Caramel Slice


5 from 29 votes
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This caramel slice is a classic Australian dessert! It features a winning combination of a simple shortbread crust, gooey caramel filling, and a delicate milk chocolate topping. 

caramel slice.

If you’ve tried our Millionaire shortbread or caramel cookie dough bars, you’ll adore this caramel slice recipe. It’s an Aussie twist on both those desserts, but even more delicious! 

Table of Contents
  1. What is a caramel slice?
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make a caramel slice
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. More Australian desserts to try
  8. Frequently asked questions 
  9. Caramel Slice

What is a caramel slice?

A caramel slice is a dessert popularly sold in Australian bakeries. It is a three-layer dessert that features a shortbread base, a soft caramel filling, and a chocolate topping. 

Why this caramel slice recipe will be a dessert staple-

  • Simple ingredients. No hard-to-find candy, flour, or chocolate. 
  • No baking is required. Besides the shortbread base, there is no need to bake anything. 
  • Easy to customize. Change up the flour, use different chocolate, or cut the dairy. 

What we love about these caramel bars is just how incredible the texture is. A buttery shortbread base, a gooey caramel, and a chopping topping that melts in your mouth? I’m already salivating!

chocolate caramel slice.

Ingredients needed

This recipe calls for pantry staple ingredients that you probably already have on hand! Here is what you’ll need: 

For the shortbread base:

  • Butter. Unsalted and softened.
  • Sugar. White or brown granulated sugar. 
  • Flour. All-purpose flour, sifted. 
  • Salt. To balance out the sweetness of the dough. 

For the caramel filling:

  • Condensed milk. To provide a thick base for the filling. 
  • Butter. To provide a rich texture and flavor. 
  • Sugar. White or brown granulated sugar. 
  • Light corn syrup OR golden syrup. Adds sweetness and also prevents the caramel from burning. 
  • Vanilla extract. To enhance all flavors. 


  • Milk chocolate. Use good quality chocolate for melting. Chop the chocolate into small pieces for easy and even melting. 
  • Coconut oil. A small amount of coconut oil added to melting chocolate gives it a glossy finish. It also helps prevent the chocolate from cracking once it’s set. 

How to make a caramel slice

While a classic caramel slice contains three layers, making it doesn’t take a lot of time. In fact, the hard part is waiting for it to firm up! 

Step 1 – Bake the shortbread crust

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. While the oven heats beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Sift in the flour, add salt, and mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer the dough to a pre-greased square pan. Press evenly until smooth. Prick with a fork to prevent the crust from puffing up. 

shortbread crust.

Step 2- Make the caramel filling

Add the condensed milk, butter, sugar, corn syrup or golden syrup, and vanilla extract to a saucepan and place it over low heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, stir more vigorously to prevent the caramel from burning. 

Remove the caramel from heat when it reaches 225F on a candy thermometer. Continue to store for 2-3 minutes. 

caramel sauce.

Pour the caramel over the shortbread base, spread it evenly, and let it cool. 

caramel on shortbread.

Step 3- Melt the chocolate

Add chopped milk chocolate and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20-second intervals and mix until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. 

melted chocolate.

Pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel topping. Spread evenly and allow it to set at room temperature. 

pouring melted chocolate on caramel.

Step 4- slice and serve

Once cool, slice into even pieces and serve. 

sliced caramel slice.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Don’t skip the corn syrup. Corn syrup and/or golden syrup prevents the sugar from crystallizing which in turn, yields an incredibly smooth and gooey caramel. 
  • Use full-fat condensed milk. Using light or fat-free condensed milk causes the caramel filling not to set properly.
  • Cook the caramel on low heat and keep stirring. These two things will ensure that you don’t burn the caramel. 
  • Chill the dough. Chilling the shortbread dough for 15 to 60 minutes will help you roll it out easily. 


The beauty of this dessert is that you can do a few tweaks to it and still achieve the most perfect slice. Here is what we’ve tested: 

  • Add some salt. For a salted caramel slice, sprinkle some coarse sea salt on top. 
  • Use white or dark chocolate. For a sweeter or richer note, switch up the chocolate used on top. 
  • Cut the dairy. Use coconut condensed milk, dairy-free butter, and vegan chocolate chips for the topping.
  • Make it gluten-free. Use gluten-free flour for the shortbread crust and this dessert is suitable for celiacs. 

