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Millionaires Shortbread – Back to Basics!

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A Complete How-To Guide on How to Make Millionaires Shortbread! A Homemade Shortbread Base, Homemade Caramel Filling, and a Chocolate Topping. 

So it’s been a while since I posted my last ‘Back to Basics’ post – my last being my No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake post in May last year! And after the success of my youtube video on how to make Millionaires Shortbread, I thought I’d do the blog post for it too! 

I have obviously made quite a few millionaires shortbread recipes already, but I thought I would cover it really down to every last detail. Basically, completely dumb it down into the ground so that if you are scared to make it, you won’t be any more!

For the shortbread, it really is quite basic – you can do it by hand, or in a food processor, or in a stand mixer, or with an electric hand mixer. You just want to mix the sugar and butter together till creamy, and then add the flour and combined till a dough is formed.

If you are doing this by hand, you can add all three ingredients together, making sure the butter is cold and cubed, and rub the mixture together with the tips of your fingers till it creates a bread crumb texture. Then, you effectively knead it together to form the dough.

I always tend to use classic unsalted butter, actual butter, but you can use a baking spread for this bit if you prefer. I just prefer the taste when it comes to real butter! When using a mixer to make it, you add the butter and sugar together, beat until creamy, and then add in the flour and combine.

Press the shortbread into a lined tin – I use a 9″ square tin – and make sure it’s even. I use a 9″ square tin as it’s the ultimate depth for the number of ingredients I use! If you use a smaller tin, it will take longer to bake – if you use a larger tin, you might have issues as the shortbread really isn’t that thick. 

You bake it in the oven at 160C in a fan oven, 180C regular, and bake until it’s starting to golden. When it’s starting to golden, and it’s been in for at least 20-25 minutes, you’ll know it’s baked through!

For the caramel, you REALLY have to work on it. You can’t cheat and use a tin of carnations caramel and stick it on top as it doesn’t set. You can’t really skip the steps, as it really is a caramel. I don’t often make my caramels from complete scratch as many of my readers prefer the easier versions, and I get that, but for Millionaires Shortbread? You do.

You have to make sure to stir the caramel a lot to prevent it from catching and burning. I use a medium level of heat, and a larger pan so its easier to stir. You have to be careful as it obviously does get VERY hot, but it’s worth it. It is delicious and heavenly.

I use a gas hob because I much much prefer it for making caramel. I get that not everyone has gas though – some have electric, some have induction – but on my gas hob, I usually use between level 7 and 6 of strength on a medium-size ring, on my 9 level hob. 

You want to use actual unsalted butter – as it creates the best caramel. I use golden syrup, because it creates the most wonderful caramel, as I explain in my video. If you can’t access golden syrup, however – I suggest using the caramel from this recipe post instead

You want to use a good quality pan if you can, as some pans have a very thin base. Basically, if the base is too thin, you might burn the caramel. So if you are worried, take the temperature down a notch and do it for a little longer instead to prevent any catching!

You also want to use a flat bottomed spatula, like these ones. Using a spatula with a sharp corner means you can really scrape the caramel, and prevent it from catching in the corners!

I’ve received comments about people getting little dark coloured lumps in the caramel, and this is down to catching. Once it’s caught, there isn’t really anything you can do, other than preventing it from getting any more burnt. 

If your caramel is grainy by the end, that’s because you didn’t dissolve the sugar properly at the beginning. You really want to slowly melt the condensed milk, golden syrup, sugar and butter together before it starts to boil – then it will be lovely and smooth. 

The timing is something I can’t really narrow down on. It takes between 5-7 minutes to boil. This can vary depending on the type of stove you use, the brand of ingredients, the pan you use, and so on. I don’t boil the caramel to temperature, and I never have. Watch my youtube video to see the caramel go from the beginning to the end

Once you have poured your caramel onto your shortbread, you have to leave it to set. I usually do this in the fridge because it’s quicker. Once it’s set, you add the chocolate! 

The chocolate part is quite straight forward – you just want to melt it, and cover the top, and let it set as well. I used a mix of milk and white chocolate, but you can use whatever you fancy! All milk, all dark, all white.. or all three! Any flavour you fancy too. It’s epic and easy!

