Millionaire’s Bar is a sweet, layered dessert made with a shortbread crust, caramel filling, and a semi-sweet chocolate topping. Try my Caramel Shortbread Pie for another decadent treat made with shortbread and caramel.

Millionaires Bars Stacked

Millionaire’s Bar

Millionaire’s Bars, also known as caramel shortcake or caramel squares is a recipe that starts with a homemade shortbread cookie crust. The buttery cookie is the perfect complement to the homemade caramel filling. And, the chocolate layer on top makes this ‘rich’, three-layer dessert worthy of its name! 

Millionaire Bars made with Challenge Butter

Millionaire’s Bars Ingredients & Substitutions

There are three parts to this recipe–the shortbread cookie crust, the caramel filling, and the chocolate topping.

Superfine Sugar: Also known as caster sugar, the superfine crystals make a difference in the shortbread recipe. If you don’t have caster sugar, simply process granulated sugar in a food processor for about 30 seconds. (Granulated sugar causes the cookies to be too coarse and confectioners’ sugar will make the cookies too dry.)

Corn Syrup: Corn syrup is an important ingredient in candy recipes, including this homemade caramel. It is processed from cornstarch and gives the caramel layer a smooth, glossy texture. It also keeps it from being grainy.

Semi-sweet Chocolate: Semi-sweet chocolate keeps these already sweet treats from being overly sweet. You can use milk chocolate in a pinch.

Challenge Butter: It’s all about the butter in my shortbread cookie recipe, as well as the caramel filling. So, of course, I used my favorite Challenge butter. Challenge Butter is made the old-fashioned way, churned fresh daily from the freshest milk and cream from happy cows at family-owned dairies since 1911. I used unsalted butter in this recipe, but salted butter would be fine to use as well.

Pouring Caramel onto Shortbread for Millionaire Bars

Caramel Filling Tip

I would suggest pulling up a stool or a chair when you are about the make the caramel. You will be stirring constantly (yep, no breaks) for at least 15 minutes as the mixture reaches 236°F on a candy thermometer. If you stop stirring, there is a chance the caramel may burn, causing unsightly flecks in your beautiful caramel filling. If you notice that happening, quickly reduce the heat (but don’t stop stirring)!

Cut Millionaire Bars

Serving and Storing Millionaire’s Bars

Once the chocolate is set (but not solid), cut the dessert into squares or rectangles to serve. Keep the dessert in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container, for up to a week.

Stacked Millionaire Bars with One Bitten

More Delicious Bars

4.62 from 21 votes

Millionaire’s Bars

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chill 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Millionaire's Shortbread is a sweet, layered dessert made with shortbread, a caramel filling, and a semi-sweet chocolate topping.



  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted Challenge butter, cold
  • 1 ¾ cup (219 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • cup (150 g) superfine sugar, or caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel Filling

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted Challenge butter
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup (119 g) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (170.5 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Topping

  • 8 ounces (226 g) semisweet chocolate baking bar, broken into pieces



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt at low speed until combined (about 5 seconds).
  • Cut the cold Challenge butter into ½-inch cubes. Place the butter cubes in a small bowl and toss with ¼ cup of the flour mixture.
  • Add the floured butter (with any extra flour) to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on low speed until the dough is light yellow in color and small crumbs (about 4 minutes).
  • Remove bowl from stand mixer and use your hands to toss the mixture and rub any remaining butter bits into the flour mixture.
  • Press the shortbread mixture firmly and evenly into the lined pan, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Using a fork, pierce dough at 1-inch intervals.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly golden brown.
  • Remove the shortbread from the oven. While the crust is still hot, press it down with a spatula and set it aside to cool while you prepare the caramel filling.

Caramel Filling

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the Challenge butter.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  • Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 236°F on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly (about 15-18 minutes).
  • Pour over the cooled shortbread crust and spread to an even thickness. (The mixture will be very hot). Let cool completely in the refrigerator, about 1½ hours.

Chocolate Topping

  • Add the chocolate pieces to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the chocolate bits up in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each time, until the chocolate is completely melted with no lumps.
  • Spread the melted chocolate over the caramel. Set aside until chocolate is set (about 10 minutes).
  • Cut into strips or squares and serve.


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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

    1. Very easy to find both in stores in the USA. Corn syrup is similar to your golden syrup, but less tasty. Corn starch is a powder that prevents caking. A lot of time it’s used in what you call confectionery sugar.

    2. Corn starch = cornflour
      Cornsyrup = liquid glucose, or possibly for this recipe, golden syrup would work, and make your caramel darker, and more delicious!

  1. The bars are very good. I am a pro baker and own my own business. If you are new to baking i do not recommend you try this recipe. It is very time consuming, and difficult not to mention expensive! The caramel takes close to 20 minutes at a rolling boil to reach 236 which is the soft ball stage. Use a candy thermometer and stir with a whisk constantly and quickly on medium high heat. Us a candy thermometer! Also, the recipe fails to elaborate on refrigeration. The bars set up nice in the fridge but will be very hard. Cut them (with a very sharp and heavy knife) while they are firm and leave at room temp until the caramel is very soft. You can leave these at room temp for about 5 days covered in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

  2. These are delicious! However, I think next time I will make them in a slightly bigger pan as I find the shortbread layer especially a bit too thick. Overall, not that difficult and delicious!

    1. Is calories the only nutritional info you got??????? Would like to have info for carbs and fiber, protein and fat as well.. Thanks

  3. I made these in a 7×9 dish and they were such thick and chewy, salty, sweet, buttery bars of bliss! I also used salted butter and the caramel was so good. Pretty sure these are high on the addiction scale and all the ingredients cross the blood brain barrier and proceed directly to the pleasure center!

  4. Hi! I made one today. I used a digital meat thermometer and reached the right temp. It went well, i store it in the refrigerator for 1 hr and 30 mins and I didn’t have problem cutting it. However after leaving it in room temperature, the caramel starts to melt. Btw, i live in a tropical country with 32-35c temperature during daytime. I want to know what went wrong with my caramel? I hope i will get some answers. Thanks!

    1. Hi Fherlly – this caramel isn’t meant to stay solid at 90°F. Room temp (about 70°F) is where it will be the perfect consistency, as well a chilled.

      1. Thank you for your response! I also tried making it again and got the perfect caramel. I tested it in our room temp for 1 day and didn’t melt at all and maintained a very good layer. I think the problem is the condensed milk that i used. Didn’t pay attention with the label and it says condensed creamer.

  5. I made this yesterday & it is delicious! Wow, I’ve never had homemade caramel before & it was definitely kicked up quite a few notches from store bought. Goodness. I’ve seen this recipe here off & on & always wanted to try it “someday.” Let me tell ya, sometimes you just have to make “someday” Today! Thank you, Amanda, for all the hard work & time you spend to bring us your wonderful recipes!

  6. I was so excited about trying this recipe. It’s a beautiful dessert. I wish I could add a picture. Unfortunately, we found It too rich to consume. I guess this is why they are called millionaire bars. It was too overwhelming. If made with half the caramel, I think it would be great.

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