Millionaire’s Shortbread (Chocolate Caramel Shortbread)

20141012_192116I learned about this treat when I lived in Scotland: a layer of fresh shortbread, a layer of homemade caramel, and a layer of chocolate, cut into a square. I didn’t get the recipe until I moved back to the States, but it’s been one of my favorite dessert recipes for a long time. Living in NYC, the ingredients were always just expensive enough that I’d find a reason not to make it, but now that I’m living the country life I decided it was time to treat my office-mates.

Because each layer needs to cool, this can be a time-consuming recipe, but I’ve gone so far as to wait overnight with the trays in the fridge between layers. You don’t have to attend to it constantly, so you can take it easy and make it over the course of the day.

What you’ll need:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup “caster” sugar (in quotes because I’ve always just used regular granulated sugar, and never had a problem)

Caramel Filling:
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 stick butter
3-4 cups brown sugar (my recipe calls for much less, but I’ve always had to add up to this amount to get the caramel to thicken properly)

Chocolate topping:
Chocolate chips (at least 1 bag, more if you want a thicker chocolate layer.


  • 20141012_140751Rub the margarine and flour together in a bowl until you have a mix which is similar to breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Spread the mixture evenly into a 9″ (23cm) square tin which has been lined with baking parchment. (I just rub Crisco vegetable shortening over the pan.) 
  • 20141012_144814Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C/340F (160C/320F if fan assisted) for approximately 35 minutes until it is golden brown.
  • Allow the base to cool.
  • 20141012_16494520141012_171717IMG_20141012_17224620141012_173748Heat the filling ingredients together in a pot, making sure that you stir it constantly (otherwise it will stick!) until it begins to simmer.
  • Continue stirring until it thickens (which it should do in a few minutes).
  • Spread the filling evenly over the base and again allow to cool. (At this point, there is usually leftover caramel – put it in a jar and use on ice cream, in your coffee, or to eat with a spoon.)
  • 20141012_19125620141012_192123Melt the chocolate so that you can spread it over the filling. (I use a double boiler)



  • When it has cooled and you are ready to eat it, cut up into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife

Millionaire's Shortbread

Bon appetite!

3 responses to “Millionaire’s Shortbread (Chocolate Caramel Shortbread)

  1. I wonder if the reason why you need that much sugar is because you’re using the one pot method rather than the two step method? I’ve had good luck with having caramel thicken up when I cook the sugar first. Granted…the two step method is a bit scarier because you’d be dealing with super-heated napalm *cough* melted sugar, but I think it’s a bit more reliable.

    • Rachel / @girl_onthego

      Oh that’s really interesting, Katje, thanks for the link! The other difference I see is that in the recipe on Kitchn it says to use white sugar, whereas mine (the caramel bit anyways) uses brown sugar, and that it includes corn syrup. I think there’s also more volume in the can of evaporated milk than there is in the recipe there, which (since that recipe says the volume of milk or cream can affect the consistency of the caramel) might also be part of it.

      I’ll have to give it a try that way some time and see – but I wonder if there’s a way to substitute something else in for the corn syrup, since one thing I really like about the recipe I have is that all the ingredients are pretty straightforward.

      Thanks again for that link!

  2. To be perfectly honest, I would try it with just white sugar and evaporated milk, no corn syrup. I can’t help but think the additional “wet” from the corn syrup might also be affecting it along with the larger can of milk. Certainly when I added too much heavy cream to the milk caramels I was making, it turned into more of a spread than a candy. Would love to hear about how your experiments go. Oh, bonus if you cut out the corn syrup entirely — that’s one less ingredient. 😀

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