Melting moments are a traditional shortbread biscuit sandwiched together with a tangy lemon buttercream. This version is the Aussie classic you remember but made egg free, dairy free and vegan so everyone can enjoy this sweet and delicate cookie.
This recipe was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated with new photos and content. The recipe remains the same!
Melting moments are soft, delicate and buttery shortbread sandwich cookies that melt in the mouth hence the name. They are an Australian classic cookie, and while they can come in many different flavours, this version filled with a light lemon buttercream is the traditional flavour and the one I grew up eating.
I guarantee if you grew up in Australia, you came across these at some point, most likely at the table of any community event where there was morning tea served! They are a crowd favourite and quite simple to make which makes them perfect to serve for any occasion.
The secret to these melting moment biscuits is the combination of corn flour and icing sugar. These ingredients combined with the vanilla, plain flour and dairy-free butter make a creamy and smooth cookie dough that when baked remains light in colour and provides that melt in your mouth texture that identifies this cookie. They are very similar in flavour to butter cookies.
I love this recipe for many reasons but a big one is that unlike many other cookie recipes it makes a relatively small batch with only 10 cookies total making it a great option when you want to bake something but don’t want to have to deal with a tonne of leftovers. If you need more though, feel free to double the recipe.
If you are looking for an easy but delicious cookie for morning tea or afternoon tea that everyone will enjoy, then these bite sized biscuits are just what you need.
What is the difference between melting moments and yo yos?
Yo yo biscuits are another classic Australian treat that is named as such due to the shape resembling an old school yoyo toy. While they are very similar to melting moments, the key difference is that yo yos are made with custard powder (which is a common ingredient in both Australia and the UK) to achieve a really creamy textured cookie.
Melting moments instead are made using cornflour, also known as cornstarch in the US.
You’ll only need a total of 6 ingredients to make this melting moments recipe.
- Dairy-free butter – use a good quality dairy free butter for the best flavour in this recipe as it’s a key ingredient in both the biscuit and the filling. I always use Nuttelex Buttery as it is vegan and gives a ‘buttery’ flavour without being greasy. As this is an Australian product, the closest US alternative I believe is Earth Balance.
- Vanilla – to flavour the biscuits. Make sure to use vanilla extract instead of imitation vanilla for the best taste.
- Icing sugar – using powdered sugar in place of regular sugar in the cookie ensures a soft and delicate texture. You’ll also need extra to make the filling.
- Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour
- Cornflour – or cornstarch depending on where you live. This again is going to help create a soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookie texture. It really is the key ingredient.
- Lemon – We’re using both lemon zest and lemon juice to flavour the filling, but if you wanted to you could skip this and do a vanilla filling instead.
These cookies are quite simple to make and equipment wise you’ll just need a large bowl and an electric mixer and a baking tray. I’ve used my stand mixer but you could also use a hand-held mixer.
Make sure to preheat your oven and then start maxing the biscuit dough. Beat together the dairy free butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. You want the dairy free butter to be still cold as it’s spreadable from the fridge and allowing it to come to room temperature like regular butter will make it too warm and result in your cookies spreading.
Add the flour and cornflour and beat to combine until a soft dough forms.
Scoop out the dough into 20 small balls and place evenly on a baking sheet. If the dough is too sticky to handle then place the dough into the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
Using a fork that’s been lightly floured, gently press down into the dough to create the pattern and slightly flatten them out. You want all of the cookies to be relatively evenly sized in both height and width.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked – you want the bottoms slightly golden but the tops still quite pale, so look at the part of the cookie touching the tray to determine. Like most cookies, these are better underbaked than overbaked. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
The filling is a smaller batch of my vegan lemon buttercream which is the traditional flavour for these cookies, but you can easily just add vanilla instead of lemon if you wanted to keep them a vanilla cookie.
Beat together the dairy-free butter, icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy and place the frosting covered with plastic wrap in the fridge to cool until ready to use.
Once the cookies are completely cool, use a knife or a piping bag to place the filling on half of the cookies and gently sandwich together with the remaining cookies (you should be left with 10 full cookies).
If your cookies are overspreading in the oven then your butter is too warm. Pop the cookie dough in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes before baking.
Also make sure to always preheat the oven before adding the cookies to make sure they cook evenly.
These cookies store well in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.
More Aussie classic biscuits:
For the biscuits:
- ⅔ cup (160 grams) dairy-free butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup icing sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- ¼ cup cornflour
For the filling:
- ¼ cup (60 grams) dairy-free butter
- 1 ½ cups icing sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the dairy-free butter, icing sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add in the flour and cornflour and continue to mix until a smooth dough forms.
- If the dough is feeling too sticky, refrigerate for about 30 minutes to make it easier to handle. Roll tablespoons of dough until you have 20 total, and place evenly spaced 2 cm apart on the baking tray. Using a lightly floured fork, gently press the dough. You want to make sure that they are fairly evenly shaped.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges around the bottom are slightly golden, you want the tops to still be quite pale. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
- While the cookies are baking, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric hand mixer) beat together the dairy-free butter, icing sugar and lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy. Place the frosting covered with plastic wrap in the fridge to cool until ready to use.
- Using a knife or a piping bag to place the filling on half of the cookies and sandwich together with the remaining cookies (you should be left with 10 full cookies).
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.