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This recipe is one of those elusive gems… the ‘I made this completely by accident while trying to make something else, but it turned out great!’ gems. Yeah.
Would you believe these were originally supposed to be Flapjacks? Go ahead, you can laugh. I’ll wait.
Done? Okay. Yeah, I laughed at me too, after I was done being completely baffled by my utterly random baking adventure.
So one day I decided to some baking with Gray. I had some overly ripe bananas and remembered a Banana Flapjack recipe that would be easy and kid friendly.
Only, half way through weighing out the oats (only, perhaps, the most important ingredient of all!) I discovered I didn’t have enough. Ah.
I threw open the cupboard in a panic, certain I had picked up another box and breathed a sigh of relief when I spotted it. A box of instant oatmeal.
Yes, that’s right. Instant oatmeal, which is in no way the same consistency as basic oats.
‘Ah well’ I said to myself, ‘we can’t really go to the shops right now, and it’ll just be slightly less chunky, right?’
You see I don’t eat Porridge or Oatmeal, I cannot stand the texture. I was both naive and optimistic. I could feel the dread climbing as I poured the stuff onto the scales to finish weighing out what we needed. It was like powder.
I decided to try it anyway, we were half way through prep and Gray was having a world of fun smashing bananas.
They certainly didn’t turn out like Flapjacks. But what we did have were gorgeous, filling, (mostly) healthy squares that tasted like a cross between oaty muffins and banana cake.
Super dense, with an intense banana flavour and incredibly filling, these little beauties make the perfect quick and easy breakfast!
They freeze like a charm! I made sure to freeze half the batch immediately as we were eating them so quick! I found that for myself, three squares (with Nutella on top, because O.M.G. the flavour combo) was enough to fill me up for breakfast. I didn’t even find I felt hungry before lunch!
Here is the recipe!
Baked Banana Oatmeal Squares
100g/4oz light brown or muscovado sugar
2 heaped tbsp. golden syrup
1/2tsp baking powder
2 medium, very ripe bananas, mashed
200g/8oz porridge oats
150g/5oz instant powdered oatmeal
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F, butter and line a square cake tin
- Melt butter, sugar and syrup together until dissolved, but don’t boil
- Mix together oats, baking powder, pinch of salt and instant oatmeal until well combined, add mashed bananas and mix again
- Add melted butter, sugar and syrup into the oatmeal/banana mixture, until everything is well combined
- Tip into prepared pan and smoosh down with your hand until even
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until top is beginning to turn golden brown and feels firm
- Cut mix into squares and leave to cool (I cut 24!)
- If freezing, place squares into ziplock bag but lay bag flat with squares not touching until fully frozen, then store as convenient
- Will keep in air tight tub in the fridge about three days, they didn’t last longer in our house!
My personal recommendation for enjoying these is to warm for ten seconds in the microwave then spread Nutella on top, the flavour combo is insane.
The original recipe for the flapjacks, if you’re interested, was exactly the same minus the instant oatmeal, so 350g/12oz porridge oats instead, plus a pinch of cinnamon. The instructions were also exactly the same, but they recommended removing to a wire rack before cutting.
I got the original recipe from this book: 101 Cakes and Bakes, by the BBC books – Good Food range.
I have had this book for roughly twelve years! (Since I started University) and my copy is now a dog-eared, sticky, stained mess due to use, wear and me being a messy baker!
I cannot recommend this little book enough. It has some of the best staple baking recipes I have ever tried, including my favourite cookie recipe which I’ve no doubt will end up with its own post eventually! For a fiver, this book has been worth every penny and then some over and over in my house.
Go ahead and give these squares a try, why not add that pinch of cinnamon, or some raisins, or even chocolate chips? Let me know how it goes!