Millionaire’s Squares (Vegan)

These millionaire’s squares are the ultimate indulgence! They look and taste unbelievable. They’re not technically shortbreads, as I wanted to go for something quicker and easier.

The texture is just perfect; crumbly, gooey and delicious. You’ll be amazed at just how simple and quick they are to make – no baking required and no complicated processes! You have to try these! Perfect for an afternoon tea or for elevenses with a cup of tea.

Why Is It Called a ‘Millionaire’s’ Shortbread?

The name “millionaire shortbread” suggest a certain level of decadence and indulgence, and it’s believed to have been given this name due to its rich, luxurious ingredients. Here’s a bit of history behind the name:

  1. Luxurious Ingredients: Millionaire shortbread is made with high-quality ingredients, including buttery shortbread, a thick layer of sweet caramel, and a topping of smooth chocolate. These ingredients are associated with richness and luxury, which may have led to the name “millionaire” being used to describe the treat.
  2. Indulgent Flavor: The combination of buttery shortbread, sweet caramel, and chocolate creates a truly indulgent and satisfying flavor profile. It’s the kind of treat that feels like a special, indulgent treat, which aligns with the idea of living a luxurious lifestyle.
  3. Popular in Cafés and Bakeries: Millionaire shortbread is often found in cafés, bakeries, and dessert shops, where it’s offered as a premium or gourmet dessert option. Its popularity in such settings further reinforces the notion of it being a treat for those seeking something special or indulgent.
  4. History and Origins: The exact origin of the name is not definitively known, but the treat itself has been enjoyed for many years. It’s believed to have originated in the UK or Scotland, where it’s known as “caramel shortbread” or “millionaire’s slice.” The term “millionaire” in the name could be a nod to the idea that the treat is so delicious and luxurious that it makes you feel like a millionaire.

While the exact reason for the name may vary depending on the source, the overarching theme is that “millionaire shortbread” conveys a sense of opulence and richness that matches the experience of indulging in this delightful layered dessert.

millionaire's squares

What’s the Difference Between Caramel Slice and Millionaire Shortbread?

Caramel slice and millionaire shortbread are both delicious sweet treats, but they have some key differences in terms of ingredients and preparation:

  1. Base Layer:
    • Caramel Slice: This typically consists of a buttery biscuit or cookie base made from crushed biscuits (often digestive biscuits) mixed with melted butter and sometimes sugar. The base is pressed into a baking pan to form the foundation of the slice.
    • Millionaire Shortbread: The base layer for millionaire shortbread is usually a shortbread crust, which is a sweet, crumbly, and buttery pastry made from simple ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter. The shortbread layer in millionaire shortbread adds a rich and distinct flavor.
  2. Caramel Layer:
    • Caramel Slice: The caramel layer in a caramel slice is typically made from condensed milk that has been cooked with butter and sugar to create a thick, luscious caramel filling.
    • Millionaire Shortbread: The caramel layer in millionaire shortbread is similar to the one in caramel slice, usually made from condensed milk, butter, and sugar, but it might have slight variations in terms of additional ingredients or preparation.
  3. Top Layer:
    • Caramel Slice: The top layer of a caramel slice is often chocolate, which is poured over the caramel layer and allowed to set before slicing.
    • Millionaire Shortbread: Similar to caramel slice, millionaire shortbread also has a chocolate topping, typically a layer of melted chocolate, which solidifies as it cools.
  4. Nomenclature and Variations:
    • The term “caramel slice” is more commonly used in Australia and New Zealand.
    • “Millionaire shortbread” is a term more commonly used in the UK and Ireland.

Basically, while both caramel slice and millionaire shortbread share some similarities, such as the caramel and chocolate layers, their differences primarily lie in the type of base used (biscuit vs. shortbread) and potential variations in ingredients or preparation methods.

millionaire's squares

Millionaire’s Squares Ingredients

Before I got into recipe development I always got frustrated when I didn’t understand WHY someone had used a specific ingredient. So that’s why I now try and breakdown, where possible, each ingredient, and explain what it adds to the dish. So here’s what goes into my Millionaire’s Squares…

For The Base:

  1. Ground Almonds: These provide a rich, nutty flavor to the base and add a nice texture.
  2. Oat Flour: Adds a wholesome, slightly nutty flavor and contributes to the firmness of the base.
  3. Melted Coconut Oil: Helps bind the base ingredients together and provides a subtle coconut aroma and flavor.
  4. Non-Dairy Milk: Enhances the moisture and creaminess of the base without using traditional dairy products.
  5. Maple Syrup: Adds natural sweetness to the base, balancing the flavors in the dish.
  6. Vanilla Extract: Infuses a delightful vanilla aroma and flavor, enhancing the overall taste.
  7. Salt: Elevates the flavors of all the ingredients, making the base more flavorful.

