Healthy Chocolate Caramel Slice – Vegan Gluten Free Recipe. Also known as caramel shortbread, caramel squares, homemade Twix bars, millionaire’s shortbread, or millionaire’s slice. This gluten free vegan caramel slice recipe consists of a golden brown gluten free shortbread crust, a delicious chewy dairy free caramel, crunchy hazelnuts and a rich dairy free chocolate coating. A perfect gluten free layered dessert bars to take on the go or to enjoy with your entire family.
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Vegan Chocolate Caramel Slice
I knew I wanted to make healthy, homemade, chocolate caramel slice or bars and I experimented with a version using coconut flour for the shortbread base – as most gluten free and dairy free recipes do. And, while it was looking nice, it didn’t taste really good to me, just too much coconut flavor in every layer.
So I made a shortbread crust, based on my GF/DF Cut Out Christmas Cookies recipe, which has just a subtle hint of coconut and it melds perfectly with the rest of ingredients.
Is This Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Caramel Slice Healthy?
Here are some of the reasons I consider this recipe on the healthier side:
- It has a healthy and clean ingredient list, it’s vegan, gluten free, dairy free and can be made completely refined sugar free if you wish. Just use your own sweetener of choice (stevia, maple syrup, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, agave) and unsweetened 100% cocoa chocolate chips.
- The shortbread crust incorporates lot of fiber from flax seeds and tigernut flour giving at the same time some flakiness.
- Eating cleaner foods doesn’t have to mean going completely sugar free, low carb, low fat and so on. I prefer mixing higher quality ingredients and still get a delicious outcome without feeling sick afterwards. Find a balance without compromising the taste and don’t think bout the calorie counting so much, we need to have a healthy relationship with food!
Vegan Chocolate Caramel Slice / Bars Ingredients
There are four layers of deliciousness in these bars:
- The first is a shortbread crust base made of tigernut and rice flour.
- The filling starts with a dairy free caramel made of coconut cream and coconut butter, sweetened with maple syrup crystals. The coconut butter helps it to harden when it’s cold. Alternatively you can use some dates too.
- Chopped hazelnuts provide a bit of texture and crunchiness. Chocolate and hazelnuts are always a good idea, it’s what made “nutella” famous but you will not need to pull out the sugar bag to make a sweet treat.
- The final layer is just melted chocolate chunks – also dairy free. Whenever possible, definitely opt for high quality chocolate. Most store bought chocolate chips these days have soy lecithin, lots of sugar and other unnecessary highly processed ingredients. For a healthier version choose organic 85% Cacao Chocolate Baking Chips from Pascha.
When I finished making this gluten free vegan chocolate caramel slice, I couldn’t believe how many bars I could cut – 34! It’s a huge batch, but it’s ok, they will last up to a week or two in the fridge. Or I can keep them in the freezer for a quick, sweet snack whenever my sweet cravings struck.
This vegan chocolate caramel slice is going to bring joy in your life. With all the good nutrient dense stuff in it I could totally justify eating this type of dessert more often.
The best part is that you can feel good about enjoying them regularly, no need of restriction when you eat real foods. You can get pleasure and satisfaction from them and you won’t be craving sweets again an hour later.
Chocolate Caramel Slice / Bars (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)
THE CARAMEL SAUCE
- 2 packs (20 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chunks - (vegan, dairy and soy free)
- ¾ cup hazelnuts - (chopped )
- Simply mix the coconut cream with ground flax seeds until incorporated, then add the rest of ingredients. Mix well until a soft dough is formed.
- Spread into a baking (9 x 13 inch) glass pan covered with parchment paper and press the dough down evenly.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 370 F or until lightly browned.
The Caramel Sauce
- Bring the coconut milk and maple syrup crystals to a boil. Add the coconut butter.
- Turn the heat down and let it bubble away gently for aprox 15 min, until it thickens. Then add the vanilla extract and salt. Let it cool.
- When the crust is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool down. Pour the the caramel over the crust. Refrigerate for 10-15 min to firm up.
- Meanwhile chop the hazelnuts in a food processor (or by hand). Sprinkle over caramel layer.
The Chocolate Layer
- Melt 20 oz of semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate and let it firm up in the fridge.
- Cut into bars and enjoy!
Tips For Making This Vegan Caramel Slice
- There is no need to add coconut oil in the melted chocolate as the bars will cut nicely without cracking, even after chilling in the fridge. I also didn’t add coconut oil in the crust, for me the smell and taste of oil is much stronger than the coconut cream, so I opted for that.
- For an ultra thick and chewy caramel, it needs to be melted at very low heat until it gets a thicker texture.
- To keep the caramel from hardening like chocolate, keep the caramel slice /bars at room temperature.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.
If you make these gluten free dairy free chocolate caramel and hazelnut bars, leave a review below, take a picture and tag it with #healthytasteoflife.