Irish Flapjacks

Our St. Patrick’s Day Parade was supposed to be yesterday, and this is the recipe we normally make for our friends’ potluck party on the parade route. Alas, Covid-19 has cancelled the parade, but a sole bagpiper took to the streets and we took to our kitchen.

Stirring in a saucepan
I end up kneeling on a chair behind Belle to watch her stir.

This is a ridiculously easy recipe, but because it includes the use of a saucepan, I wanted Belle to focus on kitchen safety. We talked about keeping one hand on the handle and using the spatula to stir with the other hand, and practiced on the counter before we moved to the stove.

Belle can be very independent-minded when it comes to dangerous items – she knows how it’s supposed to work so she wants to just do it! My strategy to manage that is to talk through it, and include wording like “I’m going to hold the handle with you to make sure the pot doesn’t tip,” so she knows what to expect.

Pouring oats
The mess getting a little out of control? Lift the measuring cup to the top of the canister.

Belle also got a bit of sensory play in, through pressing the oat mixture into the pan. She called it “hot” and “sticky” before deciding “I need to wash my hands.”

Skills worked on:

  • Kitchen safety
  • Fine motor (pouring)


  • 8×8 or 9×9 pan (9×13 also works, but flapjacks will be crumbly)
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Knife

Recipe (10 min prep, 20 min bake, 40 min cool; yield: ~25 1.5″ squares):
This recipe is adapted from Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking for Americans.

  • 3 1/2 c oats
  • 1/2 c coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c) butter
  • generous 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 3/8 c (1/4 c + 2 tbsp) maple syrup
  • 1 cup (dark) chocolate, melted (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and prepare a pan. Parchment paper makes it easier to lift the bars out of the pan, but there’s enough butter in the recipe that you don’t need to grease it.
  2. In a small saucepan, stir together until melted 1 1/2 sticks butter, 3/8 c maple syrup, and a generous 1/2 c brown sugar. Sauce should be a uniform toffee color.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 c oats and 1/2 c coconut. Pour sauce over the oats and coconut and use a large spatula to coat evenly.
  4. Press mixture into pan to create a dense oaty block.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, til edges are pulling away from the pan slightly and top is firm and golden brown.
  6. Let cool in pan.
  7. Optional: place 1 c chocolate or dark chocolate chips in a double boiler or a microwaveable bowl. Heat gradually (in 15 second increments in the microwave) until chocolate starts to melt, then stir with a spatula til the remainder melts. Use to decorate top of the flapjacks. Let harden.
  8. Remove from pan and slice.

This recipe is part of our coronavirus/Covid-19 quarantine bake-along. See the previous recipe here: No Sugar Added Whole Wheat Banana Bread. See the next recipe here: Sweet Potato Fries.

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