These easy soft salted chocolate flapjacks have lots of fruit to make them healthier than your usual granola bar, and with much less added sugar. Gluten-free, vegan, and so quick and simple to make your kids could get in on the production.
I like big thick flapjacks to have for a quick breakfast, with a thin layer of perfectly contrasting dark chocolate and crunchy salt crystals over a satisfying mix of fruit, nuts, and oats.
But if thinner more granola-style bars are more your bag, you can just make them up in a bigger sheet pan, although I find they hold together better when thicker.
Make these easy vegan flapjacks today and give yourself a morning/snack-time decadent yet healthy pick-me-up!
A history of flapjacks
So, what exactly is a flapjack? Well, a flapjack is a mainly British and Irish term that traditionally refers to a baked dessert usually made from mainly golden syrup, oats, sugar, and butter.
They are also known as oat bars, muesli bars, or granola bars, although back in Ireland this would suggest a harder sweeter chewier, and less nutritional breakfast bar.
This recipe is vegan, so there is no butter used, but plenty of oats. I’ve also downgraded the traditional amounts of sugar and there is no golden syrup because:
- I live in Spain and golden syrup is hella hard to come by here, not to mention expensive.
- My butt and waistline appreciate my efforts to not have golden syrup in the house (although my family sure don’t). I will DEVOUR that stuff with just a spoon.
- There is sugar in this recipe, just not as much as your usual flapjack, because I make this a lot for my kids and basic sugar is just not a great nutritional choice for them. I prefer to up the sweetness naturally.
When do people eat flapjacks?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to eating flapjacks. Back in the day, I suspect they were more of a tea-time treat, but nowadays they can form part of a quick breakfast (best paired with a protein, and – obviously – tea) or be a snack during the day.
Are flapjacks healthy?
Hell yes. Hell no. Okay, it basically depends on the recipe. If you make some with a ton of butter, sugar and golden syrup, well, NO. If you make a lighter one like this recipe, well yes, although there is still some added sugar to take into account if that is a health concern for you.
How to make soft salted chocolate flapjacks
In general, flapjacks are pretty easy to make. Mix together your wet and dry ingredients and bake for 20-30 minutes. Done! (Unless you want a decadent salted chocolate layer like in this recipe).
Mix together the dry ingredients (chopped walnuts, raisins, oats, spice, baking powder, and desiccated coconut). Do try and make sure that the desiccated coconut has no added sugar or your perfectly sweet flapjacks will be too sweet.
Chop your apples up into a 2cm dice. I don’t peel mine, but you can if you wish. I don’t bother coring my apples either (lazy should be my middle name), I simply slice around the core to get four big chunks and then chop them up. Mix the apple into the dried ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mash your ripe bananas well. They don’t have to be overripe, as with for banana bread, but overripe will do just fine as well. Add the agave syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla essence.
While some people prefer a bit more of a chunky banana texture (it does caramelize well), I don’t as I’m actually not a fan of banana texture and like using it in baking for the moisture and natural sweetness it gives a recipe. So, I actually get out my hand blender, tilt the bowl, and blitz the wet ingredients until smooth. But you do you…
Now mix the wet into the dry and turn out into a greased baking dish. Dampen your hands and smooth the top but don’t compress the mixture or you’ll have rock-solid bars instead of soft flapjacks.
Bake for 20 minutes at 320F/160C (280F/140C fan) in the middle of the oven. When done, allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. If you wish, you can slice up your flapjacks now (I normally get at least 20 fat flapjacks out of this recipe) or add the chocolate and salt coating.
Adding the yummy salted chocolate layer (optional)
To make the chocolate coating, simply microwave the chocolate in 30-second increments until melted, and mix in half a tablespoon of coconut oil. I use a 22cm x 30cm tin to make fat flapjacks, and only need 150grams dark chocolate for the top layer.
However, if you prefer a thinner flapjack, feel free to increase the pan size (24cm x 35cm is a good size) but add 50g more dark chocolate. I add the chocolate coating as soon as the pan is cool enough to handle because I like to quickly dribble it across and swirl around the top to get a thin layer, and the residual baking heat helps it spread better.
Finally, sprinkle some flakes of salt on top. This is an optional step, but I do recommend it as it really sets off the dark chocolate flavor – but you must use flakes of salt (preferably Himalayan or sea salt), not regular ground table salt. Otherwise, you won’t get the same crunch and flavor contrast, you’ll just have a weird salty chocolate layer.
Sprinkle your teaspoon of salt from high (to help it distribute better) when the chocolate has cooled, otherwise, the flakes will melt (again, weird salty chocolate patches).
You can lightly press the flakes into the chocolate with your fingertips if you wish to make them stick better (otherwise they may fall off when sliced or put in a lunchbox) and then refrigerate for at least half an hour to give all the flavors a chance to breathe and the dark chocolate layer time to harden.
Oh, and before you get to the recipe card, you may want to check out some other recent recipes and posts. If you do make this recipe, PLEASE let me know in the comments or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (the_fiery_vegetarian). Seriously, I love hearing from you guys!
- 350g oats
- 100g chopped walnuts
- 100g raisins
- 100g desiccated coconut
- 50g brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 2 apples cut into small chunks
- 3 ripe bananas
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
- Coconut oil 50ml
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- Salted Chocolate coating:
- 180 grams dark vegan chocolate
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp flaked salt
- Mix up all the dry ingredients from the oats to the baking powder.
- Core and chop your apples (no need to peel them) into 2cm max pieces. Mix them into the dry ingredients.
- Blitz or mash together the bananas, syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Add into the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 140C Fan/160C (280F Fan/320F) for 20 minutes. Let cool until cool enough to handle if slicing and storing. To add chocolate salted topping continue below.
- Break up the dark chocolate into chunks and melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals (normally just takes 1 minute). Mix in the coconut oil and pour on top of the warm or room-temperature unsliced flapjacks, tilting to make sure all the surface is covered.
- When the chocolate is lightly set, or more or less room temperature, sprinkle a spoonful of salt crystals (flakes, not granulated salt) evenly over it and gently press into the thin layer of chocolate. Put in the fridge until you are ready to slice or for at least 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Slice into 20 pieces and carefully remove them from the pan.
These babies will keep in the fridge for at least a week if tightly covered or wrapped.
Amount Per Serving Calories 253Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 2mgSodium 61mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 4gSugar 18gProtein 4g