Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

These classic millionaire’s shortbread have been given a pinch of salt to make them into extra delicious salted caramel chocolate millionaire’s shortbread. The base consists of a crumbly buttery shortbread with a layer of thick salted caramel, and finished off with a rich chocolate ganache. Take a look at the recipe below for some decadent coeliac-friendly millionaire’s that you won’t believe are gluten-free!

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Millionaire’s shortbread are an absolute classic bake and a real nostalgic one for me. I remember baking these as a child and not quite getting the caramel right, so that it oozed out of the tray at the end, creating a delicious but sticky mess! At least now some years later, I have the perfect recipe for a chewy thick caramel that sets every time, meaning sticky messes are a thing of the past!

So, how are easy are these millionaire’s to make. Well, these are made in three steps. Firstly, the ingredients for the Scottish shortbread are brought together to form a sticky dough which is then baked in a square baking tin for around 25 minutes. Whilst cooling, the ingredients for the caramel are heated up in a saucepan and cooked on a high setting for a few minutes until a thick hot caramel forms. This is then poured onto the shortbread to set. Once cooled and set, melted chocolate is then poured on to give the final layer of deliciousness and there you have it, the millionaire’s are ready to impress!

What substitutions are possible?

Chocolate ganache – I like to add 35g of butter to the melted chocolate so that the layer on top is a softer ganache-like consistency. If you’d rather have a hard crunchy chocolate on top, leave out the butter and just use the melted chocolate instead

Butter – Butter can be substituted for a vegan/dairy-free block if necessary. Try not to use a soft spread such as margarine as this may not work as well.

Chocolate – Milk, dark or white chocolate can be used for the final layer depending on your personal preferences

What equipment do I need?

  • Square baking tin sized 8 inch/20cm
  • 1 bowl
  • Baking paper

What ingredients do I need?

  • Sugar – White caster sugar is used for both the shortbread and the caramel centre
  • Eggs– 1 egg yolk from a medium egg is needed to add structure to the shortbread
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter for this recipe so that you can control the amount of salt being added. The butter needs to be softened to room temperature for the shortbread but can be used cold straight out of the fridge for the caramel and chocolate ganache
  • Gluten free flour – A gluten free flour blend such as Doves Farm Plain Flour or Schär Mix C for Cakes is perfect for these millionaire’s Self-raising flours tend to contain baking powder which means you can’t fully control the amount going in and therefore the spread in the baking process. Try to go for a plain flour so you can anticipate and control the spread
  • Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten free recipes and there are no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice but you can use any brand. Xanthan Gum is a gluten replacement for gluten-free baking and helps to replace the lost elasticity that gluten provides, keeping your shortbread together and stopping it from crumbling into dry pieces later
  • Salt – A pinch of salt in a recipe enhances the flavours of the other ingredients and offsets the sweetness of the millionaire’s. I like to sprinkle a tiny amount of sea-salt on top of them after baking too!
  • Chocolate – Milk, dark or white chocolate can be used to top depending on personal taste. I like a semi-dark chocolate with white chocolate swirls
  • Vanilla essence – A few drops of vanilla extract enhances the flavour of the blondies. Vanilla paste can be used too or vanilla from a vanilla pod
  • Condensed Milk – This is essential for the perfect caramel layer. One can of Carnation’s condensed milk is all that is needed here, any other pre-made caramels are not recommended as they won’t set hard enough and you’ll end up with an oozy sticky mess later
  • Golden Syrup – Golden Syrup is added to the caramel ingredients and heated up in a saucepan before being added to the shortbread. If you can’t find Golden Syrup, an alternative might be corn syrup but I haven’t tried this so I can’t guarantee that it will work

Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread

A classsic recipe with a salty twist, these millionaire's consist of a crumbly buttery shortbread with a layer of thick salted caramel, finished off with a rich chocolate ganache
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Chilling time1 hour
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: caramel, shortbread
Servings: 16


For the shortbread

  • 250 g gluten-free plain flour blend
  • 185 g unsalted butter softened
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the salted caramel layer

  • 1 can (397g) thick condensed milk
  • 60 ml Golden Syrup
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp salt

For the chocolate topping

  • 200 g dark or milk chocolate
  • 50 g white chocolate
  • 35 g butter optional


For the shortbread

  • Preheat the oven to 160° C Fan and line an 8 inch (20cm) square baking tin with baking paper and grease thoroughly with a greasing brush.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a mixer and cream together until combined.
    185 g unsalted butter, 75 g caster sugar
  • Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix again until combined.
    1 egg yolk, ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and Xanthan Gum before adding to the wet ingredients.
    250 g gluten-free plain flour blend, 1 tbsp cornstarch, ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum
  • Mix until a sticky dough forms and then transfer the dough to the baking tin. To smooth the dough out into an even layer, cover the dough with some baking paper and use the back of a spoon or measuring cup to create a smooth and even layer.
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Once baked, set aside to cool completely before preparing the caramel layer. Do not remove the shortbread from the tin.

For the salted caramel layer

  • Combine all of the ingredients for the caramel in a saucepan and melt together over a low heat until the grains of sugar have completely dissolved.
    1 can (397g) thick condensed milk, 60 ml Golden Syrup, 200 g unsalted butter, ½ tsp salt, 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Once all ingredients have melted and dissolved, turn up the heat and bubble the caramel for a good 5-8 minutes, stiring continuously so as not to let the caramel burn on the bottom of the pan. It is best to use a spatula or wooden spoon for this. Take care not to burn your hands on the hot splatters of caramel as it heats up.
  • Keep stiring until the caramel turns a more golden brown colour and has a thicker consistency. This may take a few minutes of stiring, so persevere!
  • Once thick enough, pour the caramel directly onto the shortbread layer and even out with an offset spatula to create an even layer.
  • Leave to set for around an hour in the fridge.

For the chocolate topping

  • Melt the dark or milk chocolate (and butter if desired) in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water before pouring onto the cooled caramel layer.
  • Melt the white chocolate and drizzle in desired pattern over the white chocolate, using a toothpick to create vertical lines with a strikethrough or swirly marbeled effect.
  • Allow to set before cutting into 16 equal pieces with a sharp warm knife.

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