Healthy Banana Flapjacks

You won’t be able to get enough of these Healthy Banana Flapjacks. They are the perfect choice if you are looking for a vegan, refined sugar-free and gluten-free treat. Believe me you will be baking these and serving them to your friends and family time and time again.

Healthy Banana Flapjacks arranged on a metal tray

These Healthy Banana Flapjacks are on constant snack rotation in our house. They are ideal to have in the kitchen for the whole family to ward off mid-afternoon hunger pangs that don’t revolve around refined sugar. This recipe is golden and I guarantee you will be making it time and time again.

ingredients for banana flapjacks on a wooden board

Why should you make these Healthy Banana Flapjacks?

  • Perfect back-to-school or back-to-office healthy snack for lunchboxes.
  • No sugar. All the sweetness is from medjool dates and banana.
  • Deliciously chewy and fudgey texture.
  • Totally satisfying breakfast on the run.
  • Vegan!! Actually I used to make these flapjacks with melted butter but this vegan version with the coconut oil is better. It’s lighter and gives a slightly cleaner taste.

How do you make these flapjacks?

You start off by making a salted date caramel which is really just a fancy way of saying date paste. We use:

Dates
Water
Vanilla extract
Salt

Whizz this lovely foursome up in a food processor to create your caramel. And yes, it really does taste like a thick sweet golden caramel. Hard to believe there is no sugar!!

process image of making date caramel. Dates in a food processor and dates turned into caramel

What next?

Melt the coconut oil and whisk in the cashew butter, mashed banana and date caramel.

This is when the true magic happens. If you dare to dip a fingertip into this magic elixir then I warn you, there may be no coming back from it.

The fact that these flapjacks make it into the oven at all is a miracle each time.

Can’t find any cashew butter at the supermarket? It’s super easy to make your own – see this recipe.

saucepan of date caramel and a glass bowl of flapjack mixture

The final step

Smother the gorgeous nutty banana caramel mixture over the oats, mixing well together. Press into a tin and bake.

Two images of flapjack mixture in a bowl and flapjacks in a tin ready for the oven

Baker’s Tips

  • Make a double quantity of the date caramel as it blends up better in your food processor/blender. The date caramel is an amazing topping to porridge, mixed into coconut yoghurt, or can be used as the sweetener in sugar-free cakes like this Apple Blueberry Maple Cake.
  • For these flapjacks to be gluten-free then make sure to use gluten-free oats.
  • Use porridge oats rather than jumbo rolled oats as they hold together better.
  • The extra banana slices on the top are really important. So chewy and so good! 

Healthy Banana Flapjacks arranged on a metal tray

FAQs

Can you freeze these flapjacks? Yes. I recommend freezing before cutting up. As usual, double wrap to avoid freezer burn and take out the night before you want to eat to defrost on the counter overnight.

How long do they keep for? 3 days in an airtight container stored in a cool dark place.

Healthy Banana Flapjacks arranged on a metal tray with a bite taken out of one of them

Add-ins

This flapjack recipe is delicious on its own but you can pimp it up for something even more special. Why not try:

  • Chocolate – Dark chocolate chips (I feel like I always say this!)
  • Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds
  • Dried Fruit – chopped apricots are particularly good here!

These Salted Date Caramel Banana Flapjacks are refined sugar-free and gluten-free for guilt-free snacking.

 

Do you want more vegan, no sugar and gluten-free snack recipes? Try these:

No-Bake Salted Chocolate Energy Bars
Coconut Lime Energy Balls
Best Granola Bars
Raw Blueberry Coconut Energy Bars

If you make these Healthy Banana Flapjacks then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Healthy Banana Flapjacks

You won’t be able to get enough of these Healthy Banana Flapjacks. They are the perfect choice if you are looking for a vegan, refined sugar-free and gluten-free treat. Believe me you will be baking these and serving them to your friends and family time and time again.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 288kcal

Ingredients

  • 200 g medjool dates about 11
  • 60 ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 170 g cashew butter
  • 175 g coconut oil
  • 120 g mashed banana about 1 large banana
  • 1 banana sliced for decoration
  • 350 g gluten-free porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan/ gas mark 3 and grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
  • To make the date caramel pit the dates then place them in a food processor along with the warm water, vanilla extract and salt. Whizz together until completely smooth. You may have to scrap the sides of the processor a few times to help the process along.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a medium pan over a low heat then remove from the heat and stir in the cashew butter, date caramel and mashed banana.
  • Pour the oats into a large mixing bowl then smother with the banana caramel mixture until it is all mixed well together.
  • Press the flapjack mixture into the tin so the top is even and smooth. Cut the extra banana into slices then place on the surface of the flapjack. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  • Once cool, remove from the tin and cut into squares.

