Millionaire’s Shortbread


Millionaire’s shortbread is an amazing thing. In case you don’t know what it is, it’s shortbread topped with caramel, then chocolate. It’s also known as caramel shortbread. I like the name “millionaire’s shortbread” because it sounds fancy and accurately describes how rich it is. Also, “caramel shortbread” isn’t entirely descriptive, because it doesn’t mention the chocolate. Granted “millionaire’s shortbread” doesn’t mention either the caramel or the chocolate, but at least that way it’s even, and it still sounds delicious.

Naming aside, it’s worth noting that I recently discovered it through two unrelated occurrences. The first thing that happened was that I started frequenting a local bakery. It’s a great bakery with delicious cookies, whoopie pies, cakes, and other baked goods. The staff is super friendly, super professional, and super fun. And it’s a great place to hang out, so I find myself there a bunch. One of their best cookies, in my opinion, is their millionaire’s shortbread. They don’t call it that, but that’s what it is. So from never having heard of it before, I came to really enjoy and appreciate it.

The other thing that happened is that a friend asked me to make it. A while ago, when I was first starting to get back into baking, I wasn’t quite sure what to make next. I asked a bunch of people to tell me what they thought I should make. One friend suggested these. At that point I had just had some, from the local bakery, so that idea resonated with me. I made them.

And since I enjoyed them so much, I went on to make them over and over again. They’re a lot of fun, they’re super easy, and they’re super delicious. It took a little digging and experimenting to find and perfect a good recipe, though. Shortbread is pretty easy to make. The chocolate part is a snap. But caramel! The first time I made them following the recipe I chose, the caramel turned out rock hard. It turns out I had cooked it for too long. So I ignored their instructions for how long to cook the caramel, and sought advice elsewhere. I tried out those other suggestions, and voilà! What you see in the recipe below is what I ended up with.

They’re easy to play around with, too. I’ve done them gluten-free (just substitute gluten-free flour). and they turn out great. I’ve done them with rice crispy treats instead of shortbread, and they also turn out great. (I’ll post about those later.) If you really think about it, putting caramel and chocolate on almost anything should be a hit, so I’m not surprised.

I hope you’ll try them out, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. When I want to make cookies, and I’m not sure what else to make, they’re my go-to recipe. Maybe they’ll become part of your cookie making rotation, too!

Recipe lightly adapted from


For the shortbread:

2/3 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup flour

For the caramel:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate topping:

190 grams milk chocolate


To make the shortbread, mix together butter, sugar, and flour. Line a 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper. Spread evenly into the bottom of the dish. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

To make the caramel, add the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan. Cook until it’s boiling. Then reduce heat and stir. Keep stirring for another 4 minutes and remove from heat. Pour over the shortbread and spread evenly.

To make the chocolate topping, break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a microwave safe dish. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. If it’s not a smooth consistency yet, you might have to microwave it a little bit longer (15-20 seconds more should do it). Once it’s smooth, pour over the caramel, and spread evenly.

Chill until firm. Remove from dish, peel away parchment paper, and cut into small squares. (I usually make 25 from an 8×8 dish. Trust me, they’re that rich.) Enjoy!


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