So… once you’ve reached the end of making it, you enjoy it. However, cutting it up can be an issue for some. As I used a 9″ square tin, I use a 26cm knife to cut it. This is because the knife is larger than the traybake, and it makes it a hell of a lot easier. I tend to make sure it’s straight, score the chocolate ever so slightly, and then just cut straight down. 

You can try a few different other things, such as scoring the chocolate when it’s not fully set yet, or heating the knife before cutting – but honestly, I just find using a large and sharp knife and going straight down is the best method for me! 

If you find once your Millionaires shortbread is finished, that the caramel is rock solid and more like toffee, you overdid it slightly on the boiling. It’s best to keep and store it at room temperature from now on, so it’s at least not fridge cold hard. If your caramel is too soft, you didn’t do it for long enough, so should definitely be kept in the fridge!

I really hope this post helped – any questions, leave them below! And of course, remember that you can watch me make it on youtube! Enjoy! x

Millionaires Shortbread!

A Complete How-To Guide on How to Make Millionaires Shortbread! A Homemade Shortbread Base, Homemade Caramel Filling, and a Chocolate Topping. 
5 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Category: Traybakes
Type: Millionaires Shortbread
Keyword: Caramel
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Setting Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 16 People
Author: Jane's Patisserie

Ingredients

Shortbread Ingredients

  • 200 g Unsalted Butter
  • 100 g Caster Sugar
  • 275 g Plain Flour

Caramel Ingredients

  • 200 g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 397 g Condensed Milk (one tin)

Decoration

  • 200 g Milk Chocolate
  • 100 g White Chocolate

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan, and line a 9x9inch Deep Square Tin with Parchment Paper.
  • Cream together the sugar and butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth – mix in the flour until a dough is formed. It will be crumbly but the ingredients will be evenly dispersed!
  • Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until pale golden on top!
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to the side. In a large saucepan pour the condensed milk, butter, sugar, and golden syrup and melt on a medium heat till the sugar has dissolved – stir frequently to stop anything from catching.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up high and let the mixture come to boiling point and boil for 5-7 minutes stiring constantly so that the mixture doesn’t catch. BE CAREFUL as the mixture is VERY hot and can burn you if it splashes back! 
  • The mixture will be ready when it has changed to a slightly darker golden colour, and has thickened to a soft fudge texture!
  • Pour the caramel onto the shortbread base and leave to set for an hour in the fridge.
  • Once set, melt the milk chocolate and pour over the caramel – melt the white chocolate and pour over too - swirl it into the milk chocolate with the end of a cake skewer so it forms a pretty pattern.
  • Chill the Shortbread back in the fridge for another 1-2 hours until the Chocolate has gone hard**!
  • Chop your Shortbread into the separate pieces and enjoy!

Notes

  • This will keep in an airtight container for at least 1 week – if they last that long!
  • If you can't access golden syrup, you can give corn syrup or honey or similar a go, but I have not tested these as much. Alternatively, you can use my Millionaires Flapjacks caramel!
  • If you caramel is rock solid when you remove it from the fridge, you have slightly over done it. Not to worry though, when you pour the chocolate on, leave it to set at room temperature rather than in the fridge and it should soften the caramel slightly.
  • **If you struggle to cut your shortbread and tray bakes without the chocolate cracking on top, set it at room temperature rather than in the fridge and it’ll be softer so therefore won’t crack when you cut it!
  • I recommend using a 9" square tin like this one!
  • I also recommend using a spatula like these to prevent any catching!
  • And if you are wondering - this is the golden syrup I use
Nutrition Facts
Millionaires Shortbread!
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 63mg21%
Sodium 38mg2%
Potassium 129mg4%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 690IU14%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* These are only estimates and can vary dependant on brands of ingredients and serving sizes.

ENJOY!

Find my other Traybake Recipes on my Recipes Page!

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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.

About Author

Hiya! I'm Jane, and I adore baking, cooking and all things delicious. I'm also partial to homewares, lifestyle posts and more!

77 Comments

  • Vicki
    May 26, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Came out perfectly! Was nervous about over cooking the caramel, but it set nicely so thanks for the guidance 🙂 Going to try one of the variation recipes next

    Reply
  • Ceri Marchant-Potts
    May 26, 2020 at 9:33 am

    5 stars
    Yummy recipe! Thank you. Again, easy to follow and straightforward. I love ALL your recipes!