Notes

  • For these flapjacks to be gluten-free then make sure to use gluten-free oats.
  • Use porridge oats rather than jumbo rolled oats as they hold together better.
  • Don’t skip the sliced banana on the top!! So good.
  • Can't get to the shops for Cashew Butter? It's so easy to make, see this recipe.
  • You can add chocolate chips, pumpkin or sunflower seeds or even dried fruit like chopped apricots to make them really special.
  • These flapjacks freeze really well.
  • Store in a cool dark place for up to 3 days (if you can possibly resist them!)

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg

This recipe was originally published in January 2017 but revised slightly to make vegan by swapping out the butter for coconut oil, adding more process photos and more tips and advice.

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake {refined sugar-free, gluten-free}

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake is refined sugar-free and gluten-free and so full of flavour. Filled with a blueberry chia jam and covered in a maple swiss meringue buttercream.

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a wooden board surrounded by flowers

If you had a slice of this cake with no pre-amble or forewarning I guarantee you would be shocked to discover that this Apple Blueberry Maple Cake is made with absolutely no refined sugar. There is sweetness, of course, this is still cake. The sweetness comes from:

  • medjool dates
  • unsweetened apple sauce
  • just a splash of maple syrup

These three sources of ‘sugar’ are not just chosen for sweetness but for flavour too. The tanginess of the apples combined with the rich dates and mellow maple syrup give a complexity to the cake which you just don’t get with regular old caster sugar. Plus it is a healthier choice. Although, this is no health food as again, cake is cake. It is a treat, but perhaps a more justifiable one if you are enjoying a ‘sugar-free’ January.

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a wooden board surrounded by flowers

Blueberry Chia Jam

The Blueberry Chia Jam which sandwiches the two cake layers together is also refined sugar-free and is freshly made. I adore blueberry jam and I think actually this may be my favourite way to have it as it’s beautifully soft, not tooth-achingly sweet. The ground chia seeds are used to set the jam so you only need a minimal amount of maple syrup just to bring out the flavour of the blueberries.

A bite taken from a slice of Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a plate in front of the cake

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Now, the Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I am not going to kid you, is a little more tricky than regular old swiss meringue buttercream. It’s worth cracking though because the results are sublime. You shouldn’t have any problems if you stick to the exact method I’ve outlined in the recipe but you do really need a sugar thermometer to ensure the temperature of your meringue is correct.

Maple syrup is a little more unstable than refined sugar so your buttercream may veer a little off piste if you’re not careful. However, swiss meringue buttercream is incredibly forgiving and it can always be rescued even if you think your buttercream is too soupy or if it is too greasy and the buttercream is just not coming together.

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a wooden board surrounded by flowers

Pro Tips:

  • My swiss meringue buttercream is too soupy – This means that the butter was too warm when you added it or your meringue hadn’t cooled properly to the right temperature before adding your butter. If this is the case then place your mixing bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill. Bring out and beat again until smooth.
  • My swiss meringue buttercream is curdled or greasy – Your butter might have been too cold when you added it. You can either keep on mixing and hopefully the butter will warm up and start emulsifying with the meringue. If not then warm the sides of the mixing bowl by placing over the top of a saucepan of warm water. The butter should melt slightly around the edges of the mixing bowl. Remove from the heat and beat again, hopefully your buttercream will come together.
  • Most importantly with any swiss meringue buttercream, be patient and don’t get spooked by a curdled looking buttercream. You have probably done nothing wrong and just may need to keep on beating until it comes together and forms the most delicious smooth and fluffy buttercream.

A slice of Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a plate in front of the cake

Gluten-Free Flours

The other great thing about this cake is that it is also gluten-free:

  • Oat flour – its unsurpassable butterscotch flavour which goes so perfectly with this cake but if you find oats don’t agree with you then you can substitute for sorghum flour. The taste of the cake will be different but still delicious. For more information on baking with oat flour see here.
  • Sweet Rice Flour binds the cake together, mimicking the gluten-effects of wheat and gives the cake bounce. For more information on baking with sweet rice flour see here.
  • Potato flour is used to give the cake lightness.
  • Tapioca flour is used for fluffiness and extra binding. For more information on baking with tapioca flour see here.

