Vegan Millionaires Shortbread! Those words need a little extra punctuation don’t you think? Oh, and before we get started, I thought I’d let you know that this recipe is gluten-free too! Don’t worry this isn’t the kind of recipe where caramel is subbed with dates and the shortbread is made from pulsed up nuts.
We’re talking about layers of buttery baked shortbread, silky smooth caramel and rich creamy chocolate. These bars are the peak of decadence! If you have a point to prove about eating vegan and gluten-free this millionaires shortbread will do all the talking.
What do you need to know before you make this vegan Millionaires shortbread?
This recipe is essentially three mini recipes rolled into one. Start by making the shortbread, which has a simple method and ingredients list. While the shortbread is cooling make your caramel. The most important part of making caramel is ensuring it doesn’t crystalize and the easiest way to do that is to keep a lid on the pot while you dissolve and cook the sugar. Once the shortbread has cooled, pour the caramel over the biscuit base and leave it to set. To finish melt the chocolate, add a little coconut cream (which will prevent the chocolate from cracking when slicing) and pour over the caramel.
Hate scrolling through reams of text before you get to the recipe? Me too! I’ve included all the recipe notes at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. Everything you need to know about this vegan millionaires shortbread recipe is there, including answers to your questions and ingredient/substitution suggestions. If you find this useful I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
For the shortbread
- 165g non-dairy butter
- 80g light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 250g gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum, leave out if your flour contains xanthan
- generous pinch of fine sea salt
For the caramel
- 1 x real vegan caramel recipe
For the chocolate
- 200g 70% dairy-free chocolate
- 50g coconut cream, solid part only
- flaky sea salt, optional
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and sift in the flour, xanthan gum and salt. Mix to combine and form into a smooth dough.
Grease and line a 28cm x 22cm tray with baking paper (make sure the baking paper comes up along the sides of the baking tray for when you add the caramel and chocolate layer). Press the dough into the tin and smooth to an even thickness with wet hands/off-set spatula/plastic baking spatula. Prick the dough with a fork and chill in the fridge for 30mins – 1hr.
When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 160C. Bake the shortbread for 20mins. Set to one side to cool.
Make the caramel while the shortbread is cooling. Let the caramel stand for 5-10 minutes before pouring over the shortbread. The caramel should be pourable but slightly cooled and thickened.
Place a dry heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted remove the bowl from the heat (don’t let the chocolate get too hot, 2 minutes on the heat should be plenty). Add the coconut cream and stir until it is fully incorporated into the chocolate. Pour the chocolate over the caramel smoothing it with an overset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
Allow to fully set for 30mins before slicing.
NOTES: Vegan Millionaires Shortbread
I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour and love the way it performs.
If you’re in the US try Bob’s Red Mill One for One gluten-free flour or King Arthurs all-purpose gluten-free flour.
Xanthan gum (what is it and do I have to use it?)
Xanthan gum is a binder made through the process of fermenting simple sugars. In this recipe, xanthan gum helps hold the shortbread together in the absence of natural binders like eggs and gluten.
I have only tested the recipe with xanthan gum so if you choose not to use it, I can’t guarantee the recipe will work.
You will get the best results from the shortbread and the caramel by using a solid vegan butter. In the UK and Europe try Naturli Vegan Block. In the US I know the solid vegan butter brands are Earth Balance, Miyoko or Country Crock Plant Butter.
The best kind of coconut cream for this recipe is one that has a thick layer of solid cream at the top. Try shaking the tin while you’re in the store, you’re looking for one that sounds solid rather than liquidy.
Alternatively, place your coconut cream in the fridge overnight to thicken.
Scoop out the thicken cream and allow it to come to room temperature before adding to your caramel and chocolate. Do not add cold coconut cream to either.
Dark chocolate is usually the easiest to find vegan and 70% cocoa solids is a great sweet spot. At 70% you’re pretty much guaranteed good quality chocolate without it being too bitter.
If you can find 60% this will make your chocolate layer a little sweeter but don’t forget to make sure it doesn’t contain milk solids.
Can I buy vegan caramel instead of making it?
Yes, there are lots of options for store-bought vegan caramel and you should be able to find some in your online or in your local health food store.
Natures Charm is the a good world wide brand to look out for.
Help! The chocolate split when I added the coconut cream.
This usually means that the chocolate was too hot when you added the coconut cream. Transfer the mix to a large saucepan and warm on a very gentle heat while whisking. The chocolate should return to a smooth texture once re-melted.
If this doesn’t work, warm 2-3 tablespoons of non-dairy milk in a separate pot and whisk into your chocolate. Add more warmed milk if required.