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’m Jewish and tasty crackers they are not!!!! Unless you slather them in grassfed butter and dust them with sea salt! Or make these bars, holy yum!

  2. I’ve never had Matzah crackers before…although it sounds like I’m not missing out on much. Of course, adding caramel, chocolate and sea salt is going to make anything better 😉

  3. I had the exact same experience with Matzah crackers! It was SUCH a disappointment. But I can eat anything with caramel and chocolate. I love how you call these healthy because they’re homemade. I totally agree! Health for the mind is just as important, and you’ve got all those healthy fats from the coconut, not to mention that powerhouse of antioxidants in the cocoa powder…sheesh, you could practically consider these breakfast! 😛

  4. Oh my gosh Arman!! I need this in my life…like right now! These are amazing! I could probably (and easily) eat an entire pan of these all by myself in one sitting! I think I tried Matzah crackers years ago and I’m pretty sure I ate them plain and no, they were not all that good. For something like this though, I’m sure they work perfectly!

  5. This makes me want a caramel and chocolate grilled sandwich. I think I’ve found my lunch! Looks delicious!

  6. OH MY GOSH my mom makes these for Christmas!! They are so so so good and I can practically taste them just looking at your pictures.

  7. Being Jewish, I can say you have not lived until you have had my Dad’s fried matzah!!! My dad is no longer alive but I am sure others can get close! 😉 It was not healthy but it was delish!!!!!!

    1. Fried Matzah sounds absolutely delicious- God bless your father for coming up with such a creative twist!

  8. Ohhh yummyu yummy! I’ve made something similar in the past called “Christmas Crack” and it was DIVINE. I can only imagine how good your version is with homemade eerrrrrything!

  9. YES! My best friend in grade school was Jewish and her mom made these all the time. Totally forgot about them!!!

  10. When I was a kid I actually liked matzoh crackers but now they are way too bland. I have tried to coat them with almond butter and slices of banana but they still leave something to be desired. This is a brilliant idea! I hate wasting food. I have made something similar except you use saltine crackers and make a caramel with brown sugar and butter. Then you simply throw a load of chocolate chips on top and melt it (briefly) in the oven. Spread, add slivered almonds and voila! But a matzoh cracker crust sounds much cooler.

    When you were in New York did you ever try a knish? Being the potato devotee that you are I think those would be right up your alley. Even I, confirmed potato disliker, thought knishes were mighty tasty.

    Hope your weekend is terrific!

    1. I never did- but now when I go back I’ll need to! Wow, that version with the added nuts sounds delicious- I’ll try that out next time!

  11. It’s almost 9 on Friday night (I”m super lame but it’s ok because I’m old) and I wish I had some of those carmel treats!!!!

  12. Salted caramel sauce and chocolate are essentially perfection and when turning it into a portable treat? Win.
    For me, ‘Kalter Hund’ [look up the literal translation and be prepared to laugh] was a must at every childhood birthday. A chocolate frosting type spread layered with shortbread – far from healthy but the best.
    “to make yourself popular in the workplace” <- I like that we think in similar ways here. Coworker of the month for bringing treats like this? Absolutely.