Millionaire’s Shortbread

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Millionaire’s Shortbread goes by many names, but all of them point to a buttery shortbread crust topping with luscious caramel filling and a sturdy chocolate topping. Falling somewhere between a cookie and a candy, you’ll be hooked after just one bite!

Squares of millionaire's shortbread.

Millionaire’s Shortbread has a million names! Not really a million, but it goes by several including: caramel shortbread, chocolate caramel shortbread, caramel squares, caramel slice, millionaire’s slice, and Wellington squares.

In my opinion, the variety of names is evidence that people in different places independently developed recipes for something like Millionaire’s Shortbread, completely unaware of similar confections, not unlike convergent evolution.

Anthropology aside, Millionaire’s Shortbread has a buttery cookie crust topped with soft caramel layer and delicious semi-sweet chocolate topping. No wonder people everywhere are making and eating it!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Millionaire's shortbread.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Corn syrup: Traditional shortbread is made with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. It is located in the baking aisle near the syrups of well-stocked grocery stores or you can buy it online.

Step-by-step instructions

To make the shortbread:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan with parchment, allowing two sides to have a 2-inch overhang. Spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
A pan lined with parchment paper.
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium, or with an electric mixer by hand, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes.
Butter and sugar creamed in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add flour and salt, and mix on low speed until combined and has the consistency of course sand, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press into an even layer.
Unbaked dough for shortbread in a square pan.
  1. Bake until light golden brown and dry, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.
Shortbread crust in a square baking pan.

To make the caramel:

  1. As the shortbread cools, combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the mixture is thickened and light butterscotch-colored, about 10 to 20 minutes. (Mixture should read 220 to 225 degrees on a digital thermometer.) Adjust heat as necessary and stir constantly to prevent bottom from scorching.
Cooking caramel sauce in a skillet.
  1. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Immediately pour over the shortbread crust, smoothing it into an even layer.
Caramel sauce spread over shortbread in a baking pan.

To make the chocolate topping:

  1. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate.Stir carefully and continue to microwave in 30-second increments until smooth, stirring after each increment. Pour over caramel filling and spread evenly.
A baking pan filled with Millionaire's Shortbread.
  1. Chill until chocolate is just set, about 30 minutes. Cut parchment away from sides of pan and using parchment overhang, carefully remove from pan.
Millionaire's shortbread on a board.
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.
Squares of millionaire's shortbread.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 16 bars approximately 2 inches by 2 inches in size.
  • Storage: Store bars covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
  • Freezer: Wrap bars well individually in plastic wrap and then foil. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving. 
Squares of millionaire's shortbread.

Recipe FAQs

Why is it called Millionaire’s Shortbread?

This name came from Scotland and reflects the decadence and “wealth” of this luscious treat that is much fancier than regular shortbread.

What is the difference between Millionaire’s Shortbread and Billionaire’s Shortbread?

While Millionaire’s shortbread has a soft caramel filling, Billionaire’s shortbread has salted caramel sauce in the center.

More chocolate treats

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Squares of millionaire's shortbread on a plate.

Millionaire’s Shortbread

Millionaire's Shortbread goes by many names, but all of them point to a buttery shortbread crust topping with luscious caramel filling and a sturdy chocolate topping.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Chilling time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 16 bars
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Australian, Scottish
Calories 338

Ingredients 

For the shortbread:

For the caramel:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (½ stick)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (see note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate topping:

  • 2 (4-ounce) bars semisweet chocolate broken into pieces

Instructions 

To make the shortbread:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan with parchment, allowing two sides to have a 2-inch overhang. Spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium, or with an electric mixer by hand, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes.
  • Add flour and salt, and mix on low speed until combined and has the consistency of course sand, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until light golden brown and dry, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.

To make the caramel:

  • As the shortbread cools, combine sweetened condensed milk, butter, syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the mixture is thickened and light butterscotch-colored, about 10 to 20 minutes. (Mixture should read 220 to 225 degrees on a digital thermometer.) Adjust heat as necessary and stir constantly to prevent bottom from scorching.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Immediately pour over the shortbread crust, smoothing it into an even layer.

To make the chocolate topping:

  • In a small, microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate.Stir carefully and continue to microwave in 30-second increments until smooth, stirring after each increment.
  • Pour over caramel filling and spread evenly. Chill until chocolate is just set, about 30 minutes.
  • Cut parchment away from sides of pan and using parchment overhang, carefully remove from pan. Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.

Notes

  1. Corn syrup: Traditional shortbread is made with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. It is located in the baking aisle near the syrups of well-stocked grocery stores or you can buy it online.
  2. Yield: This recipe makes 16 bars approximately 2 inches by 2 inches in size.
  3. Storage: Store bars covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before serving. 
  4. Freezer: Wrap bars well individually in plastic wrap and then foil. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 338kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 272mgPotassium: 189mgFiber: 1gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 428IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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