Seriously reduced sugar caramel shortcake…..ahhhhhh!

imageI posted up a picture of my caramel shortcake the other day and I was astounded by the number of messages I received asking for the recipe. This is when I realized that you guys don’t really want to be on diets. You just want to eat what you like and still be fit and healthy and do you know what, you can do it. I like to think that I am living proof of that. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t find me stuffing my face with caramel shortcake 24/7 but you know, I will have a slice or 2 and if I end up eating 3 slices, I don’t beat myself up or make myself feel guilty. I just get over it. I don’t do it every day and on the whole, I do eat very healthily and consciously. I am conscious about the quantity of sugar that goes in, the quantity of wheat that goes in, the quantity of red meat, dairy….you get the drift. I like to think that I eat what I like in moderation and I listen to my body. If my body tells me red meat overload, then I miss red meat for a few days and eat a veggie diet or I have some fish. If I feel like I’ve had too much wheat then I cut that too. I tend to go wheat cold turkey for at least a week at a time as I’ve found that that’s how long it takes for my body to say thanks for the break.

What’s going on in my life  can also affect how food makes me feel. My body wants carbs and sugar when I’m a little down or stressed. Of course it does. These types of foods spike my blood sugar levels and give me a high. I’m conscious of that and tune in to deal with the stressful issue. I don’t go overboard with the food.

Caramel shortcake. Oh yum. This is a childhood thingy for me. The original recipe is on a folded up scrap of paper with my mum’s writing on it. It’s so faded that I can hardly read it but I don’t need to read it as I know the recipe off my heart. I need to have that little piece of paper there though for nothing other than comfort. After all, I’ve messed with the recipe to reduce the sugar. It’s a bit like my banana bread recipe. It too is on faded paper and I got that on the day of my mum’s funeral. Anyway, this is not the time for tears but rather for sugar lol.

Caramel Shortcake recipe


  • 150g of spelt flour or use a gluten free flour (it works well too I just prefer spelt)
  • 100g of best quality butter


  • 100g of best quality butter
  • 1 small tin of organic condensed milk
  • 2 x 15ml of syrup (use golden syrup or maple)
  • 25g of golden fine sugar (coconut sugar works but it gives the caramel a dark colour)
  • 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract


  • 6oz of melted 80% cacao chocolate

[the original recipe called for all purpose flour and 60g of sugar in the base; 4x 15ml spoons of syrup and 115g of sugar in the filling; and any old chocolate for the top]


  1. For the base, heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and line an 8 inch by 8 inch square pan.
  2. Chop the butter into cubes and rub the butter into the flour using your finger tips until the mix turns into crumbs and then starts to come together.
  3. Flatten the base mixture in to the baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes until cookie like in texture. I prick a few holes in the raw dough with a fork before baking so that it doesn’t rise. I don’t put anything on top though as you want the base to be crisp.
  4. When the base is ready, remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. For the filling, melt the butter in a pot on the cooker top and then add the condensed milk and the sugar and stir continuously on a medium heat making sure that you stir the mixture away from the sides of the pot. It burns easily. You want to stir for about 10 minutes until it comes together in a sticky paste. Don’t worry if you get little flakes of dark coloured mix that have stuck to the side of the pot. Beating the mixture should get rid of these.
  6. Once you have a sticky paste, add the vanilla and then beat the mixture for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth caramel colored paste. Set aside to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Once cooled, spread the caramel over the biscuit base. It’s fine if it’s still warm.
  8. Next, melt the chocolate and pour this over the top of the caramel. Allow this is get to the point where the chocolate is just setting (I cheat and put it in the freezer!) and then cut through the chocolate to make 16 squares. This stops the chocolate from cracking when it has fully set.

You’re good to go. Now that I have given you all this recipe, I’ll have to kill you. My most guarded secret!

Oh and yes, I can do a paleo version! Watch out for that one.

This is really addictive….if you have older kids who can help themselves……hide some for yourself. I came in from the gym and my 15 year old son had scoffed half the tray. He has hollow legs!


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