This recipe is a paid collaboration with Natures Charm, all views are my own. 

We're all about hybrid desserts like this banoffee millionaires shortbread here on Addicted to Dates. But this time, we're doing it with a fall twist!

I must admit I do love a good toffee apple. Sometimes with that hard caramel shell, they can be a little bit difficult to eat. So I went on a mission to create a less conventional but delicious vegan caramel slice version of the toffee apple. This vegan combines the flavor of the popular toffee apple with the British classic millionaire's shortbread in one delicious traybake.

stack of vegan toffee millionaire shortbread bars with apples.Pin

Ingredients overview

  • Plain flour: If you want to keep these vegan millionaire bars gluten-free, opt for gluten-free all-purpose flour.
  • Vegan butter: An important ingredient to get that ”buttery” shortbread crust. It is also a key ingredient for the toffee apple filling. It’s important to use vegan butter here and not margarine, as the water content in margarine is too high.
  • Apple: Grated fresh apple is added to the shortbread crust. This is in place of vegan milk which I would usually add to shortbread recipes. The apple brings both moisture and flavor to the crust.
  • Ground cinnamon: This is optional, but I like adding it to the shortbread crust to bring out the apple flavor.
  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk: This is the main ingredient for the toffee apple caramel layer of this recipe. I use Natures Charm. You can also use homemade vegan condensed milk.
  • Apple puree: Or unsweetened apple sauce, is what helps bring that toffee apple flavor to the caramel slice.
  • Cornflour: Or cornstarch if you're based in the US. This is a thickening agent for the caramel layer.
  • Soft brown sugar: This is used for the caramel layer and gives a delicious toffee flavor.
  • Vegan Chocolate: Use a good quality dairy-free dark or vegan "milk" chocolate.
  • Sea salt: This helps to enhance the flavors and balance the sweetness of these toffee apple millionaires.
ingredients for making vegan millionaire shortbread with condensed coconut milk.Pin

How to make vegan millionaires shortbread (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Step 1: Shortbread base

Making the shortbread base is probably the easiest part of this recipe. You'll just add all of the ingredients to your food processor and blend for 30-60 seconds until they 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 and bake until slightly browned.

Step 2: Toffee apple-infused caramel

First, make a paste with the cornflour and apple puree to prevent the cornflour from clumping together in the caramel sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple puree and cornflour until they form a paste.

Add the apple puree cornflour paste to a saucepan along with all of the other ingredients for the caramel and melt over a medium heat whilst stirring. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and heat until it reaches 116°C (240°F), stirring with a spatula regularly to avoid the caramel from burning to the bottom of the pan. 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 it to the fridge for at least 2 hours to set (or overnight).

Step 3: Chocolate topping

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 set completely at room temperature for at least 20-30 minutes before slicing into servings.

making vegan caramel slice.Pin

Expert Tips

How to slice millionaire shortbread bars

Slicing a millionaire shortbread traybake without cracking it is a little bit of an art form. But once you know, you know!

Take a large sharp knife, a chef’s knife ideally if you have one at home. If you want to be a real stickler you can get your measuring tape for this next bit, very gently mark out the cuts of where you want your slices/bars to be with the knife.

Next, fill a jug with some hot water, I like to use my blender jugGrab a clean tea towel and keep that to hand, now dip your knife in the hot water and wipe it clean. Cut slowly, applying pressure to the pre-cut knife markings until you can see that the knife has made its way through the chocolate, then press down to cut through the caramel and biscuit layers. And there you have it, a perfectly clean cut.

vegan millionaire shortbread squares.Pin

Additions

  • Caramel shards: Little shards of hard caramel bring some crunch to these millionaire bars. Although this step is optional, it really does remind me of the coating found on toffee apples. Full instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
  • Sea salt: I love adding a good pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes to the top of these caramel slices. The sweet and salty combination is so delicious.
  • Dried apple slices: Take the apple flavor to the next level by topping the bars with some dried or these dehydrated apple slices from The Spruce Eats.

Storage instructions

These bars are best when stored in the fridge. Make sure that the container you're keeping them in is air-tight. They will last in the fridge for up to a week, alternatively, you can freeze them in a sealed container and defrost them for an hour or two before serving. 

millionaire shortbread squares with toffee apple.Pin

More vegan millionaire shortbread

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!

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Vegan Toffee Apple Millionaires Shortbread

5 from 8 votes
PREP TIME: 40 mins
Chilling Time: 2 hrs 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 16
PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE

Description

A delicious fall twist on the vegan caramel slice. These vegan toffee apple millionaires shortbread bars have an apple infused shortbread and caramel. Completely dairy free and vegan with a gluten free option.

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 ½ cups (188 g) plain flour
  • 3.53 oz (100 g) vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons (24 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) apple puree, (unsweetened apple sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) fresh apple, grated
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.5 g) sea salt

Caramel

Chocolate Topping

  • 6.3 oz (180 g) vegan chocolate
  • 1 oz (30 g) vegan butter

Caramel shards (optional topping)

  • ¾ cup (150 g) caster sugar, (superfine sugar)
  • 2 ½ tbsp (55 g) golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vegan butter

Instructions

Base

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a square 8" pan with some oil or vegan butter, then line with parchment paper.
  • To your food processor, add all of the base ingredients and blend for 30-60 seconds until they 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.

Caramel

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the apple puree and cornflour until they form a paste, set aside. 
  • Add the apple puree cornflour paste to a saucepan along with all of the other ingredients for the caramel and melt over a medium heat whilst stirring. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and heat until it reaches 116°C (240°F), stirring with a spatula regularly to avoid the caramel from burning to the bottom of the pan. 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 to set (or overnight).

Chocolate topping

  • 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 to set completely at room temperature for at least 20-30 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.

Caramel shards

  • Grease a baking tray with cooking oil and set aside.
  • Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, apple cider vinegar and vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over a medium heat, stirring until smooth.
  • Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and heat until it reaches 148°C (298°F), stirring with a spatula regularly to avoid the caramel from burning to the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and pour into the greased baking tray.
  • Allow to set completely at room temperature before chopping the caramel into shards to place on top of the millionaires. 

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 681IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
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