Millionaire’s Shortbread (Caramel Shortbread Bars)

This chewy Millionaire’s Shortbread is the best dessert to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings! A buttery shortbread base is topped with a layer of Rice Krispie caramel followed by a rich chocolate topping and a sprinkle of sea salt.

A Close-Up Shot of Three Stacked Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars Topped with Sea Salt

Easy Millionaire’s Shortbread Recipe

I’ve been wanting to make these for quite some time now. I love caramel, and these bars are like wrapping caramel up in a beautiful, semi-baked sweet and salty package. I could not be happier with the results!

The shortbread is very easy to put together. Just a few ingredients are combined in a food processor and pressed into a pan. It only needs to bake for 15 minutes, then the rest of the recipe is completely oven-free!

The caramel layer is made using my favorite store-bought caramels. Homemade caramel isn’t hard to make, but in the interest of keeping this recipe as simple as can be, I like to defer to my favorite brand. Plus, caramel sauce won’t firm up the same way.

I put my own twist on millionaire’s shortbread by adding Rice Krispies to the caramel layer to give it a little crunch. I dig variation in texture and that totally achieved it! The added crunch brought these already-heavenly treats to a whole new level.

The silky chocolate topping compliments the shortbread and the crunchy caramel perfectly. With a sprinkle of sea salt to top it all off, an irresistible sweet and salty treat is born!

Three Millionaire's Shortbread Bars Stacked on Top of a Piece of Parchment Paper

Why is it Called Millionaire’s Shortbread?

Well, no one really knows for sure. I think it’s because these bars are so yummy, each bite makes you feel like a million bucks! But it could also have something to do with how rich and indulgent they are.

A Bunch of Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars on Top of a White Cake Stand

Recipe Ingredients

Despite how luxurious these bars are, the ingredients you need for them are simple! Here’s the roster for each component:

For the Shortbread Layer

  • Flour: You’ll Need 1 cup.
  • Sugar: For both sweetness and chewiness.
  • Butter: Diced.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use a high-quality extract for the best results.

For the Caramel Layer

  • Milk: Whatever kind you have on hand will do.
  • Butter: You’ll need 1/4 cup.
  • Kraft Caramels: Wrappers removed.
  • Rice Krispies Cereal: To add that satisfying crunch.

For the Chocolate Topping

  • Chocolate Chips: I use semi-sweet.
  • Heavy Cream: Just a few tablespoons!
  • Sea Salt: For sprinkling on top.
A Pile of Caramel Shortbread Bars Sitting on a Blue Towel Over a Straw Placemat

How to Make Millionaire’s Shortbread

These cookie bars come together with ease. Just follow the detailed instructions below and watch these tasty treats come to life!

Make the Shortbread Base

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some sticking above the sides of the pan to lift the bars out later.
  2. Make Dough: Add the flour, sugar, butter and vanilla to a food processor and pulse until it comes together and forms a ball.
  3. Add to Pan: Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake: Bake the shortbread for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  5. Let Cool: Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside so the shortbread can cool.

Make the Caramel Layer

  1. Heat Milk, Butter & Caramels: Put the milk, butter and caramels into a large pot over medium heat. Allow everything to melt, stirring often so that the mixture doesn’t boil.
  2. Add Rice Krispies: Add the Rice Krispies and mix until incorporated.
  3. Pour Over Shortbread: Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the cooled shortbread. Set the pan aside.

Make the Chocolate Topping

  1. Melt Cream & Chocolate: Heat the heavy cream and chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring between each one, until the mixture is melted.
  2. Pour Over Caramel: Pour the chocolate evenly over the caramel layer.
  3. Let Cool: Allow the bars to cool completely.
  4. Remove From Pan & Cut: Lift the bars out of the pan using the excess parchment paper and cut them into squares.
  5. Enjoy! Serve millionaire’s shortbread cold or at room temperature.
A Caramel Shortbread Bar on a Blue Kitchen Towel with More Bars

Tips for Success

Want to make sure your caramel bars are fit for a millionaire? These tips and tricks will help you get them just right.

  • Leave Enough Overhanging Parchment Paper: Nobody wants their fresh batch of cookie bars to get stuck inside the pan! Be sure to leave plenty of extra parchment paper on both sides so you can lift the bars out with ease.
  • Don’t Boil the Caramel Mixture: Stir your caramel mixture frequently so that it doesn’t come to a boil. If it does boil, it may burn and take on a bitter flavor.
  • Let the Bars Cool in the Fridge: You can cool these bars in the fridge rather than letting them cool on the counter to save time, if desired.
  • Cool Completely for Easy Cutting: If your bars are cooled to room temperature or chilled, you’ll be able to cut them so much easier. They taste great cold too, so don’t be afraid to enjoy one straight from the fridge!
Three Servings of Millionaire's Shortbread Piled Up on a Sheet of Parchment Paper with Kraft Caramels in the Background

How to Store Leftovers

You can refrigerate these bars or store them at room temperature – up to you – as long as they’re kept in an airtight container. I personally prefer them cold because they’re firmer, but both ways are delicious! Be sure to enjoy your bars within 1 week unless you decide to store them in the freezer.

Can I Freeze These?

Yes! Frozen millionaire’s shortbread will last for up to 3 months. Place your cooled bars into a freezer-safe container and freeze. Thaw them out in the fridge before digging in.

Print
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Caramel Shortbread Bars stacked on wax paper
Recipe

Millionaire’s Shortbread (Caramel Shortbread Bars)

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This chewy Millionaire’s Shortbread is the best dessert to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings! A buttery shortbread base is topped with a layer of Rice Krispie caramel followed by a rich chocolate topping and a sprinkle of sea salt.


