One bite into these bars and you'll understand why they call them millionaire's shortbread. They're rich! Like filthy rich. This no-bake shortbread base is topped with layers of thick caramel and rich chocolate ganache for the ultimate indulgence.
No-bake desserts are this lazy girl's favourite things to make. These millionaire's bars are so easy and so worth it. I find that they taste even better a few days later when they're not as "sticky" as they are fresh. They become melt-in-your-mouth delicious and so so good.
How to make no-bake millionaire's shortbread bars
Millionaire's shortbread bars consist of 3 layers:
- Shortbread crust
- Caramel layer
- Chocolate ganache layer
This version of these bars has a no-bake almond flour crust and a marbled chocolate pattern on top.
No-bake shortbread crust
While this isn't a classic shortbread, it is just as crumbly and buttery as its baked counterpart. I actually prefer this almond flour version because 1) it's easier to make, 2) it's no-bake, and 3) it has a lighter texture and doesn't feel as heavy especially when it's topped with the next ultra decadent layers.
To make this no-bake shortbread:
- Melt the butter: I used the same pan for all three layers. Just heat the butter on low-medium heat until melted.
- Add the melted butter and vanilla to the dry ingredients: Mix the almond flour, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl while your butter is melting. Pour the butter & vanilla extract over it and stir it together until it's all moistened and has the consistency of wet sand.
- Press into a pan: Use your hand to press the mixture firmly into an 8x8" pan lined with parchment paper
- Chill in fridge: Chill the shortbread while you prepare the next layers.
Tip: line your pan with parchment paper cut to fit the size of the pan for clean edges. Use bull clips to secure it to the sides of the pan to stop it from sliding around. Later when removing the bars of the pan, just run a knife along the unlined sides and pull the overhanging parchment paper "handles" straight up to lift it out of the pan.
Condensed milk caramel layer
The caramel in this millionaire's bar differs from my classic homemade caramel sauce recipe in that it uses condensed milk and brown sugar and sets up a lot firmer than a caramel used for drizzling. This caramel keeps its shape after slicing into it for the perfect clean-edged bars.
To make this caramel, it's even easier than usual. Just throw sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, and butter into a small pot and let it come to a boil. As it cooks, you'll feel a noticeable change in texture as you stir it around. I always do the "parting" test - scrape a spatula through the middle of the caramel. If the caramel parts on both sides, letting you see the bottom of the pot before merging back together after 1-2 seconds, then it's at the right thickness.
Pour this caramel over your chilled shortbread base right away to be able to spread it around evenly while it's still workable. Then chill it in the fridge while you make the chocolate ganache layer.
Chocolate ganache layer
Chocolate ganache is a dessert staple and it makes these bars extra creamy and decadent. I always make it the same way and just alter the amount of chocolate or heavy cream to change the thickness and consistency of it:
- Heat heavy cream until it just begins to form small bubbles.
- Pour it over your chopped up chocolate and let it sit undisturbed for 1-2 minutes before stirring it through until it's creamy and smooth.
To make the marbled pattern:
- Spoon out small blobs of white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate
- Use a chopstick or knife and drag it back and forth from left to right side without lifting it.
- When you've gone left and right across the whole surface, turn your chopstick or knife and make the same pattern going from top to bottom of the pan, still without lifting it up.
- You can change the look of the marbling by changing how you place the white chocolate down, how tightly you make the chopstick pattern, etc.
Tips for the best millionaires shortbread
- Run a large knife until hot water between every slice to get clean cuts and prevent the bars from sticking to the knife.
- These millionaires bars are super rich so I would recommend cutting them into smaller squares than usual otherwise they can be a bit much
- These bars taste even better the next day or a couple of days later. They firm up more and go from sticky and gooey to soft and melty. Maybe it's just me but they also taste slightly less sweet a few days later.
Storing millionaire's shortbread bars
Store your millionaire's shortbread bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can either eat them straight from the fridge for a chewier texture or let them come to room temperature for a soft, melt in your mouth texture.
Freezing millionaire's shortbread bars
You can freeze these millionaire's bars by wrapping them in a double layer of plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge or on the counter overnight before eating.
Other chocolate recipes to try
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- No-Bake S'mores Tart
- S'mores Cupcakes with Caramel Filling
- Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread
- Ruby Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Chocolate Orange Cake
No-Bake Millionaire's Shortbread
- 200 g almond flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 75 g unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 g brown sugar
- 75 g unsalted butter
- 300 g condensed milk
- 200 g dark chocolate, chopped
- 50 g white chocolate, chopped
- 125 g heavy cream
- Stir together almond flour, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl.
- Pour melted butter and vanilla extract into the flour mixture and stir to completely saturate the dry ingredients until it becomes the consistency of wet sand.
- Press the mixture firmly into an 8x8" pan lined with parchment paper.
- Chill in the fridge while you prepare the caramel.
- In a small pot on medium heat, bring the brown sugar, butter, and condensed milk to a boil while stirring constantly.
- Keep it at a boil for 2-3 minutes while the caramel thickens. When the caramel parts on both sides when you drag a spatula through it and joins back together after 1-2 seconds, it's ready.
- While the caramel is still warm, pour it over the shortbread layer and use an offset spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Let it chill in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate ganache.
- Set aside your chopped dark chocolate and white chocolate in two separate bowls. Heat the heavy cream on medium heat until bubbles just begin to form.
- Pour 100g of the hot cream over the dark chocolate and the remaining 25g over the white chocolate. Let sit undisturbed for 1-2 minutes before stirring both chocolate ganaches until they're melty and smooth.
- Pour the dark chocolate ganache over the caramel layer and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula.
- Use a spoon to place small blobs of white chocolate ganache on top of the dark chocolate layer. Gently run a chopstick or knife through the ganache layer only in a zigzag pattern going left and right and then in an up and down motion without lifting up to create a marbled pattern.
- Let this chill in the fridge again for at least 1 hour until all the layers have set.
- Remove the shortbread from the pan by lifting it up by the parchment paper overhangs. Run a sharp knife under hot water between each slice and cut into bars.