A delicious and festive spin on vegan millionaire shortbread, these caramel slices have a spiced gingerbread crust, ginger caramel, and chocolate.
And of course, they're topped with homemade vegan gingerbread cookies for good measure! This irresistible Christmas traybake has it ALL.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Taste - Sweet ginger caramel, warming gingerbread spices, a hint of molasses, and rich chocolate.
- Texture - Firm yet buttery, I've included options to make a firm caramel or a softer version with a great caramel pull.
- Level of Ease - You'll need a candy thermometer to ensure the caramel turns out perfect!
- Best Served - Great for Christmas with a cup of tea or coffee. They also make a great addition to festive cookie boxes.
- Free-From - Eggless and dairy-free, with the option to make it gluten-free.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this gingerbread caramel slice recipe from scratch:
- Gingerbread Spices. A blend of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Vegan Butter. An important ingredient to get that ”buttery” shortbread crust. It is also a key ingredient for that caramel filling. It’s important to use vegan block butter here and not margarine, as the water content in margarine is too high.
- Molasses. This really accentuates that gingerbread flavor by adding warmth and additional acidity and spice to the shortbread base.
- Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk. You can also use sweetened condensed oat milk for the caramel layer. I use Natures Charm.
- Sugar. A combination of granulated sugar for structure and soft brown sugar for that delicious caramelizes flavor.
- Dark Chocolate. You can use vegan milk chocolate or dark chocolate depending on your taste. You could also try topping them with homemade vegan milk chocolate too!
You'll also need some homemade vegan gingerbread cookies to top the ginger caramel slices. Plus some optional gingernut cookies if you want some extra crunch!
- Blend the ingredients in a food processor (vegan butter, gingerbread spices, molasses, and sea salt) together until a dough is formed.
- Press the dough into the base of a pan lined with parchment paper.
- Place a sheet of parchment on top of the gingerbread and use a flat-bottomed glass to smooth out the surface. Then peel away the parchment.
- Prick the gingerbread base with several holes and bake until lightly browned.
- Cook the caramel ingredients (apart from the ginger) temperature up to 120°C (248°F) and make sure to stir every so often to prevent the mixture from burning to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the ground ginger.
- Pour the ginger caramel on top of the gingerbread crust and chill until set.
- Pour melted chocolate on top of the set caramel layer.
- Spread the chocolate in an even layer with a spatula or by moving the pan around to get even coverage.
- Top with gingerbread cookies and crushed ginger nut biscuits before the chocolate sets!
- Slice into portions once the chocolate topping has set.
These bars will last in the fridge for up to a week. Make sure that the container you're keeping them in is airtight.
Alternatively, you can freeze them in a sealed container and defrost them for an hour or two before serving.
Make sure you use a sharp knife, blunt knives won't do you any favors here!
You can use a measuring tape to carefully mark out the slices if you want them to be exact.
Cut slowly, applying pressure to the chocolate until you can see that the knife has made its way through it, then press down to cut through the caramel and biscuit layers.
🍯 More Vegan Caramel Slices
- 235 g (1 ⅘ cups) plain flour
- 125 g (½ cup) vegan butter
- 35 g (3 tbsp) soft brown sugar
- 50 g (2.5 tbsp) molasses, or black treacle
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 320 g (1 cup) vegan condensed milk, or 400g for gooey caramel *see notes
- 180 g (⅘ cup) vegan butter
- 90 g (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 75 g (⅓ cup) soft brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 180 g (1 cup) vegan dark chocolate
- 30 g (2 tbsp) vegan butter
- ¼ batch vegan gingerbread cookies, crushed
- 4 gingernut biscuits, optional
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a square 8" pan or rectangular 9" pan with some oil or vegan butter, then line it with parchment paper.
- Make the crust: In your food processor, combine all of the crust ingredients until they stick together to form a dough. Evenly press the dough into the base of the pan. Then add a sheet of parchment paper on top of the crust and compact it down by smoothing it out with a flat-bottomed glass. Peel off the parchment, and use a fork to prick the dough several times.
- Bake: Bake for 14-15 minutes until slightly browned, then allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Make the caramel: Add the condensed milk, white and brown sugar, and butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Continue to heat whilst stirring. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and heat until it reaches 120°C (248°F). Remove from the heat and stir in the sea salt and ground ginger. Allow the caramel to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Assemble: Pour the caramel over the shortbread base and allow it to reach room temperature before transferring it to the fridge for at least 2-3 hours (or overnight).Make vegan gingerbread cookies if using them.
- Make 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. Add the gingerbread cookies and crushed ginger nut biscuits on top of the chocolate before it sets.
- Serving: Allow the slice to set at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before slicing it into servings.Cut slowly, applying pressure to the chocolate until you can see that the knife has made its way through it, then press down to cut through the caramel and biscuit layers.
- Storage: Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze them in a sealed container and defrost them for an hour or two before serving.
- For a gooey caramel layer, use 400g of vegan condensed milk instead of 320g.
- You can use homemade vegan white chocolate in place of regular chocolate, or sprinkle some pecans, peanuts, or almonds on top of the chocolate layer before it sets.
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*This recipe was originally published in November 2021. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions.