vegan millionaire shortbread

The holidays are for decadence and that’s why this vegan millionaire shortbread is the perfect rich sweet treat this time of year!

millionaire shortbread

My vegan millionaire shortbread consists of a layer of shortbread cookie, a creamy caramel filling, and a chocolate ganache on top with flaked salt. Oh yes, it’s rich! And you will love it.

This recipe debuted on Food Network Canada this weekend as part of a special I was in called At Home For The Holidays with Anna Olson and Friends. Catch it on repeat on Food Network Canada on December 1, 2020 at 2 pm or on HGTV December 6 at 6 pm and December 9 at 12 pm.

I didn’t have any idea what millionaire shortbread was until I saw it on Pinterest a while back, but I’m totally buying what it’s selling. This Scottish treat is sometimes called a caramel square or caramel shortbread. I actually wanted to make the chocolate topping a little softer and easier to bite into with the other layers. I’ve seen recipes online that have a hard chocolate topping, but that’s just weird when the rest of the bar is so delicate.

You’ll have plenty of these to last all month long, depending on how many people you’re feeding. But you can cut these into 9 large squares or 18 smaller rectangles. Also, feel free to freeze them and thaw them in the fridge before serving.

millionaire bread

If you want to add more holiday baking to your to-do list try these chocolate candy cane sandwich cookies or these white chocolate cranberry cookie bars.

4.49 from 35 votes
Print Recipe

vegan millionaire shortbread

Three rich layers of decadence is what makes this vegan millionaire shortbread such a famous treat!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword caramel, chocolate, cookie bars, dessert, holiday
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
refrigeration 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 9 large squares or 18 small rectangles
Author Lauren Toyota



  • ¾ C all-purpose flour
  • C packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • C cold and cubed salted vegan butter

caramel filling

  • 1 C canned coconut cream
  • ½ C salted vegan butter
  • ½ C packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ C granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

chocolate ganache

  • 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate
  • C canned coconut cream
  • ¾ tsp Maldon flaked salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch square metal baking with parchment paper. Cut 2 strips that are 8-inches wide and criss cross them in the pan so all sides are covered and there is some overhang to help lift the finished bars out of the pan.

  2. To make the shortbread, in a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt with your hand. Add cold and cubed butter and use your hands to pinch together the butter and dry ingredients until damp and crumbly. It should easily pinch together with no dry ingredients visible. Press into a compact even layer into the pan. Poke holes with fork prongs along the surface. Bake for 12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  3. To make the caramel, in a saucepan combine coconut cream, vegan butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar over medium heat. Stir until everything is melted and well combined. Attach a candy thermometer, stop stirring, and heat until it reaches 230°F, about 14 minutes. Once the temperature is reached, turn off the heat and stir in vanilla extract and sea salt. Continue stirring to help cool caramel for about 5 minutes, it will start to thicken. It should be thick but pourable and you can pour it over the cooled shortbread crust. Even it out with a spatula and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  4. Once chilled, make the chocolate ganache. Place chocolate chips and coconut cream in a heat-proof mixing bowl, and set the bowl over a saucepan with a bit of boiling water in it. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir with a spatula to combine until smooth and entirely melted, about 6 to 7 minutes. Pour over the caramel layer and spread out to the edges and corners in an even layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with Maldon flaked salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

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27 thoughts on “vegan millionaire shortbread”

  1. Great recipe! Just to point out to you, millionaire’s shortbread is from Scotland not America. Very glad to see a veganised version of a childhood favourite!

  2. The recipe calls for salted vegan butter and adds further salt in each layer. What is the salt content of each serving?

    1. I don’t know as I don’t calculate that for my recipes. It’s based on great taste, so that’s how I developed the recipe!

    1. actually I think its a combo of almond flour with gluten-free all purpose or a bit of tapioca to help bind it

    2. I would try the recipe again because it was pretty easy to make, but I would prefer a more buttery, less sweet crust. Next time I will probably use a different recipe for the base.

  3. I’m allergic to coconut I made soy condensed milk by adding extra sugar and reduced by half. No brown sugar. It worked ok. I’d need to practice again.

    1. ya the coconut is replacing heavy cream in a traditional recipe so it helps keep it more solid, thick and creamy!

  4. So pumped for a vegan version of these cookies!! Loved these as a kid.
    Tried them last night and they turned out great! SO rich and awesome, such a treat. Thank you!

  5. These are amazing! I just made them and oh my god they are so rich, buttery, delicious. Hands down one of the best dessert recipes I’ve made in a long time. Thank you!!

  6. Hi there, thanks for sharing this recipe. I have a couple of questions: do you use the coconut cream at room temperature, or is this the cold separated cream from the fridge? Also, do you store these bars in the fridge, or can they sit covered on the counter? Can’t wait to make these.

    1. Hey! In the case of the coconut cream here, because it’s being heated you do not need to have it refrigerated before unless you’re using cans of full-fat coconut milk that need more separation to get the water and cream to separate. You should be using as much thick cream as possible and virtually no water/milk. If a tad gets in that’s ok. You can store these on the counter for a little bit for serving but they keep longer and better refrigerated.

  7. In addition to my other comment, at room temperature (after being refrigerated for hours), the caramel is runny. I did cook it to 230 degrees F per my thermometer, so not sure what happened.

  8. Super quick and easy to make. Pretty good! However, I felt like they were a bit too salty for my taste – but I will make them again (probably soon. lol) with some adjustments to the salt. 😉

    1. great! sure, salt is tricky, but I was really going for that salted caramel vibe. Maybe leave off the salt on top.

  9. You wrote this recipe a while ago and now silk has a heavy whipping cream out that is vegan. Do you think that would work in place of the coconut cream?

    1. I do not know as I haven’t tried it! I’m sure it would, what’s most important is the cooking temp

    2. oh and in the ganache I’m not sure if it would be as solid, because that cream it not solid when cold

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