For The Caramel Filling:

  1. Soaked & Pitted Medjool Dates: These serve as the main ingredient for the caramel filling, providing natural sweetness and a gooey texture.
  2. Vanilla Extract: Adds a pleasant vanilla flavor that complements the caramel and other ingredients.
  3. Coconut Oil: Helps to bind the caramel together and contributes to a smoother texture.
  4. Salt: Balances the sweetness of the dates and adds depth to the caramel flavor.

For The Chocolate Topping:

  1. Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil: Provides a smooth, rich base for the chocolate topping and adds a luscious mouthfeel.
  2. Cocoa / Cacao Powder: Gives the chocolate topping its intense chocolate flavor.
  3. Maple Syrup: Adds sweetness to the chocolate while maintaining the natural and wholesome aspect of the dish.

Millionaire's Squares (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Millionaire’s Squares (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Georgina Burgess
These millionaire's squares are the ultimate indulgence! They look and taste unbelievable. The texture is just perfect; crumbly, gooey and delicious. You'll be amazed at just how simple and quick they are to make ~ no baking required and no complicated processes! You have to try these!!! Perfect for an afternoon tea or for elevenses with a cup of tea.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack


For The Base

  • 1/2 Cup Ground Almonds (grind in your blender)
  • 2 Cup Oat Flour (you can grind normal oats in the blender to create oat flour)
  • 2 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Non Dairy Milk
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Pinch Salt

For The Caramel Filling

  • 2 Cups Soaked & Pitted Medjool Dates (soak for 10 minutes in boiling water)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Pinch Salt

For The Chocolate Topping

  • 1 Cup Cacao Butter or coconut oil
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa / Cacao Powder
  • 5 tbsp Maple Syrup


  • Start by lining a brownie tin with baking paper (so you're able to pull out the slab later)
  • Add all of the base ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined – the mixture should come together when squeezed in your hands (if it doesn't, add more plant milk)
  • Press the mixture into the brownie tin until it is densely packed and evenly spread, then place in the freezer
  • Rinse out your food processor then start making the caramel filling
  • Add the soaked dates, coconut oil, salt, vanilla and plant milk to the processor and blend for about 2 minutes (you will have to scrape down the sides a few times at first)
  • A creamy, caramel consistency should form
  • Spoon this on top of the base and spread evenly, then place back in the freezer
  • For the chocolate topping – simply melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, then whisk in the cacao and maple syrup
  • Pour this over the caramel layer and place in the freezer to set (about 10-15 minutes)
  • Pull out the slab (using the baking paper) and slice into small squares. If you want, you can dip your knife in hot water, dry it, then slice. This way it will slice through the chocolate layer more easily without cracking it


Store in the fridge
Keyword vegan dessert, vegan snacks

Can You Freeze Millionaire’s Squares?

Yes, you most certainly freeze millionaire’s squares! Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of these delicious treats and to have them on hand for a longer period. Millionaire’s squares, with their dense and rich ingredients, generally freeze quite well and should still taste delicious after being frozen and thawed.

Here’s how you can freeze them:

  1. Cut and Arrange: First, cut the millionaire’s squares into your desired serving size. Arrange them on a baking sheet or a tray, making sure they’re not touching each other. This initial separation prevents them from sticking together as they freeze.
  2. Pre-Freeze: Place the tray with the cut squares in the freezer for about 1-2 hours. This pre-freezing step is important to firm up the squares and prevent them from getting squished or losing their shape during the final freezing.
  3. Wrap or Store: Once the squares are pre-frozen, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap, parchment paper, or place them in an airtight container. Layering with parchment paper between the squares can prevent them from sticking together.
  4. Label and Store: Don’t forget to label the container or wrap with the date, so you know when you made them. This helps you keep track of their freshness.
  5. Freeze: Place the wrapped squares in the freezer. They should last for a few weeks to a couple of months in the freezer without significant loss of quality.
  6. Thawing: When you’re ready to enjoy a frozen millionaire’s square, simply remove it from the freezer, unwrap it, and let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours. This gradual thawing helps maintain the texture and flavor.

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