Healthier Millionaire Bars are a gluten-free dessert made of shortbread, cashew butter, and chocolate. It’s a treat that provides a gourmet taste but doesn’t require any of the legwork!
Three layer caramel chocolate bars
If you like Twix, Reece’s, or anything made of a chocolate, cashew butter, caramel combo, these millionaire bars are for you.
Made of three layers, they contain everything good in a dessert! There’s the shortbread crust, the cashew butter center, and the chocolatey top layer. What more could you ask for?!
I set out to make this recipe hoping that it wouldn’t be as complicated as it looks. My prayers were answered! Even as a layered dessert, this recipe requires nothing more than a bit of stirring and a few minutes of baking. Other than that, the refrigerator does all of the work!
These bars are the perfect snack to share with friends and family. They’ll be wildly impressed and will more than likely reach for a second (or a third)!
Ingredients in healthier millionaire bars
The ingredients list looks long, but in all actuality this recipe only calls for 8 different items. That includes the salt and the vanilla extract!
How is this possible? Well, a handful of ingredients (the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt) are used in all three parts of this recipe. Other than that, there are only four more items that you’ll need!
Tools used to make millionaire shortbread
You’ll need a number of items to make each section of this recipe. In total, there are 6 kitchen tools you’ll need handy.
- 8×8 baking dish
- Parchment paper or nonstick spray
- Mixing bowl
- Stirring utensil
How to make this millionaire shortbread recipe
This recipe is broken down into three parts: The shortbread crust, middle cashew butter layer, and the top chocolate layer. Each layer is simple to make and stacks on to the one before it.
Begin by preheating the oven to 350F and line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or nonstick spray.
In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients listed under “crust.” Keep stirring until everything is well combined.
Once combined, press the crust mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and poke it with a fork several times. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow the crust to cool for at least 15 minutes before adding the next layer.
While the crust is cooling, add the cashew butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat for about two minutes, or until everything is melted together. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Once combined, pour this middle layer over the cooled crust, and then place the dish in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While freezing, make the chocolate layer. Add the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup to a saucepan. Heat for about two minutes, or until everything is melted together. Then, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Once the dish has been in the freezer for about 30 minutes, pour this top layer over the frozen middle layer. Let the dish sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, ideally overnight.
Cut into bars and flake with sea salt before serving. Enjoy!
How millionaire bars are a healthier dessert option
I know what you’re thinking: It’s a chocolate-based dessert. How can it be healthy?! That’s a totally valid question! However, I’m here to shake your suspicion and show you why this is one of the best caramel shortbread recipes you can make.
To start, this recipe leaves out a long list of processed ingredients commonly found in other millionaire bar recipes. In this rendition, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, and butter all get kicked to the curb. Instead, we use a number of ingredients that have been chosen as the superior alternatives that they are!
- Coconut and almond flour: By skipping all-purpose flour and opting for coconut and almond alternatives, we’re avoiding loads of chemicals and preservatives. Instead, we’re using these all-natural options shown to be higher in nutrients.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils to bake with! Just remember, if you don’t mind the coconut flavor, unrefined is best, but if you want NO coconut flavor, make sure you use refined.
- Maple syrup: There’s no need for added sugar when using all-natural maple syrup. This ingredient acts as a natural sweetener and provides a ton of flavor.
- Cashew butter: All-natural cashew butter is a great way to get an extra serving of protein while maintaining a wonderful flavor. This stuff is my go-to.
- Cocoa powder: Finally, cocoa powder is used to achieve a chocolate flavor. We aren’t using chocolate chips or chopped candy bars, instead opting for a natural substitute.
Tips for making millionaire bars
When making your caramel bars, feel free to use these guidelines. If you have further questions, leave a comment below!
Using a different sized dish
I use an 8×8 dish for this recipe because I like my bars to be nice and thick! If you would like to use a different sized dish, feel free. They’ll turn out thinner or thicker depending on the dish used, and may require a bit of extra chilling time to completely harden.
Using the microwave
I do not recommend using the microwave to melt the ingredients for the second and third layers. It’s best that the ingredients melt and mix together gradually on the stove.
Cutting the bars
When cutting the bars, be sure to use a sharp knife. Anything weak or dull could result in a cracked crust layer. Note: Expect a few crumbles; this is normal!
Storing leftover caramel shortbread bars
Keep extra millionaire bars stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, feel free to save extra bars for the future by freezing in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw before eating, and consume within 3 months.
Try these layered recipes too!
It’s true: Layered desserts just feel fancier! No matter how they’re prepared, treats with multiple layers give the idea that they were complex to make and required a lot of effort. For that reason, I love to serve ’em up for my friends and fam!
If you feel the same way, here are some more ideas that you may be interested in trying. Enjoy!
- Healthy Cookie Dough Bars
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- Pumpkin Oat Bars
- Healthy Lemon Bars (Gluten-Free)
Recipe by Erin Morrissey + Photos by The Mindful Hapa.
- 1.5 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or nonstick spray.
- In a bowl, mix together all of your crust ingredients until well combined.
- Press into the bottom of the 8×8 baking dish, prick with fork several times, and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before adding next layer.
- While crust is cooling, add cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup to small saucepan over medium heat. Heat for about two minutes or until all melted together. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
- Pour over cooled crust and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
- While in freezer, make chocolate layer by adding coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup to a saucepan. Repeat the same process as middle layer by heating for about two minutes, then turn off heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
- Pour over top of frozen middle layer. Let set in refrigerator for at least 1 hour but overnight preferred.
- Cut into bars and flake with sea salt before serving. Store in fridge.
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