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Easy Billionaire Bars Recipe

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Billionaire bars are a sweet, chocolate and caramel treat that are so decadent, they live up to their name! A crunchy layer of shortbread is topped with a sweet and salty caramel and coated with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and sea salt. The flavor and texture contrasts are sure to make these delicious cookie bars an immediate hit among any crowd!

A stack of cookie bars with salt flakes sprinkled on top.

Have you ever had classic Millionaire Bars? Think of these as an upgrade.

We’ve kept the same buttery cookie base, sweet caramel sauce filling and chocolate topping, but the original recipe gets a delicious spin with the addition of salted caramel

They’re rich, heavenly, and so decadent that one bite will make you feel like you’re living that billionaire life. (At least your taste buds will be!)

Salted caramel has a way of upgrading nearly any sweet treat, right?! From our Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookies to our Salted Caramel Apple Pie, adding rich caramel with a sweet-salty flavor combination is one foolproof way to make even the best dessert infinitely better! 

Our salted caramel billionaire bars recipe is no exception.

The buttery shortbread crust, gooey salted caramel and smooth melted chocolate ganache is the ultimate trio for the taste buds.

Top the bars with flaky sea salt for that finishing touch of crunch and flavor, and you have an incredible dessert that will disappear from any cookie tray in a flash! 

Make a batch for the holidays (they go great alongside our Christmas Cutout Cookies and our Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies) or enjoy them any time of year, whenever the need for a sweet, scrumptious dessert arises. 

Why Caramel Billionaire Recipe Works

Each step of our Billionaire bar recipe is simple to follow and results in the most delicious little squares!

With a shortbread cookie dough layer that is crisp and buttery and melts in your mouth, the salted caramel and rich chocolate ganache make these Billionaire shortbread bars taste like an elevated, sweet-salty spin on a Twix candy bar. And naturally, much better, as homemade sweets always are. 😉

​Here’s why you’ll love our caramel chocolate shortbread bars:

  • They’re sweet, buttery and fudgy in the most perfect way. 
  • These decadent bars work for any occasion, including dessert platters, Christmas cookie trays and birthday treats. 
  • Billionaire bars look more complicated than they actually are and this simple recipe is ideal for bakers of all skill levels!
  • They taste like a homemade twist on a classic Twix bar, but better 😉
Cookie bars sprinkled with flaky salt.

Ingredients for Billionaire Shortbread Bars

To make this shortbread bar recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour. To make the crisp and buttery shortbread layer. 
  • Granulated sugar. This will give your shortbread just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Salt and sea salt flakes. Each layer of these homemade Twix shortbread bars call for salt- from the shortbread to the salted caramel filling to the flaky sea salt you’ll use at the very end. 
  • Butter. What is shortbread without butter?! It’s also a must for the caramel. 
  • Vanilla extract. A little bit of vanilla extract adds a sweet flavor to these delicious bars. 
  • Sweetened condensed milk. It’s what helps create an extra thick and gooey caramel layer. 
  • Brown sugar. Brown sugar adds a rich and complex sweetness to the caramel. 
  • Heavy cream. Another homemade caramel must! It’s also an ingredient you’ll use to make the dark chocolate ganache. 
  • Corn syrup. This prevents the sugar from crystallizing- the secret to ultra gooey caramel!
  • Dark chocolate. Chopped dark chocolate mixed with warm cream turns into a rich and thick chocolate ganache topping. 

Ingredients for the Shortbread Layer:

Ingredients for a shortbread.

Ingredients for the Caramel and Chocolate Layers:

Ingredients for the caramel layer and the chocolate ganache layer for the 3-layer cookie bars.

Our Billionaire Bars Recipe

Here’s a look at the steps to make this billionaire bars recipe!

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view all of the details, including ingredient amounts and step-by-step instructions in our printable recipe card. 

Before you begin: Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and line it with parchment paper. Make sure the edges of the parchment paper are long enough to extend three inches on at least two of the ends and spray the paper as well. Heat oven to 350°F. 

Make the Shortbread Base

Add the flour and sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and pulse. 

Spread the dough across the bottom of your prepared baking pan and press it down until it’s all an even thickness. Use a fork to poke holes in the shortbread base. Bake shortbread for 25-30 minutes. Afterward, use a metal spatula to firmly press down the crust while it’s still warm.

