It's the beginning of the month which means one thing here, a new millionaire's shortbread recipe! If you're looking for a dessert that's on the healthier side, look away now, or perhaps head over to my Banoffee Millionaires Shortbread!
This one has got all the vegan butter and refined sugar, and that's ok because this is a desserts blog after all. And these ingredients are vital for recreating that authentic "butterscotch" flavor and toffee-like texture.
These butterscotch millionaires shortbread bars pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, and as a little treat for that midday slump! They can be stored at room temperature for five days or so, so you can carry them with you on the go.
This recipe is:
- Velvety and rich
- Very buttery
- Suitable for storing at room temperature
- A guaranteed crowd-pleaser
- Perfect with a cuppa!
- All-purpose flour: to keep this recipe suitable for coeliacs and those on a gluten-free diet, be sure to use gluten-free all-purpose flour. The best gluten-free flour to use will be made up of a blend of several flours such as rice flour, millet flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. It will vary depending on what brand you use, but the most important thing is to go with a blend, not a single ingredient flour. You can of course also use regular all-purpose flour if you don’t need the recipe to be gluten-free.
- Ground almonds: or almond flour is used to make the shortbread along with the all-purpose flour at a ratio of 50:50.
- Pure maple syrup: the liquid sweetener for the shortbread, you can also use agave syrup. You’ll also need a pinch of sea salt.
- Vegan butter: this is an important ingredient to get that "buttery" shortbread crust. It is also a key ingredient for the butterscotch caramel filling. It's important to use vegan butter here and not margarine, as the water content in margarine is too high, and changing the water content of the caramel can cause the recipe to fail!
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk: another key ingredient for the butterscotch filling. It gives an amazingly silky smooth finish to the caramel.
- Coconut cream: or if using coconut milk, you'll need the full-fat canned kind. And refrigerate it overnight to make sure you can scoop out the fat part from the top of the can to use (you can reserve the liquid part for adding to curries, soups, or smoothies!). Again, it's important to go for full fat in order to limit the water content of the caramel - trust me, I've tried lol.
- Caster sugar: nothing glamorous here, but there is a fair amount of sugar in the caramel in order to create the "fudge" filling. If you're based in the US, go for an organic one to ensure it's vegan-friendly.
- Vanilla extract: a little vanilla adds a subtle flavor to the butterscotch caramel.
- Vegan Chocolate: I’d recommend using vegan milk chocolate if you can get your hands on it such as Nomo but if not, a good quality vegan dark chocolate will work too! You can also make your vegan milk chocolate if preferred.
How to make this recipe
(full recipe and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this page)
Making the shortbread crust for the millionaires shortbread is super easy. Simply add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blitz until they stick together to form a dough. Press the dough into the base of an 8-inch square pan that's been lined with a little parchment paper.
Once the crust is nice and compact and smooth, use a fork to prick the dough several times. Bake in an oven that's been preheated to 175°C (350°F) for about 15-18 minutes, until slightly browned. Allow the crust to cool to room temperature.
Butterscotch toffee filling
Note: You'll need a candy thermometer to make the butterscotch toffee filling, as it needs to be at a specific temperature in order to work. So I don't recommend attempting this recipe without one.
To prepare the filling first add the vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once it's melted, you can then add the remaining ingredients (sweetened condensed coconut milk, caster sugar, coconut cream, sea salt, and vanilla extract). Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan, or keep it nearby and check the temp every couple of minutes.
Continue to heat the ingredients whilst stirring until the temperature reaches 120°C (248°F) - this usually takes between 10-15 minutes. Once the correct temperature has been achieved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the caramel mixture to cool slightly for about five minutes.
Give the caramel another good stir before pouring it over the shortbread base. Allow the tray to sit out for 20 minutes or so until it reaches room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to chill for at least two hours, or overnight if preferred.
To keep in line with the butterscotch theme of this vegan millionaires shortbread they're coated in a mixture of chocolate and vegan butter. The vegan butter helps to keep the chocolate a little softer, making it more pleasant to bite into, it also adds a buttery flavor!
The chocolate and butter are melted together over a bain-marie (double boiler) and stirred thoroughly. Next spread the chocolate coating on top of the caramel in an even layer using a spatula. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cutting into servings.
To slice, place a sharp knife in a jug of boiling water to heat it. Wipe the knife dry and gently cut, allowing the heat from the knife to melt through the slices.
More vegan millionaires shortbread recipes
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- 1 cup (125 g) gluten-free all purpose flour, use plain flour if not gluten-free
- 1 cup (112 g) ground almonds
- 4 tbsp (60 g) vegan butter
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup
- ¼ tsp (1.25 g) sea salt
- 8.8 oz (250 g) vegan butter
- 11.25 oz (320 g) vegan sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 1 cup (200 g) caster sugar
- ½ cup (120 g) coconut cream
- ½ tsp (2.5 g) sea salt
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
- 6.3 oz (180 g) vegan chocolate
- 2 tbsp (30 g) vegan butter
- sea salt or maldon sea salt flakes, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a square 8" pan with some oil or vegan butter, then line with parchment paper.
- In your food processor, combine the gluten-free flour, almond flour, vegan butter, maple syrup, and salt until the ingredients stick together to form a dough. Evenly press the dough into the base of the pan and smooth it out with a spatula or flat bottomed glass. With a fork, gently prick the dough several times.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until slightly browned, then allow to cool to room temperature.
- For the butterscotch filling, add the vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to heat whilst stirring. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and heat until it reaches 116°C (240°). Remove from the heat and allow the caramel to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Pour the caramel over the shortbread base and allow it to reach room temperature before transferring to the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
- For the coating melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Stir until melted thoroughly. Use a spatula to spread it over the caramel in an even layer. Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before slicing into servings.
- To slice, place a sharp knife in a jug of boiling water to heat it. Wipe the knife dry and gently cut, allowing the heat from the knife to melt through the slices.
- Store these slices in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze any unused portions and defrost them as needed.
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