A delicious, chewy Date Flapjack with Apricot and Coconut, balanced for sweetness. Made with gluten free oats. Optional dairy free and vegan.
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First published 3rd July 2014… Recipe Improved & Updated 28th February 2023
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Date Flapjack – a perfect treat
Meet my Date Flapjack with Apricot and Coconut. It’s one of a number of flapjack recipes on the blog, but by no means the newest. Indeed, it first appeared back in 2014. Nonetheless, it was way overdue for a post-update and printable recipe sheet to accompany it.
I don’t know about you, but I love flapjacks… Not only are they delicious, but they are really easy to make. Even better, they have a great shelf-life and travel well without getting easily squashed or stale. They’re perfect for lunch boxes and bake sales… Great for gluten free picnics. And can even be turned into a special dessert with the addition of a drop of custard.
I say ‘I love flapjacks’… but there is a proviso. The flapjacks need to be balanced for sweetness and not over-sickly with sugar. And therein lies the rub. Many flapjack recipes are made with vast amounts of sugar and golden syrup, which for me, makes them too sweet.
The Date Flapjack recipe shared here seeks to temper that sweetness a little, by adding a balance of unrefined sugar (in the form of honey and natural fruit). And in a nod to a slightly healthier option… instead of being made with pure butter, the recipe weights the fat content towards a good portion of coconut oil (in place of some of the butter), as well.
British Flapjacks… What exactly are they?
The British Flapjack (an oat traybake) is not the same as an American Flapjack (pancake). So if you were hoping to see stacks of fluffy pancakes dripping with maple syrup, then I apologise for your disappointment.
To clarify… The British Flapjack is a super-easy, very versatile traybake, made (traditionally) with oats, butter/oil and sugar/syrup. The whole lot is usually melted and mixed together in a pan, before being transferred to a tin, baked in the oven, cooled and cut into bars.
Chewy or Crunchy?
Of course… That’s not the whole story and there are many variations in ingredients, flavour add-ins and (perhaps most controversial of all) texture. Some people like their flapjacks to be crunchy and quite brittle… Others prefer them to be soft and chewy.
I am firmly in the ‘soft and chewy’ camp. So it will come as no surprise that my Date Flapjack is one that yields to the bite… Melting into sweet, oaty creaminess which is shot through with the tartness of apricot, earthiness of coconut and crunchiness of some contrasting pistachio nuts.
Thus… while my Date Flapjack is not a pancake, it is nonetheless perfectly delicious.
Is this Date Flapjack recipe gluten free and safe for Coeliacs?
Whether Date Flapjack is gluten free AND safe for Coeliacs depends on two things… a) the oats that are used. And b) the tolerance of the individual Coeliac.
While pure oats are technically naturally gluten free (ie. they don’t contain the protein gluten), it is nonetheless essential that they are certified as being ‘gluten free’. The problem is simply this… Standard oats are grown, milled and packed in places where they are likely to have become cross-contaminated with other gluten grains (wheat, barley or rye). Gluten free oats have been grown in ‘cleaned’ fields and milled and packed under safe conditions. If you have Coeliac Disease (Celiac), ALWAYS choose gluten free oats. And ALWAYS check ingredient labels to ensure oats used in products are specified as gluten free. If the label is not clear, then the product is not safe. (Check out my Page: Coeliac Disease + Food for more information on cross-contamination and label-checking).
Coeliac oat intolerance…
The tolerance of the individual Coeliac to oats is altogether different… While gluten free oats are safe for many Coeliacs, there are a handful for whom they remain a significant health issue. Why? Because oats contain a protein called Avenin (which has a similar structure to gluten). And some Coeliacs are sensitive and intolerant to avenin as well as gluten and therefore cannot eat oats at all.
Does that mean no flapjack? Not entirely… I worked my butt off a couple of years back to create an Oat-Free Flapjack, especially for my oat-intolerant friends out there. And while I haven’t tested it with alternative fruits and add-ins, I am sure that its base of buckwheat flakes is open to testing. I suspect it would be particularly malleable to the addition of dates (which are sticky and perfect to ensure the structure of the flapjack remains intact).
Can this Date Flapjack be made dairy free?
Absolutely yes! If you switch the butter out for a non-dairy ‘butter’ alternative, my Date Flapjack will also be dairy free. I would recommend using a dairy free BLOCK alternative (such as Stork Baking Block or Flora Plant B+tter).
Can this Date Flapjack be made Vegan?
Yes again! But in addition to switching out the butter (as explained above) to make the flapjack dairy free, you’ll also need to sub the honey too. I would suggest using Maple Syrup as the best alternative (although date syrup would also be perfect for Vegan Date Flapjacks).
The recipe for my Date Flapjack with Apricot and Coconut…
Thank you so much for visiting Gluten Free Alchemist. You can find my recipe for Date Flapjack below (just scroll a couple more inches). I hope you enjoy it. Please do come back and tell me what you think… Leave a comment at the bottom, rate the recipe using the star ⭐️ button, or message me on social media… (Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest (@glutenfreealchemist)).
As mentioned earlier, we have lots of other Flapjack Recipes on the blog to suit every palate and dietary need…
- Chewy Apricot and Apple Flapjack with Maple and Cinnamon
- Roasted Fruit Flapjack
- Vegan Healthy Breakfast Flapjacks (no refined sugar)
- Layered Banana Flapjack Cake (vegan)
- Cranberry and Apricot Seeded Vegan Flapjacks
- Oat Free Flapjack with Apple
For everything else, check out our huge collection of gluten free recipes via our Gluten Free Recipe Index. The best way I can describe it is as a huge FREE gluten free RECIPE BOOK. Your one-stop recipe bank for your gluten free journey.
All shared with my love
Recipe Improved and Updated 28th February 2023
Date Flapjack with Apricot and Coconut
- 8 inch/20 cm square baking tin
- sharp knife
- large saucepan
- oven + hob
- 80 g dried apricot (chopped)
- 70 g dates (stoned & chopped weight)
- 40 g desiccated coconut (this can be increased to a max of 60g as desired)
- 70 g unsalted butter
- 100 g coconut oil (extra virgin)
- 150 g honey
- 150 g soft light brown sugar
- 350 g rolled oats (gluten free)
- 1 to 2 tbsp unsalted shelled pistachio nuts (chopped)
- Baseline a 20 cm/8 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
- Chop the dried apricot and dates and mix with the coconut. Set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 C/300 F/Gas 3.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter, coconut oil, honey and sugar over a low heat, stirring well to combine and to dissolve the sugar.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the oats and fruit mix. Stir thoroughly.
- Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and push into the corners. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon, pressing down to compress.
- Sprinkle a handful of chopped pistachio nuts on top and gently push into the surface.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the edges are beginning to brown and the mixture has firmed up.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- When the flapjack has cooled, but is still a bit warm, score the surface with a sharp knife to mark out squares.
- Once the flapjack has cooled completely, remove from the tin and cut into slices using a sharp knife.
- Store in an airtight container.
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