Why Are Your Flapjacks Crumbly? (And What to Do About It)

Flapjack on cooling tray

Chewy, sweet and with the unmistakable flavour of golden syrup, flapjacks are a filling treat that has been enjoyed by one generation after another.

There are various different recipes for flapjacks, each one declaring its combination of ingredients to be the “secret” to the perfect oaty square.

But what happens when your flapjacks refuse to stick together, no matter what recipe you follow?

Here’s the reasons why your flapjacks are so crumbly and how you can fix the problem once and for all.


Why Do My Homemade Flapjacks Fall Apart?

If your homemade flapjacks are constantly falling apart, there could be several different reasons.

1. Not enough golden syrup

One of the easiest solutions is to increase the amount of golden syrup in your recipe. This will help to make your flapjacks stickier and will bind the oats together more effectively.

If you have substituted another syrup, this may also be the reason for the crumbliness. Golden syrup is sticker and better at holding flapjacks together.

2. Try compressing the flapjack

Some bakers swear that compressing the pan helps the flapjack to set together firmly as it cools. Leaving the flapjack in the baking tray place something on top (such as another baking tray that’s slightly smaller) and apply even, heavy pressure across the flapjack.

3. Allow the flapjack to cool before taking it out of the pan

If you get the flapjack out of the pan before it has finished cooling, you may find yourself with a crumbly mess. Allowing the flapjack to cool gives it time to harden and properly bind together.


How Do You Fix Crumbly Flapjacks?

There is no single solution that can fix crumbly flapjacks as it depends on the reason that they are falling apart.

There are some flapjacks which will be hard to properly fix without starting over because there’s a fundamental problem with the recipe.

If you haven’t put enough golden syrup in the recipe, the flapjacks won’t hold together well.

You can’t add more golden syrup at a later stage, unless you are prepared to completely break the flapjacks down and start from scratch!

The other fundamental problem which can’t be solved without another bash is the type of oats used.

Larger oats may sound as if they would make a more authentic flapjack, but they don’t stick together very well.

If you used large oats and your flapjack is crumbly, this may be the sole reason. Look for smaller oats, but not the fine, powdery instant oats – you need something in between.

But that doesn’t mean that crumbly flapjacks can’t ever be fixed. If the room temperature is too warm, your flapjacks might start to crumble. Storing them in the fridge can encourage them to set and harden.

Pieces of flapjack

What Happens If You Put Too Much Syrup in Flapjacks?

If you don’t put enough golden syrup in your flapjacks, it will be an uphill struggle to get them to stick together.

The solution may seem to be to simply add a vast amount of golden syrup at the start, but could this cause different problems with your flapjacks?

Unfortunately, yes.

If your flapjacks contain too much syrup, they might be very sticky, making them unpleasant to hold. They may also be rock-hard and difficult to bite through.

The primary reason that flapjacks are baked in the oven is to soften the ingredients and allow the syrup to spread and glue everything together.

None of the ingredients actually require “cooking” so there’s never any risk that a flapjack will be raw.

As the flapjack then cools, the ingredients harden again. If there is too much syrup, as the flapjack cools the oats will become stiff and hard, a long way from the soft, chewy texture of the perfect flapjack.