Millionaire Shortbread recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 36 bars

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This Millionaire Shortbread is a rich shortbread bar with thick, salted caramel and dark chocolate! They are easy to make and completely irresistible!

overhead image of millionaire shortbread with half cut into squares
Table of Contents
  1. How to make Millionaire Shortbread:
  2. Variations on this Millionaire Shortbread:
  3. How to store shortbread:
  4. Millionaire Shortbread recipe Recipe

This recipe was first posted on Spend With Pennies.

I just can never resist a sweet and salty treat, and this Millionaire Shortbread is one of my favorites to make around the holidays (but really, why don’t I make them more often throughout the year?!).

It has a shortbread base similar to these Lemon Cheesecake Bars and these Butter Tart Squares (<– another holiday favorite!), a rich and thick caramel filling, and is topped with dark chocolate — I like my chocolate not too sweet to balance out the caramel!

Bar cookies are so perfect for making a big batch at once, so that there are lots to share with friends, family and neighbors — but I promise you it will be difficult to share once you have a taste!

overhead image of millionaire squares with one piece sticking up

Here’s a quick breakdown of how they’re made — be sure to see the complete recipe and instructions in the recipe card below.

How to make Millionaire Shortbread:

  1. Start with the crust: mix together the butter, sugar and flour until crumbly — I like to use a pastry cutter, a fork, or my hands (don’t tell!). Note that it won’t look like dough, but when you press it firmly in your hands it will hold together. If it doesn’t, add a tablespoon more butter or water and try again.
  2. Bake just until dried on top and lightly golden — they shouldn’t look glossy. You don’t want to overbake or your shortbread will be very firm.
  3. Stir together the caramel ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil — then keep stirring! Sugar burns easily, so you do need to stay by the stove with whisk in hand.
  4. Spread the caramel over the crust and let set completely before adding your chocolate — this way your layers will be nice and clean and not run together. Don’t rush this!
  5. Melt your chocolate with some butter, then pour over the caramel and chill to set. You can do this on the counter or in the refrigerator, but the refrigerator does help speed up the process (and I know you want to dig into them!)
chocolate ganache being poured on caramel in pan

Variations on this Millionaire Shortbread:

  • Substitute a couple tablespoons of flour in the shortbread base for cocoa powder for a chocolatey twist!
  • Once the caramel has boiled, stir in coconut, rum, or almond extract for an extra hit of flavor. Start with 1/4-½ teaspoon and adjust from there.
  • Stir chopped nuts, dried cranberries or raisins into your caramel before pouring onto the crust
  • Change out the dark chocolate for milk or white, or add a drizzle to the top after the topping sets for a fun and festive look
stack of millionaire shortbread with one bite taken

How to store shortbread:

Because this Millionaire Shortbread is made with fresh dairy, it is best stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s also a good way to make sure the chocolate stays firm and doesn’t get too warm!

close up image of one piece of millionaire shortbread with bite taken

Place it in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers, and refrigerate for one week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

I like to make a batch and keep it in the freezer, so that I have some ready whenever I want to bring a box of goodies to a friend in need!

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Millionaire Shortbread recipe

4.86 from 28 votes
This Millionaire Shortbread is a rich shortbread bar with thick, salted caramel and dark chocolate! They are easy to make and completely irresistible!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 36 bars
Calories 235cal


Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • 1 cup unsalted butter or use salted and omit the salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate or chips
  • 1/3 cup cream any kind


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper or grease lightly.
  • Combine butter, flour and sugar for crust with a mixer or pastry cutter until crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Bake 12 minutes or until it looks slightly puffed and dry. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.
  • Combine butter, sugar, sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil, watching carefully and stirring continually.
  • Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pour over the crust. Let chill completely in the refrigerator before adding the chocolate.
  • For the ganache, place the chocolate and cream in a small pot over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and pour over firm caramel layer and spread evenly. Optional: sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
  • Let chill until chocolate layer is set before slicing.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 235cal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 348IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords millionaire shortbread

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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  1. Monique says

    I made this receipe and saddly the caramel was runny when I cut them. I had put them in the fridge for the night . I dont understand why. I used more than one can of condensed milk because the receipe requires 14 onces and one can is 10 onces?What went wrong?

  2. Sam G says

    Great recipe, very happy with how it turned out! I made my own variation of these for my classmates and they all loved them!! I’ll include my findings below:

    -I found the short bread needed to bake longer than the 12 minutes, so I added probably about 8 more minutes for it to not look super wet but not quite golden. Every oven is different!

    -I also made homemade sweetened condensed milk because I didn’t have any and it worked well, I’d recommend trying if you’re in a pinch!

    -How to: 2 c. milk, 3/4 c. sugar, 4 tbsp butter, and a tsp vanilla. Reduce milk and sweeteners by 1/2 volume on a simmer for ~30 minutes. Then add butter and vanilla. I was able to then add the rest of the filling ingredients right to this and follow the rest of the instructions! I also added chopped pecans to this for a nice salty crunch and I am glad I did.

  3. Rochelle says

    The baking time for the shortbread crust is way too short. I should have gone with my gut and baked it until it was golden. The taste of raw flour ruins what might have been a nice square. Waste of ingredients, lesson learned.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Rochelle. The timing has worked well for myself, and others, so I wished it would of been a hit for you too.

  4. Emma says

    Hi there! To make it more simple, could you use store bought caramels and just melt them? I’m not confident in my sugar melting skills

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Emma! That might be something you could do, but I’ve only tested the recipe as written so it would be hard to tell how the final recipe would come out. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  5. Marisa Naro says

    Is this recipe calling for dark corn syrup or light corn syrup? I used light and I don’t feel like its as caramel in color as I would like.

  6. Sara says

    Hi can you make the Carmel without the corn syrup? I don’t see any at my local store. If not what are some substitute?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Sara! I’ve only tested this recipe as written but you could do a quick google search for a caramel sauce without corn syrup. Also a store bought might work too. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  7. Trista says

    Delicious! First time making them and definitely making them again! Super easy to make. Btw thank you for all the delicious recipes, I’ve actually made quite a few of them!!!

      • Christina says

        Can you use bittersweet or semi chocolate chips? If so which would be better. Currently snowed in and would love to make these, but these are the only chips o have in hand

  8. Amy Arnold says

    Hi Ashley!

    I’m about to make this and am wondering how long they last? Should they be stored in the fridge?


    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Amy! Place it in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers, and refrigerate for one week, or frozen for up to 3 months. You’ll find this and more helpful tips in the blog post. Hope you enjoy them!

  9. Tina says

    Amazing! I made this for Christmas and my family ate the entire pan and am now making my second pan. 😆 Hopefully it makes it till Christmas!

  10. Jennifer says

    How do you cut them with such a straight edge? I can never get them nice and square- they much when I cut them. Thank you!

  11. Katrina says

    Made this today and it is so yummy. I didn’t chill my caramel I left it at room temp for a few hours, it worked but I will definitely follow your instructions next time. You can tell it needs the coolness after being cooked.

    Thanks for the recipe!

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