A slice of Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a plate in front of the cake

SHOP THE RECIPE

  • It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg
  • Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.
  • It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.
  • For the ground chia seeds I use Linwoods Milled Chia Seed, 200g which I love and you can get almost anywhere.
  • The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.
  • For checking the temperature of your meringue when making your swiss meringue buttercream don’t be without a Classic SuperFast Thermapen 3 professional food thermometer in grey colour It gives quick and accurate temperature readings meaning you can don’t have to guess at any temperatures when making candy, caramel or fancy buttercreams. I use mine all the time.
  • One piece of equipment I couldn’t do without when decorating layer cakes is this PME Tilting Turntable 14 x 23 cm. It has a super grippy surface so the cake board clings tightly to it. It also tilts which is great for when you want to add things like chocolate chips or sprinkles to the sides of the cake. I have had this cake decorating turntable for years and years and I absolutely love it.

If you make Apple Blueberry Maple Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own cake creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake on a wooden board surrounded by flowers
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake {refined sugar-free, gluten-free}

Apple Blueberry Maple Cake is refined sugar-free and gluten-free and so full of flavour. Filled with a blueberry chia jam and covered in a maple swiss meringue buttercream.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 568kcal

Ingredients

  • 200 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 45 g potato flour
  • 45 g tapioca flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 240 g medjool dates about 16, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 120 ml boiling water
  • 300 g unsweetened apple sauce*
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

Blueberry Chia Jam

  • 200 g blueberries + extra for decorating
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 8 egg whites 240g
  • 400 g maple syrup
  • 500 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line two 8 inch round cake tins.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour and potato flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon then set aside.
  • Place the dates and the boiling water in a small food processor or mini blender and blitz until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as and when you need to.
  • Pour the apple sauce, olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and date paste into a large separate mixing bowl or stand mixer and beat until completely combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after every addition.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients, one third at a time to ensure it has all mixed in evenly.
  • Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  • Turn out the cakes and cool on wire racks before filling with the jam and covering with buttercream.

Blueberry Chia Jam

  • Place all the ingredients, except for the chia seeds in a small saucepan and cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until the blueberries have broken down.
  • Blend the blueberry mixture a little bit, you don’t want it too smooth but a little bit pulpy.
  • Pour the blueberries into a small bowl and stir in the chia seeds until combined. Place in the fridge for an hour to set.

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Heat the egg whites and maple syrup in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the temperature has reached 71°C.
  • Remove from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and the temperature has reduced to about 32°C.
  • Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done, just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • Add the salt, and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly combined.

Assembly

  • The sponges often come out of the oven slightly domed and so to make the cake assembly easier I often trim the very top of the dome off each layer so they have a flatter surface to work on. Don’t trim too much or you will lose a lot of cake.
  • Place one of the sponge layers on an 8 inch cake board and pipe a circle of buttercream at the very edge of the surface of the cake to act like a dam for the blueberry jam.
  • Spread three-quarters of the blueberry jam on top of the sponge, right to the edges of the buttercream dam.
  • Place the second sponge layer on top and cover the top and the sides of the cake with the buttercream.
  • Reserve a little of the buttercream to mix with the leftover blueberry jam to pipe around the top of the cake for decoration.*
  • Decorate with extra blueberries.

Notes

*to make the apple sauce you need about 6-7 apples (I used braeburn). Peel, de-core and roughly chop them. Place them in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water and cook on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples have cooked down to a thick pulp. I blended them once they were completely soft to ensure a smooth consistency. Weigh out 300g of the sauce for the recipe.
Inspired by Snixy Kitchen's Banana Date Cake

Nutrition

Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 1.2mg

 

Almond Butter Fudgsicles

These Almond Butter Fudgsicles are an easy vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free treat to see us through this heatwave.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

Like everyone experiencing this massive heatwave we are feeling a little frayed around the edges in our house. We live in a compact railway cottage in North London and at the moment it feels like a hotbox. It seems impossible to get any room cool. All curtains are drawn throughout the day, windows as wide open as can be, extravagantly purchased oscillating tower fans constantly following us around the house. Yet still our bedrooms are measuring 30 degrees at 2am. This is weather I cannot get accustomed to. Hey, I signed up for the drizzly grey weather London is renowned for. I am a firm believer that brollies should be a staple companion and one never leaves the house without the buggy rain cover and a waterproof mac.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

No such luck at the moment. Our poor bay tree, the only plant I truly love and tend to in our garden has succumbed to the elements and boasts beautifully crisp brown leaves where luscious fragrant green ones used to be. However, the fault probably lies in the fact that I got involved in its wellbeing at all. It’s just as well that old death fingers here had astroturf laid in lieu of a lawn a few years ago so thankfully our fake grass is thriving. Not that sitting out in the garden is an option at the moment. We spend most mornings in the park or local paddling pool and those couple of hours are enough to ensure you don’t venture out for the rest of the day.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

Anything cold is a godsend in our life at the moment and I’m basically living off iced tea and salads. We are going through bags of ice and cucumber like there is no tomorrow and I’ve really been working on my vinaigrette repertoire to ensure varied meals.