    I still can’t cut the shortbread without the chocolate cracking in different directions… they certainly don’t look like your uniform ones! Help!

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 26, 2020 at 11:02 am

      So glad you like it! Cutting the shortbread definitely takes practice – there’s a few different ways you can try and do it to help such as scoring the chocolate, heating the knife – but genuinely all I do is use a large sharp knife! x

  • Siobhan
    May 25, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    5 stars
    Tried this today and it was amazing. The only thing is when i cut it into slices; the chocolate slid off some of the slices. It was well set. I would appreciate it if you could tell me where i went wrong? Thanks

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 25, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      Ahh yay! Okay so this can happen if there’s a bit of moisture between the layers – or it actually means that the caramel is borderline about to split so there can be a thin layer of ‘fat’ on top meaning it won’t stick well! x

  • Dan
    May 24, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    5 stars
    Made this and it tastes amazing! Will this recipe work okay in a longer tray, thinking of making thinner slices next time as it is really filling! Thanks

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 25, 2020 at 9:17 am

      Ah yay! Yes it will – just the baking time would potentially be less (depending on size) as the shortbread would be thinner!

  • Louise
    May 22, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    5 stars
    Made this and left the Caramel to cool
    For w couple or hours. Poured the chocolate over and the Carmel went soft. Did I not leave it for long enough?

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 23, 2020 at 9:46 am

      Did you definitely make the caramel correctly? Using pre-made caramel doesn’t work, and using evaporated milk instead of condensed milk also doesn’t work!

  • Tiffanie
    May 20, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Is condensed milk the same as sweetened condensed milk?

    Reply
  • Emma
    May 19, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    5 stars
    Made these for my 16th birthday and they’re amazing. Such a good recipe.

    Reply
  • Stacey
    May 19, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Could I use golden caster sugar for the shortbread or caramel?

    Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
  • Steph Pike
    May 18, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    5 stars
    First time making MS and it turned out so well! Great recipe 😊

    Reply
  • Jemima
    May 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    5 stars
    Great recipe and I had so much fun making this! Only issue I had with it was the shortbread was quite soft/ wasn’t very crunchy. Was that because I undercooked it or is it meant to be quite soft?

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 19, 2020 at 8:17 am

      You can definitely bake it for longer to get it slightly crunchier, but it will always be kinda soft!

  • Georgia
    May 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Can I use maple syrup instead of golden syrup for the Caramel? If not what is this difference in using your caramel receip from the millionaires flapjack?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Hey so I wouldn’t use the maple syrup personally as it can taste/look/feel different with it. They are two different caramels, and I prefer this one overall but as explained on the post you can use the other one if you can’t access golden syrup! x

  • Sharon
    May 16, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Hi, Really looking forward to making these for my birthday treat next week! I’m struggling to find Condensed milk – will the ‘Light’ version work the same as I have some of that?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 16, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Hey! So it should still work, but sometimes can be softer because of the ‘light’ aspect! X

  • Annamaria
    May 16, 2020 at 11:03 am

    5 stars
    I made these last night and omg they are to die for, thank you Jane for this amazing recipe, super easy to follow 🙂

    Reply
  • Jessica
    May 15, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    5 stars
    Made this today and was expecting there to be a disaster somewhere along the lines but it has turned out fab!
    Watched your video a few times as I was nervous about the caramel but it’s worked, yay!
    Just had a slice and it was lovely. Perfect size when cut into 16 as stated in your recipe!

    Reply
  • Gemma
    May 14, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    5 stars
    This is the second time I have made this and it is a great recipe and so easy to follow with fabulous results a win win for everyone

    Reply
  • Julia
    May 11, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    5 stars
    Lovely recipe and excellent caramel. I don’t know what happened to my shortbread base but it’s like concrete and the caramel and chocolate hasn’t adhered to it at all, I watched the video and found it very good.

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 12, 2020 at 8:47 am

      If your shortbread is like concrete it must be over baked – as it’s only three ingredients! Also, there may have been moisture in your fridge on top of the caramel that caused the chocolate to not set properly on top!

  • Nicole
    May 11, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    I followed the recipe exactly, and think I was doing alright on my first ever caramel! However after a few minutes, the caramel split. Why would this have happened? I

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      Did you use real butter or a spread? And what type of hob do you have? Often splitting early on is down to being too much heat too quickly!

