This vegan caramel slice is an Australian classic. With a coconut biscuit base, rich, soft caramel filling and a dark chocolate topping, this slice is always a crowd favourite.
Caramel slice is a staple of Australian baked goods. It’s at every school fate, every small town bakery and I honestly don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this sweet treat.
When researching this recipe, I discovered that caramel slice is actually quite popular outside of Australia, it’s just known as millionaires shortbread instead which is pretty fitting because they are quite rich!
No matter what you call it, this is such a delicious and indulgent treat, perfect for all occasions.
This version is made vegan with just a few simple swaps from the classic recipe and provides those key three layers. I’m so excited by this recipe as caramel slice is something that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to eat again since not being able to eat dairy.
This vegan caramel slice has the perfect, chewy coconut biscuit base with an oozy, soft caramel and a rich, dark chocolate topping that has a bit of a crack to it when you take a bite but still is soft enough that it won’t break your teeth.
This recipe uses all ingredients that you would expect to find in a caramel slice recipe just switched out to be the vegan / dairy-free alternatives. All ingredients can be found at your local supermarket – no tricky to find substitutes here!
- Plain flour – or all purpose flour in the US. I haven’t tried a gluten free alternative, but I believe it would work fine in this recipe.
- Brown sugar – the main sweetener in both the base and the caramel giving extra depth of flavour and richness.
- Desiccated coconut – added to the base to give that classic coconut flavour and texture.
- Dairy-free butter – you’ll use this melted in the base and solid for the base of the caramel. I always use the Nuttelex buttery spread as it’s the closest butter alternative I’ve found.
- Plant-based condensed milk – this is the key ingredient to ensuring that the caramel sets so there are no substitutions for this otherwise the recipe won’t work. The one I use in the Nestle plant-based condensed milk which is made from oat and rice.
- Vanilla extract – to add extra flavour to the caramel.
- Dark chocolate – use a good quality 70% vegan dark chocolate.
- Coconut oil – adding a little bit of coconut oil to the melted dark chocolate ensures that it remains just a bit soft and therefore won’t crack as easily when you slice it.
There are three components to caramel slice or millionaire’s shortbread, the base, the caramel, and the chocolate top.
Start with the base. You’ll need a rectangular slice tin, 28×18 cm or 11×7 inch, that’s been lined with baking paper. Make sure to leave a bit of overhang to make it easy to remove the slice from the pan.
This step is super easy, just mix together all of the biscuit base ingredients together in a bowl and then press it into the base of a slice tin, firmly and evenly. Then pop it in the oven to bake until firm and just ever so slightly golden on the edges.
It will smell divine! Let cool in the tin.
Next in the caramel layer which is the most complex of the three. If you’ve made my vegan caramel sauce or my biscoff fudge before, then you’ll be familiar with the concept of making caramel, but these steps are a little different.
Start with the dairy free butter in a small saucepan with the brown sugar over medium heat. Let that melt together until smooth. Add in the plant-based condensed milk and let it slowly come up to a boil.
The boil should be large bubbles and quite slow, if it’s more aggressive and rapid, just turn down the heat slightly.
Let it boil for about 5 minutes until it’s nice and thick. I like to test it’s done by adding a few drops of the caramel into a small bowl of cold water. If it stays solid, it’s ready.
Remove from the heat and mix through the vanilla really well until the caramel is silky smooth.
Pour over the cooled biscuit base, tilting the pan to make sure it distributes evenly and then place into the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
Onto the chocolate layer!
Get your favourite dark chocolate and break it up into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it in short 30 second bursts, mixing really well with a metal spoon in between. Once the chocolate is melted and silky smooth, add in the coconut oil and mix through well.
Pour the chocolate over the set caramel and again tilt the pan to make sure it covers the top evenly and completely.
Place back into the fridge to allow it to set for around an hour to set or really as long as you need to.
If you have left it in the fridge for longer than an hour, let the slice rest on the bench for 5 or so minutes to let the chocolate soften a little before cutting with a sharp knife.
This will allow you to get nice clean slices without cracking the chocolate.
This treat is best served cold, straight from the fridge, so keep any leftovers in an airtight container for when you’re ready to enjoy. Also in the Brisbane summer heat as I am while making this, it will melt pretty quickly if left out.
More vegan dessert recipes:
Vegan Caramel Slice
For the base:
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 125 grams dairy-free butter melted
For the caramel:
- 125 grams dairy-free butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 x 370g can plant-based condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate layer:
- 200 grams dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 28x18cm slice tin with baking paper, leaving a bit of overhang for easy removal.
- Mix together all of the base ingredients and then press firmly into the pan using a spoon, spatula or your hands.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the middle is set. Set aside to cool completely.
- Make the caramel. In a small saucepan, place the dairy free butter and brown sugar and melt together over medium heat until combined.
- Add the plant-based condensed milk and bring to a boil. Boil for 5-6 minutes with large, steady bubbles. To confirm the consistency of the caramel, add a few drops into cold water and if it stays together, it’s done. Once done, take off the heat and mix through the vanilla extract until the caramel is nice and smooth.
- Pour the caramel over the cooled base, tilting the pan to evenly spread the caramel around, and place into the fridge to set for 2 hours.
- In a microwave safe bowl, break up the chocolate into small pieces and microwave on high in 30 second intervals, mixing thoroughly with a metal spoon between each burst until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the coconut oil and mix through until combined.
- Pour the chocolate over the top of the caramel, again tilting the pan to ensure the chocolate has an even coverage and then place in the fridge for another hour or two, up to overnight to set.
- Remove from the fridge for a few minutes before cutting into squares with a sharp knife. Store the caramel slice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.