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Gluten Free Melting Moments

Light shortbread biscuits sandwiched together with vanilla and strawberry buttercream, these gluten free melting moments are a true melt-in-your-mouth delight.

Biscuits filled with pink and white buttercream on a white milk glass cake stand on a pale blue background, text overlay reads "gluten free melting moments"

When it comes to Kiwi biscuits that just have this little something special going on, you really can’t go past a melting moment.

These deliciously light biscuits are buttery, very slightly crumbly (in a good way) and sandwiched together with a creamy buttercream filling.

While vanilla is the classic flavour, you can flavour these in a multitude of ways, which we’ll talk about in a moment (pun intended).

A stack of three melting moments, two with strawberry buttercream and one with vanilla, on a white glass plate.

Dare I say it, I think these gluten free melting moments are even better than regular ones – the fact there is no gluten to overwork means you’re guaranteed that light delicate textured biscuit.

Anyway, if I haven’t talked you into making these by now, then I’m not doing my job properly. Let’s just talk about how easy they are to make, which should seal the deal.

GF Melting Moment Ingredients

The gluten free melting moment ingredients in white bowls on a grey background.
  • Butter – I’ve specified unsalted butter in this recipe, as I prefer it to salted butter in buttercream. If you’ve ever eaten buttercream that tasted “too buttery” it was likely made with salted butter, which tastes like, well, butter. Unsalted butter gives the buttercream a more creamy taste, rather than buttery. If you don’t mind the buttery taste, then by all means use salted butter.
  • Icing Sugar – Icing sugar helps give the melting moments that classic “shortness”.
  • Gluten Free Plain Flour – I used my gluten free baking flour blend, which contains tapioca starch, brown rice flour and potato starch. You can use a shop-bought gluten free flour blend if you prefer, just keep in mind that different blends contain different ingredients and the results may vary slightly.
  • Cornflour – If you live outside of NZ or Australia this may be known as cornstarch where you live. This is the second ingredient that gives the biscuits that melting moment texture. If you’re using a premade gf flour blend that is high in starch (if maize/cornflour/cornstarch is the first or second ingredient listed) then I would recommend leaving out the cornflour and increasing the gluten free flour by the same amount, to prevent the biscuits from being too crumbly.
    Make sure you check that your cornflour is maize cornflour and not wheaten cornflour, which contains gluten.
  • Xanthan gum – This helps stop the biscuits from being too crumbly, and also stops them from spreading too much in the oven and becoming flat. If you use a premade gluten free flour blend that contains a gum ingredient then you can omit the xanthan gum in the recipe.
  • Baking powder – Just a little baking powder for lift. Make sure you check that your baking powder is gluten free as some are not.
  • Vanilla – You can use either vanilla extract or vanilla paste in this recipe.
  • Milk – This is used in the icing, but if you don’t want to use milk you can use some hot water instead.

Optional Icing Flavouring Ideas

One of the best things about these biscuits is that while they’re delicious with vanilla buttercream, you can also fancy them up with different flavoured fillings.

For the biscuits pictured here, I flavoured half of the buttercream with some freeze-dried strawberry powder. All I did was sprinkle the powder into the finished buttercream and stir it in. You could do this with any fruit powder and there are many available – raspberry, blueberry, plum, passionfruit, mango etc. The powders give a nice natural colouring, but you can also add a touch of matching food colouring to the icing if you want.

Another classic option is to add some lemon zest to the buttercream, and you can replace the milk with lemon juice. Passionfruit pulp also gives a lovely tart flavour.

While buttercream is the classic melting moment filling, you can sandwich the biscuits with jam or marmalade instead.

A biscuit filled with strawberry buttercream, with a bite taken out of it.

How to Make Gluten Free Melting Moments

The dough for these biscuits is super simple to make.

You’ll start by beating the soft butter and vanilla together in a large bowl until they’re creamy. Then you’ll add in the icing sugar and beat until it’s light and creamy. Getting lots of air in is what makes these biscuits so light. I find a good 2-3 minutes of creaming on med-high speed to be the sweet spot (pun totally intended).

Then you’ll mix in the combined sifted dry ingredients. It’s best to do this in 2-3 additions, and I like to mix in the last addition by hand as it starts getting too stiff for the mixer.

Collage of four images showing the butter being creamed, the dry ingredients being added and stirred in.

The dough should be soft, but firm enough to hold together in a ball. If it’s slightly too soft, you can chill it for a few minutes to firm it up. If it’s waaay too soft, then it may be due to using a different flour blend, so you might need to add in a little more flour.

Now you’ll roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. I portion out the dough with a 1TBSP capacity cookie scoop – because I have one. But if you don’t, just use a spoon, like everyone did before cookie scoops were a thing and people like me splashed out money on them.

Collage of four images showing the dough being spooned onto a baking tray, rolled into balls and flattened with a fork.

The rolled balls get flattened with a fork (dip it in flour if it’s sticking to the dough) and bake them for 10-12 minutes, or until they’re very lightly golden brown on the bottom. They shouldn’t brown much on the top.

Let them cool on the tray until they’re firm enough to handle, then cool completely on a wire rack.

The baked melting moments on a blue baking tray lined with baking paper.

Next, we make the icing.

Just beat the butter and vanilla with your electric beaters until creamy, add in the icing sugar in several additions and beat until fluffy. Then you can add add in the milk, just a little at a time, just until the icing is a spreadable consistency. We want it to be a stiff buttercream though, otherwise it will squish out between the biscuits when you bite into them.

Collage of two images showing the butter and vanilla being beaten for the icing, and the icing sugar added.

