Millionaire's Shortbread Recipe

Millionaire's Shortbread on a blue cake stand

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yields: 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 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:
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose plain flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • For the Caramel:
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups condensed milk 
  • For the Chocolate:
  • 1/2 cup each dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Steps to Make It

  1. Make the shortbread.

    Gather the ingredients for the shortbread. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Gather the ingredients
    Elaine Lemm
  2. LIne a 9" x 9" deep baking pan with non-stick 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 or stand mixer to do this.

    Cream the butter

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  4. Sift the flour with the cornstarch.

    Sift the dry ingredients

    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.

    Crumble the butter and dry together

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

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

    Form the shortbread dough

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  7. Press the dough evenly into the paper-lined tin taking care to check the dough is pressed into the corners.

    Press the dough into the tin

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

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

    Bake the shortbread
    Elaine Lemm
  9. Gather the ingredients for the caramel topping.

    Gather ingredients for caramel

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  10. Make the caramel

    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 taking care to make 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
    Elaine Lemm

    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.

  11. 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 chocolate

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  12. Working quickly, drop spoons 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.

    chocolate decoration

    Elaine Lemm

  13. 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 with a sharp knife into squares.

    cut the shortbread

    Elaine Lemm

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