Flapjacks: Baked Cereal Bar is Rectangular and Golden

A batch of flapjacks (oat bars)
Flapjacks! Thanks to BBC Good Food for the image.

Right, here we are with flapjacks! The oat bar of BRITISH origins that’s known elsewhere as a granola bar (in the US).

In North America, “flapjacks” is the term a type of pancake.

Well, we’re not here for that! We’re BRITISH and we’re going to explore the world of flapjacks (oat bars) to be all didactic about proceedings. Let’s do this!

What’s a Flapjack Oat Bar?

It’s a baked oat bar cooked in an oven and then, traditionally, cut into thin rectangular shapes. Not unlike hobnob biscuits, sort of, but much different!

Flapjacks are made with rolled oats, butter, and brown sugar. Raisins and honey are often added, too. Some even have chocolate on the top, like a chocolate bar.

The varieties go beyond even that! Some have glace cherries, yoghurt topping, toffee topping, and all that jazz.

And you can find them all over the place; shops, supermarkets etc.

As they’re porridge oats, the general assumption is they’re mighty healthy. But all the butter, sugar, and added chocolate means they’re kind of far from it. High in fat, high in calories.

But as an indulgent treat, why not? Tasty! If you want healthy oats, then go with porridge with turmeric and cinnamon. Innit.

The History of Flapjack Oat Bars

Flapjacks first turned up in the Oxford English dictionary (the GREATEST dictionary in the world!) back at the start of the 16th century.

Written records of the time suggest it was shaped more like a tart.

The first starring role for flapjacks soon followed, too, in Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre. A Jacobean play from circa 1607, from Act I Scene II:

“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.”

They’re also mentioned in John Taylor’s (15781653) poem Jack a Lent (1620):

“I saw Alcides with a Spiders thread,
Lead Cerbertcs to the Pronontic sea,
Then cutting further through the marble Main,
‘Mongst flying Bulls, and four leg’d Turkeycocks,
A dumb fair spoken, wellfaced aged youth,
Sent to me from the stout Stimphalides,
With tongueless silence thus began his speech:
Illustrious flap-jack, to thy hungry doom,
Low as the ground I elevate my cause.

As I upon a Gnat was riding late.
In quest to parley with the Pleiades,
I saw the Duke of Hounsditch gaping close.”

There you go, it’s the Beowulf of flapjacks—John Taylor. What a legend.

Anyway, that was then. As the ages surged on by, lo did the humble flapjack become a mass produced corporate entity in the name of foodstuff-based profits.

And, yea, did the capitalists chirrup with much genuflection. Genuflect! Genuflect! Genuflect!

How to Make Flapjacks

There he is. It’s the hottest man alive! Jamie Oliver can bake us flapjacks any day of the week, are we right!? Phwoah! GET ‘EM OFF!!!

Anyway, Oliver is a seasoned (get it?) professional and also comes packing some epic advice on making flapjacks. The ingredients you’ll need include:

250 grams of jumbo porridge oats
125 grams of butter
125 grams of light brown sugar
Some honey

Yeah, it’s fair to say “porridge oats” is the main ingredient for this particular porridge oats-based oat bar.

Bake up a batch if you want something moderately healthy and super tasty.


  1. Apologies for being pedantic but in the US part north America at least flapjack means the wrestling move where you lift your opponent on to a fireman’s carry, and then throw the upper body of the opponent away from yourself while the you fall backwards, driving the opponent down to the mat chest first. We call pancake griddle babies and oat bars sugar wangs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh okay, that’s an interesting fact! I guess flapjack advertising could build in that wrestling move with wrestlers munching down on the flapjack food. “Overcome any horrendous ribcage injury with tasty, tasty oats!”


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