With layers of crispy shortbread, soft caramel, and hard chocolate that’s topped with flaky sea salt, these millionaire bars are the perfect indulgent dessert.
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Table of Contents
- About Millionaire Bars
- What are millionaire bars?
- Why is it called a millionaire bar?
- What’s in millionaire bars?
- What type of chocolate should you use?
- How to cut perfect bars
- Can you make these in advance?
- How should these bars be stored?
- How long are millionaire bars good for?
- Can you freeze these bars?
- Notes & tips for millionaire bars
- More delicious bar recipes
- Other recipes with chocolate
- Tasty caramel recipes
- How to make millionaire bars
- Recipe Details
About Millionaire Bars
Enjoy the mix of creamy caramel, sweet chocolate, and crisp cookie with these picture-perfect layered millionaire bars. They’re like the gourmet version of your favorite chocolate and caramel candy bars.
What are millionaire bars?
Originating in Scotland in the 1800s, these millionaire bars (also called “millionaire shortbread”) is a cookie bar made with layers of crispy shortbread, creamy caramel, and hard chocolate. It’s also common to see the chocolate layer covered with bright white flaky sea salt.
Why is it called a millionaire bar?
Unlike a lot of quirky names you find for food, the “millionaire” part of millionaire bars is exactly like the name implies: that this is such a decadent form of shortbread that it exudes a level of wealth and extravagance reserved only for the extremely (financially) fortunate. Or, at least, that was the opinion of the chef who created it. If these bars has been named today, they likely would have been called billionaire bars – but back in the 1800s, a millionaire would have been seen as the pinnacle of high living.
What’s in millionaire bars?
To make your own batch of chocolate caramel bars, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter – Classic baking ingredient used in all three layers of these delicious bars.
- Granulated sugar and all-purpose flour – Used for making the shortbread layer.
- Fine sea salt – A final ingredient in the shortbread layer and also sprinkled on top of the finished bars.
- Light brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and light corn syrup – Combined to create the creamy caramel layer.
- Semi-sweet chocolate – Creates the delicious hard chocolate topping.
What type of chocolate should you use?
There are many different brands of chocolate chips – even some made by popular candy companies – but from my experience, the best chocolate for baking, fudges, or truffles is Ghirardelli. It consistently performs well while baking, has a great texture (never chalky), and has a delicious flavor. This brand is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.
How to cut perfect bars
If you’re anything like me and get a little nervous when cutting food, fear not – there’s an easy trick you can use to get your bars to have perfectly cut lines and dimensions.
The trick: Before adding your ingredients to the baking dish, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil, draping the edges over the sides of the pan. This will make it so you can simply lift the baked and uncut bars from the pan, set it on the counter, and cut the bars without the sides of the pan interfering with your accuracy. You can even whip out a ruler if you’d like to make sure every bar is the exact size you’d like them to be.
Can you make these in advance?
Absolutely! These bars are baked, layered, and then cooled until set, so they’re perfect for storing in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
For the best presentation, I recommend making these bars up to 24 hours in advance.
How should these bars be stored?
For best results, millionaire bars should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. If left too long at room temperature, both the caramel filling and chocolate topping may start to soften, making these bars far messier to eat. Keeping them chilled will ensure that the layers stay firm.
How long are millionaire bars good for?
Once prepared, these bars can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Can you freeze these bars?
Yes, you totally can!
For best results, wrap each bar with plastic wrap or wax paper and store in an air-tight container or freezer bag.
Millionaire bars can be frozen for up to three months.
Notes & tips for millionaire bars
- These bars are not overly sweet thanks to the semi-sweet chocolate and sea salt. However, you can switch this up to your tastes by using milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate for the topping or by omitting the sea salt altogether.
More delicious bar recipes
Other recipes with chocolate
Tasty caramel recipes
How to make millionaire bars
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Kick things off by preparing the shortbread layer. Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the butter and surgar on high speed until fluffy, then mix in the flour and salt. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, then pour in the dough, pressing it into a flat, even layer along the bottom of the dish.
Step 2 – Bake!
Step 3 – Once the shortbread layer is cool, prepare the caramel filling by adding butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and light corn syrup to a medium saucepan. Bring it to a simmer, then cook, whisking constantly, for about five minutes. Let the caramel sauce rest for a few minutes, then pour it over the baked shortbread layer.
Step 4 – Transfer the baking dish to the freezer and let chill!
Step 5 – When ready to make the final layer, add the semi-sweet chocolate and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave until the chocolate is melted and the butter is absorbed, then pour the chocolate on top of the caramel layer.
Step 6 – Transfer the baking dish to the refrigerator to cool a final time.
Step 7 – Cut the bars into one or two inch shapes and sprinkle sea salt on top.
Step 8 – Serve and enjoy!
For the Shortbread Crust
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Drop mixer speed to low and mix in flour and sea salt until incorporated and no dry patches remain, about 2-3 minutes.2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 pinch fine sea salt
- Turn off mixer and transfer dough to prepared baking dish. Press dough into an even, flat layer along bottom of dish.
- Bake for 23-28 minutes or until lightly golden along edges and a tester toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer baking dish to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Caramel Filling
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- Reduce heat to low and continue to let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so mixture doesn't burn. Be sure that mixture doesn't boil; if it bubbles too rapidly, either reduce heat or lift saucepan up until bubbles cease, then return to heat.
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Pour caramel filling over baked shortbread crust, smoothing into an even layer if needed.
- Place baking dish in freezer and let chill for 2 hours.
For the Chocolate Topping
- When ready to prepare topping, add semi-sweet chocolate and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power, then stir. Continue to heat for 15-second intervals, mixing in between, until chocolate is smooth and butter is absorbed.12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pour chocolate topping over caramel filling, smoothing into an even layer if needed.
- Place baking dish in refrigerator and let set for 2 hours.
Putting it All Together
- Lift millionaire shortbread base out of baking dish by gripping excess paper/foil along sides, then transfer to a work area. Peel back paper/foil from edges, then cut bars into 1 or 2-inch squares or desired size. Sprinkle top of bars with flaky sea salt (optional).flaky sea salt
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.