Vegan Millionaire Shortbread
This vegan millionaire shortbread tastes great paired with an afternoon cup of tea. This traditional Scottish classic consists of a crunchy, buttery shortbread base with a sweet, gooey caramel filling and a rich, chocolatey topping. The perfect treat for any occasion!
I know I say this in almost every post that I write, but this vegan millionaire shortbread, or vegan caramel slice if you’re from Scotland, is one of my favourites!
Just in case you don’t know… Millionaire shortbread is traditionally a Scottish dessert that consists of a shortbread base, a caramel filling, and a solid chocolate topping.
It’s also known as ‘caramel slice’ or ‘caramel shortbread’ but it’s thought to have been given the name millionaire’s shortbread because the ingredients are very rich.
I haven’t had a good vegan caramel slice since I gave up eggs and dairy a few years ago. There is one brand sold in the supermarkets here that I can think of but I find it to be too sickly sweet, in the same sort of way that diet Coke is. So I decided it’s high time that I post my own recipe to the blog.
I’ve recently revamped my recipe to make it even better and easier to follow. I hope you love it!
More Scottish vegan desserts:
How To Make Vegan Millionaire’s Shortbread
Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 160°C if you’re using a fan oven).
Line an 8 x 12-inch tin with baking paper, letting the paper hang over the edges. This will make it easier to remove once it’s set.
First off, you’ll need to make the shortbread layer. You’ll need three ingredients for this: plain flour, caster sugar, and vegan margarine (the spreadable kind, not the block kind).
In a large bowl, mix together 250g of plain flour and 85g of caster sugar. Then add 160g of vegan margarine to the bowl and rub it into the flour/sugar mixture using your fingers.
Use your hands to press everything together into a firm dough. If the dough is too wet, add more flour as required and if it’s too dry, add a little more margarine.
Use the back of a spoon or clean fingers to press the dough into your pan until it’s evenly flat all over.
Dock the dough all over using a fork. This will help to release some of the air so the shortbread doesn’t become puffy while baking.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until it’s firm to the touch and slightly golden at the edges.
Allow it to cool completely in the tin.
Make your caramel by adding 640g of sweetened vegan condensed milk to a non-stick pot along with 120g of vegan margarine, 100g of soft brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Place the pot on a low heat and stir continuously until the margarine has completely melted into the mixture. Then turn the heat up high and stir continuously until it reaches 118°C on a jam/candy thermometer.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you’ll know it’s ready when it begins to bubble, thicken and pull away from the edges of the pot.
Pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread base and use a spoon or spatula to spread it out to the edges. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Melt 300g of vegan chocolate (any that you like) and gently spread it over the caramel layer, being careful not to smear the two together.
Place the whole thing in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until the chocolate has completely set. Remove it from the tin, cut into pieces and enjoy!
When cutting your caramel slice, you’ll find that the chocolate on top tends to crack. To fix this, dip your knife into boiling water, dry it with a dishcloth, then carefully cut into the shortbread. The heat from the knife will ever-so-slightly melt the chocolate and prevent cracking.
How To Make Caramel Without Condensed Milk
My recipe caramel recipe calls for vegan condensed milk. But when I first created this recipe, vegan condensed milk was so hard to find and it was also very expensive, so I made one without.
How do you make vegan caramel shortbread without condensed milk, I hear you ask? It’s simple! All you need is brown sugar, soy milk and vanilla extract.
Place 250g of soft brown sugar into a large pot with 500ml of soy milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and briefly mix. It’s important to use a large pot as the caramel will bubble a lot.
Turn the heat up high and once the mixture starts to boil, stir it continuously; it will start to bubble and thicken. Keep stirring until it reaches 118°C on a jam/candy thermometer. You’ll need a lot of patience for this part because it can take a while to get there but it will come together eventually!
Pour the caramel onto your cooled shortbread base immediately and leave it for around 30 minutes before adding the chocolate on top.
You can use any kind of vegan chocolate that you like. I have a huge list of options in my chocolate guide.
If you can find it where you live, I’d recommend using vegan “milk” or plain chocolate, as that is the traditional way. I like to use Bournville chocolate as it’s cheap and convenient.
In an airtight container. It’s best to keep it in a cool, dry place such as a kitchen cupboard.
If stored appropriately as above, it will last for around 4-5 days.
It sure can. You can store the individual squares in tin foil or in an airtight container. They will last for a good month or two in the freezer.
When you’re ready to defrost it, just transfer it onto a plate and let it sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until it’s completely thawed.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it at home, please let me know what you think by leaving a rating or comment below.
Happy baking! xo
Vegan Millionaire Shortbread
A dairy-free version of the classic caramel slice!
For the shortbread layer:
- 250 g Plain flour
- 85 g Caster sugar
- 160 g Vegan margarine
For the caramel layer*
- 640 g Vegan sweetened condensed milk
- 120 g Vegan margarine
- 100 g Soft brown sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
For the chocolate layer:
- 300 g Vegan chocolate of choice
Preheat your oven to 180°C (or 160°C if you're using a fan oven).
Line an 8×12-inch rectangular tin with baking paper. Let the paper hang over the edges to allow for easy removal later on.
In a large bowl, mix the flour and sugar together. Rub the margarine into the flour and sugar using your fingers, then press everything together in your hands to form a dough. If the dough is too wet, add more flour and if it's too dry, add a small amount of margarine.
Press the dough out evenly into your tin, making sure it gets all the way to the edges. Use a fork to create small holes all over the base, which will allow air to escape while it's baking.
Bake for around 20-25 minutes, until the edges are very lightly golden. Allow it to cool completely in the tin.
For the caramel layer:
Add the condensed milk, margarine, brown sugar and vanilla into a large non-stick pot. Turn the heat to low and gently stir every so often until the margarine has completely melted.
Once all of the ingredients have melted together, turn the heat up to high. Stir continuously until the mixture reaches 118°C. I recommend using a candy/jam thermometer for best results but you can also tell that it's ready when it begins to thicken slightly and pull away from the edges of the pot.
Pour the caramel over your cooled shortbread and gently spread it out to the edges. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
For the chocolate layer:
Melt the chocolate in a pot over a low heat then pour it over your caramel shortbread. Gently spread it out to the edges, being careful not to smear it into the caramel.
Place it in the fridge for 2-3 hours until the chocolate layer has completely set, then cut into pieces and enjoy!
- I have tested the caramel recipe using Nature’s Charm and Nestle condensed milk and they both worked similarly.
- *If you want to make your millionaire shortbread without condensed milk, there is a recipe in the post above. Alternatively, you can substitute it for my 5-minute caramel recipe if you want something quick and easy.
- Dip your knife into boiling water (and dry it) before cutting the shortbread. This will prevent the chocolate from cracking.