Vegan Millionaire Shortbread is made with a buttery shortbread cookie base, gooey vegan caramel, and chocolate ganache. It’s an easy cookie bar that’s deliciously rich and indulgent!

close up on a millionaire shortbread bar with a bite out of it.

Millionaire shortbread are often enjoyed around the holidays. They are basically a gourmet homemade twix bar!

For more delicious dessert bars, check out these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and Lemon Bars.

When you really want to go all out, gift your friends and family Vegan Millionaire Shortbread. Each bite of the buttery shortbread cookie base, ooey gooey caramel filling, and sea salt-topped chocolate ganache is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. You could even celebrate the fact that they’re made without any dairy or eggs!

These ultra rich cookie bars will quickly become a new holiday favorite because all you need are basic ingredients and a few hours to let them chill and firm up in the fridge. It’s the ultimate indulgent dessert!

close up on a cookie bar with layers of shortbread, caramel, and chocolate.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • All purpose flour – To make the shortbread cookie crust. For gluten free, use a gluten free all purpose flour instead.
  • Vegan butter – A must-have for melt in your mouth shortbread and super smooth vegan caramel.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegan sweetened condensed milk – You can easily make your own vegan condensed milk at home or use storebought coconut condensed milk instead.
  • Brown sugar
  • Light corn syrup – Try not to skip this or else your caramel sauce may be runny. If you must omit it, it will still work though.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegan chocolate chips – Enjoy Life, Guittard, and Trader Joe’s brand chocolate chips are all vegan-friendly. If you’re having a hard time finding vegan chocolate chips, you can always use a chopped up dairy free chocolate bar instead.
  • Coconut cream – Or vegan heavy cream or an unsweetened non dairy creamer.
  • Salt

How to make vegan millionaire shortbread

This is simply an overview with photos. The full, printable recipe is in the recipe card below.

First, make the shortbread cookie crust by creaming the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Gradually add the flour and salt, and keep mixing until you end up with a crumbly dough. 

Transfer the dough to a parchment paper-lined pan and press it into an even layer. Bake until the edges are golden brown. Leave it to cool while you make the caramel. 

Add the vegan condensed milk, butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a saucepan over medium high heat. Keep stirring until the butter melts and everything is combined. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer.

caramel bubbling in a pot

Keep stirring until it has a rich caramel color and begins to pull away from the sides of the pot. Don’t cut this time short or else the caramel won’t set and your bars will be a mess! A properly made caramel will thicken up in the pan, and even more so as it cools. 

smooth caramel in pot

Once it’s ready, take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the caramel over the shortbread crust and spread it into an even layer. Place the bars in the fridge to set.

caramel being poured into dish with parchment paper lining it

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut cream together in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Once it’s completely smooth, spread it over the chilled caramel layer. Sprinkle sea salt on top and let it chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

pouring melted chocolate over caramel in a metal baking dish.

For perfectly cut millionaire shortbread, run hot water over a sharp chef’s knife. Slice into squares and enjoy!

millionaire shortbread cut into small squares.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Why are they called millionaire shortbread? Because these cookie bars are so rich and decadent!
  2. Can they be made gluten free? To make gluten free millionaire shortbread, replace the all purpose flour with gluten free all purpose flour.
  3. Can you make these in a 9×13 baking dish? Yes! Just double the recipe and layer the bars in a 9×13 baking dish instead of the 8×8.
  4. How long do they last? The bars will last in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week.
  5. Can you freeze millionaire bars? You can! Just let them thaw for a few minutes at room temperature first so they’re easier to eat.
close up on a millionaire shortbread bar with a bite out of it.

Want even more vegan dessert bars?

close up on a millionaire shortbread bar with a bite out of it.
5 stars (7 ratings)

Vegan Millionaire Shortbread

Vegan Millionaire Shortbread is made with a buttery shortbread cookie base, gooey vegan caramel, and chocolate ganache. It’s an easy cookie bar that’s deliciously rich and indulgent!
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Chilling time: 30 mins
Total: 1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 12 bars

Ingredients 
 

Shortbread crust

Caramel

  • 14 ounces vegan sweetened condensed milk (1 1/2 cups)
  • 7 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Chocolate ganache

  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream
  • sea salt, for sprinkling the tops

Instructions 

Make the shortbread crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Using an electric mixer (I use my stand mixer), cream together the vegan butter and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides as needed.
  • Gradually add the flour (1/2 cup at a time), scraping down the sides as needed. Add the salt with the last 1/2 cup of flour.
  • The dough should be crumbly. Place the crumbly dough into the prepared pan and press it evenly into the pan.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
  • Let the crust cool while you make the caramel.

