Millionaire's Shortbread

Millionaire's Shortbread recipe

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Chill Time: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 12 squares

Who doesn't love a chunk of buttery, crumbly Scottish shortbread? As if this isn't already delicious enough, take shortbread to a whole new level with the millionaire's version, where the shortbread is covered with a thick, supremely sweet caramel followed by a layer of chocolate.

Given that there is a serious sugar alert on this recipe, you will not be surprised to know that the name "millionaire" refers to the richness of the taste—it has nothing to do with the bank balance required to buy the ingredients to make it.

The recipe may look long and complicated, but it's actually straightforward, with three main steps that include making the shortbread, the caramel, and then the chocolate.


For the Shortbread:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup cornstarch

For the Caramel:

For the Chocolate:

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Steps to Make It

Make the Shortbread

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for millionaire's shortbread

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  2. Line a 9 x 9-inch deep baking pan with nonstick baking parchment (do not use greaseproof paper, the shortbread will likely stick.)

    Baking tin lined with parchment

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  3. In a large baking bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and creamy; it will also start to lighten in color. You can use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to do this.

    Cream the butter and sugar

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  4. Sift the flour with the cornstarch.

    Mixing sifted flour with cornstarch

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  5. Tip the flour and cornstarch into the butter, and using your fingers, lightly rub the two together to create a sand-like texture. Do not squeeze them together, as this will make the finished shortbread dense and heavy.

    Crumbled butter and dry ingredients

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  6. Once you have your crumb-like mix, then squeeze gently but firmly to create a soft, firm dough.

    Shortbread dough

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  7. Press the dough evenly into the paper-lined tin, taking care to check that the dough is pressed into the corners. Prick dough with a fork.

    Dough pressed into a tin and pricked with a fork

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  8. Bake the shortbread in the center of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until it's a light golden brown color. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin.

    Shortbread baked to a golden brown

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Make the Caramel and Chocolate Toppings

  1. Gather the ingredients for the caramel topping.

    Ingredients for making caramel

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  2. Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until both the butter and sugar are melted completely together. Add the golden syrup and condensed milk and stir. Raise the heat and let the caramel sauce bubble for 6 to 7 minutes, making sure it does not burn, and be careful as it can splatter. If it is changing color too quickly, then lower the heat.

    Melt the caramel

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  3. The caramel is ready when it is a lovely golden caramel color. Cut the heat off and let the caramel cool for 5 minutes before tipping it onto the cooled and cooked shortbread. Leave it to cool completely, then pop it into the refrigerator for at least an hour until firmed up completely.

  4. Once the caramel is set hard, take it from the fridge. Put the three chocolates in separate ramekin dishes. Separately, melt each chocolate type in the microwave on low power for 45 seconds. If you do not have low power, melt for 10-second intervals until runny.

    Melt the three kinds of chocolate

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  5. Working quickly, drop spoonfuls of the different chocolate over the caramel and use a skewer or a toothpick to marble the surface. Return the pan to the refrigerator until the chocolate is set, approximately 30 minutes.

    Chocolate marbleized with caramel topping on millionaire's shortbread

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  6. Once the chocolate is set, carefully lift the shortbread from the pan using the paper lining to help ease it out. If the chocolate is very hard, it may shatter when cut. To make it easier, let it come to room temperature, and cut it with a sharp knife into squares.

    Millionaire's shortbread cut into squares

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm


  • To ensure the shortbread dough bakes evenly, it is important to poke holes in it before baking.
  • Make sure baked shortbread cools completely before applying caramel topping.
  • If there are any leftovers, millionaires shortbread can be kept in the fridge in an airtight plastic container for five to seven days. It can also be frozen for up to three months. To do this, wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, double the wrap, and then thaw overnight in the fridge before eating.