Vegan Millionaires Shortbread (Gluten Free)

These delicious vegan millionaires shortbread bars have layers of gluten-free shortbread and chewy caramel covered in chocolate. Easy to make using just 6 ingredients, they're the perfect caramel slice to enjoy alongside your cup of tea or coffee.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
5 from 7 votes

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gluten free caramel slices on a tray with sea salt flakes.

This year I’ve been sharing a new vegan millionaires shortbread recipe here every month with everything from butterscotch millionaires shortbread to peanut butter millionaires shortbread. So for December, I wanted to finish with a classic. 

These gluten-free millionaire bars are possibly the tastiest to date, what’s more they require just a few ingredients. 

Here’s what’s to love about this recipe

  • Made with just 6 ingredients 
  • Easy to make
  • Gluten-free
  • Eggless and dairy-free
  • The perfect vegan and gluten-free caramel slice!
 

gluten free caramel slices on a tray with sea salt flakes.

Ingredients overview

  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk: You can also use sweetened condensed oat milk for the caramel layer. I use Natures Charm.
  • Vegan butter: This is a key ingredient for this recipe, so make sure you use vegan block butter (buttery sticks) and not spreadable margarine. An important ingredient to get that ”buttery” shortbread crust and also helps to flavor and set the caramel.
  • Soft brown sugar: This is for the crust and the caramel layer. Due to its slight acidity, brown sugar is great for caramel and helps to prevent crystallization. 
  • 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.
  • Dark chocolate: You’ll want a good quality dark chocolate, I use one that’s 70%. If you prefer milk chocolate you could try this homemade vegan milk chocolate.
  • Sea salt: This is used in the crust and caramel as well as for garnish. Salt helps to intensify the flavor and balance the sweetness of your vegan millionaire bars.
  • Vanilla extract: This ingredient is completely optional, it just adds a little extra flavor to the caramel layer.
 

ingredients for making gluten free caramel slices on a tray.

How to make this recipe (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: Gluten-free shortbread crust

To make the shortbread base for these vegan millionaire bars, you simply blend together the ingredients until they form a uniform dough (in this case ground almonds, sea salt, vegan butter, and brown sugar).

The dough will be quite sticky, don’t worry this is normal. Scoop it out into a lined 8×8″ pan and use your fingers or a spatula to smooth it out.

Lastly, pierce several holes into the crust with a fork before baking.

Step 2: Caramel

To make the 4 ingredient caramel sauce simply add sweetened condensed coconut milk vegan butter, brown sugar, and salt to a saucepan and melt over low-medium heat.

You’ll then bring up the temperature slightly and continue to heat the caramel until lit reaches 116°C (240°F). This will take about 15 minutes. Once the caramel is done it will start to pull from the edges of the saucepan and have a sticky consistency. 

Allow the caramel to cool slightly for a couple of minutes just so it isn’t piping hot when you pour it into the baking tin. 

pouring caramel on a shortbread base for millionaire bars.

Step 3: Chocolate coating

Lastly, the chocolate coating is simply dark chocolate melted together with some vegan butter. The vegan butter helps to prevent the chocolate layer from setting rock solid, making it easier to sink your teeth into.

Recommended tools

 

Storage instructions

Place your vegan caramel slices in an airtight 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.

Expert tips

  • Once baked, the shortbread crust will fluff up and rise a little. So to counter this, I recommend using a flat bottomed glass or cup measure to compact the crust down while hot.
  • Heat the caramel sauce slowly and steadily. If you fire up the temperature too much the caramel will not have enough time to reduce and thicken properly.
  • Once your caramel gets close to the required temperature it can very quickly go over the required temperature (116°C). To make sure the caramel doesn’t overheat, set your candy thermometer to 110°C, then increase 114°C, and lastly, up to 116°C. This allows you to slowly increase the heat
  • Do not overmix the caramel sauce, as this can cause crystalization. A lot of caramel recipes use a liquid sweetener such as golden syrup which helps to prevent crystallization. But for this recipe, we’re keeping the ingredients to a minimum. 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.

 

gluten free caramel slices on a tray with sea salt flakes.

More vegan millionaires shortbread recipes

gluten free caramel slices on a tray with sea salt flakes.

Vegan Millionaires Shortbread (Gluten Free)

5 from 7 votes
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These delicious vegan millionaires shortbread bars have layers of gluten-free shortbread and chewy caramel covered in chocolate. Easy to make using just 6 ingredients, they're the perfect caramel slice to enjoy alongside your cup of tea or coffee.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings 16

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 300 g ground almonds
  • 100 g vegan block butter
  • 50 g soft brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Caramel

  • 320 g sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 175 g vegan butter
  • 100 g soft brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract optional

Chocolate coating

  • 120 g vegan dark chocolate
  • 28 g vegan block butter
  • sea salt for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Crust

  • 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 all of the crust ingredients 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 minutes until slightly browned, then remove from the oven and use a flat bottomed glass to press down and compact the shortbread. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

Caramel

  • Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk, soft brown sugar, vegan butter, salt, and vanilla (if using) to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir the mixture gently using a spatula until evenly combined. Place your candy thermometer in the caramel and continue to slowly heat the caramel until it reaches 116°C (240°F). This will take about 15 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the mixture every so often to prevent it from burning to the pan but do not over-mix. 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 (or overnight).

Chocolate coating

  • 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. Sprinkle some sea salt on top.
  • Allow it to set at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before slicing into servings.

RECIPE NOTES

Storage instructions

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.
 

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NUTRITION

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg
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