This recipe is kindly sponsored by Whittard of Chelsea however, all opinions are my own.
TASTE: cookies & cream flavour shortbread, caramel + chocolate. What’s not to love!?
TEXTURE: A mixture of soft crunchy biscuit, gooey caramel and creamy chocolate.
EASE: a little effort and patience is needed, but overall it’s a simple recipe.
PERFECT FOR: picnics, parties or an afternoon treat.
BAKING FACT: Millionaire’s shortbread got its name because they’re super rich (and delicious!).
Millionaire’s shortbread is definitely up there in my top 5 favourite sweet treats, alongside Thick NYC Cookies, Carrot Cake and probably these Biscoff Brownies. When Whittard of Chelsea challenged me to bake a British classic with an American flavour twist using their limited edition Cookies & Cream Hot Chocolate, this recipe sprung to mind! The swirly packaging instantly made me think of the marbled topping on millionaire’s shortbread and the hot chocolate powder is perfect for adding to shortbread dough. For some extra pizzaz, I brushed edible gold paint onto the top, but this is totally optional.
Making Cookies & Cream Millionaire’s Shortbread isn’t complicated, but there are several steps and a little patience is needed as you wait for each layer to set. I’d suggest setting aside an afternoon and just keep focused on making one layer at a time. Starting with the cookies & cream shortbread, the caramel and then the chocolate topping.
How to make the cookies & cream shortbread base
Traditional millionaires has a plain shortbread base made from a 3:2:1 ratio of flour, butter and sugar. However in this recipe, the shortbread is given a flavour upgrade using Whittard’s cookies & cream hot chocolate. The flavour is similar to an Oreo cookie but like a 10/10 version! The hot chocolate powder behaves in the same way as cocoa powder, so to ensure the shortbread isn’t too dry, we reduce amount of plain flour and replace it with the cookies & cream hot chocolate powder.
There are 3 main steps to making the shortbread base:
- Make the shortbread dough. First cream the butter & sugar together (you’ll want the butter to be room temp and soft). Then add the hot chocolate powder and flour, and use your hands to bring the mixture into a dough.⠀
- Press it into the baking tin. This recipe uses an 8×8 inch square baking tin, line the base and sides with greaseproof paper so you can easily lift our the millionaire’s shortbread. TIP: prick the shortbread before baking to allow any steam to escape and prevent the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes.
- Bake for 20 mins at 180°C (fan). Because the dough is dark in colour it’s difficult to tell if it’s golden or browning too much in the oven. As a rule of thumb, 20 mins for the shortbread base should be all it needs.
How to make caramel for millionaire’s shortbread
There are two different ways of making caramel:
- With cream – this type of caramel has a thinner consistency and is perfect for pouring or drizzling over bakes.
- With condensed milk instead of cream – this produces a thicker caramel with a soft, fudge-like texture once it sets. This is the type of caramel that is perfect for millionaires shortbread. I highly recommend using Carnation sweetened condensed milk, it’s my go-to for caramel. The sugar that’s already in the condensed milk helps prevent crystallisation or lumps.
To make the caramel, gently heat all the ingredients in a saucepan, turn the heat up and boil the mixture for 5 minutes until thick and golden in colour.
Your ingredient list
5 tips for making the caramel
The method for making the caramel isn’t complicated, but caramel can tend to have a mind of it’s own sometimes! I’ve had many caramel baking fails in the past, which means I’ve learnt a few tips that are worth sharing:
- Use a good-quality non-stick stainless silver saucepan (if you have one). They’re a great conductor of heat, meaning the caramel will be heated through evenly, and the non-stick pan will help prevent it from burning on the bottom.
- Try not to multitask. Caramel requires 100% of your attention.
- Slowly stir, stir, stir. Don’t be tempted to let the mixture sit as it can easily burn. Stir it continuously, slowly and gently.
- Have a stopwatch ready. I’ve tested so many different timings, but can confidently say that 5 minutes from boiling is a winner.
- Remember that the caramel will thicken as it cools. Don’t be alarmed if after 5 minutes the caramel is super thick. Just trust me on this 😅
How to cut your cookies & cream millionaires shortbread
If you’ve baked millionaires shortbread before, you will know that cutting it can be tricky business. The aim is to slice it neatly without cracking the chocolate topping… easier said than done!
I’ve found the easiest way to cut millionaires shortbread is to:
- Let the millionaires shortbread sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cutting. This will soften the layers, making them easier to slice through.
- Run a large sharp knife under boiling hot water until it heats up, then dry with a towel. This will melt the chocolate topping ever so slightly, allowing the knife to easily slice through.
- Score the top of the millionaires shortbread, making 3 horizontal lines and 4 vertical lines (this will make 12 portions). Making a groove in the part cuts through the chocolate topping, making it less brittle and therefore less likely to crack.
- Now cut through the millionaires firmly… basically just go for it! 😅
3 hours from start to finish, including the chill time of each layer.
This recipes makes 12-16 shortbreads, depending on how small or large you cut them.
Nope, you could swap it for plain hot chocolate powder or cocoa powder.
Yes absolutely! Just swap the plain flour for gluten-free plain flour. Whittard’s Cookies & Cream Hot Chocolate is also gluten-free.
Check out this section of the blog post.
Once they’re set and sliced, store at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Quick links to equipment & ingredients
Looking for more sweetness?
Cookies & Cream Millionaire’s Shortbread
Cookies & cream shortbread
- 70 g Whittard's cookies & cream hot chocolate
- 230 g Plain flour
- 200 g Unsalted butter soft at room temp
- 50 g Caster sugar
- 150 g Unsalted butter
- 30 g Caster sugar
- 60 g Golden syrup
- 0.25 tsp Salt
- 1 tin (397g) Carnation condensed milk
- 300 g Milk chocolate
- 50 g White chocolate
Start by making the shortbread base
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan).
- Line an 8x8inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Sift the cookies & cream hot chocolate powder and flour into the bowl.
- Use your hands to bring the mixture into a dough.
- Press the shortbread dough out into the base of the tin, and prick all over with a fork.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool whilst you make the caramel.
Now move onto the caramel layer
- Measure all the ingredients into a medium-large saucepan, preferable stainless-steel if you have one.
- Place the saucepan over a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have melted into a smooth mixture.
- Turn the heat up to medium so that the mixture starts to bubble up. Once bubbling set your timer for 5 minutes and keep stirring continuously until the caramel thickens and turns golden in colour.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and stir the caramel for 30 seconds to knock out any air pockets. The caramel will darken in colour and continue to thicken as it cools down.
- Pour the caramel over the shortbread and spread out into an even layer.
- Leave to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then place in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
Make the chopping topping
- Break up both chocolates into separate bowls and microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each, until smooth.
- Take the baking tin out of the fridge and pour the milk chocolate on top of the caramel, spreading it out to the edges. Work quickly otherwise the chocolate will start to set.
- Drizzle the white chocolate on top, then use a skewer, knife or toothpick to swirl the chocolates together.
- Put the baking tin back in the fridge to set (roughly 1-2 hours).
Slice the millionaires shortbread
- Remove the tin from the fridge and lift out the millionaires shortbread. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften the layers.
- Run a large sharp knife under hot water for 30 seconds and dry with a tea-towel (this will help slice through the layers).
- Score the chocolate topping to make a groove, then cut into 12 and serve.
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