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Corner Shot slices of tan square

Homemade Tan Slice

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large bars or 24 smaller ones 1x
  • Category: Bars and Slices
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: New Zealand


Tan slice is a Classic New Zealand recipe. It is super simple - comprised of a shortbread and a caramel filling. The shortbread is pressed into the pan as a crust, topped with the caramel, then additional shortbread is then crumbled over the top for a perfect, buttery textured slice.



Base / Crumble

  • 260g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g graulated sugar
  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Caramel Topping

  • One 400g (14oz) can condensed milk
  • 75g unsalted butter (cold from the fridge or at room temperature is fine)
  • 70g golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Flaky Sea salt, such as Maldon, for finishing (optional)



  1. Make the base. Preheat the oven to 350°f/180°c. Line a 9"x13" (23cm x 33cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang to help with removal of the slice once cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until thick and pale, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla, and mix on low until combined. Place 165g of the base mixture into a small bowl and set aside. (This will form the crumb later).
  3. Press base into pan. Press the remaining base mixture into the baking tin, spreading out with your fingers and then using an offset spatula or bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass to compact and smooth down. Place in the fridge to chill while you prepare the caramel.
  4. Make the caramel layer. In a medium pot over low heat, combine the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup. Stirring continuously, bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture has thickened slightly and is light golden brown in colour. (It will colour up more in the oven). Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla. Pour over the base. Spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  5. Add the crumble. Sprinkle the remainder of the base mixture evenly over the caramel - you want it to be in lumps leaving some caramel showing.
  6. Bake the tan slice. Bake the slice for 23-25 minutes, until the filling is a deep golden brown and the crumb is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and finish with a flaky sea salt. Cool completely before removing from the tin and slicing with a sharp knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Keywords: Tan square, tan slice, tan fingers, Tan square New Zealand