Caramel Shortbread

caramel shortbread | Vagabond BakingCaramel Shortbread, or Millionaires Shortbread as it is also known, is one of the tastiest, moreish and naughtiest of bars. It never fails to be popular with it’s buttery shortbread base, thick caramel layer and chocolate coating. I mean, you can just see the calories! What the heck though, a little treat never hurt anyone.

My caramel layer is salted, which as well as being utterly delicious it also helps to counter the sweetness. I made it with light muscovado sugar which adds to the toffee flavour. I also made the shortbread base with the muscovado sugar, instead of white sugar, to give it a bit more depth.

This recipe is not difficult, the three layers are all very simple. Just make sure you take your time cooking the caramel layer, you want it to set firm.

caramel shortbread | Vagabond Baking

I gave the squares a fancy decoration as the shortbread was made for a gift, I’m going to box it all up in a pretty box {minus a few pieces, quality control!}. It’s very easy but looks brilliant.

Shortbread Base

oven 170 C / gas 3 / 325 F

20 cm {8 in} square tin, or equivalent, lined with parchment

  • 175 g {6 ounces} unsalted butter, fairly soft
  • 225 g {1 & 3/4 cups} plain flour
  • small pinch of salt
  • 75 g {1/3 cup packed} light muscovado sugar, or caster

Sift the flour into a large bowl, stir in the salt and sugar. Add the butter then rub in with your finger tips until the butter is thoroughly distributed and it begins to come together into a dough. You can do this step in seconds with a food processor.

Press the dough into the base of the lined tin, pressing it flat with your knuckles. Prick all over with a fork. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Leave in the tin to cool completely.

making shortbread


The {Salted} Caramel Layer

The salt is completely optional. The trick to this stage is not to rush it. If you don’t cook the caramel long enough it may not set stiff and your caramel shortbread will be a runny, but delicious, mess. Stand over your pan, keep your eye on it, stirring caramel is a pleasure not a chore!

  • 150 g {5 & 1/2 ounces} unsalted butter
  • 1 x 395 g tin of sweetened condensed milk {1 & 1/3 cup}
  • 75 g {1/3 cup} light muscovado sugar
  • 50 g {1/4 cup} golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt, I used Maldon Salt, I love it’s soft, flaky pyramid crystals.

Begin to melt the butter in a medium-sized pan. Add the condensed milk, the sugars and the salt. Melt everything together over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, stirring regularly to ensure it’s not catching on the bottom of the pan.

Once it reaches boiling point, turn the heat right down to very low. Keep cooking the caramel for around 10 minutes, slow and gentle. Stir it very often. Those ten minutes will pass a lot quicker than you think. The caramel will have thickened.

Pour over your shortbread and spread it out with the back of a spoon. Let this cool and set.

maldon sea salt

pour the thickened caramel over the shortbread

Chocolate Coating

  • 180 g {6 & 1/2 ounces} milk chocolate, or a combination of milk and dark, chopped
  • 50 g {2 ounces} white chocolate, chopped, to decorate {optional}

Melt the milk chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Ensure the bowl doesn’t come into contact with the water. Pour the melted chocolate over the surface of the set caramel. Alternatively, melt it carefully in a microwave.

If you’d like to decorate it with a white chocolate pattern, melt the white chocolate in the same way, or very carefully in a microwave, then place it in a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle or even just a cone of parchment.

While the milk chocolate is still ‘wet’ pipe straight lines of the white chocolate across the surface. Once covered, use a toothpick/cocktail stick and drag it in alternate directions cross the lines to create the pattern.

drag a cocktail stick across the white chocolate lines

Millionaires Shortbread | Vagabond Baking

Allow the chocolate to set, this can be rushed by placing it into the fridge. Use a big, sharp knife to cut it into squares as big as you like. Heating the knife in hot water, then drying it with a cloth before cutting each slice makes the job much neater.
Salted Caramel Shortbread | Vagabond BakingCaramel Shortbread | Vagabond Baking

We’re spending the week with family up in Yorkshire. Not been up to much so this is just a recipe today!
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35 Responses

  1. Baker Bettie says:

    Those are gorgeous! Shortbread is my favorite kind of cookie! Adding caramel would only make it better!

  2. Modigliianni says:

    It looks like it’s raining in my mouth, I should close it before I get electrocuted on my laptop. This cake looks awesome, i bet the taste is “godlike”.

  3. fiammisday says:

    This is amazing!!!! Love your blog and follow it now!!!! Have a special day!!!!

  4. These photos are great! I love the lighting! And who would say no to Caramel Shortbread? :):)

    Anna xoxo

  5. easybaked says:

    Oh my….those look wonderful- and your photography is beautiful! I want to try one right. now….but I’m on a diet…so I will just sit here sad.

    • Oh sorry! my weight has crept up a little since starting the blog! I keep on top of it with the 5:2, fasting diet. Works for me and I get to eat cake for 5 days of the week, hoorah!

  6. Sophie33 says:

    I am dyeting now & lost 5 kg over 3 months & now, you make these fabulous bitesized yummy snacks! I am not going to make them! πŸ™‚ Maybe some day! πŸ™‚ xxx

  7. I really love the look of this one! Love how you did the feathering with the white chocolate.
    I’ve always been a fan of bars and shortbreads. Love that this one has all the layers that I love – butter shortbread, caramel and chocolate!

    Gonna bookmark this and try soon!

  8. bakearama says:

    **drool**! And so pretty too! Caramel shortbread is my ultimate guilty pleasure… do you do mail order?? πŸ˜‰

  9. Absolutely GORGEOUS job on these (and mighty tasty looking too, if I may say so!)

  10. I am amazed at how you got them to look so perfect! Although your photo makes the technique look manageable … I don’t think I could get them to look quite so good!

  11. mmmarzipan says:

    Oh my! These look amazing! What a fabulous gift they will make πŸ™‚ Delicious and so, so pretty too!

  12. Dave says:

    I always wondered how they made pretty patterns like that on desserts, now I know!

  13. NickkiT says:

    These are one of my all time favourite naughty treats! Love the chocolate pattern on top, so pretty!

  14. Mimi says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!

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