Millionaire’s Shortbread Recipe

A heavenly trio of caramel, chocolate, and shortbread!

Elen Rustick By Updated December 24, 2022

Ring in the holidays with this decadent Millionaire’s Shortbread recipe!

this decadent Millionaire_s Shortbread recipe

This rich layered cookie is made with a shortbread base and creamy caramel topped with chocolate or chocolate ganache. Depending on where you live, it may also be called a caramel slice, caramel shortbread, or Wellington squares.

Basic shortbread has been around since as far back as the 12th century. It’s originally a Scottish recipe, and according to history, it was a favorite treat of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The recipe for millionaire’s shortbread first made an appearance in the 1970s in the Australian magazine “Women’s Weekly”. So Australia gets full credit for transforming regular shortbread into this decadent creation!

The only change I made from the original recipe was swapping out black treacle for molasses.

This rich and sweet treat is perfect for gifting in holiday dessert tins. It even freezes well, so you can make it in advance before things get busy with visitors and travel!

This is a classic treat that is made for sharing and indulging. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

All About The Millionaire’s Shortbread Ingredients


All-purpose flour is the flour of choice for this shortbread recipe. However, it’s not uncommon for some shortbread recipes to use corn flour or even rice flour too.

All-purpose flour is a combination of hard and soft wheat. It has a protein content of around 9-11%.

This protein content is ideal for making cakes, cookies, pie crusts, and bread. For this reason, all-purpose flour is the most versatile type of flour available.

At the grocery store, you’ll often find “bleached” and “unbleached” flour. Bleached is whiter, with a soft texture, whereas unbleached is less white and denser.

Either type of all-purpose flour will work in this recipe, so use whichever one you have in your pantry!


Churn milk long enough and you’ll get butter! This fat is rich and creamy and has a unique flavor that can’t be replicated.

Butter is a favorite fat of bakers, because of its superior texture and flavor. It’s the ingredient that gives pie crusts and biscuits their flaky, buttery texture.

Butter leaves pockets of fat which melt as they bake and create steam. This steam allows air into the dough, which is how layers are formed in pastries and pie crusts!

Caster Sugar

Caster sugar has a unique texture that lies between confectioners’ sugar and granulated sugar. It’s not quite powdery like confectioners sugar, but not as gritty as granulated sugar.

Caster sugar is popularly used in Australian and English recipes. It’s the most common sugar found on grocery store shelves in these regions.

If you’re in the U.S., you can find caster sugar labeled as “superfine” sugar. You may need to look in specialty grocery stores or the international section to find it.

And if you can’t get your hands on caster sugar, granulated sugar will work for this recipe too. Avoid using dark or light brown sugar, as it contains too much moisture.

Condensed Milk

Condensed milk is milk that has had about 60% of its water content removed. Often sugar is added as well to create sweetened condensed milk.

Open a can of condensed milk and you’ll be greeted with a thick milky syrup. The high sugar content of sweetened condensed milk is what helps keep this product shelf-stable for years!

You can make sweetened condensed milk yourself by heating milk with sugar until 60% of the moisture is boiled off. You can also heat canned evaporated milk with sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Condensed milk is most typically used to make confectionery like fudge, or caramel!

Golden Syrup

Golden syrup is a Scottish creation by a man named Abram Lyle. He set out to find a use for the thick syrup left over as a byproduct of refining cane sugar.

This syrup turned out to be an ideal preservative and sweetener for baked goods. It’s now sold commercially in squeezable bottles to be used on pancakes, ice cream, and more!

The most traditional golden syrup is “Lyle’s Golden Syrup”. As this syrup is typically used in UK recipes, you may need to look in specialty grocery stores.

American corn syrup is similar in consistency and flavor and can be used as a substitute.

Dark Chocolate

Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has no milk products added. It’s made from sugar and cocoa, and soy lecithin is often added as an emulsifier for texture.

The higher the ratio of cocoa to sugar, the more bitter the dark chocolate will be. Dark chocolate is my chocolate of choice for baking since many baked goods already have plenty of sugar.

It’s a versatile chocolate for cooking and baking, as it melts well and goes with many other flavors. Popular flavorings for dark chocolate include vanilla and orange.

If you don’t like dark chocolate, you can use semisweet chocolate chips instead!

this decadent Millionaire_s Shortbread recipe_

Easy Tips for the Best Millionaire’s Shortbread

  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature before using it. Cold butter will give you a flaky texture, whereas room temperature butter will create a shortbread texture.

  • Use your fingers to blend the butter and flour if you don’t own a food processor.

  • Let the shortbread cool before trying to slice it! If you can, let the bars set in the refrigerator overnight.

  • Cut the shortbread with a serrated knife. A serrated knife will make a clean line in the delicate and crumbly shortbread.

Millionaire's Shortbread Recipe

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time25 min
  • Total Time1h55 min
  • Servings20
  • Yield20 bars

Level: Intermediate

Chilling: 1 hr


Shortbread Layer:

Caramel Layer:

Chocolate Layer:



  1. Line Baking Tray

    Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Make Shortbread Dough

    Combine butter and flour in the food processor. Pulse until a crumbly cookie dough forms.

    Add sugar and salt and pulse again. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly.

  3. Press Dough into Tray

    Press the shortbread dough into the prepared pan. Prick all over with a fork to create holes.

  4. Press Dough into Tray

    Press the shortbread dough into the prepared pan. Prick all over with a fork to create holes.

  5. Chill

    Place the baking tray in the refrigerator for 15 minutes for the dough to chill.

  6. Bake Shortbread

    Bake the shortbread for 25 minutes, or until it turns a light golden brown color. Remove from the oven and allow the shortbread to cool.

  7. Make Caramel

    Add condensed milk, butter, syrup, sugar, and molasses to a saucepan. Set the heat to low and stir constantly until the butter and sugar melt.

    Increase the heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 8-10 minutes while stirring.

    Once the mixture turns a dark brown caramel color, stir in the salt and vanilla extract.

  8. Pour Over Shortbread Layer

    Pour caramel mixture over top of the cooled shortbread crust. Let the caramel set for 1 hour at room temperature.

  9. Melt Chocolate

    Add water to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Place a stainless steel mixing bowl on top and add the dark chocolate chips.

    Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

  10. Pour Over Caramel Layer

    Remove the mixing bowl from the heat and pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly.

  11. Chill Then Cut

    Place the tray of shortbread in the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill and set. Once chilled, you can add the flakes of sea salt to the chocolate topping.

    Then, remove the shortbread from the tray and cut into squares.

this decadent Millionaire_s Shortbread recipe serve

Can You Freeze Millionaire’s Shortbread?

Yes, you can.

The holidays can get a bit hectic, so luckily this recipe freezes well so you can enjoy it later! There are a few freezing tips to keep in mind to get the best tasting millionaire’s shortbread.

It’s best to store your millionaire shortbread bars in layers of wax paper to keep them from sticking together. I recommend eating them cold because defrosting them can cause the shortbread to get soggy.

You can also keep these bars in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure you use an airtight container to keep that shortbread nice and crisp!

this decadent Millionaire_s Shortbread recipe - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 373Calories
  • 23g Fat
  • 39.7g Carbs
  • 3.5gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 373
% Daily Value*
Total Fat23g 29%
Saturated Fat14.7g 74%
Cholesterol56mg 19%
Sodium187mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate39.7g 14%
Dietary Fiber0.7g 3%
Total Sugars27.7g
Vitamin C13mcg 64%
Calcium73mg 6%
Iron1mg 5%
Potassium131mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.