Millionaire’s Shortbread

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
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Millionaire’s Shortbread is made with layers of rich, chewy shortbread, decadent caramel, and smooth chocolate. It’s a sinfully delicious treat that pairs wonderfully with coffee!

Why You’ll Love This Millionaire’s Shortbread Recipe

  • Tastes like a Twix bar. If you like Twix bars, this recipe is going to blow your mind! The triple whammy of sweet, freshly-made shortbread, chewy caramel, and chocolate may be simple, but it tastes like a million bucks (see what I did there?).
  • Easy to make. This recipe isn’t necessarily quick, as each layer needs to cool before adding the next one, but it is easy! The hands-on time isn’t long either,
  • Freezes well. Since millionaire’s shortbread freezes well, you can make extras with no hassle. This is perfect if you decide to add it to your holiday cookie trays or give as an edible gift.

For more wonderful Christmas cookie ideas, check out my Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Lofthouse Cookies, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

(Love all things shortbread? Check out these Malted Shortbread Cookies, Orange Whipped Shortbread Cookies, and Almond Shortbread Tea Cookies.)

Overhead shot of bar cookies, scattered on a work surface with cups of coffee.

Why Is It Called Millionaire Shortbread?

This dessert has a few different names, but “millionaire’s shortbread” seems to be a Scottish name that became popular worldwide. The name is all about luxury, which makes sense if you try a bite! Millionaire’s shortbread is definitely a rich, ritzy treat.

Ingredients

Each layer of the shortbread has its own list of ingredients, but all of the items are fairly simple. You probably already have most of them on hand! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for measurements.

Shortbread Layer

  • Butter: Unsalted butter, softened.
  • Sugar: I use regular granulated sugar.
  • Shortening: Vegetable shortening helps give the shortbread layer the right texture.
  • Egg Yolks: For richness and flavor, and to add structure to the dough.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract is best, but you can also use vanilla flavoring.
  • Salt
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is fine.

Caramel Layer

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: This ingredient makes creating the caramel layer quick and easy.
  • Sugar: You’ll need granulated sugar and brown sugar for the caramel. Light brown sugar has a milder taste, while dark brown has a more molasses-y taste. Either will do!
  • Butter: For the caramel, you don’t need to soften the butter – just cut it into cubes.
  • Corn Syrup: This helps get the caramel to the right consistency.
  • Vanilla
  • Salt

Chocolate Layer

  • Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet work well here – they are not overly sweet, which is good, since the other layers are on the sweet side.
  • Heavy Cream: To make the chocolate layer smooth and luxe.

How Make Millionaire’s Shortbread

Okay, now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s go over the baking and cooking process. Scroll down to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

Shortbread

  • Make the dough. Beat the butter, sugar, and shortening until light and fluffy. Then beat in the egg yolks, salt, and vanilla, followed by the flour on medium speed for a minute.
  • Chill. Shape the dough into a ball, press into a 1-inch thick disc, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
  • Bake. Line a square pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. Spread the shortbread dough evenly in the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Caramel

  • Cook the caramel. Cook the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the venly.
  • Add to the shortbread. Pour the caramel over the baked shortbread. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Layer

  • Melt the chocolate. Microwave the heavy cream for 1 minute then pour over the chocolate chips in a mixing bowl. Allow to sit for a minute then briskly whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is very smooth.
  • Add to the caramel. Pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Enjoy. Once the millionaire bars have cooled, slice into squares and enjoy.
Overhead shot of cut bar cookies, with one turned on its side to show the layers.

Recipe Tips

Knowing the ins and outs of a recipe ahead of time is great, and can go a long way toward saving you time in the kitchen. These are my top tips for making the best millionaire’s shortbread:

  • About the Shortening: Melted butter may be used instead, but using a little shortening will help keep the shortbread soft.
  • Heating the Caramel: When making the caramel, use the sturdiest pot you have. Thin cookware heats unevenly and that could cause the sugar to burn, resulting in a burnt-tasting caramel.
  • Color Change: Using a light-colored pot when making the caramel will help you to see when the color changes. You will want to take it off the heat as soon as it does.
  • Parchment Help: To keep parchment paper in place, give your pan a light spritz with baking spray before you place the parchment. The parchment will cling to the pan more, instead of sliding around as much.
Millionaire's shortbread bars on a square dish.

Easy Variations

Want to change things up? Make this millionaire’s shortbread recipe your own! Here are just a couple of ways you can play with the original: 

  • White Chocolate: For a pretty touch, drizzle melted white chocolate over the cooled bars, in a thin zigzag or another pretty pattern.
  • Sea Salt: Sprinkle flaked sea salt over the caramel layer.
  • Almonds: Slivered almonds make a pretty and scrumptious topping. Add them before the chocolate sets so they stick to the bars.
  • Gold Flakes: Edible gold flakes would make a gorgeous garnish. Gold leaf is completely edible and can be purchased online.
Close-up shot of millionaire shortbread from the side, showing the texture.

How to Store Millionaire’s Shortbread

  • Fridge. Millionaire’s shortbread bars can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days. Let them to come to room temperature before serving, so that the chocolate and caramel layers aren’t too hard or chewy to eat.
  • Freezer. These bars actually freeze very well. Wrap each one in plastic wrap, and then seal the wrapped bars in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months, and thaw to room temperature before serving.
Three millionaire's shortbread bars stacked on top of each other.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 9 Bars

Millionaire’s Shortbread

Millionaire’s Shortbread, is made with layers of rich, chewy shortbread, decadent caramel, and smooth chocolate. It’s a sinfully delicious treat that pairs wonderfully with coffee!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour
Additional Time1 hour
Total Time3 hours

Ingredients

Shortbread Layer

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ⅓ cup all purpose flour

Caramel Layer

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ½ tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Layer

  • 1 ⅓ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Instructions 

  • Shortbread Layer
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat on high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula.
  • Add the egg yolks and mix until just combined. Add vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Add flour and mix on medium speed for 1 minute until a smooth dough forms.
  • Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and mold it into a 1" thick disc.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.  
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with baking spray.
  • Once the dough has been chilled, remove from the fridge and evenly spread into the prepared baking dish. Place into the preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.  While the shortbread is cooling, make the caramel.
  • Caramel Layer
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, add the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the ingredients are melted and well combined.
  • Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the color changes to a rich caramel.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt.
  • Pour the caramel onto the baked shortbread. Set aside to cool completely.  While the caramel is cooling, make the chocolate layer.
  • Chocolate Layer
  • Add chocolate chips to a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate microwave-safe bowl add the heavy cream and microwave for 1 minute.
  • Once the heavy cream is heated, pour it over the chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Then briskly whisk the chocolate minute until it becomes very smooth in texture.  
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cooled caramel. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Cool for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Once cooled, cut into 9 pieces and serve.

Notes

Storage: Millionaire’s shortbread bars can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 5 days. Let them to come to room temperature before serving, so that the chocolate and caramel layers aren’t too hard or chewy to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 891kcal, Carbohydrates: 104g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 51g, Saturated Fat: 30g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g, Cholesterol: 148mg, Sodium: 389mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 76g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.