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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

These Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars are decadent and delicious! They are covered in a rich nutella ganache and topped with a brown sugar streusel then a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce. These shortbread bars will have your guests coming back for seconds and thirds!

Close up of chocolate caramel shortbread bars on a napkin.

You’re going to love how easy this recipe for Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars is even though it has multiple layers. And the end result of all that flavor coming together is just divine! Even my skinny friends were sneaking “just one more” off the platter!

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Chocolate caramel shortbread bars baked and sitting on a cake stand.

How to Make Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

These Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars are not difficult, but if you want to make the process even easier you can make (or buy!) the caramel sauce a day or two in advance, and also make the chocolate Nutella ganache and the streusel in advance.

Make the Chocolate Nutella Ganache

Step 1. Place chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl and add Nutella and butter to bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan until very warm, not quite boiling but a good simmer.

Step 2. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until chocolate and butter are melted and well-blended. Set aside until cool and slightly thickened.

Recipe Notes: You’ll need to make the Chocolate Ganache first so it can set while the shortbread is baking. You can also make the ganache a day ahead and store in the refrigerator, just bring it to room temperature and whisk before spreading.

If you make it ahead and it’s too thick to spread you might have to heat it just a little.

Make the Shortbread

Note – Make the streusel while the shortbread is resting in the refrigerator or baking.

Step 1. Preheat oven to 300°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil and butter the foil. Cream butter in mixer on medium for a couple of minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat until almost fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Step 2. Add vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix just until blended. Spread mixture into prepared pan.

Step 3. Place pan in refrigerator for about 20 minutes or up to two days.

Cook’s Tip: Dip your fingers in flour and you can spread the shortbread without sticking to it.

Step 4. Bake for about 25 minutes until slightly set. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes. Raise oven temperature to 325.

Step 5. Gently spread 1/2 cup chocolate ganache over hot shortbread.

Step 6. Top with about 1 1/2 cups streusel or more if needed (I didn’t measure but made sure the whole top was well covered).

Step 7. Place the pan back in the oven and bake another 25-30 minutes until streusel is golden brown. Remove your Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars from the oven and drizzle caramel sauce over the streusel. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over caramel. Allow the bars to cool completely on a wire rack.

Caramel sauce poured over streusel.

Making the Streusel

Mix flour, salt, and sugars together. Add diced butter and work in with fingers until mixture is soft and crumbly and not sandy at all. You should be able to make buttery clumps.

Caramel Sauce

If you don’t want to make homemade caramel sauce, you could absolutely use store-bought and it would be fine. And you can also make the caramel sauce one day, the chocolate ganache another day, and even make the streusel ahead of time.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars FAQ

  • Make Ahead – these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars are actually better the second day! I wouldn’t go much more than 2-3 days in advance though.
  • Storage – these shortbread bars will keep 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  • Freezing – you can freeze these shortbread bars for 2-3 months. Just place on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen, then remove and place in a freezer bag.
Closeup of three chocolate caramel shortbread bars on a cake stand.

Were you looking for chocolate shortbread? Try these Double Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies.

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These Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars are decadent and delicious! They are covered in a rich nutella ganache and topped with a brown sugar streusel then a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A delightful shortbread bar that's topped with chocolate Nutella ganache which is topped with brown sugar streusel which is drizzled with caramel sauce. It tastes as marvelous as it sounds!

Ingredients

Shortbread

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter for greasing pan

Chocolate Ganache (you can halve this and have plenty for the shortbread)

  • 6 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Streusel

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, diced
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Make the Chocolate Ganache first so it can set while the shortbread is baking. You can also make the ganache a day ahead and store in the refrigerator, just bring to room temperature and whisk before spreading. If you make it ahead and it's too thick to spread you might have to heat it just a little.
  2. Make the streusel while the shortbread is baking. 

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Add Nutella and butter to bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan until very warm, not quite boiling but a good simmer.
  2. Pour hot cream over chocolate and whisk until chocolate and butter are melted and well-blended.

Shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 300. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil and butter the foil. Cream butter in mixer on medium for a couple of minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat until almost fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix just until blended. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Dip your fingers in flour and you can spread it without sticking. Place pan in refrigerator for about 20 minutes or up to two days.
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes until slightly set. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes. Raise oven temperature to 325.
  4. Gently spread 1/2 cup chocolate ganache over hot shortbread.
  5. Top with about 1 1/2 cups streusel or more if needed (I didn't measure but made sure the whole top was well covered).
  6. Place pan back in oven and bake another 25-30 minutes until streusel is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle caramel sauce over the streusel. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over caramel.
  7. Shortbread will keep 3-4 days and is actually better the second day.

Streusel

  1. Mix flour, salt, and sugars together. Add diced butter and work in with fingers until mixture is soft and crumbly and not sandy at all. You should be able to make buttery clumps.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 16 bars
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 506Saturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 4g

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Update Notes: This post was originally published November 18, 2014, and on November 13, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

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glutenfreehappytummy

Sunday 23rd of November 2014

you had me at nutella....nom nom nom

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