Enjoy your favourite dessert in a delicious sugar free Bakewell flapjack. Full of sweet fruity cherry jam, soft buttery oats with crunchy almonds and a delightful drizzle of sugar free icing. These low sugar, gluten free celebrate those wonderful Bakewell flavours but in a handy blood sugar friendly snack.
British flapjacks are a staple snack food for many in the UK. The classic recipe does not include any extra flavours and is one that transports me back to my childhood immediately. But these morish treats were in need of a little excitement so what could be better than combining them with another British classic, the cherry bakewell tart!
In this Bakewell flapjack recipe, I combine deliciously buttery oats with crunchy almonds, and a layer of sweet fruity cherry jam, which is all topped off with an icing drizzle. But the best part is that this sumptuous oat bar treat is low in sugar and gluten free making it a great diabetic sweet treat.
In this article, I will guide you through making the best Bakewell flapjack, from the best oats to use, how to make sugar free cherry jam, along with a step-by-step guide on how to make these delectable treats. I will also explain why oat bars and flapjacks make a really good snacking option for diabetes management.
What is the Bakewell Flavour?
The Bakewell flavour is a distinctive and delicious taste that originates from Bakewell, a small town in Derbyshire, England. It is primarily associated with the famous Bakewell tart or pudding, which has been enjoyed for centuries.
The unique flavour of Bakewell can be described as a combination of sweet almond, tangy cherry, and rich buttery pastry. The traditional Bakewell tart consists of a shortcrust pastry base filled with raspberry jam and an almond-flavoured frangipane sponge. It is then topped with flaked almonds and often drizzled with icing sugar or glacé icing.
Over time, this distinct flavour has expanded beyond just tarts and puddings. You can now find various products that embrace the essence of Bakewell flavour such as biscuits, cakes, ice creams, chocolates, cocktails, and even lip balms!
What are the Best Oats to use for Flapjacks?
There are a lot of different names out there for oats or oatmeal but to clarify, oats and oatmeal are the same thing. Some other names for oats that you may come across are:
- Porridge oats
- Rolled oats
- Jumbo oats
- Scottish Oats
- Old fashioned oats
- Instant/ Ready oats
I know you are probably thinking an oat is an oat right, but no. All of these oats are slightly different in how they are processed and therefore the texture they create when cooked.
For this cherry Bakewell flapjack recipe, I have tried a variety of oats and have found that the slightly smaller porridge oats work best. This is probably due to their smaller surface area and that they are generally quicker to cook with so absorb the deliciously buttery syrup. But the good news is they also tend to be slightly cheaper which is always a bonus!
Why a Bakewell flapjack is a delicious diabetic snack
The main ingredient in this recipe is Oats. Oats are versatile whole grains that offer various health benefits. One of which is that they can aid blood sugar regulation. Oats are fibrous and have a low glycemic index. This means that your body will be slower in turning the carbohydrate to glucose, resulting in a more delayed and potentially smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
Low GI foods like oats can really help support your overall diabetes management plan. They can help keep blood sugars more in range and avoid long hyper episodes which can be draining. But if you would like to read more about some both the other tools on our diabetes toolkit then make sure to read the article below:
Living with and/or caring for a person with type 1 diabetes is demanding, which is why it’s so important to create a diabetes management toolkit that can help you every day.
This Bakewell flapjack recipe goes even further though by replacing the usual brown sugar and golden syrup with a sugar alternative, xylitol. Xylitol is my sweetener of choice due to its:
- low glycaemic index,
- doesn’t have a strange taste profile
- doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugar levels
Using sugar substitutes can be another great tool in supporting your diabetes management but they can be confusing, so make sure to read my article to help you navigate the options!
Nevertheless, I appreciate what works for us may not be the same for you. However, through trial and (lots of) error, we know that choosing low GI options, such as oats and sugar alternatives has their place in helping keep our daughter’s blood sugars in range for longer.
