These delicious apple flapjacks are lightened up for a healthy treat that’s hard to beat. They’re loaded with apple and cinnamon flavor, studded with dates, pecans, and pumpkin seeds, and bound with natural peanut butter.
They’re the perfect on-the-go snack, dessert, or after-school treat. Or simply enjoy a slice with a nice cup of tea. And what’s more, you won’t believe how easy they are to pull together.
What makes these apple cinnamon flapjacks so darn good is their soft and chewy texture, their nutty apple flavor, and their wholesome ingredients. They’re a delicious and nutritious twist on the classic oat flapjacks.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Lower in saturated fat and sugar: Classic flapjacks are often loaded with butter, brown sugar, caster sugar, and golden syrup. This recipe uses nutrient-dense ingredients that replace excessive amounts of butter and refined sugars.
- Packed with heart-healthy ingredients: Oats, nuts, and seeds are fiber-rich and are abundant in essential vitamins.
- Vegan-friendly: Made without butter, these moist apple flapjacks are suitable for vegan diets. They are also gluten-free.
- A convenient and delicious snack: Make them ahead of time and enjoy them while you’re on the go all week long.
A note on sugar. Sugar in moderation is not necessarily a bad thing, but an excessive intake can spike your blood sugar and lead to cravings for more high-energy foods. This recipe combines natural sugar with fiber, protein, and healthy fats to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, helping you feel fuller for longer and reducing the likelihood of a sugar crash. Apple flapjacks should be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious apple flapjack recipe:
- Porridge Oats: Rolled oats are best for this recipe. Steel-cut oats, jumbo oats, and instant oats are not recommended.
- Fresh Apples: The addition of apples is in two forms. First, a sweet apple for grating. I’m using Pink Lady. And then an unsweetened smooth apple sauce or a homemade apple purée to bind the ingredients together. Both impart a beautiful apple flavor and a natural sweetness.
- Natural Peanut Butter: Preferably a runny, creamy peanut butter made from 100% peanuts. It helps bind the flapjacks together and provides an irresistible nutty flavor.
- Dates and Maple Syrup: For fiber and sweetness.
- Nuts and Seeds: A combination of ground flaxseeds, whole pumpkin seeds, and chopped pecans provide texture, crunch, protein, and healthy fats.
- Flavor Boosters: In the form of vanilla extract, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon for sweetness, warmth, and tons of extra flavor.
- Salt: To bring out the sweetness and make the flavors sing!
Making this delicious snack recipe is so simple! Check it out.
These visual step-by-step instructions provide a quick overview of the recipe. You can find the recipe card with the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions at the bottom of this post. ⇩
1: In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger with a wooden spoon.
2: Add the grated apple, apple sauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and chopped dates.
3: Mix the ingredients together until well combined.
4: Pour the oat mixture into a lined 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) square tin and press down well to compact.
5: Bake the apple flapjack in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the flapjacks are set. Allow them to cool in the baking dish for 10-15 minutes, then slice and enjoy.
Use runny peanut butter. Creamy, smooth, runny peanut butter is best. If you use the thick, stiff stuff, it won’t bind the oats well, and it won’t be easy to mix with all the dry ingredients. This will make your flapjacks crumbly.
Small chunks are best. Chop the nuts and dried fruit into small pieces to ensure the flapjack binds well.
Firmly compact before baking. Press the raw mixture down firmly into the baking pan before baking to prevent the bars from falling apart when they’re sliced.
Cool. To get good, even slices that don’t crumble, let the flapjacks cool in the pan for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing them into individual bars or squares. No need to place them on a wire rack.
- Natural Peanut Butter: You can use any of your favorite nut butter – cashew, almond, and hazelnut butter are all delicious alternatives.
- Maple Syrup: Honey, agave syrup, or date syrup can be used instead of maple syrup.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Sunflower seeds or sesame seeds make excellent substitutes for pumpkin seeds, providing a similar texture and nutty flavor. Chia seeds are also a great option.
- Pecan Nuts: Sub with walnuts, almonds, or Brazil nuts for a different nutty flavor.
- Chocolate Flapjacks: For a chocolatey twist, add ⅓ cup chocolate mini chips. Or, take a chocolate bar, like Hu Simple Dark Chocolate, and grate an ounce (30 grams) into the flapjack mixture with all the wet ingredients. Yum!
Oats are rich in soluble fiber, which can help keep cholesterol levels in check and support heart health. [Source]
Peanut butter is a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. A fantastic trio to help you to feel satisfied and fuller for longer. [Source]
Apples are packed with phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. [Source]
Flaxseeds are packed with heart-friendly fiber and omega-3 goodness. Classed as a “superfood,” research shows flaxseeds may help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. Also, due to their antioxidant content, they may help reduce the symptoms associated with menopause and mental exhaustion. [Source]
Room Temperature: Store the flapjacks in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Ensure they are completely cooled before sealing the container to prevent moisture buildup.
Refrigerator: For longer freshness, place the flapjacks in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap (cling film) and store them in the refrigerator. They can last for up to a week in the fridge.
Freezer: To extend their shelf life, you can freeze the flapjacks. Individually wrap them in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place them in an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, allow frozen flapjacks to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature for a few hours, or warm them in the microwave for a quick and delicious treat.
Traditional flapjacks are a type of baked bar made with rolled oats, lots of butter, sugar, and golden syrup. They are typically cut into squares or rectangles and served as a snack or dessert. This recipe is a healthier version of the traditional flapjack, made with real food ingredients and significantly less saturated fat. It’s also loaded with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, making it nutritious, satisfying, and incredibly delicious.
In North America, “flapjack” and “pancake” are used interchangeably to refer to flat cakes made from a batter cooked on both sides. However, in the UK, a flapjack is a baked bar made from oats, resembling a granola bar or oat bar.
Yes, you can use a variety of apples for your flapjacks. Sweeter apples like Gala or Fuji will add more natural sweetness, while tart apples like Granny Smith or Bramley apples can provide a contrast of flavors. Feel free to choose your favorite.
Yes, you can make gluten-free flapjacks by using certified gluten-free oats and ensuring that all other ingredients you use are also gluten-free.
More Healthy Snacks
Looking for more delicious and nutritious snack recipes? Try these next time…
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Healthy Apple Flapjacks with Cinnamon (No Butter)
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- Coarse Grater
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) Square Baking Tin
- 2 cups (160 grams) rolled oats, gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- ½ cup (50 grams) pecans, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (15 grams) pumpkin seeds
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ tablespoon salt, omit if your peanut butter contains salt
- 4 pitted Medjool dates, finely chopped
- 1 Pink Lady apple, grated, core discarded
- ½ cup (120 grams) unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup (130 grams) smooth and creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC/Gas Mark 4 and line an 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) square baking tin with parchment paper (baking paper), leaving some overhang for easy removal.
- Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, ground flaxseed, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt.
- Wet Ingredients: Add the chopped dates, grated apple, apple sauce, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix well to combine.
- Compress: Transfer the flapjack mixture to the prepared tin, pressing it down well with the back of a spoon to create an even layer.
- Bake: Transfer the tin to the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown and the flapjacks are set.
- Cool: Allow the flapjack to cool in the baking tin for 10-15 minutes. Then, use the parchment paper overhang to lift it out and onto a cutting board. Once completely cooled, use a sharp knife to carefully cut into squares or bars.
- Serve: Enjoy your Apple Flapjacks as a satisfying afternoon snack. They also make a great grab-and-go breakfast option. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.