A dairy free caramel slice that is also gluten free and vegan. If you are making this for children you might want to use dairy free milk chocolate in place of the dark chocolate specified in the recipe.
At the weekend we met up with some old school friends and their kids at Westonbirt Arboretum.
The kids had loads of fun climbing trees and running around in the beautiful surroundings.
It was a fabulous day, made even better by the rain staying away and the selection of gluten-free goodies that were on offer in the cafe.
It was the collection of cakes in general that reminded me that I still needed to perfect my gluten and dairy free caramel slice recipe.
This one has been knocking around for a while…waiting for perfection while I tease people on Twitter with the photos.
So, as soon as the kids were safely deposited at school on Monday I set about in the kitchen.
And this is what I came up with…near perfect caramel slice.
I say near perfect.
Rather than take the caramel off the heat when it was done I thought I would leave it for a few minutes more.
The result was a rather dentist unfriendly firm caramel, but delicious all the same.
Tips for making dairy free caramel
In my experience dairy free caramel sets more quickly than its dairy equivalent.
Follow my instructions below and you should have no problems.
Just don’t think about leaving it to cook for a few more minutes when you know it is done.
And how do you know it’s done?
Well, the caramel will stick to your spatula or spoon and gently glide off.
You could use a sugar thermometer but that is WAY too much faff for me.
If you did use a thermometer it would be ready when it reaches 107 degrees C or 225 degrees F.
Take a look at my video to see what the caramel should look like when it is done.
You can also test it by letting a small drop fall into a glass of water. It should form a soft caramel ball.
How do you cut a caramel slice?
Trust me, cutting these slices is not easy. If you’re not careful you’ll crack the chocolate.
You must wait until they are completely cool.
Remove the bake from the tin by pushing the bottom up.
You’re going to need a small, sharp serrated knife and hot water.
Run the knife under the very hot water, dry it, then draw the knife from back to front of the bake.
After each cut wash the knife and get it hot again.
Pin the recipe for dairy free caramel slice:
If you like this recipe but want a lower sugar, lower carb version then check out my healthier gluten free caramel slice recipe here.
Dairy Free Caramel Slice (Gluten Free & Vegan)
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD:
- 250 g Free From Fairy gluten-free plain flour
- 175 g dairy-free margarine - or if you like the taste of coconut, 100g dairy-free spread and 75g softened virgin coconut oil
- 60 g white sugar
- FOR THE CARAMEL:
- 225 g white sugar
- 230 g golden syrup
- 100 g dairy-free margarine
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 ml soya cream - I used 'fresh' but I don't think it would matter if longlife
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE
- 200 g dairy free, sugar free dark chocolate - melted
- To make the shortbread base place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until a breadcrumb texture. Alternatively, rub the fat into the flour with your fingers and then add the sugar.
- Press the mixture firmly into the base of a greased loose bottomed 20cm square tin. Prick with a fork and cook in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees (140 fan) for 35 - 40 mins until firm to touch and golden.
- Remove from the oven to cool while you make the caramel. Make sure the shortbread is cool before adding the caramel or it will seep into the shortbread!
- To make the caramel place the sugar, syrup and fat into a large saucepan over a low heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has all dissolved...if you use caster sugar it will take a bit less time than granulated!
- Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to medium and add the soya cream and vanilla extract.
- Stir continually once boiling, ensuring it doesn't stick on the bottom of the pan. Catch up with some TV you missed on the iplayer at the same time!!
- Boil for about 20 minutes. By this time the caramel should look like it does in my video above.
- Remove from the heat and immediately pour onto the shortbread.
- Ensure the caramel is completely cool before melting the chocolate, either in a bowl over boiling water, or in the microwave, checking and stirring every 30 seconds until melted.
- Pour the chocolate over the caramel and gently shake the pan to get an even covering. You can leave it smooth, or when partly set, run a fork over the surface to give it a 'roughled' look.
- Try not to eat all at once!
I made this today and it was excellent! It all worked very well and even came out of the tin in one (which I wasn’t expecting). Thank you!
Vicki Montague says
Great to hear! Hope you enjoy it.
