What could be better than buttery shortbread sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream? These aptly named melting moments (also known as yo-yos) are the perfect simple pleasure for afternoon tea or dessert.
These shortbread cookies are quick and easy to make with a melt-in-your-mouth result! Use my vanilla buttercream recipe or your favourite flavour of buttercream (such as chocolate) to bring these delightful sweet treats together.
Ingredients in Melting Moments
For the Shortbread
- Butter (salted): salted butter cuts through the sweetness of the melting moments. If you are going to splurge on any of the ingredients, grab a high-quality butter!
- Can I use unsalted butter? Yes, just add ½ teaspoon salt to the recipe.
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar: this powdered form of sugar creates a melt-in-your-mouth biscuit!
- Can I use white sugar? No, you need powdered sugar for this recipe. You can blend powdered sugar in a NutriBullet or other high-powered blender to create icing sugar / powdered sugar.
- Plain flour / all-purpose flour
- Baking powder: NOT baking soda. Make sure your baking powder is in date!
- Custard powder: the secret to sweet, crumbly shortbread.
For the Buttercream
- Butter (salted): cuts through the sweetness of the frosting. If you are using unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon salt to the buttercream.
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Milk: you can use your favourite non-dairy milk if preferred.
How to Make Melting Moments
In just a few simple steps, you can have the best melting moments!
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Sift over the dry ingredients.
- Lightly knead to form a soft dough.
- Roll into balls and press down with a fork.
- Bake and cool.
- Slather with buttercream and sandwich together.
Yes, it's really that easy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can melting moments be made gluten free?
Yes, melting moments can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour.
How do I store melting moments?
Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week. Don't refrigerate or your shortbread will become soft and gummy.
Can I freeze melting moments?
It is best to freeze the shortbread dough instead of the cooked biscuits: wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight and then bake as usual.
What can I use instead of buttercream?
You can sandwich these cookies together with jam, chocolate ganache, or eat them on their own.
If you're after something a bit different, why not try a variation of melting moments?
- Lemon melting moments: Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the dough to give it a tangy, citrus flavour.
- Pistachio melting moments: Add ½ cup chopped pistachios to the dough for a nutty flavour and added crunch.
- Almond melting moments: Add 1 teaspoon almond extract and/or ½ cup chopped almonds to the dough for a nutty flavour.
- Cinnamon melting moments: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the dough for a warm and spicy flavour.
- Lavender melting moments: Add 1 tablespoon dried edible lavender flowers to the dough for a floral flavour and aroma.
You can also use any flavoured buttercream, such as chocolate, strawberry, lemon or almond.
For the Shortbread
- 250 g (9 oz / 1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup (93 g) icing sugar / powdered sugar
- 2 cups (300 g) plain flour / all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
- ½ cup (70 g) custard powder
For the Buttercream
- 60 g (2.2 oz / ¼ cup) salted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (105 g) icing sugar / powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoon (5-10 mL) of milk, as needed
For the Shortbread
- Preheat the oven to 140°C / 285°F (fan-forced/convection) or 160°C / 320°F (standard). Grease and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and the icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Sift over the plain flour, baking powder and custard powder.
- Stir together until a soft dough forms. You may have to lightly knead the dough with your fingertips to fully bring it together. If the dough is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoon of milk until it comes together.
- Roll 1 teaspoon of dough in the palm of your hands to form a smooth ball (rolling the ball for longer will warm up the dough and reduce cracks). Place the ball on the prepared baking tray and press down firmly with a fork to flatten. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden on the base of the cookies. Cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Buttercream Frosting
- In a medium mixing bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. If the mixture is too stiff, beat in 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Take two similar sized shortbread cookies. Spread a generous amount of frosting over one cookie and sandwich together. Repeat for all cookies.
- Please note that my recipes are measured in metric cups and spoons which are larger than US cups and spoons. Most recipes will be fine if measured in US cups and spoons, but please use the weight (grams) measurement for the most accurate result.
- You can keep the melting moments in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Substitutions & Tips
- Hand-mixing method: if you dont have an electric mixer, you can use a flat-bladed butter knife to cream butter and icing sugar. Make sure the sugar is well sifted and vigorously stir the mixture with the butter knife until the mixture is creamy and well combined. This will work for both the cookies and the buttercream.
- Unsalted butter is also fine for both the cookies and the buttercream.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Melting Moment
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 12.9gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4.1gCholesterol: 33.3mgSodium: 31.1mgCarbohydrates: 19.4gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 9.6gProtein: 1.6g