It's official! We're going to be sharing a new millionaire's shortbread flavor here each month! You may have already seen last month's banoffee millionaires shortbread. This month's recipe is an absolute cracker of a flavor, raspberry salted caramel millionaires shortbread. With layers of gluten-free shortbread, juicy raspberry jelly, salted caramel, and luscious chocolate.
This may be an unpopular opinion but I've always been more of a lover of salted caramel and jelly than a peanut butter jelly fan. That being said, if you do want to keep creating that PBJ flavor in this recipe you can easily do so by swapping out the cashew butter in the caramel layer for peanut butter.
Ok, so let's go!!
What to expect from these millionaire bars
- Eggless and dairy-free
- Easy to make: this recipe is suitable for cooks of all skill levels whether you’re an avid home baker or a beginner
- Gluten-free: there is no gluten in the ingredients of this traybake making it suitable for coeliacs and those who need to omit wheat or gluten as part of their dietary requirements.
- Perfect with a cuppa: These raspberry caramel millionaire’s shortbread slices are absolutely perfect with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea.
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour: Or regular all-purpose flour if you don't need the recipe to be gluten-free.
- Ground almonds: With most of the shortbread recipes on this blog, I like to keep a 1:1 ratio of regular flour and either ground almonds or oat flour.
- Vegan butter: You can find vegan butter in most large supermarkets these days. You can also use solid coconut oil in its place if you'd prefer.
- Pure maple syrup: My all-time favorite liquid sweetener. You just can't beat pure Canadian maple syrup, it also adds more nutrition and flavor than using agave syrup for example.
- Sea salt: As always, I add a pinch of salt to desserts and baked goods as a flavor enhancer and to balance out the sweetness of the recipe.
- Fresh raspberries: Fresh fruit gives the jelly layer of these shortbread bars its vibrant pink color. You can also use frozen raspberries, I would suggest using about half a cup less though as they will have additional moisture content once thawed out.
- Lemon juice: A splash of lemon juice helps to bring out the flavor in the raspberry jelly.
- Agar-agar powder: The raspberry jelly layer of this vegan millionaires shortbread uses agar-agar powder as the setting agent. Regular gelatine is made from animal tissue, bones, etc, and is far from vegan-friendly. Agar-agar is derived from red algae and is an extremely powerful setting agent. Make sure you use the powdered version of agar-agar as the flakes require a different liquid ratio (or adjust the quantity accordingly if using flakes).
- Vegan chocolate: Whether you use dark chocolate or vegan milk chocolate is completely up to you! I personally love pairing dark chocolate with raspberry-flavored desserts.
- Freeze-dried raspberries: These are of course optional, but I always keep a stash of freeze-dried raspberries and strawberries as they make the prettiest garnish and also add a really intense flavor to desserts.
- Cashew butter is the main ingredient for the caramel layer! I love using cashew butter as it gives a wonderful nutty taste without being overpowering. You can of course use another nut butter if you'd prefer. Peanut butter, almond butter, and even tahini would work well.
- Coconut oil: Helps the caramel layer of these bars to set so it doesn't turn to liquid when taken from the fridge!
- Full-fat coconut milk: You'll need the full-fat canned kind. Pop the can in the fridge the night before making these vegan millionaires shortbread bars, this will separate the liquid part from the fat. Scoop out the fat part from the top of the can, this is the part you need for the recipe. You can use the leftover liquid in other recipes, try adding it to curries, soups, or even porridge to add richness.
- Vanilla extract: I LOVE adding vanilla to desserts as it creates another layer of flavor and helps to enhance the other flavors and sweetness of the recipe!
How to make this recipe
Bake the shortbread
Making the shortbread base for these caramel millionaires is super easy. All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to your food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until they form a dough.
Grease an 8" square pan with some vegan butter or oil and then line it with parchment paper. This will make life extremely easy when you want to pop the shortbread out of the baking dish later.
Press the dough into the base of the pan using either a spatula, cake scraper, or flat bottomed glass. Make sure it's smooth and even before using a fork to prick holes throughout it.
The shortbread will take anything from 15-18 minutes to bake, but it's best to check it at around 15 minutes as all ovens vary. The crust should be very lightly browned.
Make the raspberry jelly
For the jelly center, first, add the raspberries to a saucepan and get them simmering over medium heat. You'll want to keep cooking them until they become jammy, this should take about 10 minutes or so. Just make sure you stir them regularly to avoid the raspberries from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once jammy, add the raspberry mixture to your blender and blitz it up till smooth. I like to pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds, but this step is completely optional. Once smooth, add the raspberry liquid back to the saucepan along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, and agar-agar.
Next, you'll bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer for about 3 minutes. This will activate the agar-agar and allow it to set once cooled. Again, make sure you whisk or stir constantly to avoid the mixture from sticking to the pan.
Allow the jelly to cool slightly before adding it on top of the shortbread and into the freezer it goes to set.
Prepare the caramel
This layer is embarrassingly easy, you literally just add all of the ingredients to the blender and blitz until smooth. Then spread the caramel out in an even layer on top of the raspberry jelly. That's it! Now back in the freezer to set.
The chocolate layer
Melt two-thirds of the chocolate over a double-boiler. Once melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the remaining third of the chocolate, stir until melted thoroughly. Use a spatula to spread it over the caramel in an even layer. Sprinkle the freeze-dried raspberries on top (if using). Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
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. If you'd like to read more detailed instructions on how to get the perfect slices, you can read more on the Banoffee Millionaires Shortbread blog post.
Store these slices in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze any unused portions and defrost them as needed.
More vegan raspberry desserts
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- 7 oz (200 g) vegan chocolate
- ¼ cup (30 g) freeze dried raspberries, optional
- 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 jelly, add the raspberries to a saucepan and heat them on medium for about 10 minutes until they become jammy. Transfer the raspberries to your blender and blitz until smooth. Sieve the mixture to remove the seeds and add it back to the pan along with the maple syrup, lemon juice, and agar-agar.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for 3 minutes, whilst whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
- Pour the jelly on top of the shortbread base in an even layer. Place in the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the caramel by adding all of the ingredients to your food processor. Blitz for a couple of minutes until smooth and silky. Pour the caramel on top of the set jelly and use a spatula to spread it out in an even layer.
- Place back in the freezer to set for a minimum of 4 hours (overnight works well).
- Melt two-thirds of the chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the remaining third of the chocolate, stir until melted thoroughly. Use a spatula to spread it over the caramel in an even layer. Sprinkle the freeze-dried raspberries on top (if using). Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
- 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 in the fridge and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze any unused portions and defrost them as needed.
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