June 18, 2020


My friend Gaynor often makes flapjack (or is it flapjacks plural, I'm never sure which) using condensed milk and, every time I taste it (them), I hassle her to give me the recipe.  Then one day she did but I'll be blowed if I can find where I filed it.

This might be because although I'm an enthusiastic consumer of flapjack (or flapjacks) I rarely make them.  About once every five years at the most in fact.  So although I enthusiastically vowed to make the recipe without delay, obviously some time has passed and …… it was mislaid.  Or misfiled.  It will turn up because everything does, eventually.

The thing about flapjack made with condensed milk is that it is not of the dry, crispy, "make an appointment to see the dentist now, just in case" motorway services kind of flapjack.  It's deliciously squidgy, chewy, crumbly and almost fudgy.  Utterly delicious.  You can add things to it, such as chocolate chips, chopped ginger or apricots, but for my first venture into the world of condensed milk flapjack I just wanted it au nature.

Luckily there are a few other recipes for flapjack made with condensed milk to be found on the internet.  I chose this one because it made a smallish quantity.  Some seem to make enough to feed a football team.  Even two football teams at half time.  I just wanted enough to take on a picnic.  It was to be a three person socially distanced picnic with my brother.
For twelve weeks he has hardly been out of the house for fear of the Armageddon beyond his front door.  We decided to meet somewhere between his house and ours and chose the public park at Darley Dale.
It's a lovely spot and we were lucky with the weather.  It was a beautiful sunny day, but not too hot, so just right for a leisurely stroll around the park to take in the duck pond, the croquet lawn and the bowling green.  There were plenty of people there but the paths are wide and nobody had to break the social distancing rule of 2m in order to get around.

There are also plenty of benches around the park to take the weight off the feet and enjoy a picnic of coffee from a flask and home made flapjack.  All of the benches seemed to be quite ancient, most being engraved with the name of a local person who had presumably enjoyed the park decades before.
I couldn't help wondering how one qualified to have one's name commemorated on a park bench.

As opposed to on the side of the bowling green litter bin!
125g butter
100g golden syrup
90g golden caster sugar
280g porridge oats
Half a 400g tin of condensed milk (I used just over half)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Line a 20cm (8") square tin with baking paper.  Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 fan / gas mk4.
Put the butter, syrup and sugar into a large non stick pan and heat gently until the butter has melted.  Stir often and do not let it boil.
Add the condensed milk and vanilla and heat for a further 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the oats.
Pour into the tin and level the top.  If anything have the edges slightly thicker than the middle as the edges will then be less likely to brown or burn too quickly.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges are brown and the centre turning golden.
Leave in the tin for 20 minutes then lift out and cut into 16 squares.  This makes nice deep squares but if you use a larger tin you could make shallower fingers.
Cuts into 16 flapjack(s).


  1. I had no idea flapjack(s?) could be made with condensed milk. This is an exciting revelation for me!

    Looks like you found a perfect picnic spot too. The litter bin is hilarious. What a weird place for a commemorative plate.

    1. Jo, they are highly recommended. The picnic party wolfed them down and the remainder didn't last beyond the next day.

  2. Likewise -- I've never heard of condensed milk flapjacks (yes, the plural surely has an 's'!) Anyway, I will save on my 'to try' recipe spreadsheet (saved in My Docs on my laptop's desktop).

    1. Susan, I'm sure you or Simon will have had them at Gaynor's and if I was as well organised as you are I might not have lost the recipe she sent me!
      As it happens, I used French condensed milk (lait concentré sucré). It was a tin that had been in the cupboard for years and we brought it back to the UK last autumn, thinking it was time it was used up. I think my brother bought it when he stayed in the previous house on holiday one time, thinking it was just milk! It had a price label on it suggesting it was bought in the village shop.

  3. Like you I hardly ever make flapjacks and I've never used condensed milk but these do sound truly yummy. Maybe I'll try some when I'm not trying really hard to avoid lockdown sugar overload.
    I have very fond memories of the Darley Dale area from the 1980s and 90s like the time I set fire to a barbecue. Happy days, although obviously I'm not allowed back.

    1. Phil, I think I remember reading something about your misdemeanours in the Matlock Mercury!!

  4. Flapjack - singular while still a rectangle, plural when cut up into squares.

    As I said before, my presence here is fraudulent since I do not cook or bake. I did cook between mid-1995 when I retired and up to the end of 1997 when my wife retired, but my reminiscences about that period tend to shock real cooks to their very bones.

    My repertoire consisted of fifteen dishes (spag. bol., fish pie, lasagne, stir fry, curried eggs, chili with beans (not rice), macaroni cheese, "soup and a sandwich", corned beef hash, boiled bacon spread over two meals, etc). The idea was to eliminate any trace of inventiveness or originality. I started with Dish 1 and proceeded unvaryingly to Dish 15 halfway through the month. Then I started again with Dish 1.

    You may imagine that my wife (a good cook) would have resented coming home from work to this boring succession of evening meals, but far from it. She was delighted. "Anything not to have to cook". In my own defence I did all the dishes from scratch - thus the white sauces in the fish pie and the lasagne started out as a roux (I think that's how you spell it).

    But then fat men d'un certain age, who have difficulty getting out of bed, watch football matches without having done any kicking since their teens. For me the creation of cakes is akin to necromancy; so regard me as that indistinct hunchback a hundred metres away, watching on admiringly, trying to figure out The Kitchen Game.

    1. Roderick, thanks for the clarification of the use of the word flapjack, it makes sense. You should try making them...dead easy and something to add to your repertoire.

  5. "Dead easy," you say. More like, "dead from nervous exhaustion". A good outcome is never certain until the cooked thing is eaten and nobody is rolling on the floor in convulsions.