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Plant-Based Caramel Shortbread




Caramel shortbread is a great dessert option when you want something crumbly, buttery, and decadent. Making a delicious plant-based caramel shortbread is relatively simple.



Why Is It Also Called Millionaires' Shortbread?


The term "millionaires' shortbread" originally came from Scotland. Because of its decadent and rich flavors, caramel shortbread became known as millionaires' shortbread. However, the first caramel shortbread recipe was published in an Australian magazine called the Australian Women's Weekly during the 1970s.






What Is Millionaire Shortbread Made Of?


The original non-vegan version of a millionaire shortbread is a basic shortbread that often contains ingredients commonly found in one’s pantry. It is topped with caramel, usually made with condensed milk, butter, golden syrup, and decadent chocolate to add even more richness. Golden syrup is a sweetener made from cane sugar. Corn syrup is a popular substitute for golden syrup but will not incorporate as much flavor.



What Is the Trick to Shortbread?


To make a great shortbread that is crumbly and buttery, make sure to sift the flour before incorporating it with the other ingredients. Also, make sure not to overmix the dough, as this can cause it to have a more rigid and drier texture. Poking holes into the dough with a fork can lead to more even baking, along with helping to lessen the chances for there to be cracks or bubbles in it. Lastly, once the dough is added to the baking pan, consider chilling it for about ten to fifteen minutes before putting it in the oven to bake.







Is Powdered Sugar or Granulated Sugar Better to Use?


When you look at the variety of shortbread recipes available, some call for granulated sugar, others powdered sugar, and some even utilize brown sugar only. For shortbread recipes with powdered sugar, most people found the product to have a softer consistency than those with granulated or brown sugar. The recipes with granulated sugar, while not having as soft of chew as those with powdered sugar, were a bit smoother than those with brown sugar. Recipes with brown sugar did not have the traditional flavor of an original shortbread. To summarize, if you want a crisper shortbread, go for a recipe with granulated sugar; however, if you like a shortbread with a softer chew, use powdered sugar instead.



Why Is the Caramel Not Setting On My Shortbread?


The caramel on shortbread can be cooked in a way that is either too solid or soft. If the caramel is too hard, it means it boiled at too high a temperature or too long. After the cooking process, to keep the caramel from getting too hard, keep it in an area at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator. However, if the caramel is not cooked long enough and is too soft, keeping it in the fridge is recommended to solidify the caramel a bit more.






Check Out These Other Yummy Vegan Recipes!


Help support Assuaged and SAVE on great vegan organic products and more at Thrive!


Please be sure to leave a comment below if you try something new or would like to share any tips or recommendations, we can all benefit from each other's experiences! What great vegan dessert recipes are your favorite? You can also share your favorite recipes with the Assuaged community on our ➡️ Share A Recipe ⬅️page!



Erika. (2021, December 10). Best shortbread bake off. The Pancake Princess.

Erskine, R. (2023, February 6). History of millionaire shortbread -- and a recipe on how to make your own. The Scotsman Food & Drink. 

Jane's Patisserie. (2020, April 22). Millionaires shortbread -- back to basics! Jane's Patisserie.

Weisenthal, L. (2018, August 9). Sweet technique: How to make shortbread. Serious Eats.




Plant-Based Caramel Shortbread

Plant-Based Caramel Shortbread

Yield: 16 - 20
prep time: 1 H 25 M cook time: 0 M total time: 1 H 25 M


  • 2 1/4 cups ground almonds
  • 1 heaping tsp cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or raw organic honey
  • 14 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1 tsp Ashwagandha powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup


How To Make Plant-Based Caramel Shortbread

  1. For the base, add the ground almonds, cashew butter, and maple syrup into a food processor and briefly pulse. Then slowly pour in the coconut oil while the motor is running and pulse until it all comes together.
  2. Press the mixture into a lined 8" x 8" baking tin to form a flat layer and set in the freezer for 20 mins.
  3. For the date caramel, blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor to form a thick caramel. Spread the caramel over the top of the shortbread base, using the back of a spoon that has been dipped in boiling water. Gently press down and smooth out the layer of caramel, ensuring it reaches all corners and is evenly spread across the shortbread base.
  4. Leave to set in the freezer for 20 mins.
  5. For the chocolate, place all the ingredients into a small saucepan over a gentle heat and whisk together until it is smooth and glossy. Remove the caramel shortbread from the freezer and pour over the chocolate. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 20 mins.
  6. Once set, remove from the fridge, take out of the baking tin and cut into pieces.
caramel, chocolate, shortbread, dessert, easy
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