Dark golden date flapjacks

Flapjacks are wonderfully easy and quick to create. The perfect sweet kick for coffee. This dark and moody date flapjack recipe breaks the classic golden mould ……. but with plenty of room for manoeuvre should you need to return to the golden flapjacks of your childhood 😉!

Rather than using golden syrup – I have used date syrup and honey combined with either soft brown or rapadura sugar (jaggery). Using these ingredients gives the flapjack a moreish, chewier and richer flavour. For me, golden syrup is too sweet and does not have that depth of flavour. The less refined sugars give these simple biscuits an extra va va voom.

You can use light brown sugar with honey or golden syrup for a more traditional golden version. Whatever your combination, it is essential to use simple quick-cook rolled oats which are better suited to baking.

Mid morning coffee with date flapjacks
Flapjacks made with soft brown sugar, date syrup and honey

The golden rule with flapjacks is to melt the butter – don’t be impatient, and don’t let it bubble. Ideally, the sugar should all but dissolve into the butter. To help with this, beat the sugar with the softened butter before you put it on the heat to melt. This is especially important with less refined sugars.

Dates and date syrup are a delicious combination – perhaps with a little orange zest. However, if that’s not your thing, maybe pair honey with apricots or swap dates for raisins. Alternatively, add a healthy seed mix, maybe with a pinch of cinnamon. Or add nothing and let the rapadura sugar work its magic.

Whatever combination you choose, stick to the recipe’s ratios, or you may risk the flapjacks falling apart. The overriding flavour and texture should be oats?

Recipe adapted from an original Darina Allen recipe.

Lots more baking here.


A deliciously moreish date flapjack recipe with a perfect chewy texture and packed with a buttery flavour.
Print Pin Rate
Course: coffee, snacks
Cuisine: English
Keyword: baking
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Author: The Wild Epicurean


  • 20cm round loose-bottom tin OR double the quantities and use an oblong 25x38cm tin


  • 225 g rolled oats
  • 175 g softened butter cut into cubes
  • 175 g soft brown sugar for an extra rich darker brown flapjack, use rapadura sugar
  • 1 tbsp date syrup golden syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or orange zest
  • 75 g chopped dates optional or swap for mixed seeds, raisins or apricots


  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, beat the softened butter and sugar to combine (by hand is fine), add a pinch of salt and set over low heat to melt, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the sugar has all but dissolved into the melted butter, stir and melt in the honey, date syrup and vanilla extract. Turn off the heat, and add the oats and dates. Stir until they are thoroughly coated.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, smoothing it out with a spatula for an even-firm layer. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes – turning once. The flapjack is ready when it starts to turn golden around the edges and is springy in the middle. The longer you cook it, the crunchier it will be. For softer flapjacks, err on the side of 25 minutes.
  • Leave to cool before cutting.


The rapadura sugar will give you a darkish brown flapjack – the soft brown sugar will be as per the flapjack featured in the photo. 

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