  • Nicola
    May 11, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    5 stars
    What a lovely recipe everything worked even my caramel!
    Do you think they’d freeze well ?

    Reply
  • Serena Begley
    May 10, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane,
    I made the millionaire shortbread today and they are delishhhh😍 just wondering are they suitable for freezing?
    Loving your recipes😊

    Thank you😊

    Reply
  • Craig Fitzpatrick
    May 10, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    5 stars
    Truly outstanding! Thank you so much for the recipe! I made these yesterday and I am not normally a Baker but decided to try these as they are my favourite and I wanted something that my wife and son would love. Your YouTube video was very easy to follow and filled with detail that it was almost impossible to go wrong. I managed to bake a perfect shortbread, caramel and chocolate with perfect amounts. We absolutely love it and now have friend and neighbours asking for the recipe. Left peices in Tupperware for them to try as a lockdown treat. So thank you for sharing this recipe and spreading some happy times!

    Reply
  • Andy B
    May 6, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    5 stars
    Aaaand I’ve just seen that the poster immediately prior to me has had a reply on the self same subject, and I shall now jump over onto your YouTube channel! Mea culpa!,,,

    Reply
    • Sally Maden
      May 16, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      Hi, I can’t find any condensed milk anywhere- any ideas for how much sugar to add to evaporated milk- might that work? Thanks, Sally

    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 17, 2020 at 9:09 am

      I’ve read that you can do that, but I haven’t done it myself, unfortunately – it’s probably worth a google!

  • Andy B
    May 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve made Millionaires Shortbread, after browsing loads of recipes and ‘how to’ blogs.
    Firstly, let me say that the way to make it is very well laid out, and secondly, that it makes the most wonderful result.
    If I may, would it be ok to suggest perhaps attaching a little video clip of how to create the swirled effect (I didn’t know initially wether to slap both of the chocolates on one after etc) and also how the consistency of the caramel should be just before it’s taken off the heat (I make loads of fudge and obviously the temperature and cooking times are quite different)
    That’s not a criticism, as I’m really enjoying reading through your recipes and deciding what to make.
    Lockdown in the UK at the moment does make getting certain ingredients very hard, but it makes it a real challenge to rummage through, choose one of your recipes, and emerge triumphant!
    Thank you!!

    Reply
  • Ella Whatling
    May 5, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Hi! I made these today, but my caramel split and it was a buttery mess, so tried again, and it was fine for a few minutes but I could see the butter starting to split again just before it was turning golden, I had the gas on really low the second time as realised the mix could have got to hot, but it nearly happened again! I used it anyway but it just didn’t set properly or have much of a caramel colour 😕any suggestions of what I’m doing wrong? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 5, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      I would suggest watching my YouTube video as I show what I do! It may help you!

  • Kate NJ
    May 5, 2020 at 8:46 am

    5 stars
    Great recipe, tasted really good thank you. I did find the caramel split before it was ready to take off the heat. Not sure what caused it. Anyway I rescued it by taking it off the heat, adding some boiling water (1-2tbs) and mixing it back on the heat slowly until it came back together again.

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 5, 2020 at 8:54 am

      This can happen due to the heat – it may be hotter than you think it is! But I’m so glad it came back together!

  • Evie
    May 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Hiya

    Just about to make these can it be done with gluten free plain flour or should I add some Xantham gum powder to it?

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 4, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Usually for shortbread you can just do a simple switch, and some of readers have said they’ve done the same and it worked well! x

  • Sophie
    May 4, 2020 at 11:56 am

    5 stars
    Tasted amazing!

    Reply
  • Rosie
    May 4, 2020 at 10:32 am

    5 stars
    Wow! I never thought I’d be able to make these, but your recipe is simple to follow and they turned out great! Your YouTube video was extremely helpful for the caramel part as well. Absolutely delicious 😀

    Reply
  • Kimberley
    May 4, 2020 at 9:39 am

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try but only have been able to get self raising flour? Would this work ok? X

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      May 4, 2020 at 10:07 am

      For the best shortbread you really want plain flour as you don’t want a raising agent. You can definitely try it, but the texture will be different! X

  • Noortje
    May 3, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Sooo good and I was surprised I managed to make the caramel in the perfect fudgyness as well. Just found your blog this weekend and will definitely make many of your recipes! X from the Netherlands

    Reply
  • Aisling Barton
    May 3, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    5 stars
    Very easy to follow recipe with superb results!

