Soft and chewy flapjacks, bursting with sweet and fresh apple and studded with juicy raisins. A little lighter and healthier than the classic, but just as delicious.
I am a big fan of occasional indulgence (and frequent indulgence for that matter), but I tend to shy away from flapjacks. Given the minimal ingredients involved, it makes it all the more obvious when both the quantity of sugar and butter vastly exceed the amount of oats. And while I have no issue in principle with oats being used to stick butter and sugar together, my arteries and blood sugar levels beg to differ.
So I spent my weekend, as I imagine most others do, considering how to make a flapjack that one could happily devour without fear of an early death. I had some cooking apples knocking about, and given that apple purée brings a bit of sweetness to the table and can also act as a fat replacer, I thought this might be the ideal addition. The result is deliciously fruity, and wonderfully moist and chewy – the apple gives the flapjack a lightness, while allowing it to retain a texture that would suggest that far more calories than are actually contained within.
How to make vegan apple flapjacks
The flapjacks themselves take a matter of minutes, but the apple purée is a little more time consuming. I used bramley apples, but you could use eating apples and add a little less sugar. Eating apples tend to hold their shape so will definitely require blending, but with bramley’s this isn’t completely essential. You can buy smooth apple purée in jars in most supermarkets if you’re looking for a shortcut.
Core your apples and chip them into small chunks. You don’t have to peel them unless you really want to – there’s loads of nutrients in the skins. Add a little sugar and a drop of water, and bring to a simmer in a saucepan, then put the lid on a leave to steam for 20 minutes over a medium-low heat.
After 20 minutes the apples should be fairly mushy. Leave them to cook uncovered for another 10–15 minutes, stirring frequently, so that some of the liquid evaporates. Leave to cool, then pop in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. If you have more purée than you need for the recipe, you can freeze it in ice cube trays, then use it in other recipes in the future.
For the flapjacks, put the sugar, golden syrup, and vegan butter in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. My preferred vegan butter is Naturli Vegan Block (it’s very buttery, organic and palm-oil free, but does contain nuts) but any vegan spread or coconut oil would also work.
For the oats, if you use rolled porridge oats then you can just measure these out and add the salt and cinnamon. I had jumbo oats, so pulsed them a couple of times in the food processor just to break some of them up, so the flapjacks cohere better, before adding the other ingredients. Pour in the melted butter and sugar and the apple purée, then stir everything together so you have a thick batter. Stir in the raisins (if using) until they’re evenly distributed. Spread in a even layer in a greased and base-lined cake tin or oven dish, somewhere around 20x20cm in area, then bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are turning a dark golden brown and then centre is firm to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins or so, the transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into slices. You should be able to get 12 decent sized flapjacks.
These are excellent at any time of day – they’d make a really great breakfast if you’re on the move or in a rush. You could add in a few chopped nuts or seeds, or some other dried fruit; cranberries, sultanas or dried blueberries would all be delicious.
Please let me know if you give these a try! You can comment below, use the star rating at the top of the post, or follow and tag me on Twitter and Instagram @greedybearbakes.
Vegan Apple Flapjacks
Soft and chewy flapjacks, bursting with sweet and fresh apple and studded with juicy raisins.
- 500g cooking apples (for 400g puree)*
- 50g + 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 75g golden syrup (you could also use brown rice syrup)
- 50g vegan butter (sub spread or coconut oil)
- 300g oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 50–75g raisins
- Wash the cooking apples then core, and chop them into small chunks (you can leave the skin on). Place in a small saucepan over a medium heat with a tablespoon of water and 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar. Once simmering, put a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to medium–low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and mushy, then cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently, to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Leave to cool, then whizz in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth puree.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan and grease a loose-bottomed baking tin or oven dish measuring somewhere around 20x20cm, and line the base with baking paper.
- Add 50g vegan butter, the remaining 50g soft light brown sugar, and 75g golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat, until melted, then set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, measure out 300g oats (if using jumbo or steel-cut oats then pulse a the oats a few times in a food processer to break a few of them up, so the flapjacks will cohere better). Add ½ tsp salt and 1½ tsp ground cinnamon and stir, then add 400g apple puree and the melted butter and sugar. Mix until everything is fully incorporated, then stir in the raisins (if using) until evenly distributed.
- Spread the batter into you prepared baking tin so it forms a roughly even layer, then bake for 25–30 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer the flapjacks to a wire rack, leaving them to cool completely before slicing them up.