Making these today! Shortbread in the oven as I type! Excited to start the caramel in a bit! I’ll let you know how it goes!
Vicki Montague says
Well, judging by your photo on Facebook they went rather well! I’m wondering if any are left ;)!
This looks really yummy! just a question what’s dairy free spread and how can I sub it?
Vicki Montague says
Hi Vivian. Dairy free spread is margarine. You could use butter if you weren’t dairy free. Or you could try out my other millionaire shortbread recipe that uses coconut oil..https://freefromfairy.com/2016/01/gluten-free-dairy-free-chocolate-caramel-shortbread-recipe.html
Sarah bee says
I realise that this recipe is from last year but I just came across it last week. I made it – it was AMAZING! So totally delicious!! Thank you so much for the recipe and the video!
Can I ask a question? My caramel kind of oozed all over the place once I had cut the cake up and it had reached room temp. Is that the norm or is there some way that I can prevent this from happening?
This was my first attempt at caramel so I’m quite unsure about how to set it properly…
Thank you so much!!
Vicki Montague says
Hi Sarah and thank you so much for your lovely comment and feedback!! Since I am following a no sugar diet at the moment I haven’t made these for a while!! However, regarding the caramel, I don’t remember that happening. If you make them again I would cook the caramel for a fraction longer and that will firm it up. Otherwise, do the same again and keep them in the fridge! You won’t want to cook it for too much longer because it will become too hard…it is a bit of trial and error in getting it exactly right with dairy-free caramel! So glad you liked the recipe…
Thanks so much for replying.
I will try cooking the caramel for longer. Hopefully that will work. 🙂
Love your blog and Facebook page!!
Vicki Montague says
Hi Sarah, please let me know how you get on and thank you so much for your lovely comment. You have made my day 🙂
MMMM I know I shouldn’t but I love millionaire shortbread, I’d probably love it even more with the dentist unfriendly caramel, but I will heed your warning for the sake of my kids’ teeth! #blogclub
Emily @amummytoo says
Your free from recipes always look flawless – I don’t think anyone would ever guess they weren’t made from typical ingredients. I really want a square or two. Thanks so much for linking up with #recipeoftheweek. I’ve pinned this post and have scheduled to tweet shortly 🙂 Hope to see you linking up again soon! 😀 x
Hi Emily, thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me. I will share another recipe this week! Thanks again for the opportunity!
[email protected] says
Hurray for radio 6! It’s my favourite too. And I’ve always wanted to go to Westonbirt Arboretum – I used to live in Bristol, but never managed to get there. These shortbreads look amaAAAzing.
Vicky (@aroundandupsidedown) says
This is one of my absolute faves and looks sooooo good! Been thinking about you and your daughter this week – hope she is feeling a little brighter after being tempted with mummies sweet treats 🙂
Ah thanks Vicky! This week has been good…my littlest had a school dinner again one day and she made no fuss at all! Hurrah!
Oh my goodness, this looks truly amazing!!
Julie's Family Kitchen says
Wow, these look incredibly tasty.
Rollercoaster Mum says
Wow – these look amazing. I would imagine you could make the caramel with normal spread too – I’ve never made caramel before – doesn’t look too hard as long as you don’t cook it for too long! #blogclub
I LOVE millionaire shortbread. This looks spectacular
Thanks very much!
These look yummy! I have been looking for a recipe for this for ages. I didn’t think it was possible without condensed milk. Thank you 🙂
I thought the same, and then thought where there is a will there is a way!! I hope you enjoy them. Let me know how you get on if you make them. Feedback from you guys is really important so I can keep creating recipes that you want and that work!
Oooh I’m bookmarking this until I’m back on the chocolate again after Easter! I love millionaire shortbread 🙂
I hope you enjoy it! The wait will be worth it!
Mummy Says says
This looks absolutely amazing. Thanks so much for sharing it. I think I’m going to make it for my Mum (GF, nut free) for Mother’s Day. X
Great! I hope she enjoys it!!
These look amazing, Vicki! Much much better than mine! I will be pinning right this minute and will give them a go over Easter with the children. x Mel #RecipeoftheWeek
I don’t believe it. Beware of the very very hot caramel when cooking with kids…