With a crunchy, buttery shortbread crust, gooey caramel center, and smooth chocolate topping, these Millionaire Bars are one decadent dessert that tastes like a million bucks!
Easy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars
With three decadent layers, you would think these Millionaire Bars would be overly sweet but they really aren’t – the semi-sweet chocolate and salt balance each other for the perfect level of sweetness with the other elements of the bars.
And then you have a blissful combination of textures too, with silky smooth chocolate, gooey rich caramel, and crunchy, buttery shortbread. These dessert bars really hit all of the right notes in both taste and texture.
What are Millionaire Bars?
Millionaire Bars (also known as Millionaire’s Shortbread or Million Dollar Bars) are thick, decadent dessert bars. They feature a crunchy, buttery shortbread crust, gooey rich caramel middle, and silky smooth chocolate ganache on top. Sorta like a homemade Twix bar but better!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these millionaire’s shortbread.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for all the measurements and details.)
- Butter – Unsalted butter is used in all three layers of the recipe.
- Granulated sugar – For sweetness.
- All-purpose flour – Spooned and leveled to avoid excess.
- Sea salt – A pinch of sea salt helps to balance out the sweetness.
- Light brown sugar – Gives the molasses flavor to the caramel.
- Sweetened condensed milk – No substitutions here, this is key for a thick caramel filling.
- Light corn syrup – This helps prevent crystallization of sugar and provides a softer texture to the caramel layer. Do not omit.
- Baking bars – I used semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe but dark chocolate also works.
Optional Toppings & Mix-Ins
This recipe is for classic millionaire bars so other additions, mix-ins or toppings would no longer make them classic. However, if you want to play around, here are some yummy topping ideas:
- Reese’s pieces
- Chopped peanut butter cups
- Chopped Rolos
- Toffee chips
- Mini M&Ms
- Drizzle of white or dark chocolate
- Crushed pretzels
How to Make Millionaire Bars
Making these million dollar bars does require some hands-on attention, especially for the caramel filling, but the hardest part is simply waiting for the layers to chill.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the measurements and details, and don’t miss the video below.)
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making the best million dollar bars.
- Always line the baking dish. Line the baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. This will make removing the bars from the dish so much easier.
- How to tell when the bottom is done. As I mentioned, the bottom layer should be golden brown and look dry. If you stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean, you can remove it from the oven. If there are wet crumbs, keep baking for a few more minutes.
- Do not boil the caramel filling. You really have to be careful and make sure it doesn’t boil. If it looks like it is starting to simmer more rapidly, take off the heat for a few seconds while continuing to stir, then place it back on the heat.
- Stir constantly. The caramel filling will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn easily, so be sure to be constantly stirring.
Millionaire bars are best served slightly chilled or at room temperature. It really depends on how you prefer them. The chocolate and caramel filling will soften slightly at room temperature and be more gooey. On the other hand, when it’s chilled the filling will be more solid. If enjoying them at room temperature, be sure to keep them away from sunlight and heat – they will melt!
How to Store & Freeze Leftovers
- Storing leftovers. Leftover millionaire bars can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. They should be kept in an airtight container, with parchment paper between layers of bars.
- To freeze. You can also freeze these dessert bars. I recommend wrapping them individually in plastic and again in foil to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for 3 months and then thaw in the fridge.
More Dessert Bar Recipes:
For the Crust
- 1 & 1/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- pinch of fine sea salt
For the Caramel Filling
- 1 cup unsalted butter , cut into tablespoons
- 1 cup light brown sugar , packed
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
For the Chocolate Topping
- 12 ounces semi-sweet baking bars , finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- flakey sea salt for garnish (optional, but recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper with some overhang on all 4 sides. Spray with cooking spray, set aside.
- Place the butter and granulated sugar into the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and cream together for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour and sea salt, stir it in until combined with no dry patches.
- Press the dough into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 23-28 minutes until lightly golden brown along the edges, the center of the crust appears dry, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- To make the filling: place the butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup into a medium-sized sauce pot. Place over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so nothing burns on the bottom – if it looks like it is starting to simmer more rapidly, take off the heat for a few seconds while continuing to stir, then place it back on the heat.After 5 minutes, take it off the heat and continue to stir for about 4 minutes to cool it down slightly. Pour over the crust evenly. Place in the freezer for 2 hours.
- Add the chopped chocolate and butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15-second intervals stirring in between until smooth. Spread the chocolate on top of the caramel layer. Place back in the fridge for 2 hours to set.
- Use the parchment paper to help lift the bars out of the baking dish. Cut into squares and sprinkle with flakey sea salt if using, serve immediately and enjoy!