It's a kiwi classic, a close relative of caramel slice and one of my personal favourites from the bakery cabinet. Up until recently, I didn't actually realise the name Tan Slice is a New Zealand thing and for some of you out there, you may know it by another name such as Caramel Crumb Bars. Regardless, this slice is simply divine! 

I have quite the penchant for anything caramel, so while I have provided the traditional Tan Slice recipe, I would recommend doubling the quantity (or one and a half if you're not quite that daring!) of Caramel Filling to replicate that ridiculously thick layer that is sickeningly satisfying! 


Tan Slice (Caramel Crumb Bars)

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  • Ready in: 1 hour (plus cooling time)
  • Complexity: medium
  • Serves: 15 squares
  • Origin: New Zealand (kiwi!)
Tan Slice (Caramel Crumb Bars)


  • 180g butter*
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 can condensed milk*
  • 75g butter*
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup

Icing and Decorations

  • 1/3 of base mixture
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
*I use a reduced fat or "healthier" version


  1. Preheat oven to fanbake 180°C (350°F) and grease, then line a square (20cm x 20cm) tin with baking paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add in vanilla and mix until combined.

  3. Mix in flour and baking powder, stirring together until combined. Put one third of the mixture into a separate bowl and set aside - this will be sprinkled on top of the caramel!

  4. Tip the rest of the mixture (two thirds) into the tin and press down with your fingers or the back of a spoon, evenly spreading the mixture all over the base. Set aside and now it's time to make the caramel!


Filling Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, add condensed milk, butter and golden syrup. Over low-medium heat, cook the mixture, stirring regularly to prevent it sticking to the bottom. If it starts to stick, turn the heat down a little! As I use reduced fat versions, the consistency tends to be a little runnier so I like to cook this for about 8-10 minutes, until the colour has turned a light golden colour and the mixture has thickened into a custard-like texture. For full-fat versions, timing might be a little less i.e. 5-6 minutes. 

  2. Once the caramel is cooked, pour it over the base and spread it evenly so it covers right into the corners. 


Decoration Directions

  1. In the bowl that has your remaining (one third) mixture of the base, add in 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips and stir until mixed. Sprinkle this over the top of the caramel. 

  2. Bake on fanbake 180°C (350°F) for 20-25 minutes, until the top is nice and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing. After an hour I usually pop it into the fridge to harden up completely!


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