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Brown sugar sponges filled with a caramel sauce – topped with chocolate buttercream, and a touch of shortbread = the dream!

All things millionaires! 

After posting many various millionaires recipes, I decided that this still wasn’t enough. I seriously adore caramel, chocolate and shortbread, so all together this combination is my dream! My cravings got me inspired, so this time I decided to try something a little different… millionaires cupcakes!

I know you guys love it too – the love for my millionaires shortbread recipe has been insane! I also have my millionaires cookie bars, millionaires brownies, Biscoff millionaires and my millionaires cake among many others – which always go down a storm!

Millionaires cupcakes

The moist brown sugar vanilla sponge has a hidden caramel centre, topped with a light and fluffy chocolate buttercream. HELLO! I did think that maybe I should stop here, but I couldn’t go on without any shortbread. Crumbles of shortbread and a whole piece top the cupcakes off. Perfection.

Sometimes, people can find that cupcakes have too much buttercream, so when I pipe my buttercream I do some with more buttercream than others so others have the choice of what they want! The shortbread in this cupcake does also help this though as I like to eat it with some of the buttercream! Too much? Never. Delicious? Yes.


I love to use light brown sugar in sponge recipes, as it makes it so moist and changes the flavour compared to using caster sugar. It gives a lovely almost caramel taste – perfect for bakes like these! It is SO tasty! You can of course still use caster sugar if that is what you have in the cupboard, or even dark brown soft sugar if you want a deeper flavour. 


The cupcake sponges are so simple to make, beating together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and then adding in the flour and eggs to create a smooth and delicious cake mixture. I used these beautiful baking cups for these cupcakes because I thought they complimented the cupcakes really well. 

Hidden centre

For the centre, you can go all out and make some homemade caramel sauce if you want – it would make the cupcakes so special! However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a readymade caramel. I don’t see why some people see using shop bought ingredients as a sin – it’s there to buy for a reason!


If I am using a shop bought caramel, I tend to use a tinned caramel, or a dulce de leche from a jar – either of them compliment the cupcakes well. The best trick and easiest trick to core out the cupcakes is to use a larger sized piping tip and just carefully push into the cupcake, twist, and pull out. 


The buttercream is a simple chocolate buttercream made with unsalted block butter, icing sugar, and cocoa powder – you can’t go wrong with it. I always beat my room temperature butter on it’s own for a while, and then add in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat like crazy until it is smooth. 

Alternative toppings!

You can of course use a different topping – such as the glorious fudge buttercream from my chocolate fudge cupcakes – the most indulgent topping EVER. Or, you could skip buttercream all together and just do a drizzle of melted chocolate! The correvt topping to me however is an extra drizzle of caramel, and either a shortbread bite, or a mini millionaires!

Baking cups and piping tips

As mentioned above, I used these beautiful baking cups because I am obsessed as always – but also used my classic favourite 2d closed star piping tip because it creates the perfect swirl on any bake ever. You can of course do what you want though – just slather on the buttercream for all it matters as it tastes the same either way! 

I really hope you love these cupcakes as much as I do – they are genuinely on of my favourite cupcake recipes ever and I can’t wait for you guys to give them a go! Jane x

Millionaires Cupcakes!

Brown sugar sponges filled with a caramel sauce – topped with a chocolate buttercream, and a touch of shortbread = the dream!
Print Pin Rate
Category: Cupcakes
Type: Cupcakes
Keyword: Millionaires
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Cooling & Decorating Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150 g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Caramel Filling

  • 1 tin Carnations caramel

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 150 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp boiling water


  • shortbread



  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/160ºc fan and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cases.
  • Beat together the unsalted butter & light brown sugar until creamy and smooth.
  • Add in the self raising flour, eggs & vanilla extract, and mix on a medium speed (I use my KitchenAid, but any electric mixer will do!) until combined. Try not to mix more than necessary!
  • Scoop the mixture into the cupcake cases (just over half full) and bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes until slightly golden on top and a skewer poked into one of them comes out clean.
  • Remove from the trays and leave to cool fully on a wire rack.
  • Once completely cooled, cut out a hole in the middle of the cupcake (like you would a butterfly cupcake!) and fill with Carnations caramel.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Beat the unsalted butter with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes to loosen it, then gradually beat in the icing sugar until well combined.
  • Then add the cocoa powder and beat for 5 minutes until a silky lovely buttercream texture is produced. If the mixture is a little stiff, add 1 tbsp of boiling water at a time until you reach the consistency you want!


  •  I used a 2D closed star nozzle to decorate my cakes, but you can do whatever you like! Add in a shortbread cookie, or crumble it over the top and enjoy!


