See these Millionaire Shortbread Bars below? Here’s a secret: They’re made with store-bought shortbread cookies. Because let’s face it: We can’t always make everything from scratch. These are easy to make, require no baking and are full of caramel and chocolate – irresisitbly delicious!
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars
Chocolate and caramel are a match made in heaven. Add a crumbly shortbread base – and you’ve got yourself the best treat.
In the UK, these are called “Millionaire’s Shortbread”, and I first made them when I was 15 from a cookbook I had been gifted – but it was an all-from-scratch recipe and took about 10 hours to complete.
I simplified the recipe to turn it into the easiest dessert you can make without much fuss!
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
- Sweetened condensed Milk: Do make sure to use the sweetened condensed milk and NOT evaporated milk, because the evaporated milk takes a lot longer to turn into caramel.
- Chocolate: Feel free to use your favorite chocolate chips for the topping, we like semi-sweet best but milk chocolate or dark chocolate work, too.
- Shortbread: I only tested these with Walker’s Shortbread (affiliate link), so If you use a different brand you may see different results.
Note: If you prefer to make your own shortbread base, follow the steps in my Lemon Bars for the base (cut in HALF). Bake the base around 20-25 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden brown. Cool completely before adding the caramel.
Step by step photos
The steps in this recipe are really easy –
1) Blitz shortbread and melted butter to form the base, then
2) press it into the pan and chill.
3) Combine butter, brown sugar and condensed milk in a saucepan,
4) simmer until thickened.
5) Pour over base, chill, then
6) pour melted chocolate on top and chill until firm.
The most important part is waiting for each layer to chill in between!
Tips & tricks
- Caramel: Some commenters have noted that the caramel never thickened for them. This is most likely due to brand differences, or due to using evaporated milk instead of condensed milk. As a little troubleshooting if your caramel won’t thicken, put it back on high heat (be careful not to burn it!) and let it get bubbly until you notice it starts thickening. Then you can turn the heat back down.
- Chilling: Do make sure to stick to the chilling times in between the layers, or they may end up mixed together.
- Slicing: They are quite solid after chilling, so let them sit at room temperature for a bit before slicing.
I like to store these in the fridge for around 5 days, because there they keep best. But do make sure to remove them around 30 minutes before serving, because they taste best at room temperature (they’re quite hard to chew when they’re completely chilled).
You can also freeze them for up to 3 months, if you want to make them ahead.
If you want to bring a dessert EVERYONE will rave about to your next potluck or party – make it this one! It’s the hit of every party for sure.
Watch the recipe video
No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars
For the Base
- 10.5 ounces shortbread cookies processed to crumbs
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the Caramel Layer
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
For the Chocolate Layer
- 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
To Make the Base
- Grease a 8×8 square baking pan well. Add the cookie crumbs to a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir it into the crumbles until everything is wet. Press the shortbread mixture into the pan in an even layer. Refrigerate until firm.
To Make the Caramel Layer
- Add all caramel ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened while stirring often. Pour over the hardened shortbread base and refrigerate again until cold (else the chocolate will mix with the caramel).
To Make the Chocolate Layer
- Melt the chocolate together with 1 tablespoon butter. Pour over the caramel layer and refrigerate until hardened. Cut into bars.