Vanilla and Salted Caramel Millionaires’ Shortbread

Mr LG has been requesting that I make Millionaires’ Shortbread for some time now (and by requesting I mean nagging). For those of you unfamiliar with the name, in my part of the world we call it caramel slice, but the lovely whimsical people of Scotland call it Millionaires’ Shortbread. Some say it got this name because it is a rich (very rich) version of shortbread.

I had never made Millionaires’ Shortbread before and an extensive study of recipes show variations of biscuit base, but always with a caramel filling made with condensed milk and then covered in either milk or dark chocolate. Some recipes have coconut in the biscuit base, but Mr LG tells me quite emphatically that they don’t make them with coconut in Scotland. As he is the authority of all things Scottish in this house I will take his word for it.

I have never been a huge fan of this slice because, believe it or not, I just find it too sweet. In the quest to make a version of this slice that wasn’t too sweet I decided to stick to a shortbread base and layer it with a vanilla salted caramel. I bypassed the traditional use of condensed milk and instead used this recipe for the salted caramel sauce. To get the firmness I needed I took the cooking temperature to 115°C (soft ball stage).

The end result was a melt in the mouth, slightly crumbly, shortbread layered with a smooth, but  fudge-like vanilla and salted caramel topped with dark chocolate.

It’s rich, it’s decadent and it’s probably best served in small pieces.


Makes 1 x 20cm square.

Shortbread Layer

  • 250gm butter, softened
  • 75gm caster sugar
  • 35gm rice flour
  • 335gm plain flour.


Preheat oven to 150°C. Line 1 x 20cm cake tin with baking paper (leave an edge on the paper so you can use the edge to lift the slice out of the cake tin).

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and creamy.

Add the sifted flours to the butter mixture in two batches, mix on a low speed until completely combined and mixture is like crumbs.

Press the mixture into the base of the cake tin and press down firmly. Try to make the shortbread base as even as possible to ensure even layers throughout the slice.

Bake @ 150°C for approx. 45 – 60 minutes or until the shortbread is a light straw colour.

Leave shortbread in the cake tin and allow to cool completely.

Caramel Layer

Make one recipe of vanilla salted caramel.

Once you have added the cream, butter, salt and vanilla keep cooking, stirring occasionally until  the caramel reaches 115°C. Remove from stove top. Allow caramel to cool slightly (it should be still warm when you pour it).

Chocolate Layer

  • 300gm dark chocolate (I used 50%), chopped.

Heat a small saucepan of water on stove until boiling, then turn off the heat. Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl then sit the chocolate over the saucepan. Stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth.


Leave shortbread in cake tin.

Pour salted caramel on top of shortbread.

Refrigerate at least an hour or until firm.

Once the caramel is firm, pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.

Take the slice out of the cake tin by holding the sides of the baking paper. Place on a chopping board.

Using a large cook’s knife, slice a thin slice off each edge to remove uneven edges and make a perfect square. Cut even sized slices and place back in the fridge until ready to serve. I have used gold leaf for decoration on the top (hey, that’s what millionaires would expect :)).

Tip: Make sure the slice is straight out of the fridge and really firm before attempting to cut. If like me you can’t cut straight, use a ruler to measure slices accurately. To ensure slices are clean put the knife in a jug of hot water and dry off with a paper towel between slices and try to slice in one continuous slice rather than using a sawing motion.


21 thoughts on “Vanilla and Salted Caramel Millionaires’ Shortbread

  1. Lilian

    Thank you so much for inventing a recipe for salted caramel sauce without condensed milk. I have a recipe for one that I’ve used ( but will use yours now) My problem is that when I package the M’ Shortbread as gifts, the caramel oozes out in a few hours & seeps all around the package they’re in. I heated the sauce till 235 degrees ( Fahrenheit) thinking that would make it firm enough but it still oozed. Do you have any suggestions for me? I’m loving this blog!!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      Hi Lilian, thanks for your comment. I personally don’t like the condensed milk version which is why I tried to make it using a real caramel but it was a bit of experimentation to get it right. I played around with the temperatures on a caramel sauce recipe and went from there. This particular caramel came out at a med/soft consistency so I did keep it in the fridge before cutting, it held up fine but I don’t think it would stay that firm out of the fridge.

  2. Jas@AbsolutelyJas

    I don’t like caramel slice, but yours is so pretty that I don’t think I could resist it! I’ll have to make these for a work morning tea and blow the competition out of the water 🙂

  3. Amy Tong

    These look gorgeous. Definitely belong to the millionaires category! I don’t like desserts that are overly sweet too. So, I love that you make this without the condense milk caramel. 🙂

  4. TheKitchenLioness

    Karen, such an elegant treat – I would not dare make these…yours are so perfect…but I would adore having one of them right now – I can just imagine that a lovely shortbread base, vanilla salted caramel and dark chocolate topping taste out of this world delicious! And the final “golden touch” makes them look even more decadent!
    Sigh, oh, to be able to enjoy one of these now…

  5. Tiffany

    Wow these look fantastic. I can see how your husband nags you to make them. How interesting that you use rice flour for your shortbread. I never would have thought to try that. These are the prettiest shortbread cookies I’ve ever seen.

  6. David

    Karen – I have heard of these for years, and seen many recipes, but yours is by far the most elegant version. Your salted caramel sounds absolutely amazing… and this post reminds me that I need to get a good, 20cm baking tin. This is what I call a shopportunity.

  7. Gather and Graze

    Ohhhh Karen! That looks superb – I love the touch of gold-leaf on the top – very sophisticated! The layers look fabulous and can only imagine how amazing that salted caramel tastes in the middle! I made a caramel slice not so long ago and I giggle now at how awful mine was in comparison to yours! I’ll be giving your recipe a go for sure! Cheers, Margot 🙂


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