Ingredients for Cherry Bakewell flapjack
- A naturally gluten-free whole grain – It is in the processing that contamination with gluten/wheat may occur
- Oats are such a magnificent food; they are wholegrain, a great complex carbohydrate source, and full of fibre, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- They also have a lower glycaemic index so your body will be slower in digesting them and therefore turning the carbs into sugar.
Chopped & Flaked Almonds
- High in antioxidants, vitamin E, protein, and fibre
- High in saturated fat so I am always careful not to include too much in our diets
- I use unsalted
- A nutritive-based sweetener with a low glycaemic index that doesn’t cause a rise in blood sugars
- Use any sweetener you prefer, however, read more here, as not all sugar replacements are a 1:1 substitute.
- You can find a list of my recommended products that I use on my shop page!
- The better quality the better the flavour
- I like the Almond Extract by Nielsen Massey
For the sugar free Cherry Jam
- Packed with nutrients and fibre they add a wonderfully naturally sweet essential flavour to this bakewell flapjack recipe
- See above
Optional Topping –Sugar Free Icing
- This makes a wonderful sugar free icing to drizzle on top
- I love the powdered xylitol by Bonraw which you can find a link to on my shop page
Parchment / Baking paper
How to make Bakewell Flapjacks in easy steps
A flapjack recipe is typically quite simple. They are generally pretty sweet, buttery and either soft and chewy or a little harder and crumbly. These sugar free flapjacks tend to be a little more on the crumbly side due to the addition of the nuts and cherry jam.
Read on for your step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect batch of Cherry Bakewell Flapjacks:
Make your jam – Simply add the frozen cherries and xylitol to a saucepan and heat on a medium heat for 20-25 minutes
For the full recipe and tips click here.
Make the Flapjacks – Start by preheating your oven to 180c fan / 200c and then prepare your tin. Line a square tin (20cm x 20cm) with parchment paper so that the paper comes up on all sides.
In a saucepan heat the butter, xylitol and almond extract until bubbling. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer for a couple of minutes.
Then take the buttery mixture off the heat and add your oats and almonds. Mix everything together, ensuring all your oats are beautifully covered.
Transfer half of the oaty mixture to the lined tin, spreading it out evenly. Push down firmly with a spoon or you can lay a piece of grease-proof paper on top and use your hands to press down firmly to get the flapjacks nice and smooth.
Now spread your cherry jam all over the base of the oats evenly
Add the remaining half of your oats on top. Again making sure to press down firmly.
Sprinkle with a few extra flaked almonds and then pop the flapjacks into the preheated oven for 30-35 mins. The flapjacks should have a light golden glow to them.
Leave the flapjacks to completely cool in the tin before removing carefully, by lifting the parchment paper.
I would recommend leaving them to cool again for an hour or so before cutting them into your squares.
To make the sugar free icing
Mix the powdered xylitol with a little water to create a paste that’s loose enough for drizzling.
Storing your flapjacks
Store your flapjacks in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week
Other Oaty Recipes to try:
If you’re an oat lover like we are then why not try these other delicious oat-based recipes:
- 6 INGREDIENT PEANUT BUTTER BANANA OAT COOKIES
- EASY NO BAKE CHOCOLATE OAT BARS
- SUGAR FREE OATMEAL COOKIES
- HEALTHY BANANA OAT MUFFINS
- HEALTHY BERRY CRUMBLE – NO ADDED SUGAR
- SIMPLE SUGAR FREE OAT BISCUITS
Oats are a real superfood in my eyes, full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are a fantastic slow-release carb that potentially can help to keep blood sugar spikes at bay. The added butter in this recipe may also slow digestion, making these quite a slow burner on blood glucose levels. However, we all respond differently so test what works for you!
The overall carb count for one flapjack, based on the ingredients we would count for is:
- 450g of frozen cherries from Sainsbury’s = 63g of carbs
- 400g of Porridge Oats from Sainsbury’s = 242g of carbs
Now add all the carbs together – 63+242 = 305g
Divide this by the serving size, 9 – 305/9 = 34g of carb per portion
Please note this carb count amount per portion is based on the standard ingredients listed above and may differ depending on what you use and how much you choose to eat.