Deliciously chewy and fruity Apricot & Apple Flapjack with Maple Syrup and a warming hint of Autumnal cinnamon. Made with gluten free oats. Optional dairy free & vegan.
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All the flavours of Autumn… My Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack with Maple and Cinnamon
I recently remade my Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack with Maple and Cinnamon. Twice! And I’m so glad I did… Because they are SO good… Packed full of creamy oats (just as a flapjack should be), they are of the fruity variety… A mingle of unmistakable apricot and apple, set against distinctive Maple Syrup… All spiced with a warming backdrop of cinnamon. The flavours of Autumn wrapped up in one delicious and comforting treat.
But is all what it seems? And why are they cut into triangles?
A story about Flapjack triangles and why my Apple Flapjacks are cut that way…
This Apple Flapjack dates back to 2014 on the blog. At the time, I recall searching for creative inspiration for new flapjack flavours via Google. It honestly didn’t take me very far on the recipe front. But I did come across a completely crazy story in the Telegraph about a school in Essex, UK, who had banned triangular flapjacks. Why? You may ask! Apparently, they were considered to be dangerous after one got lobbed across the lunch hall and hit a boy in the face resulting in a sore eye. And as appears to be the response in this crazy, litigious society we inhabit, the canteen staff were told ‘no more triangles!’ Flapjacks should only be made as squares or rectangles. Is it just me, or did health and safety go bonkers? Since when was a flapjack considered an offensive weapon? And wouldn’t a square be just as ‘risky’ if thrown with enough force? It seems ludicrous to blame the flapjack rather than the behaviour.
But hey… it seems there are far too many arbitrary decisions based on knee-jerk reactions without actual balanced risk assessment.
Either way… treat these Maple, Apricot and Apple Flapjacks as a compensatory tribute to the wrongly accused and banned Essex school pudding… And a kick in the teeth to ill-informed health and safety decisions. Because MY Apple Flapjack is especially and proudly cut into triangles. They might even taste better that way… Although the shape you cut yours is (of course) entirely optional!
What are Flapjacks?
Okay… I thought I knew exactly what a flapjack was. But it turns out that I don’t! Why? Because like so many of our beloved dishes, the humble flapjack is entirely different depending on where you live. Think Scones vs Biscuits… Biscuits vs Cookies… Eggy Bread vs French Toast… Swiss Roll vs Jelly Roll… Ice Lolly vs Popsicle… The list it seems, is endless.
So… To be clear. The flapjack we know and love in the UK is NOT to be confused with an American flapjack… Which it turns out, is a pancake.
And for clarity… The traditional ‘British’ flapjack (like the Apple Flapjack recipe shared here) is a super-easy traybake made with oats, which is baked and cut into bars and is loved by both kids and grown-ups!
Chewy or crunchy… How do you like your flapjacks?
The flapjack connoisseurs among us will know that behind this innocent traybake lies a continuing debate… Should flapjacks be soft and chewy or crisp and crunchy?
We all have a preference. And for me, the vote is firmly with the former. It will therefore be no surprise to hear that my Maple, Apricot and Apple Flapjack is definitely of the soft and chewy variety… Each bite melting into oaty creaminess in the mouth and bursting with tart, fruity apple and apricot… This fruitiness contrasts perfectly against the sweetness of the sugars and offers alternative texture and interest.
What’s in the recipe for Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack?
Like all ‘standard’ oat flapjack, my Apricot, Apple and Maple Flapjack is a combination of butter, sugar and oats… With the addition of fruit and spice. So, let’s think about the ingredients and how to get the best from the recipe…
Fruit… What are the best apricots and apples for Apple Flapjack?
While Apple Flapjack is created to be intentionally soft, it’s important to strike a balance with the addition of ‘wet’ fruit, so that it still cooks firm enough to hold together. For this reason, I always use dried apricots and although I use fresh apple, I limit the amount by weight.
If you prefer to use dried apple that’s fine too. Just be sure to use a smaller amount as it weighs less than fresh apple.