Make the Caramel Layer

Add the condensed milk, sugar, cream, syrup and butter to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook and stir frequently for about 20 minutes or until it reaches 236°-239°F.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour the caramel over the cooled cookie crust and use a rubber spatula to spread it in an even layer. 

Let it cool completely at room temperature (about 2 hours) before adding the chocolate ganache. 

Make the Chocolate Ganache

For the ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave.

You’ll simply place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour the cream over the top. Let it sit for 5 minutes and stir it to melt the chocolate. Pour the chocolate over the salted caramel filling and sprinkle with the flaky salt. 

Let the whole pan cool in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes. 

Gently lift the shortbread out of the pan using the parchment paper wings and by running a sharp knife along the edges.

Place on a cutting board and slice with a serrated knife, dipping it in warm water and wiping it dry between each cut. 

A plate stacked with 3-layer Billionaire Bar cookies.

Tips for the Best Layered Shortbread Bars

  • The shortbread doesn’t have to cool completely before you pour the hot caramel on top. In fact, pouring it on top of the warm shortbread will allow the two layers to adhere. 
  • Let the chocolate ganache cool slightly before adding the flaky sea salt. That way, the salt will stand out more on top of the billionaire bars and won’t dissolve into the warm chocolate. 
  • Cut the cookies with a serrated knife. 
  • You can make the chocolate ganache in the microwave or over the stovetop, whichever you prefer. If heating the cream in the microwave, make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in short increments. The cream shouldn’t get too hot or come to a boil. 
  • Leaving parchment paper overhang will help you easily lift the shortbread out of the pan. 
  • Store billionaire bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before enjoying. 

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A stack of cookie bars, a layer of shortbread, a layer of caramel and a layer of chocolate ganache with salt flakes sprinkled on top.

Billionaire Bars

These layered Billionaire Bars are made with a crunchy shortbread base layer, a gooey, sweet-salty caramel layer and topped with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of flaky salt. They are guaranteed to be addictive!
5 from 14 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 36 Bars
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Layer:

  • 2-½ cups 300 gramsall-purpose flour
  • ½ cups 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 cubes) melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the Salted Caramel Layer:

  • 1-½ cans 21 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-½ cups 300 grams brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup corn syrup
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1-¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Flaky salt for garnish optional

Instructions

For the Shortbread Layer:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Coat a 9×13-inch pan with oil spray and line the pan with parchment paper long enough to extend 3-inches on two ends. Spray the parchment paper with oil spray.
  • Add the flour and sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and pulse until the flour is moistened and crumbly. 
  • Evenly spread the dough across the bottom of the pan, pressing it down until it's smooth and uniform in thickness. Afterward, use a fork to pierce the dough at 1-inch intervals.  
  • Bake the crust for25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Use a metal spatula to firmly down on the crust while it is still warm. This step ensures the bars will be easier to cut later on. Set aside to cool.

For the Salted Caramel Layer:

  • Add the condensed milk, sugar, cream, syrup, and butter to a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer or an instant-read thermometer reaches 236-239°F, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Pour the salted caramel over the slightly warm crust and spread evenly.  Allow to cool completely before adding the chocolate topping, about 2 hours.

For the Chocolate Ganache Layer:

  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat, do not allow it to boil.  Alternatively, place in a microwaveable dish and zap it in increments of 15 seconds until very hot.
  • Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over the top. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir. If it isn't completely melted, finish melting the chocolate in the microwave with short 5 second bursts, (stirring between bursts).
  • Pour the chocolate over the salted caramel filling, spreading it evenly. Let sit for 5 minutes, then sprinkle the surface with large salt flakes. 
  • Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and allow it to cool, about 15-20 minutes. 

To Serve:

  • Using a thin, sharp knife slide along the long sides of the pan to loosen the shortbread. Gently, lift the shortbread out of the pan, using the parchment paper ends. 
  • Transfer the shortbread to a cutting board. Slice it into bars using a serrated knife, dip it in warm water, and wipe it dry before each cut.

Notes

  • Pouring the hot caramel on top of the warm shortbread will allow them to adhear together.
  • To prevent the finishing salt from dissolving, do not add the flaky salt to the top of the chocolate until the chocolate has cooled slightly but still soft.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the cookies.
  • Recipe adapted from American Test Kitchen

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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