Gluten-free flapjacks with orange and dates recipe

(103 ratings)

These gluten-free flapjacks with orange and dates are an easy bake you can serve to all guests without compromising on flavour

gluten-free flapjacks with orange and dates on a cake stand
(Image credit: Future)
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time50 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories398 Kcal20%
Fat16.1 g23%
Saturated Fat9.1 g46%
Sugars35.6 g40%
Protein4.1 g8%
Carbohydrates56.3 g22%

Gluten-free flapjacks are a versatile and simple bake that the whole family can enjoy without sacrificing on flavour or texture. 

Most flapjacks are naturally gluten-free because the majority of ingredient is oats. Oats do not contain gluten but many coeliacs avoid them because they may have been processed in an environment where gluten is present, thus contaminating the oats. If you are coeliac or gluten-intolerant make sure you carefully read the food packaging to ensure it is safe for you to consume. 


  • 250g (8oz) butter
  • 250g (8oz) light soft brown sugar
  • 150g (5oz) golden syrup
  • 1 level tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely zested rind of 1 orange
  • 500g (1lb) rolled oats
  • 250g (8oz) dates, chopped




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Grease a 18 x 28cm tin and line with a sheet of baking paper with a slight overhang.
  2. Put the butter in a large saucepan, along with the sugar and golden syrup. Gently heat until the butter and sugar have both melted. Stir in the cinnamon and orange rind.
  3. Tip the oats and chopped dates into the melted butter mixture and mix until everything is evenly coated.
  4. Spoon this mixture into the prepared tin and press into an even layer.
  5. Bake the flapjack in the centre of the oven for 40-50 minutes, until it’s starting to turn a darker colour around the edges.
  6. Remove the tin from the oven and mark the flapjack into 15 bars. Leave to cool in the tin.
  7. When cold, use the lining paper to lift the flapjack out of the tin and then cut or break along the marked lines.

Top tips for making gluten-free flapjacks

For tips on how to freeze flapjacks or properly chop dates, we’ve got some helpful tips below. We also have information on what oats you can eat if you’re gluten intolerant.

Do porridge oats contain gluten?

No, oats are naturally gluten-free. Oats contain a protein called avenin which is similar to gluten. However, according to Coeliac UK, research has proven this protein is safe for many coeliacs to consume. Some gluten-intolerant people choose to avoid oat-based products because they are manufactured in places where the oats could be contaminated by other cereals or products which do contain gluten. 

How do you freeze flapjacks?

The cooled flapjack can be wrapped in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Allow it to defrost thoroughly before separating it into fingers. Alternatively, you can freeze individual portions but make sure they are securely wrapped otherwise they may experience freezer burn. Freezing as a large block reduces this risk and uses fewer freezer bags or clingfilm. 

What is the right way to chop dates?

If you buy whole dates with the stone in them, it’s best to soften them in a little boiling water before attempting to chop and remove the stone. If the dates are softer, it makes it easy to pull the stone out cleanly. 

Medjool dates tend to have a sweeter, caramel-like flavour and will often be plumper and softer compared to other dates but they are also more expensive because they are bigger. You can chop dates in a food processor but don’t over-blitz or they will become a paste. Use a sharp knife to cut into smaller pieces or tear with your fingers if you don’t mind bigger chunks in your flapjacks. 

To bake these gluten-free flapjacks you’ll need a tin. If you don’t have a rectangular baking tin but would like to invest in one, consider buying this non-stick tray from Tala.

Tala Rectangular Baking Tray - View at Amazon

Tala Rectangular Baking Tray - <a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon UK"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">View at Amazon

This non-stick tray is slightly smaller than the tray we used but this simply means your flapjacks will be a little thicker. The handles are really useful for putting in and removing from the oven and the non-stick will make it easier to lift the flapjacks out too. You can use this tray for other baking projects or even cooking savoury dishes like roasted vegetables or a sausage traybake.

Try our healthy flapjack recipe or these vegan flapjacks if you’d like some more baking inspiration. We also have gluten-free recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner so whatever the time of day, we have a recipe for you. 

Food & Recipes writer

Sue McMahon is a former Food and Recipes Writer at GoodTo and Cooking Editor at Woman's Weekly. Her primary passion is cakes and Sue regularly travels the world teaching cake decorating. Her biggest achievement to date was winning the Prix d’honneur at La Salon Culinaire International de Londres beating over 1,200 other entries.

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