I’m trying to be more mindful in my eating these days, as I’d let laziness creep into my food choices. Turns out oatcakes with almond butter are not a valid meal choice. So when the craving for a popsicle hits both Cole and I (a daily occurrence) then I need to reach for something that aren’t Tangle Twisters. Although I think they are just called Twisters these days, and not nearly as tasty as I remember either, having given into temptation a few weeks back.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

These Almond Butter Fudgsicles though have been really hitting the spot and so much more satisfying than your average popsicle. Not only are they tremendously easy to bring together, merely requiring 5 minutes, a blender and a popsicle mould. But all of the ingredients, almond butter, coconut milk, maple syrup, chocolate and salted almonds are my larder staples. They might actually all be in my top ten favourite ingredients in the larder so it is no wonder that I have become quite enamoured with these Fudgsicles.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

I think it tells a great deal about how simple these Almond Butter Fudgsicles are to make if I am getting the blender out a 9pm on a weekday, having only just got the children to sleep after a mammoth two hour settle from hell, dinner yet to be made and an episode of Marvel’s Agents of Shield waiting in the wings.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

So the fudgsicles themselves are a cinch but even the chocolate almond dip is a five minute job once the fudgsicles are frozen. Dark chocolate melted with coconut oil is a bit of a magical beast, as it freezes immediately into a hard shell as soon as it touches the fudgsicle. Meaning that you pour your coconut chocolate into a tall glass, dip your fudgsicle in and out, and then by the time you are presenting it onto parchment so you can do the next one, the chocolate is practically set. It just leaves you enough time to sprinkle in some crushed salty almonds and then you are done. I’d recommend placing them in the freezer to set nice and hard but that only takes about 10 minutes. Then they are ready for your cool down. Gosh, don’t we need it.

overhead shot of Almond Butter Fudgsicles on a wooden board

Almond Butter Fudgsicles

These Almond Butter Fudgsicles are an easy vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free treat to see us through this heatwave.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 fudgsicles
Calories: 288kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tin coconut milk 400g
  • 100 g drippy almond butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 ml maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g 70% dark vegan chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted almonds roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Pour the coconut milk, almond butter, vanilla extract, maple syrup and salt into a blender and whizz together until smooth.
  • Pour into popsicle moulds, sticking a wooden stick through each one and place in the freezer overnight to set.
  • Remove the fudgsicles from the moulds, running briefly under the hot water tap if they are proving stubborn, and place on a parchment lined baking tray and back into the freezer until ready to dip.
  • Melt the chocolate with the coconut oil in a bain marie or a metal bowl set over simmering water, then once melted pour into a glass.
  • Get your chopped almonds to hand.
  • Remove your fudgsicles from the freezer and dip in and out of the melted chocolate quickly. Place back onto the parchment lined baking tray and sprinkle with the crushed almonds.
  • Repeat with each fudgsicle then place back into the freezer for 10 minutes to set firm. At this point they are ready to eat or you can decant them into a more convenient sized freezer safe container until needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 303mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3.5mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

I used this Norpro Frozen Ice Pop Maker, for this recipe and it’s one of my favourite moulds to use. Very sturdy and easy to remove the fudgsicles if you run them briefly under hot water then they slide out.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model since it’s one of my most favourite kitchen appliances and I use it almost daily, not least to make these fudgsicles. This blender is amazing! I loved the Kitchenaid blender I had before but my Vitamix produces the smoothest smoothies, most cohesive sauces and fantastic soups. I have been using it most frequently at the moment for making my iced matcha lattes and I now could not be without it. Okay, it isn’t cheap but if you have the budget for it and you are looking to be really spoilt then I really recommend it. Plus I love the colour!!

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If you like this recipe then you may like…

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Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

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Mango Turmeric Coconut Smoothie Pops {vegan}

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Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}