Millionaires Shortbread (Karamellschnitten) Recipe

millionaire's shortbread

If you’re looking for a simple dessert to make, then this is the perfect recipe for you! This millionaires shortbread recipe is the perfect dessert that requires very little baking. 

I first learnt this recipe from a family friend years ago and it has been one of my favourites ever since. The Swiss version of this dessert is called Karamellschnitten – it consists of a simple shortbread base, a layer of caramel and a layer of melted milk chocolate.

In the UK, this dessert is more commonly known as Millionaires Shortbread. Even though it consists of the same three layers, I’ve personally never been too fond of the British version of this dessert.

Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)

What ingredients you need:

For the base, this millionaires shortbread recipe only requires all-purpose white flour, butter and brown sugar. To make the caramel layer, I use either a mix of both sweetened and unsweetened condensed milk or a mix of brown sugar and unsweetened condensed milk. The chocolate layer purely consists of a melted block of milk chocolate.

Alternative ingredients:

You don’t have to use brown sugar in the base. I’ve made this recipe using coconut sugar and maple sugar as an alternative. The only difference is that the colour of the base changes, depending on the sugar you use. You could also use dark chocolate as an alternative to using milk chocolate. 

For the caramel base, you could use either sweetened or unsweetened condensed milk. When you use sweetened condensed milk you don’t need to add as much sugar to the caramel, whereas using unsweetened condensed milk will require more sugar. 

Why you should try this millionaires shortbread recipe:

This dessert was one of my favourites when I was a child. I used to love helping out in the kitchen and this recipe was simple enough for me to make even as a child. You should definitely try making this dessert – it’s so much better than store-bought millionaires shortbread and is such a fun activity to do with kids!

How hard is it to make this dish?

As I mentioned, Karamellschnitten is so easy to make. The difficult part is having enough patience when making the caramel layer. It’s important to be patient and continuously stir the caramel, or else the sugar will start to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. 

How to cut millionaires shortbread without cracking it:

The trick to cutting these delicious treats without cracking the chocolate is to cut them before the chocolate fully sets. After you pour the chocolate over the caramel layer, let the chocolate cool for 20 minutes in the fridge. Once it’s cool, start cutting the millionaires shortbread using a bread knife. You’ll want to cut them before the chocolate fully sets, or you risk cracking the chocolate. To cut clean slices, you’ll want to wipe the excess chocolate on the knife after every cut. 

Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)

How to store millionaires shortbread:

You can also store them either in your cupboard or in the fridge in an airtight container. If you prefer to have the chocolate layer hard and crispy, then I recommend you refrigerate them. I wouldn’t store/refrigerate them for more than five days. 

Can millionaires shortbread be frozen? 

Once baked, you can easily freeze these millionaires shortbread desserts! Simply wrap the pieces in clingfilm or a plastic bag – you can take them out of the fridge, ready to serve within a few hours. 

Hints and Tips:

  • You should cut the slices before the chocolate fully sets, or the chocolate may crack when you cut the slices. 

  • Continuously stir the caramel in the pan to avoid the sugar from burning.

  • You’ll want to firmly press the breadcrumb-like base in the tray before baking it. This will stabilise the base.

  • Melt the chocolate pieces at medium heat. If the water in the pan is too hot, the steam could enter the bowl, creating the wrong chocolate consistency. 

Try these other dessert recipes:

ingredients to make Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Ingredients to make the base layer of the millionaires shortbread
ingredients to make Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Ingredients to make the caramel and chocolate layer of the millionaires shortbread
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Add the flour and butter to a bowl and mix it to a breadcrumb-like consistency using your fingers.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Add the sugar and mix this to a breadcrumb-like consistency using your fingers.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Pour the contents into a pan and stiffen the base by firmly pressing the contents together using a spoon.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Bake this base for 15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Caramel layer: Melt the butter and sugar together in a pan
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Pour the condensed milk into the pan and stir this continuously at medium heat
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Keep stirring the caramel until it thickens.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Once the base has cooled for at least 10 minutes, pour the caramel into the tray and spread it evenly.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Chocolate layer: Pour some water in a saucepan and let the heat of the water melt the chocolate in the larger bowl.
Karamell schnitten (Millionaires shortbread)
Once the caramel has cooled, add the melted chocolate over the caramel and spread this out evenly. Let this cool for 20-30 minutes before placing it in the fridge. Once cooled, the dessert is ready to be cut.

Karamell Schnitten (Millionaires Shortbread)

Recipe by YvonneDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time





Delicious and simple millionaires shortbread recipe – perfect for any occasion.


  • Base
  • 175g all purpose flour

  • 125g butter

  • 50g brown sugar

  • Caramel layer
  • 50g butter

  • 25g brown sugar

  • 400g Condensed milk (unsweetened)

  • Chocolate layer
  • 200g chocolate


  • Part 1:
  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius
  • Add the flour and butter to a bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the flour until breadcrumb-like consistency.
  • Add sugar and mix into the mixture. The mixture should still be a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  • Pour the contents into a lined or buttered tray. Using a spoon, press and firmly even out the base.
  • Bake this base for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let this cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes.
  • Part 2:
  • Add the butter, sugar and condensed milk to a saucepan. Stir the contents regularly at medium heat until the caramel consistency is thick. Ensure you continuously stir the contents, or the sugar will stick to the pan and burn.
  • Once thick, quickly pour the contents over the base. Even the caramel out and let this cool for at least 15 minutes.
  • Part 3:
  • Pour some water in a saucepan and place a larger glass bowl on top. The bowl should not touch the bottom of the saucepan. Doing this will allow the steam of the water to melt the chocolate.
  • Place the chocolate pieces into the larger bowl and heat up the water at medium heat.
  • Continuously stir the chocolate until fully melted. Ensure you don’t boil the water, or you risk the steam entering the glass bowl, ruining the chocolate consistency.
  • Once fully melted, pour the chocolate over the cooled caramel and spread it evenly.
  • Let this sit for 15 minutes.
  • Once cooled, refrigerate the Karamelschnitten (millionaires shortbread) for 30 minutes.
  • Cut the Karamelschnitten (millionaires shortbread) to your desired size. You should cut this when the chocolate is firm but not set.
  • Once cut, place the Karamelschnitten (millionaires shortbread) back in the fridge for at least another hour. This will set the chocolate. Enjoy 🙂

Recipe Video

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