With a buttery shortbread crust, a thick caramel filling made with condensed milk, and a smooth salted chocolate topping, these millionaire bars are DECADENT.
Essentially the same as a vegan caramel slice, as it's known in some parts of the world.
This recipe is a spin on my butterscotch millionaires shortbread which has a more set, almost toffee-like buttery caramel filling.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Taste - Buttery shortbread, sweet salted caramel, and salted dark chocolate.
- Texture - Easy layer is decadent and rich, with a chewy gooey caramel center.
- Level of Ease - Making caramel can be tricky. Be sure to follow the recipe closely and you'll have perfect millionaire shortbread, every time!
- Best Served - Great with a cup of tea or coffee.
- Free-From - Eggless and dairy-free, and gluten-free.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this vegan millionaire shortbread recipe from scratch:
These vegan millionaire shortbread bars are made using just 6 core ingredients, with a few optional additions.
- Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk. You can also use sweetened condensed oat milk for the caramel layer. I use Natures Charm, or homemade vegan condensed milk.
- Vegan Butter. This is a key ingredient for millionaire shortbread, so make sure you use vegan block butter (buttery sticks) and not spreadable margarine. It creates a ”buttery” shortbread crust and also helps to flavor and set the caramel.
- Sugar. I use a mix of granulated and brown sugar. Granulated sugar gives the caramel structure whereas soft brown sugar adds lovely molasses notes. Due to its slight acidity, brown sugar is also great to help prevent crystallization in caramel.
- Ground Almonds. This is used in place of flour to make these millionaire bars gluten-free. Ground almonds also add a lovely flavor and soft consistency to the shortbread base. I've included an option to make them with regular flour too!
- Dark Chocolate. You'll want good quality dark chocolate, I use one that's 70%. If you prefer milk chocolate you could try this homemade vegan milk chocolate.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Millionaires Shortbread
There are 3 parts to these decadent vegan caramel slices: shortbread crust, caramel, and chocolate topping.
- Pulse the crust ingredients in a food processor until they stick together.
- Press the dough in an even layer into the base of a pan lined with parchment paper.
- Prick the shortbread base with several holes.
- Bake until lightly browned.
- Cook the caramel ingredients (apart from the sea salt and vanilla) in a saucepan and slowly bring the temperature to 120°C (248°F). Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract if using.
- Pour the caramel on top of the shortbread crust.
- Chill for a minimum of 2-3 hours, or until set.
- Pour melted chocolate on top and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Yes, if you don't require gluten-free millionaires shortbread, you can make the base with a vegan classic shortbread crust using plain flour instead of almond flour.
The ratios of vegan butter to flour are a little different due to the lower fat content in plain flour vs. almond flour. I've included the variations in the notes of the recipe card at the end of this post.
Yes, they freeze really well. Wrap them well in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container.
Then simply defrost them in the refrigerator the night/day before serving.
Vegan millionaire slices will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. If, and that's a big "IF" you can keep your hands off of them 🙂
🍯 More Vegan Caramel Slices
- 400 g (3 ⅘ cups) ground almonds, or 300g plain flour
- 125 g (½ cup) vegan butter, or 200g if using plain flour
- 60 g (¼ cup) soft brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, optional
- 320 g (1 ⅖ cups) sweetened condensed coconut milk, or 400g for gooey caramel *see notes
- 180 g (⅘ cups) vegan butter
- 90 g (⅖ cups) soft brown sugar
- 90 g (⅖ cups) granulated sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt, optional
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- 180 g (6.35 oz) vegan dark chocolate
- 30 g (2 tbsp) vegan butter
- flaky sea salt, for garnish
- 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.Place 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. If using plain flour, the bake time will be 15-18 minutes.
- 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 vanilla if using. 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 3 hours (or overnight).
- 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. Sprinkle sea salt on top.
- 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.
- Heat the caramel sauce slowly and steadily, it should take around 15 minutes to reach the correct temperature.
- Do not overmix the caramel sauce, as this can cause crystallization.
- Stir the caramel every so often using a spatula to ensure it does not burn to the pan, however, do not whisk or constantly stir the mixture.
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*This recipe was originally published in December 2021. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the instructions.