Sugar… A combination for balance of sweetness and flavour
A basic traditional flapjack uses golden syrup for sugar. It’s good, but it can be very sweet and not very subtle. So, for my Apricot and Apple Flapjack, there is a balance of less-refined soft light brown sugar and natural Maple Syrup paired alongside the traditional golden variety. This brings a deeper, caramel flavour to the bake and a touch of Canadian luxury which is unmistakably ‘Maple’. It also means these flapjacks do not feel over-sweet on the palate, either.
What about oats… Are they safe for Coeliacs (Celiacs)?
Fundamentally yes. They are safe. But if you are Coeliac (Celiac) it’s essential that you choose GLUTEN FREE oats for your Apple Flapjack. Why? Because if you use ‘normal’ oats, you run a serious risk of cross contamination from the growing and milling process. And cross contamination means you are likely to get sick.
But for some Coeliac sufferers, even gluten free oats are off-limits. This is because oats contain the protein Avenin. While not strictly gluten, Avenin has a similar structure to gluten and a small number of Coeliacs are additionally sensitive. If that’s the case for you, oat flapjacks are not a good option!
Although I have yet to try subbing the oats for an alternative myself, my recent foray into testing alternative flakes for gluten free porridge, suggests that subbing with buckwheat flakes, millet flakes or quinoa flakes may well make a fabulous non-oat flapjack. I will definitely give it a try and report back soon. I personally wouldn’t go with rice flakes… They honestly come nowhere near the texture of oats will not replicate the qualities needed… Rice pudding cake perhaps, but NOT a traditional flapjack.
Butter… Can this Apple Flapjack recipe be made dairy free and vegan?
I love butter in flapjacks for the richness and natural luxury it brings. But I appreciate that for those of you who can’t or choose not to eat dairy, its inclusion is not an option. So, can my Apple Flapjack be made dairy free and vegan?
The happy response is yes! Simply sub the butter for a good dairy free alternative (I recommend a good, ‘yellow’ block alternative such as Stork baking block) and follow the recipe as normal. This will give you an Apricot, Apple Flapjack that is both delicious AND dairy free-vegan.
Cinnamon Spice – Yes, or no?
The cinnamon spice in the flapjack mix is divine… An end of year, seasonal warmth that shouts ‘Autumn’ and smells incredible. It pairs to perfection with the apple, apricot, oats and maple and is to be thoroughly recommended. Use less, or more as you prefer. But if you are a rare being that dislikes cinnamon, that’s fine too… I won’t take offence 😄… Simply leave it out altogether or sub with an alternative love, such as ginger, almond, or vanilla.
Ready to make Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack with Maple and Cinnamon?
So, there we have it… The low-down on my Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack with Maple and Cinnamon. Will you make it? I hope so! Because, whether you cut it into squares, rectangles or triangles, it is SO good.
If you do make it, let me know! Leave a comment, or tag me on social media with your photos. You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. Even better… Rate the recipe with a lovely 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. That way more people will get to find it. Really! And if I’m honest, that’s the whole reason I’m here… To offer recipes that taste like real food to the gluten free community. No compromise. No limits!
And with that… If you are new to Gluten Free Alchemist, did you know we offer more than 400 amazing gluten free recipes for FREE on the site. Just head over to our complete photographed, categorised Gluten Free Recipe Index and enjoy. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, let me know. If it’s not there, I’ll add it to the list to try and make…
Thanks (as always) for reading and happy baking
Other popular flapjack recipes at Gluten Free Alchemist…
Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack with Maple and Cinnamon
- 9 inch (23 cm) square non-stick baking tin
- oven + hob
- large saucepan
- large sharp knife
- 250 g unsalted butter/dairy free alternative
- 175 g soft brown sugar
- 120 g golden syrup
- 60 g maple syrup
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 360 g gluten free rolled oats
- 100 g fresh cooking apple (eg Bramley) peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes (approx 1 small to medium apple)
- 85 g dried apricots chopped into small pieces
- Base line a 9 inch (23 cm) square baking tin with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- In a large non-stick saucepan, melt and mix the butter, sugar, syrups and cinnamon over a low heat, stirring frequently.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, chopped apple and apricot until well-combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and spread evenly.
- Gently compress the top with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown and starting to firm up at the edges.
- Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to start to cool.
- While still warm, mark (score) out the slices with a sharp knife, but then leave to cool completely in the tin.
- When the flapjack has cooled, remove from the tin and cut through into pieces.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist