Amazing Scottish Caramel Shortbread – A Sweet Delight

Have you ever indulged in the heavenly delight of a Scottish Caramel Shortbread? If not, it’s time to treat yourself to one of the most delectable sweet treats from the glorious land of Scotland. I am a chef specializing in British cuisine, and I have created this recipe to give you an authentic taste of traditional Scottish desserts.

This shortbread recipe is not your ordinary buttery shortbread cookie. It is a three-layered dessert with a rich and thick caramel center between shortbread and chocolate layers. It is also commonly called “Millionaire’s Shortbread” or “Caramel Slice” due to its decadent ingredients and luxurious taste.

Believed to have originated in Scotland, this dessert has been satisfying people’s sweet tooth for decades. Some varieties include sea salt flakes or dark chocolate drizzle, elevating the flavors further. In this recipe, we will incorporate thick caramel and buttery shortbread, creating a perfect balance of sweetness and texture.

Whether you are craving something sweet after dinner or need something quick to make for a special occasion, these Millionaire’s Shortbread bars are sure to impress your taste buds. So roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven, and let’s together create one of the most delicious traditional Scottish desserts- Scottish Caramel Shortbread!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Scottish Caramel Shortbread
Scottish Caramel Shortbread

Are you ready for a sweet and buttery treat? Look no further than this Scottish caramel shortbread recipe! This delicious dessert is a perfect blend of a crumbly shortbread base, creamy caramel center, and rich chocolate topping.

But why will you love this recipe? Let me count the ways. Firstly, it’s an authentic Scottish dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. So when you sink your teeth into a slice of this caramel shortbread, you’re enjoying a taste of history.

Secondly, this recipe is easy to follow and uses simple ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. You don’t need to be a master baker or spend hours searching for obscure ingredients to enjoy this delicious treat.

Finally, the combination of buttery shortbread, thick caramel, and decadent chocolate is simply irresistible. Each layer perfectly complements the other, creating a mouthwatering explosion of flavors in every bite.

So whether you’re looking for a sweet treat to serve at your next party or just want to indulge in some traditional Scottish desserts, this recipe is sure to satisfy. Trust me, once you try this Scottish caramel shortbread, you won’t be able to resist making it again and again.

Ingredient List

 Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with this delicious Scottish Caramel Shortbread
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with this delicious Scottish Caramel Shortbread

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make Scottish Caramel Shortbread. These ingredients can easily be found in your local grocery store and you may even have some of them already in your pantry.

Shortbread Layer

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour

Caramel Layer

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Chocolate Layer

  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling

Try to use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in your recipe, and remember to soften it beforehand. Caster sugar is finer than regular granulated sugar and will produce a smoother texture. Golden syrup gives the caramel its signature flavor, but if you can’t find any, light corn syrup or honey will do just fine. The condensed milk is what creates the thick and creamy texture of the caramel layer, so refrain from using low-fat condensed milk as it may not turn out quite right. Lastly, while sea salt is optional for sprinkle on top of the chocolate layer, I highly recommend this final touch as it pairs well with the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate layers.

The Recipe How-To

 Layers of buttery shortbread, rich caramel, and smooth chocolate make this dessert irresistible
Layers of buttery shortbread, rich caramel, and smooth chocolate make this dessert irresistible

After gathering our ingredients, it’s time to bake the Scottish Caramel Shortbread. This recipe has three layers – shortbread, caramel filling, and chocolate topping. Don’t let the thought of making three layers discourage you; each layer is quite simple to assemble.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream ~~butter~~ unsalted butter and ~~sugar~~ caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add in ~~flour~~ plain flour (2 cups) and mix until the dough comes together.

  3. Transfer the dough into the prepared baking dish and smooth out evenly.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

  5. Allow it to cool completely in the pan before assembling your caramel layer. While your shortbread bakes, let’s make our caramel layer!

  6. Add ~~two cans of condensed milk~~ 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/2 cup caster sugar into a heavy saucepan over medium heat.

  7. Stir for about five minutes until all ingredients have melted and combined smoothly.

  8. Simmer on low heat for another 10 – 15 minutes or until your caramel has thickened, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

  9. Once your caramel is ready, spread it in an even layer over your cooled shortbread layer and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, making sure your caramel is set before you add your chocolate layer on top.

  10. Melt ~~dark chocolate chips~~ 8 ounces dark chocolate in a microwave or a double boiler until smooth.

  11. Pour melted chocolate evenly over caramel while still in pan.

  12. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes before the chocolate cools and hardens.

  13. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.

  14. Cut them into bars or any shape that you prefer and serve with a piping hot cup of your choice of tea. Enjoy your sweet and buttery caramel shortbread that is perfectly balanced with the bitterness from the dark chocolate and saltiness from the sea salt flakes.

Substitutions and Variations

 This recipe is perfect for baking on a lazy weekend afternoon or sharing with friends and family
This recipe is perfect for baking on a lazy weekend afternoon or sharing with friends and family

One of the best things about Scottish caramel shortbread is its versatility. Although the traditional recipe is already mouth-watering, you can tweak the ingredients a bit to create various versions that cater to different taste buds. Here are some substitution and variation ideas that you can experiment with:

– Chocolate: If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, you can substitute it with milk or white chocolate to make your shortbread sweeter. Milk chocolate complements the buttery shortbread base well, while white chocolate adds a creamy touch to the dish.

– Sugar: Caster sugar is typically used in traditional Scottish shortbread, but you can replace it with brown sugar or even honey for a more complex flavor profile. Keep in mind that these substitutes will yield slightly different results from the classic recipe.

– Flour: Plain flour works just fine for this recipe, but you can use whole wheat flour for a healthier option. The wheat flour adds a nutty flavor and makes the crust denser, but still buttery.

– Caramel: While most recipes use homemade caramel sauce made from condensed milk, you can also try using dulce de leche or store-bought caramel sauce to save time. You could also add sea salt flakes on top of your caramel layer to add a salty contrast.

– Millionaire Bars: The traditional caramel shortbread recipe is also known as Millionaire Shortbread, but if you want more layers of goodness in your dessert, try adding chopped pecans or almonds between the shortbread and caramel layers (known as Billionaire Shortbread). You could also drizzle melted chocolate over the top layer or scatter some chocolate chunks before baking for added texture.

These substitution and variation options allow you to explore different ways to enjoy this classic treat without compromising its authentic Scottish roots. Give them a try and see how it changes the flavour profile of your delicious shortbreads!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't be afraid to get creative with your toppings, sprinkling sea salt or chopped nuts over the chocolate layer for an extra treat
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your toppings, sprinkling sea salt or chopped nuts over the chocolate layer for an extra treat

One of the best things about Scottish caramel shortbread is that it is a versatile treat. You can serve it on any occasion, whether it’s a family gathering or just an afternoon snack. It’s also perfect for sharing with friends alongside a cup of tea or coffee.

To enhance the flavor experience, you could serve the caramel shortbread with some whipped cream or ice cream. A generous drizzle of chocolate sauce over the top would also go well, making this sweet treat even more indulgent.

If you have some leftover chocolate and ingredients from baking your shortbread, make some cookies as an accompaniment to your shortbread bars, which makes it a complete cookie recipe.

When you’re looking for something to pair with caramel shortbread, you’ll want something that can balance its sweetness. For example, a hot cup of coffee or tea works wonders. Alternatively, a glass of cold milk can also tame the sweetness and make for a delightful pairing experience.

Overall, Scottish caramel shortbread is a perfect choice for elevenses or dessert after lunch, creating an exquisite flavorful touch to any festive occasion or party in authentic Scottish style!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Follow these simple steps to create a decadent and heavenly dessert that will make your taste buds dance
Follow these simple steps to create a decadent and heavenly dessert that will make your taste buds dance

Once you have baked your delightful Scottish caramel shortbread, it’s crucial to know how to store and reheat it properly. It’s best to wait until the shortbread cools down completely before storing it so that moisture doesn’t build up in the container.

If you’re planning to make these decadent treats ahead of time, you can bake them a day or two before serving. To do so, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them at room temperature.

But what if your guests didn’t eat all of the shortbread, and you don’t want to waste any? You can store these treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze them for up to three months. Simply thaw the frozen bars overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating your Scottish caramel shortbread is easy and quick! To bring back that perfect texture and flavor, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and place your frozen or refrigerated bars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Heat them in the oven for around 5 to 8 minutes until they become warm, gooey, and slightly soft.

Overall, this traditional Scottish dessert is quite versatile, allowing you to make them ahead of time, all while keeping their fresh taste and texture intact. With proper storage and reheating methods, you can enjoy these delicious treats anytime!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma of baking shortbread will fill your kitchen with warmth and comfort
The aroma of baking shortbread will fill your kitchen with warmth and comfort

Making Scottish caramel shortbread is not as difficult as it may seem, but there are some tips to guarantee perfect results every time. These tips are simple and straightforward, but they can make all the difference between an ordinary and exceptional shortbread. Here are my top tips for making the best possible Scottish caramel shortbread:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: Since the recipe consists solely of butter, sugar, and flour, it’s crucial to use top-quality ingredients. Opt for unsalted butter made from grass-fed cows, as it will provide the best flavor.

2. Don’t overwork the dough: The dough should be mixed until it just comes together. Do not overwork it! Overworking the dough will result in a tough texture.

3. Use parchment paper: Lining your pan with parchment paper prevents sticking and makes removing the bars a breeze.

4. Chill your dough before baking: Chilling the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour is necessary because it firms up the butter and makes slicing easier.

5. Wait until fully cooled before slicing: Once your bars come out of the oven, they will need to cool completely before slicing to avoid crumbling or falling apart.

6. Use a sharp knife or bench scraper: When slicing into individual bars, use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut through the buttery layers cleanly.

7. Add sea salt flakes on top for extra flavor: A sprinkle of sea salt flakes adds a nice touch of savory to cut through the sweetness of the caramel chocolate.

By following these tips, you’ll have perfectly baked Scottish caramel shortbread no matter what variation you choose!


As you embark on making this delicious Scottish caramel shortbread recipe, you may have a few questions about the process. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Here are some frequently asked questions that I’ve answered to ensure that you can make the perfect millionaire shortbread every time.

What is the difference between millionaire shortbread and caramel shortbread?

A popular layered dessert that goes by the name of Millionaire’s shortbread, or caramel shortbread, is made up of a buttery shortbread layer at the bottom, a creamy caramel filling in the center, and is topped with a generous layer of smooth milk chocolate.

What is traditional Scottish shortbread made from?

Shortbread, a Scottish classic, is a type of biscuit composed of three to four parts plain wheat flour, two parts butter and one part white sugar. The unique feature of shortbread is that it does not contain any leavening agents, which sets it apart from other baked goods.

Why is Scottish shortbread so good?

When it comes to making Scottish shortbread, the most important aspect is the quality of the butter used. No extra fancy ingredients or flavor enhancers are required as the butter is what provides the flavor to the shortbread. In fact, the overall taste of the shortbread is solely dependent on the quality of the butter that is used.

Why is it called millionaires shortbread?

The origins of the name “millionaire’s shortbread” are believed to be from Scotland. The term “millionaire” in the title suggests that this particular type of shortbread is more indulgent and affluent than the standard version.

What’s the difference between millionaires shortbread?

For those wondering about the difference between millionaire and billionaire shortbread, the former has a caramel filling while the latter takes it up a notch with a luxurious salted caramel center. When it comes to freezing shortbread biscuits, including those with caramel and chocolate, rest assured that they freeze excellently.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Scottish Caramel Shortbread recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves a sweet treat with a rich and buttery flavor. This traditional Scottish dessert has become a favorite around the world, and for good reason. With its three layers of crumbly shortbread, thick caramel, and decadent chocolate, it’s no wonder why it’s also known as Millionaire’s Shortbread or Million Dollar Bars.

You can easily make your own batch of this delicious treat with just a few simple ingredients including flour, sugar, butter, condensed milk, dark chocolate, and sea salt flakes. This recipe can be easily customized to fit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions by swapping out certain ingredients or adding in extra toppings like chopped nuts or drizzled white chocolate.

Whether you are serving them at a party or enjoying them as an afternoon snack, these bars are sure to impress. So don’t let the name “Millionaire” intimidate you! Try making your own batch of Scottish caramel shortbread today and see for yourself just how easy it is to create an authentic Scottish dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.

Scottish Caramel Shortbread

Scottish Caramel Shortbread Recipe

This is a Scottish recipe. Posted for ZWT6.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dessert, Easy, European, For Large Groups, Scottish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 pan
Calories 208.3kcal


  • 200 g flour
  • 175 g butter
  • 125 g sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces cream
  • 100 g chocolate


  • Make dough from the flour with 150 gram butter and 75 gram sugar.
  • Roll the mixture out into a large rectangle in an oven dish.
  • Bake 20 minutes at 165 degrees.
  • Boil the rest of the butter, the rest of the sugar and the cream (stir well all the time!) on a medium high fire until it begins to turn brown.
  • Spread it over the cookie rectangle.
  • Melt the chocolate with one tablespoon cream.
  • Make patterns on top of the caramel with a spoon (see picture).
  • Cut the cookie-rectangle into 30 smaller rectangles.


Serving: 43g | Calories: 208.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.7g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 14.7g | Saturated Fat: 9.2g | Cholesterol: 30.3mg | Sodium: 66.7mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 7.9g

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