Salted Caramel Shortbread

Buttery shortbread crust layered with thick, chewy, rich caramel and topped with sea salt for irresistible flavor! 

Salted Caramel Shortbread | Creme de la Crumb

I may or may not be writing this as I sit on the couch watching a Winnie the Pooh Christmas cartoon. I think I saw it once or twice before when I was probably seven years old because it’s all coming back to me. But it’s keeping my 8 week old babies entertained and let’s be honest, I’m not entirely hating it. It’s okay to be a little childish around the holidays. Right?

Salted Caramel Shortbread | Creme de la Crumb

Christmas cartoons on Netflix are where it’s at this week as I’m doing everything I can to make this home away from home a little more Christmas-y.  We won’t be home for a few more days and I’m dying to deck out our Christmas tree and hang the stockings. Speaking of stockings it only took me about seventeen hours spread out over 6 days to pick out Christmas stockings. I wanted a matching set for all four of us – FOUR stockings this year! – and online shopping overwhelms me.

Also? Pinterest does not help. The search for gray stockings eventually gave way to settling for some off-white ones. Still though, I’m pretty excited to get home and open a package on our doorstep.

Salted Caramel Shortbread | Creme de la Crumb

But before we left to come down to St George for two weeks, I made this salted caramel shortbread and oh my heavens to betsy. I planned to give most of it away because who needs a whole batch of salted caramel shortbread to themselves right?

Me. Apparently I need a whole batch of salted caramel shortbread to myself.

Salted Caramel Shortbread | Creme de la Crumb

It started with Oh I’ll just have one or two and quickly turned into oh my gosh half the batch is gone. I couldn’t help myself. That rich, chewy caramel. That buttery shortbread. That sweet-n-salty flavor combo that I adore so much.

Merry Christmas to ME.

But I’ll make another batch when we get home to give away. Make that two batches. One to give away, and one to devour guilt-free.

Salted Caramel Shortbread | Creme de la Crumb

Salted Caramel Shortbread | Creme de la Crumb
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4 from 1 vote

Salted Caramel Shortbread

Buttery shortbread crust layered with thick, chewy, rich caramel and topped with sea salt!
Course Dessert
Keyword caramel, salted, short bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Tiffany


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or lightly greased nonstick foil.
  • First prepare the shortbread crust. In a medium bowl combine the sugar and butter and cream together until smooth. Add flour and mix. Stir in milk. Mixture will resemble crumbs. Press into the pre-lined pan and bake 20 minutes until golden. Remove and allow to cool.
  • While crust is cooling, prepare the caramel layer.
  • In a medium sauce pan melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter with 1/2 cup sugar. Add corn syrup and condensed milk. (Continue to stir throughout the entire process) Bring to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, and then decrease to medium heat (should still be bubbling) 6-8 minutes or until mixture achieves deep golden color, stirring constantly. (I recommend a whisk! - see note)
  • Pour caramel onto cooled shortbread, sprinkle immediately with coarse sea salt. Allow to sit at room temperature 1-2 hours or until caramel has cooled and set. I have had success with placing in the fridge to cool to speed up the process. Cut into squares and serve or store chilled in airtight container.


If your caramel starts to separate (the butter pools on top of the caramel in the pan), remove from heat and whisk whisk whisk like crazy til it comes back together. Then return to heat and continue to whisk until golden color is achieved.
Prep time does not include cooling time.


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You make me so hungry! I love this thick and amber layer of salty caramel! It looks incredible 🙂

This looks great – pinned for Christmas. I watched many of the Christmas shows this year (with and without my grown children.) It was fun watching with them as they recalled memories of watching the shows when they were younger.

I love salted caramel. These look amazing! Perfect for the holiday buffets.

You can get grey stockings from Mark and graham and have them momogrammed for free….

    Great to know!! Thanks so much Lynn! 🙂 🙂

Looks so lovely, especially with that flaky sea salt on top! I think I would need a whole batch to myself as well 🙂 x

I’m making this and I think that the caramel is going to require a significantly longer cooking time. It’s already been boiling rapidly for 10 minutes and isn’t even starting to form a ball with the cold water test… So I am a little dubious of the recipe but your pictures look great.

    Hi Michelle, I’d love to help! Not sure what you’re referring to with forming a ball – you don’t need to do that with this recipe…

Hi, awesome recipe! Quick question though, can I replace the corn syrup with anything? At home with a ten month old so can’t be bothered trying to find some at the shop haha.

Just tried this and it came out great and it was easy to follow! Just a tip make sure you scrape sides of the pot so the carmel doesn’t burn. Yummy recipe, Thanks!!

I made these last night and they are incredibly delicious! I can definitely see how one person can eat a whole batch! My only was that the shortbread crumbled away too easily. Did you use room temp butter? Should I pack it down very tightly into the baking dish?

    Me too. My shortbread is crumbling terribly and I followed the directions exactly. Why? More butter??

This recipe looks great and I really want to try it, but you say to add the cream in the first part of the shortbread and I don’t see any cream listed in the ingrediants.

    How is it phrased? If you mean when the recipe says to “combine the sugar and butter and cream together until smooth” it means to beat it together

      I’ve been thinking about starting a blog but I think people just look for something all the time just so they can call you on it. Should I put mix together instead of cream together. Should I write cook instead of bake. Lol. Every little detail.

You’re about to get a bunch of new traffic!! I spotted these in my yummly email this morning and had to come by.
These look fabulous!!

In the directions it says to combine the butter, sugar and CREAM. But there is no mention of cream in the ingredient list. How much cream is supposed to be added?

    Hi Cynthia, the cream isn’t an ingredient it’s a direction, you need to “cream” the mixture – mix it well until smooth 🙂

      Thank you for the prompt reply. I just read the instructions incorrectly.

I made these today and I had to cook the caramel much longer before it started to turn golden brown. Unfortunately I must have overcooked it because it’ like toffee shortbread :(. I was going to give as gifts but I don’t want someone to break a tooth! Any ideas on what to do with these now? They taste great so I dont want to throw them away.

Do I use salted butter for both the shortbread and caramel? Or Un salted?

    Unsalted 🙂

There is a chocolate producer in San Francisco, Dandelion Chocolates, that makes something similar but also adds a chocolate caramel ganache layer on top of the caramel. It’s out of this world.

    That is called millionaire’s shortbread…shortbread, caramel, and chocolate on top.

Made these last night for guests and they turned out delicious!! Thanku! x

    Yay!! So glad you loved these Ella!! 🙂

I used some maple sea salt that I received as a gift last year, which was perfect! Truth: I had to make another pan for our Christmas cookie exchange, because the first batch was simply to delicious to stay out of!

I have made this twice now and I think it would be great if there was a temperature in the recipe. Both times I didn’t get the same color. I did 240 and then 260. They are good, but I am guessing you cooked your caramel to a higher temp for that color.

4 stars
Hi! Thanks for the recipe. I made it and reviewed it on my blog:

The caramel was very hard. How do i avoid this?

    Hi Amanda- My guess is that you cooked the caramel too long!

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