Make the caramel

  • In a medium saucepan,  add the vegan condensed milk, vegan butter, brown sugar and corn syrup.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high. Stir frequently until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Continue to stir until the mixture begins to boil, then reduce the heat so it is simmering (gently bubbling) and stir constantly at this point.
  • Stir gently for 12-15 minutes until it looks like rich caramel and it starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Do not cut this time short! Trust me, your caramel will not set at all and the bars will be a mess. It should thicken up, but it will thick more as it cools.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
  • Pour the caramel evenly over the shortbread crust, using a spatula to spread it if needed. Place in the refrigerator to chill for an hour before topping with the chocolate ganache.

Make the chocolate ganache

  • Place the chocolate chips and coconut cream in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, then heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth.
  • Allow the ganache to cool for about 5 minutes, then evenly spread it over the caramel layer.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the chocolate can harden. Cut into squares and serve.
  • Storing leftover bars: Keep leftover bars in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 1 week. They also freeze well, simply thaw and enjoy.

Notes

  1. These bars are so incredibly rich I like to cut them into little squares like candy and keep in the refrigerator for a quick treat.
  2. Gluten free – Substitute a quality gluten free flour, such as King Arthur’s Measure for Measure.
  3. Leave out the corn syrup – This helps the caramel firm up, but they can be made without it. Or substitute agave.
  4. Sweetened condensed milk – You can make your own at home EASY with my recipe: Vegan Condensed Milk. Or purchased canned coconut sweetened condensed milk.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 12 bars | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. love this recipe! I sometimes sprinkle peanuts over the shortbread before pouring a 2/3rds batch of the caramel over. Tastes like Snickers!

    the recipe as-is is fantastic, too 🙂 thanks for sharing.

    1. Well hi Nora! I love your name! Oh gosh, your peanut idea sounds amazing! I’m going to have to try that! I’m glad you are loving the recipe! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback and ideas!

  2. Hi Nora; can I use brown rice syrup in place of corn syrup?  I don’t use corn syrup at all because it’s a high fructose syrup. 

    Thank you!

  3. Didn’t have corn syrup so I used molasses instead, probably cooked the caramel more like 25 minutes. They turned out amazing!

  4. Nora this looks amazing! The recipe looks simple, and I love that you need an oven to make them. Definitely next on my “to make” recipe list.

  5. I’ve had my eye on this recipe since you posted it. Finally got over my fear of making caramel and did it! These are so delicious! And very rich, a couple bites will have you satisfied. Surprisingly not a overwhelming coconut flavor which I was hoping for. 

    1. I’m so glad you braved the recipe, Kate, and that you loved it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review and comments!

  6. These were so good. Perfect sweet treat. My son was traveling when I made them, so I put a bunch in the freezer to save for him. He was fortunate to get 3 after I kept raiding the stash.

  7. These were incredible. We made them over the holiday and Nana has personally requested a whole sheet of them for her birthday in February.

    Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thank you, Justin! I love that Nana has requested these for her birthday! How fun! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback and review! Happy cooking!

  8. Hi Nora,

    I love this recipe! My caramel came out chewy (almost gummy).  Any thoughts on what I did wrong? 
    Thank you!! 

    1. You may have just overcooked it a little bit? It should be chewy though, like candy almost, but a bit softer. Otherwise it will just run everywhere. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  9. Hi Nora!

    Your caramel topping calls for 1/8 salt but I don’t see in the instructions where this is used. 

    Thanks! 

    1. Hmmm I’m not sure why it came out super hard. It should be firm enough that it doesn’t melt everywhere, but soft enough that it’s easy to bite into. Maybe you cooked it a bit too long?

      1. It was hard to bite into but still tasted good. Only did 15 mins on stove but I think too long so will try again with a shorter time. 

  10. I just made these and they are absolutely divine. The tip about not rushing the caramel process is crucial. I didn’t have my heat high enough so after 15 minutes it wasn’t pulling from the pot so I kept cooking it- probably ended up taking 30 minutes. Anyway, these are a 10/10, thanks! 

  11. Is evaporated coconut milk an ok substitute for the condensed milk? And can I use maple syrup in place of the corn syrup?

    1. I don’t think evaporated coconut milk will work, but I haven’t tested it. Caramel is pretty picky. Maple syrup will probably be okay though in place of the corn syrup, though your caramel may not set as well.

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