Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks

4.73 from 11 votes
Don't get them confused with pancakes! Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks are a chewy, delicious, and simple alternative to store-bought granola bars!
A serving of Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks is served next to a cup of tea.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: My Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks are a sweet, chewy, and simple homemade alternative to store-bought granola bars. Grab one for an easy afternoon snack, or enjoy it as a satisfying dessert. 

Whenever I get the chance to make an Irish recipe, I’m eager to take it on. This time, I’ve created a foolproof Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks recipe for bakers who want a taste of a classic Irish treat. 

These deliciously chewy and caramel-flavored baked bars are fun and easy to make. Though these flapjacks are very simple, feel free to personalize them to your preferences with different toppings such as fruits and nuts! These additions can amp up the flavor and texture of your already fabulous Irish Flapjacks.

Using just 5 simple ingredients and 7 tools in under an hour, you’ll have perfect flapjacks to snack on — unless your friends and family get to them first!

Homemade Irish Oat Flapjacks are sliced into individual bars. The oats are a golden brown.

What Are Traditional Irish Flapjacks?

Don’t be fooled by the name; these tasty treats are not pancakes (although the term is used interchangeably in the States). Traditional Irish Flapjacks are sweet baked bars cut into rectangles or squares. They are made from oats, brown sugar, and golden syrup

Flapjacks are very similar to the classic US granola bar, but the main difference is the golden syrup. This magical syrup creates a softer and chewier texture than a granola bar and gives it an almost caramel-like flavor. The addition of syrup also makes these flapjacks sweeter.

What Is Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is a thick, inverted sugar syrup made by either refining sugar or by adding acid to a sugar water solution. It’s a popular ingredient for baking in Ireland, and it is used in a wide variety of desserts like in my Classic Steamed Treacle Pudding, Homemade Honeycomb, and more!

You can find golden syrup, like the brand Lyles Golden Syrup, in the international food aisle at your grocery store, or order it online! Or, make the perfect golden syrup substitute with my recipe!

Tools To Make Traditional Irish Flapjacks:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Medium saucepan
  • Silicone spatula
  • Knife
  • Wire rack

A bar of Irish Flapjacks is served next to a hot cup of tea with milk.

Are My Flapjacks Baked Thoroughly?

Don’t worry if your flapjacks come out of the oven soft. The heat will make them soft to the touch, but after you let them cool for a bit, they will begin to harden.

You should look for a golden brown color when they first come out of the oven. After letting them cool, your flapjacks should have a nice chewy texture without any crumbling.

How To Store Traditional Irish Flapjacks

Enjoy your Traditional Irish Flapjacks after they have cooled off completely. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making The Best Traditional Irish Flapjacks:

  • If you don’t have golden syrup, try making my Homemade Golden Syrup.
  • Make sure to use quick-cooking oats and not old-fashioned rolled oats. Learn more about Baking With Oats.
  • When done baking, the flapjacks should be slightly soft in the middle (but not too soft.)
  • If you want something a little more complex, try adding 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) of diced dried fruit or nuts or 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) of semi-sweet or white chocolate chips.

Try Out More Snack Bars!

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Traditional Irish Flapjacks

4.73 from 11 votes
Don't get them confused with pancakes! Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks are a chewy, delicious, and simple alternative to store-bought granola bars!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 flapjacks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Don't get them confused with pancakes! Traditional Irish Oat Flapjacks are a chewy, delicious, and simple alternative to store-bought granola bars!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 16 flapjacks


  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (4½ oz/128 g) dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (7½ oz/213 g) golden syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (12 oz/340 g) quick-cooking oats


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup, and salt until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the oats until well-coated.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned on top.
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cut into 16 squares and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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8 months ago

What is the difference between flapjacks and gronala bars?

Nerdy Gjerde
Nerdy Gjerde
1 year ago

These were yummy! I have never heard of them. I didn’t have golden syrup but got hungry to try anyway. I 2/5’d the recipe. I used karo corn syrup and added 1/2 t of caramel extract and 1/2 t of vanilla.

Also, being bold, I used my toaster-oven-sized air fryer (on “bake”) for a 2/5 sized recipe. It cooks fast in air bake like a convention oven. Time 22m at 300 worked nicely.

Wife gave thumbs up too. I might get bolder next time adding chocolate chips and nuts. But it was great as-is.

1 year ago

Can I sub the golden syrup for honey?

Julia Southorn
Julia Southorn
1 year ago

Hi Gemma. What can I use instead of golden syrup, which I can’t buy where I live? Honey? Maple or agave syrup? I haven’t made flapjack for donkey’s years and I miss it.

Cecilia clifford
Cecilia clifford
1 year ago

I don’t have golden syrup, is there
another I can substitute?

Dee Nolan
Dee Nolan
1 year ago

Hi Gemma,
These look awesome and I cannot wait to make these. I cannot eat butter can I substitute coconut oil for the butter? If I can, would it be equal portions. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

1 year ago

What about adding nuts, seeds or dried fruit like raisins or cranberries?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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