Ingredients

For the Shortbread Layer

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, diced
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Caramel Layer

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 11 oz bag Kraft Caramels, wrappers removed
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

For the Chocolate Topping

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper, leaving some sticking above the sides of the pan to lift the bars out later.
  3. Add flour, sugar, butter and vanilla to a food processor and pulse until it comes together and forms a ball.
  4. Press dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  6. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  7. Put milk, butter and caramels into a large pot on medium heat. Allow everything to melt, stirring often so that the mixture doesn’t boil.
  8. Add the rice krispies and mix until incorporated.
  9. Pour caramel mixture evenly over shortbread. Set pan aside.
  10. Heat heavy cream and chocolate chips in the microwave at 30 second increments, stirring between increments, until melted.
  11. Pour chocolate evenly over caramel layer.
  12. Allow bars to cool. You can put them in the refrigerator to cool more quickly.
  13. Lift bars out of the pan and cut into squares. It’s easier to cut them if they are cold.
  14. Serve bars cold or at room temperature.

Notes

Makes 9-12 bars.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Bar
  • Calories: 368
  • Sugar: 33 g
  • Sodium: 290.8 mg
  • Fat: 18.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.5 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 29.8 mg

Keywords: millionaires shortbread, caramel shortbread, caramel bars

More Caramel Desserts to Try

If you’re a caramel addict like me, you will adore the decadent treats below. Don’t forget to check them out next!

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Recipe rating

33 Comments
  1. Staci

    I have a ton of caramel chips and wanted your opinion on using these in this recipe instead of the wrapped caramels. I’m not much of a baker and would love your thoughts!!

    1. Lindsay

      I have played around with the caramel bits versus the wrapped caramels and in my opinion they don’t have the same texture and such when melted. I’d probably go with the wrapped caramels to avoid it not working out, but you could try it if you wanted to use the chips up.

  2. Heather

    These are very tasty but the Rice Krispies got soggy. What happened? Does the caramel need to cool before adding the krispies or…

  3. Amy Lynch

    How much caramel sauce would you need if you made your own for this instead of  using the wrapped caramels? Your recipes are amazing!!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure. Keep in mind though that if you make your own, it needs to be firm at room temperature, like the candies.

  4. Misscenterway

    All I can say is that I am an old cook. To say that I’ve acquired recipes from neighbors, friends, co-workers, relatives (I had to play nice with an old cranky aunt once to get the secret to a noodle dish) and restaurants would be an understatement. I see no point in collecting things you’re never going to use so I enjoying trying new things.At some point you have to stop Pinning and start cooking! I even went so far to get the chef of a 5-star hotel to give me his recipe for a dish that he created for my daughter’s engagement night so it could be catered for their wedding reception. I have cookbooks from every region and when a hurricane heads toward the Texas coast, I will admit to grabbing my favorite cookbooks before the picture albums. I know those pictures are always on someone else’s phone or camera but my Ralph and Kacoo’s cookbook with the best stuffed jalapenos? I do have my priorities!. I’m sharing this long, boring saga with you because I only follow ONE cooking blog: yours. Every single recipe I’ve tried has been a winner. Not complicated, not fussy nor do they call for ingredients like amethyst bamboo salt. I mean, when I want to bake I don’t want to have to go any further than my pantry to do so! Anyway, I wanted to tell you that you’ve earned the honor or the only cook I follow. Keep up the great work…and if you see me in the doctor’s office ripping a magazine apart to get a recipe, stop me. lol. Thanks for your efforts! They are appreciated!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      That you so much! What a compliment! It means so much to know that you enjoy the recipes. 🙂 Thank you!!

  5. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    You go girl! Congrats on the magazine feature…you are the coolest so I’m glad they found you!!! And these salted bars? Oh, my goodness! Love me some salted caramel!!!! Thank you so much for sharing a link to one of mine too 🙂

  6. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I just, I don’t even, how do I even express how much I love these bars?! The chocolate, the caramel, the shortbread..AAAAAHHHHHH. The layers are absolutely stunning, Lindsay, and just a bit of sea salt on top is the perfect way to bring it all together. Pinning these immediately.

  7. Michele @ Two Raspberries

    These looks a-maz-ing! Pinned! And what? I had no idea that the new Macs didn’t have a cd drive… Makin me feel old too? … But I didn’t even think I was that old… Hahaha…;-)

  8. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    These are like billionaire bars but better because of the crispity crunchy caramel layer!! I can see how they are your new favorites! I’m sure your hubs will kill it this weekend too!

  9. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Jealous! Have a super amazing time! These shortbread bars look FAB. Can’t wait to make ’em!!

  10. Handmade by Lorna

    How exciting to be in a mag – well done you. I love the look of these bars, how did you get them to cut so straight and neat, they look delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  11. Heather @ Shards of Lavender

    Jealous! The first concert I ever attended was Boyz II Men(and MC Hammer). And En Vogue is still around? The memories are flooding back… I had a huge collection of cassettes back in the days too! Okay, back to focusing on these bars… I love all the layers and different textures of each and pinned them for later! Enjoy the concert:)

  12. sally @ sallys baking addiction

    Congrats on the woman’s world feature! So exciting. These salty sweet bars look incredible.

  13. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert

    Could these bars look any more delicious? I think not. These will be a fantastic weekend treat.

  14. Mir

    Congrats on getting into Woman’s World! Your pics are so gorgeous, so they deserve a magazine spread!
    These look phenomenal. Anything with shortbread and caramel. And layers!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12