    Reply
  • Anya
    May 3, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    5 stars
    My first time making Millionaire Shortbread and it turned out AMAZING. I saw this recipe and followed your Youtube video and it helped so much. Thank you for these great recipes!💗

    Reply
  • Becks leach
    May 3, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    5 stars
    Made these this weekend amazing 😉 everyone loved them defiantly be making them again

    Reply
  • Chloe Taylor
    May 3, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing!! This was so delicious. I love your recipes they are always so nice and simple to follow and always get good results😍

    Reply
  • Aled
    May 1, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Jane, can you provide a link for the saucepan you used to make the caramel please? Thank you

    Reply
  • Rosie
    April 30, 2020 at 2:41 am

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for the recipe! Mine came out really well and everyone in the house loved them. I added a little bit of salt to my caramel as I thought for me it would be a bit too sickly, and it worked really well. Thank you again 🙂 xxx

    Reply
  • Sarah Smith
    April 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Hi Jane, I was hoping to make these for my husband as it’s our anniversary next week. I’m a complete novice when it comes to baking and haven’t been able to buy plain flour. I have coconut flour and wondered whether this would be ok to use? Whether the quantity would need to be altered?
    Thanks for any advice you can give me in advance

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 29, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Hiya! Unfortunately using coconut flour is quite difficult in place of regular flour. Typically because of the drying factors of coconut flour you’d only want about 1/4 of the weight, but that won’t give a very good shortbread at all! Sorry!

  • Amber
    April 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    5 stars
    Made these on the weekend. They were amazing! The YouTube video was super helpful for making the caramel. Fab recipe! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 28, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Ah yay! So glad you enjoyed the recipe and video!! x

  • Clara
    April 28, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    5 stars
    Yayy, it worked! I used evaporated milk and added 8 tbsp of sugar instead of 3. It took longer to thicken up but it looks and tastes like caramel so I think it worked. Thank you for the recipe Jane!

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 28, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      Ahh yay! Amazing!! Thank you for the information too – it’s useful to know for the future!! Xx

  • Clara
    April 28, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Hi Jane, I’m making these but I only have evaporated milk. I’ve looked online and it said you can add sugar which will make it condensed milk, does this work? If this doesn’t work are there any alternatives I can use? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 28, 2020 at 11:19 am

      Hey! I’m afraid evaporated milk definitely won’t work just as it is as you know – but I have never personally made condensed milk from evaporated milk. I would definitely say give it a go as there aren’t really any alternatives for this sort of caramel, and I’m sure the recipe for making it yourself will work!

  • Annelie
    April 25, 2020 at 8:39 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing, first time making caramel and it worked!

    Reply
  • Holly
    April 24, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Jane,
    Not made these yet but they look amazing! I’ve only got evaporated milk not condensed milk. Is that the same thing?
    Thank you !

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 24, 2020 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you! No, they’re completely different – and evaporated milk does not work, sorry!

  • Jessica
    April 24, 2020 at 4:45 am

    Hi, does it have to be ‘unsalted butter’ for both the shortbread and caramel? Or could I use stork/salted butter instead?
    I know in some recipes you say it HAS to be unsalted butter (e.g buttercream) but in others sometimes it can be swapped so just wondered if I could maybe use stork for the shortbread part? Thanks in advance!
    LOVE your recipes!

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 24, 2020 at 9:13 am

      You can definitely use the stork in the shortbread, but I would suggest still using real butter for the caramel!

  • Judles
    April 23, 2020 at 12:03 am

    5 stars
    Sounds delicious! Another one of your recipes I’m going to try! Could we use tinned caramel instead of making it as I have some left over? Thanks! x

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 23, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Tinned caramel doesn’t set, so it won’t work the same!

  • Janet
    April 22, 2020 at 10:38 am

    I could live on millionaire bars, I think. I recently made a recipe that was in last month’s Bon Appetit magazine…it had tahini in the caramel filling. It really was delicious. Right now, I must head to the kitchen to use your recipe!

    Reply
    • Jane's Patisserie
      April 22, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      Oh so could I! And tahini in caramel is amazing!

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