  • I used a basic sponge recipe, but you can easily change the sponge to be a chocolate one as well if you're craving even more chocolate goodness.
  • These will last in an airtight container for 3-4 days (if they last that long!), or you can freeze them for up to 3 months!
  • I used pre-made shortbread as I was being particularly lazy and I had some leftover, but you can use my Shortbread Hearts to make your own if you want to!
  • I used these piping bags
  • I used this Medium 2D Closed Star Piping Tip
  • I used this Muffin Tin
  • I got my baking cups from here - Iced Jems
  • I use this Vanilla extract
  • I recommend this spoof for portioning into the cups - 5cm scoop


Find my other Recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.


  1. Fiona on May 14, 2024 at 7:19 pm

    Just wondering why dark sugar is used in the loaf cake but light in the cupcakes please x

  2. Emma on May 20, 2022 at 9:26 am

    5 stars
    This may be a stupid question (sorry) but how do you cut the hole out of the middle so that you can get the caramel in please? Thank you so much 🙂

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 23, 2022 at 10:08 am

      Hiya! I actually use a piping tip to core out my cupcakes! Hope this helps! x

  3. Carol on May 19, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Hi there just wondering if you can use spread instead of butter.

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 23, 2022 at 10:08 am

      Hiya! Yes absolutely for the sponge! x

  4. Lisa on November 26, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Hi Jane, if I wanted to make 24 cupcakes is it OK to just double the ingredients? Or would I need to amend the recipe at all?

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 30, 2021 at 11:00 am

      Hiya! Yes absolutely thats fine! Hope this helps x

  5. Matilda on June 15, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Hi just made these and I’m just wondering if you know how many cals they are😊

  6. Georgia Barber on December 25, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    could I use carnation caramel drizzle for the centres?

  7. sophie jennings on March 26, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    hello, i just wondered i dont have any light brown sugar in but i have dark brown sugar, if i do half caster sugar and half dark brown sugar would that work?

    many thanks

  8. Julainne on April 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    I really want to make these for my husband because he loves millionaire shortcake but I have a question, is carnation caramel the same as dulce de Leche?

    • Jane's Patisserie on April 14, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Yes! You can use dulce de leche instead! X

  9. Millionaire Cupcakes – Megan Jackson on August 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    […] and instead taking the classic recipes and putting a bit of a twist on them. So when I found this recipe on Janes Patisserie I knew I had to give it a shot. This is a recipe that you can obviously make […]

  10. Nicole on June 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I made these for a cake sale and my brother in law loved them. Is there a way you can adapt the recipe to make it into a cake?

    • Jane's Patisserie on June 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      I’m working on a Millionaires cake as we speak, but its something you could try! You’d need to multiply up the recipe though! X

    • Nicole on June 18, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Oh lovely. I will try to be inventive until you release your recipy! Thank you x

  11. Jess on May 31, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    This may be an absolutely ridiculous question but something I always wonder when buying sugar- does light brown sugar only come as soft? Cause this is the only thing I can ever find and I want to make sure I’m getting the right thing!
    These cupcakes look incredible can’t wait to give them a go this weekend! All your recipes are amazing thanks for an amazing blog!

    • Jane's Patisserie on May 31, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Sometimes it isn’t described as soft, but in most places it is! That is the correct one though! ☺️ And thank you!! I hope you love them if you do!

  12. Paula Roberts on January 18, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Hi Jane- I have to say I absolutely love your recipes as every single one I have tried has worked out perfectly! You definitely have a very good eye for recipes and the balance! I am going to try this but I thought I might make the shortbread hearts that you do and put them in instead of the other biscuits for Valentines day. I have already made the shortbread and it was delicious so hopefully they should look quite cute!

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 18, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Oooh that sounds delicious! And thank you!!

  13. Lynz Real Cooking on July 28, 2015 at 6:15 am

    These look so good! Love the name too

  14. jabrush1213 on July 21, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Cupcakes are by far the best! You can’t eat just one!

  15. ilashesandsuch on July 21, 2015 at 1:03 am

    Reblogged this on ilashesandsuch.

  16. Sophie Sjösten on July 20, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    *Droooool* 🙂

  17. OldCountryGirl on July 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I just had to nominate you for the Dragon`s Loyalty Award. Your blog is inspiring and the pictures are gorgeous. You are an outstanding baker! You can read about the nomination in my last post!

  18. lactosefreekitchen on July 20, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Your blog is really interesting and I always look forward to seeing new posts, which is why I have given it a follow and also nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award 🙂 https://lactosefreekitchen.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/dragons-loyalty-award/

  19. allaboutchantelle on July 20, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I have to try these, cupcakes and millionaires shortbread… 2 of my favourite things!

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Same!! Combining them was definitely one of the best things I have done in a while, so much yum!

  20. Matt on July 20, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    For a second there I thought if I eat one of these little cakes of yum I’d become a millionaire.. I’ll guess I’ll just have to settle for stuffing my face with cakes! These sound great 🙂

    • Jane's Patisserie on July 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Hahaha if that were true I would have 12 million in the bank.. 😉 Thank you!

  21. ginandmorecake on July 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    These look absolutely delicious! ❤

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