Storage instructions

To store: Place caramel slices in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can leave the slices at room temperature. But if it is too hot where you live, refrigerate them to prevent the chocolate topping from melting.

To freeze: Caramel slices are the perfect treat to freeze. Freeze it in individual servings wrapped in food wrap. Then place the slices in an airtight bag or container and enjoy within 3 months. 

caramel slice recipes.

More Australian desserts to try

Frequently asked questions 

Where does caramel slice originate from?

Caramel slice, also known as caramel shortbread, has a Scottish origin and dates back to the 12th century.

As the modern recipe of caramel slice first appeared in an Australian magazine and became very popular, caramel slice is associated not only with Scottish but also Australian cuisine. 

Why does my slice don’t set?

If the caramel filling doesn’t set, you most likely haven’t cooked it long enough. The caramel should be pourable but thick when you remove it from the heat. It takes around 10 minutes for the caramel to set. 

How do you cut a perfect caramel slice?

There are a few tips you can use to get perfectly neat caramel slices. First off, if you have the caramel slice in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting it.

Run the knife under warm water. Dry the knife and cut while the knife is still warm. Clean the knife after each slice to get super neat pieces. 

caramel slice recipe.

Caramel Slice

5 from 29 votes
This caramel slice is a classic Australian dessert! It features a winning combination of a simple shortbread crust, gooey caramel filling, and a delicate milk chocolate topping.
Servings: 16 slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes






  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square pan with oil and set aside.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Sift in the flour and salt and mix until combined. 
  • Transfer the mixture to the lined pan and press down until smooth. Prink with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
  • Place all the caramel ingredients into a small saucepan and place it over low heat. Stir very well until it begins to boil. Once boiling, continue to stir vigorously, ensuring the caramel doesn’t scorch. Once it reaches 225F on a candy thermometer, remove it from the heat while continuing to stir for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour over the shortbread base and allow it cool completely.
  • Once the caramel has cooled, add the chopped chocolate and coconut oil into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second spurts until melted.
  • Pour over the top and spread evenly. Let it cool to room temperature. Once cool, slice and serve.


TO STORE: Place caramel slices in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can leave the slices at room temperature. But if it is too hot where you live, refrigerate them to prevent the chocolate topping from melting.
TO FREEZE: Caramel slices are the perfect treat to freeze. Freeze it in individual servings wrapped in food wrap. Then place the slices in an airtight bag or container and enjoy within 3 months. 


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSodium: 144mgPotassium: 62mgFiber: 0.3gVitamin A: 389IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 29g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, australian
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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  1. I love this recipe! I want to make it for My family.i guess brown sugar will work too? And some other kind of crisp bread I guess.
    We got to try Matzah crackers in elementary school. It’s sooo bland and not even crunchy! But a nice experience in a way…
    Childhood birthday staple? Um I think simple marbled cake and cheesecake since this was/is my favourite (only my mum’s:-) )

    1. YES! Definitely try it out- My mum’s version was literally any dry cracker + caramel sauce (brown sugar + butter) and even cooking chocolate on top 🙂

  2. How have I never thought to put chocolate like this on top of crackers!?! Genius, sir! I’m a major bitter chocolate person so I can def see where the 100% dark would be best. But also how have you never heard of matzah…. aren’t you and Davs like friends.

  3. Dark chocolate and caramel – perfect combo!

    I’m with Lauren on the party rings, those things were awesome. That and chocolate cake, obviously. Although I’m pretty sure one of my favourite parts of every party was getting my party bag to take home full of toys and treats haha!

    1. Toys? The best part was indeed the party bags…I remember cursing friends who didn’t provide them!

  4. Oh these look awesome, especially considering Matzah crackers don’t have much of a taste. Nice way to turn them into something tasty 😉 The neighborhood I’m living in at the moment isn’t known for anything that I know of, but the one where I work is Jewish central for Pittsburgh. It’s pretty cool, and they have amazing food that I love to take advantage of for lunch 🙂

    1. Thank you! Seriously, I would sell my sister to have lunch at a Jewish deli everyday.

      …Ok so I would even sell my sister to eat at a Jewish deli once.

