The Flapjack Journey

The Humble Flapjack

Its Origins, Evolution, and a Recipe to Savour

As guests at the Cape Pillars Boutique Hotel, you are likely familiar with the delight of indulging in a scrumptious, hot stack of flapjacks, lovingly garnished with a touch of melting butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. But have you ever stopped to ponder the history of this simple, yet deliciously indulgent breakfast staple? Let's take a gastronomical journey to unravel the fascinating tale of flapjacks.

Origins of Flapjacks

The term 'flapjack' originally derives from the old English word 'flap', meaning a flat cake, and 'jack', a colloquial term for a small something. However, it's important to note that flapjacks have different identities across continents. In the UK, a flapjack refers to a sweet tray-baked oat bar. However, in North America, a flapjack is a synonym for a pancake.

The history of the pancake-like flapjack dates back several centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans ate pancakes, sweetened with honey, as a staple food. The concept of these early pancakes travelled across Europe, evolving with regional influences and ingredients.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages, when 'Shrove Tuesday' or 'Pancake Day' became a tradition in the UK. On this day, people used their leftover eggs and milk to make pancakes before the start of Lent. This tradition crossed the Atlantic to the early American colonies, where it took on the familiar form of the North American flapjack.

Evolution in the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

As time progressed, the simple flapjack witnessed a significant transformation in its presentation, especially in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The rise of modern dining culture turned this humble breakfast dish into an art form.

Flapjacks began as a basic mix of flour, milk, and eggs, but as they grew in popularity, they were embellished with a variety of ingredients such as blueberries, chocolate chips, and bananas. Restaurants started offering ‘flapjack stations’ where diners could customize their stacks with a selection of fruits, nuts, syrups, and creams.

In recent years, health-conscious trends have further shaped flapjack evolution. Restaurants now offer options like vegan, gluten-free, and protein-packed flapjacks, catering to diverse dietary requirements and preferences. Today, flapjacks are no longer just a breakfast item but have found a place in brunch, dinner, and even dessert menus.

Our Chef Mel In Action

From Chef Mel

Flop Proof Flapjacks

You will need:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Sieve
  • Electric beater or whisk
  • Frying Pan
  • Egg lifter


  • 2 Eggs
  • 125 ml Sugar
  • 250 ml Milk
  • 30 ml Melted Margarine
  • 500 ml Cake Flour
  • 20 ml Baking Powder


  1. Mix eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.
  2. Add 125ml of the milk and mix.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
  4. Mix well and add the rest of the milk and melted margarine.
  5. Rest mixture for 15min.
  6. Heat up your pan with a little bit of oil.
  7. If the oil is hot add spoonful mixture in the pan.
  8. When it starts bubbling you can turn them over and bake till golden brown.

Hot with your favourite toppings like syrup, honey, fruit etc.


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