If you love the sweet treat, Millionaire’s Shortbread (aka caramel shortbread), but often find vegan versions too sweet or just too expensive, try my quick and easy method!
I have yet to visit a coffee shop that doesn’t sell their own version of Millionaire’s Shortbread (Costa’s version is called Billionaire’s Shortbread but don’t let their hubris fool you, it’s just white chocolate with gold sprinkles). However, none seem to sell a vegan version, and supermarket versions are often a little lacklustre or just downright expensive.
My version uses store cupboard ingredients, although you might have to pop out and buy a can of vegan condensed milk. I use Nestle’s brand, although Biona also do a condensed coconut milk and Nature’s Charm do a condensed oat milk.
Table of Contents
What is Millionaire’s Shortbread?
Vegan Millionaire’s shortbread is a three layer biscuit/cake comprising of a shortbread base, a thick caramel layer, topped with a luxurious layer of melted chocolate. It is, as you might assume, incredibly rich and very sweet. Usually cut into small (or not so small) squares, it is a decadent vegan treat, but one that is easy to make, and the best news is, you can freeze the squares so you’re not tempted to eat them all!
My Easy Foolproof Vegan Shortbread
The shortbread for this recipe is proper shortbread, but it is soooo simple to make. Simply pop all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (or hands-free mixer) and mix until you have a nubbly mixture. Tip this crumbly mixture into your lined tin and press firmly to the edges, then bake!
You can also turn this into shortbread fingers, simply cool for a couple of minutes after baking, then cut into fingers whilst still warm. Sprinkle with some sugar.
- plain flour and semolina
- vegan butter
- sugar, white and brown
- vegan condensed milk
- dark chocolate
- sea salt
Place all the ingredients for the shortbread layer in a mixing bowl and mix until you have a crumbly dough.
Tip the crumbly dough into the prepared lined tin and press firmly. Bake for 40 mins at 150c. Cool.
Place the butter, brown sugar and vegan condensed milk into a saucepan and cook until you have a thick caramel (it will be ready to feel it start to “tighten up” when you’re stirring. You still need it to be at pourable thickness.
Pour the caramel over your cooled shortbread. It will still be quite thin when you pour it so don’t panic, but it will set up really quickly!
Melt the chocolate and pour over the cooled caramel. Spread evenly. Chill.
Once the chocolate is set, cut into squares.
Hint: if you are cooking in hot weather refrigerate the shortbread dough in the tin before baking for a more even bake. I would recommend this especially with shortbread cookies as if they’re too warm, they can lose their shape during baking.
- Dark Chocolate – use a vegan milk or white chocolate for the topping instead of dark
- Flour – use gluten free plain flour instead of white to make this gluten free (check the condensed milk for allergens though)
Deluxe – add a sprinkle of sea salt to the chocolate layer before it sets to make it a Billionaire’s Shortbread!
Kid friendly – use vegan milk chocolate or white chocolate for the topping instead, and cut into smaller squares.
You can prep the shortbread in advance by baking it, leaving it cool, then covering it, in the tin, before you’re ready for the caramel. You could do this a couple of days in advance.
Once you’ve made your caramel shortbread, I keep mine in the refrigerator, as the caramel can get soft at room temperature, but it will last in the fridge for up to a week.
If you want to freeze it, cut it into squares, chill it, then wrap the squares individually in clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer when you need a sugar hit, and let defrost at room temperature.
To cut your vegan millionaire’s shortbread, use a hot sharp knife (I run mine under the hot tap, then dry it with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper) to slice through the chocolate layer without it splintering. Frankly I have never found this method to work particularly well but I think that’s me and every other baker recommends it!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Perfect Vegan Millionaires Shortbread Recipe
- 1 baking tin, 9" x 9" square, lined
- 100 g Butter - vegan
- 100 g Brown sugar
- 370 g Condensed Milk - vegan
- 200 g Chocolate - vegan, of your choice
To make the shortbread layer
- Preheat oven to 150c.
- Place all the shortbread ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and, using a wooden spoon, or in a hands-free mixer, mix well until the mixture starts to clump together.
- Tip into your prepared baking tin and press mixture down firmly.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until pale golden brown but feels firm to the touch.
- Leave to cool in the pan.
To make the caramel layer
- Place the butter, brown sugar and vegan condensed milk into a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Turn up the heat, stirring constantly, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, still stirring, and cook until thickened, 5-10 minutes.
- Pour this over your cooled shortbread and leave to cool.
To make the chocolate topping layer
- Either on a double boiler or in the microwave, melt the chocolate until it is pourable and glossy.
- Pour over the caramel and leave to set.
- Use a hot knife (I run mine under a hot tap then dry it) to cut into squares.
Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.