  5. Matzah crackers are indeed bland, dry and awful. Good work with making them into something tasty! I am Jewish and of course all of my supermarkets cater to and feature Jewish/kosher foods (beyond being a religious thing, Jewish delicacies are totally a culture thing)..Long Island/New York is known for it’s large Jewish population..Which were your favorite kosher delis when you were in the city? You must miss our bagel stores as well.

    1. I LOVED the lower east side- my standard order was hot mustard, swiss and pastrami- Oh Meredith why make me crave it again!

  6. This is definitely a food I would demolish if it were at a party. Holy yum! Its almost as if I can actually taste them…that’s how fantastic your pictures are. Just letting you know 😀

  7. HAHAHAHA this is amazing! I never understood why anyone liked matzah. I always assumed it was because I was forced to eat it for a week every year and those that actually enjoyed it, weren’t Jewish. A wonderful way to turn it into something delicious 🙂

  8. One of my sorority sisters is Jewish and she brought us Matzah crackers. I’m with you, they are nastttty.

  9. You had me at salted caramel…yum! I think I’ve tried Matzah crackers out of a box and if memory serves right, I really liked them! What I do remember with certainty, however, is food from my birthday parties back in the day. Party ring biscuits (think colorful frosting), mini heart-shaped pizzas and sausage rolls were a few favorites!

    1. Oh Khushboo. I hope you were either drunk or really hungry when you ate those crackers to really like them!

      SAUSAGE ROLLS. I’ll let you in on a secret- I’m working on a healthy version of it 😉

  10. it made me seriously consider cardboard to be appetising. Hahahahaaaaa. I love you.
    100% dark chocolate, yessss!! Love it – and I bet it’s delicious with caramel!!

    Off topic: I’m so sorry I am missing all the Sunday link ups since MONTHS. BUT i just can’t get my brain together on weekends (too much booze?) to write a post and the rest of the week is craziness. Do you accept an apology in Lindt chocolate?

    1. YES- seriously, because the caramel is sweet, it makes the dark chocolate even better!

      DON’T APOLOGISE. Seriously. You stupid penguin- I’m glad your out LIVING. GO.

      I expect Lindt chocolate regardless.

  11. Oh hello healthy snackage. I went to a Jewish deli in New York with my Dad and had a sandwich the size of my face – it was insanely big but obviously really good. Party staple as a kid was biscuits called party rings – they were at every single party without fail. Before I moved out to the burbs I lived in Brixton in London which had loads of Jamaican food. We had a restaurant 2 minutes from my house that had the most insanely delicious food – jerk chicken, plantains, rice and peas – omg it was so good.

    1. That is why I love those Jewish deli’s- A sandwich could feed a family of 10….or 20.

      Jerk chicken sounds pretty epic right about now.

  12. The day I find coconut sugar is the day I am making that caramel sauce! yum!

    We don’t have any cities big enough in Scotland to have cultural/ heritage areas! Wish we had a middle eastern area though – grilled meats, dates and baba ghanoush… That would be awesome!

  13. you kill meeee! I actually have an open box of matzah at my place because my mother forced it upon C and I. There’s a reason we only eat that crap 8 days a year. Although my mother who cannot stand wasting food will make matzah brei (look it up) in the middle of the summer. She’s something else….I’m half asleep at the airport. Boarding! Adios xoxoxoxo

      1. I love matzo brei…and I also like matzo with butter spread on top, then sprinkled with salt. Entirely different than the cardboard it is when eaten plain.

  14. I tried Matzah crackers once and it wasn’t for me. Anything with chocolate, however, I can get on board with. This looks pretty good and thanks for sharing as always. Your recipes are simple and delicious looking.

  15. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had Matzah crackers before… but I’ve definitely had some crisp breads that I wasn’t too keen on. Chocolate and caramel make anything edible though…. and so does almond butter. Which I need right now. Thank goodness it’s almost time for breakfast — maybe I’ll even add chocolate 😉

    1. Oh man, we need to recreate this with an almond butter layer between the caramel and the chocolate. Yes? Yes.

      1. Hi there!! I made this today and it rocks!! ?? got my almond butter coming next month (recurring Amazon order, hee hee!!)
        Your recipes are awesome ????

        1. 😀 Thanks SO much, Katy- I’m so glad you enjoyed them, this is one of my favorite recipes! 🙂