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Tan Slice

Shortbread and caramel make up this delicious classic Tan Slice recipe. It’s smooth, buttery and the perfect amount of sweetness!

tan slice

Tan Slice Recipe

There’s something almost perfect about the pairing of shortbread and caramel and this tan slice doesn’t disappoint! The shortbread is buttery and smooth and the caramel sweet and gooey, you can also add chocolate but I honestly prefer it without.

It makes a perfect dessert, sweet treat with coffee, or a plate to share. The recipe is so quick and easy to make, requiring only pantry staples, you’ll be making it all the time!

caramel tan slice

What makes this the Best Tan Slice

  • The most tender and buttery shortbread
  • Simple and easy to make.
  • Tried and tested sooooo many times for best recipe!
  • The perfect ratio of buttery shortbread and gooey caramel.
  • A delicious classic that you’ll want to make again and again!
tan square

Caramel Tan Slice

Recently I’ve been coming back to so many classic New Zealand recipes that I remember baking when I was a lot younger, this classic tan slice or tan square (whichever way you call it) being one of my favourites!

tan slice recipe

What is Tan Slice?

Tan Slice is a classic slice recipe from New Zealand (otherwise known as a bar in other countries). It’s slightly similar to millionaires shortbread or chocolate caramel slice but so much easier to make and more focus on the shortbread.

It’s made up of a base layer of buttery shortbread, topped with delicious caramel and sprinkled with more shortbread over the top. Baked until golden brown and slightly crunchy it’s the perfect sweet treat and goes really well with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

You can check out all my other classic New Zealand recipes here. Chocolate Afghan Biscuits and Ginger Crunch are my favourites!

best tan slice recipe

Tan Slice Ingredients

Base

1 1/2 Sticks / 12 Tbsp / 170g Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature so it can easily be creamed with the sugar.

1/2 Cup / 100g White Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 Cups / 310g Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

Caramel

1 Tin Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Stick / 8 Tbsp / 115g Butter – Cold from the fridge or room temperature is fine as it will be melted.

2 Tbsp Golden Syrup – Honey, maple syrup or corn syrup can all be substituted here.

1/2 tsp Salt

How to Make Tan Slice

In a medium sized mixing bowl add the room temperature butter and sugar. Use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated and add the vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, the flour, baking powder and salt and use a wooden spoon to fold the shortbread dough together. It should have a clumpy sand texture.

Take a 8″ or 20cm square baking pan and line it with non stick paper.

Add 2/3 of the shortbread dough and press it into a flat even layer with the back of a spoon.

In a small saucepan add the caramel ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously so it doesn’t burn until the butter has completely melted and the ingredients are well combined.

Remove the caramel from the heat and pour over the shortbread base, using a silicone spatula to scrape all of the caramel out of the pan.

caramel

Take the remaining 1/3 of the shortbread dough and clump it together in your hands. Sprinkle it evenly over the caramel.

Bake the tan slice in a 180C / 350F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and it no longer jiggles when you shake the pan.

Leave the tan slice to cool completely in the pan for 1-2 hours before removing. Use a sharp knife to slice the edges off and cut it into 12-16 even pieces.

Storing the Tan Slice

Keep the slice in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freezing Tan Slice

To freeze the slice place it into an airtight container and into the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve the tan slice let it defrost fully at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Common Questions about Tan Slice

What if I don’t have golden syrup?

Golden syrup is common in NZ, Australia and the Uk. It works best for this recipe and you will usually be able to find it online if you live somewhere else in the world. You can substitute the golden syrup for equal amounts of honey, maple syrup or dark corn syrup.Can I make this a Chocolate Tan Slice

Can I make this a Chocolate Tan Slice?

Chocolate is such a delicious addition to this tan slice recipe. Simply sprinkle over 1/2 Cup or 100g of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate over the baked slice when it comes out of the oven. The chocolate will melt into the top layer of shortbread.

Can I double this recipe?

You can but it will need to be made in a 9×13 or 23x33cm baking pan instead of square. The baking time might vary slightly so make sure to keep an eye on the slice in the oven.

Equipment for this Recipe

Classic Tan Slice

More New Zealand Recipes

Tan Slice

Tan Slice

Yield: 12 Slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Shortbread and caramel make up this delicious classic Tan Slice recipe. It’s smooth, buttery and the perfect amount of sweetness!

Ingredients

Shortbread

  • 1 1/2 Sticks / 170g Butter
  • 1/2 Cup / 100g White Sugar
  • 2 1/2 Cups / 310g Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Caramel

  • 400g / 1 Tin Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Stick / 115g Butter
  • 2 Tbsp / 50g Golden Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the room temperature butter and sugar. Use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  2. Scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated and add the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, the flour, baking powder and salt and use a wooden spoon to fold the shortbread dough together. It should have a clumpy sand texture.
  4. Take a 8″ or 20cm square baking pan and line it with non stick paper.
  5. Add 2/3 of the shortbread dough and press it into a flat even layer with the back of a spoon.
  6. In a small saucepan add the caramel ingredients.
  7. Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously so it doesn’t burn until the butter has completely melted and the ingredients are well combined.
  8. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour over the shortbread base, using a silicone spatula to scrape all of the caramel out of the pan.
  9. Take the remaining 1/3 of the shortbread dough and clump it together in your hands. Sprinkle it evenly over the caramel.
  10. Bake the tan slice in a 180C / 350F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and it no longer jiggles when you shake the pan.
  11. Leave the tan slice to cool completely in the pan for 1-2 hours before removing. Use a sharp knife to slice the edges off and cut it into 12-16 even pieces.

Notes

Chocolate Tan Slice

To make chocolate tan slice sprinkle 1/2 Cup or 100g of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate over the baked tan slice straight after it comes out of the oven. The chocolate will melt into the slice.

Storing the Tan Slice

Keep the slice in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Freezing Tan Slice

To freeze the slice place it into an airtight container and into the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve the tan slice let it defrost fully at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Slices Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is estimated and not always correct

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