Then, you ice ’em! You can spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife (or an offset spatula/palette knife) or you can pop the icing into a piping bag fitted with a piping tip, as I did.

For these, I used a large round piping tip for the vanilla icing, and a large open star tip for the strawberry icing.

Storing the Melting Moments

These little delights will keep well for at least a week in an airtight container at room temperature.

An overhead image of melting moments being filled with icing from pink and white icing bags on a blue baking tray.

Then all that’s left to do is to sit back with a cup of tea, and have a melting moment of your own.

Gluten Free melting moment biscuits filled with pink and white buttercream on a white milk glass cake stand on a pale blue background.

Are you new to gluten-free baking?

Or just need some tips on how to make the most of the recipes on GFKF? Check out my start guide to learn how to bake safely and successfully gluten free.

Allergen safety ✔️ Gluten free flour info ✔️
Accurate measuring ✔️ Tools + Equipment ✔️

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Gluten Free melting moment biscuits filled with pink and white buttercream on a white milk glass cake stand on a pale blue background.

Gluten Free Melting Moments

Light shortbread biscuits sandwiched together with vanilla and strawberry buttercream, these gluten free melting moments are a true melt-in-your-mouth delight.
4.50 from 12 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Makes: 15 sandwiched biscuits.


For the Melting Moment Biscuits

  • 270 g gluten free plain flour, see notes
  • 60 g cornflour, (cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum, see notes
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 200 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

For the Buttercream Icing

  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 200 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot milk or water


Make the Biscuits

  • Heat oven to 180°C and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Sift together the gluten free flour, cornflour, xanthan gum and baking powder into a bowl and whisk to combine well.
  • Place the butter and vanilla into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and continue beating for 2-3 minutes, until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour in 2-3 additions. You can beat the first 2 additions in with the electric mixer, but it's best to stir the final addition in with a wooden spoon or large spatula, to avoid overworking the mixer motor.
  • The dough should be soft, but firm enough to hold together in a ball. If it’s slightly too soft, you can chill it for a few minutes to firm it up. If it’s way too soft, it may be due to the kind of flour used, and you might need to add in a little more flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.
  • Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and arrange them on the prepared baking trays. You should have around 30 balls of dough. Gently flatten each ball with a fork.
  • Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes. They should be lightly golden on the bottoms, but they won't brown much on top. Leave on the trays until cool enough to handle, then gently move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Buttercream

  • Beat the butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until creamy. Add the sifted icing sugar in 2-3 additions, using low speed to avoid an icing sugar storm. Increase the mixer speed, and beat until very light and fluffy.
  • Add just enough hot milk or water to make the icing a spreadable consistency. It should still be quite stiff, otherwise it will squish out when you bite into the biscuits.
  • Pipe or spread the icing onto half of the cooled biscuits, and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Dust with icing sugar, if you like.
    Store the melting moments in an airtight container. They should last for a week or so.


Gluten free flour  – I use my favourite gluten-free flour blend to make these biscuits, but you can use your own favourite GF flour. If you’re using a pre-made gluten-free flour blend that contains a gum ingredient (usually listed as xanthan gum, guar gum, vegetable gum or “thickener” in the ingredients on the packet) then you can omit the xanthan gum from this recipe.
Make sure you check that your cornflour, baking powder and icing sugar are all gluten free.
Serving: 1melting moment | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.05mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: Any nutritional information provided is a computer generated estimate and is intended as a guide only.

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Quick Melting Moment FAQ

Are melting moments gluten free?

The classic recipe is not gluten free, no. But this gluten free melting moment recipe sure is 😉

Do melting moment biscuits contain eggs?

No! Melting moments are egg free, which is part of what makes them so light and slightly crumbly.

What is the difference between melting moments and yoyos?

While these biscuits are very similar, the generally accepted difference is that melting moments are made with cornflour and yoyos are made with custard powder. You should be able to replace the cornflour in this recipe with custard powder if you like, but let me know in the comments if you want me to test it out and do a proper yoyo recipe!

More Gluten Free Biscuits You May Like…

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Recipe Rating


  1. Reading through the recipe, they sounds delicious!! However I can’t see where you have said to add the corn flour.. am I crazy?! Can’t wait to try these!! Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle, my apologies for the delayed reply, I’ve been away on holiday. You are most definitely not crazy, it’s me that crazy and I’d missed it out in the instructions 🤦‍♀️ Usually I check so carefully but I guess I missed it. It’s added along with the rest of the dry ingredients. I’ve fixed it in the recipe card now, and thanks so much for bringing it to my attention! 💜

  2. Do you think I can safely substitute the butter for a dairy-free butter? Would the amount be the same?

    1. Hi Linda, I actually haven’t tested this one with dairy free butter yet. I think it should work in equal quantity, but there may be a difference in how much the biscuits spread etc. With butter the biscuits don’t spread much but dairy free butters have different melting points and a different amount of moisture. If you give it a go before I do, I’d love to know how you get on 💜

  3. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. I never fail. Being lemon season, I substitute out the vanilla for fresh lemon juice. It’s a favourite for the gf and non gf members of the family.

  4. I was so excited to make this recipe for my sister. I followed it exactly except using 1/2 the amount of vanilla. The flavour is awesome but they spread all over the pan! And I had to cut them all apart.

    1. Hi Ruth,

      Oh no! That’s disappointing to hear! 😞 I’m happy to help you troubleshoot though if you’d like?

      Can you let me know what type/brand of gluten free flour you used? And was the uncooked dough able to be rolled into balls or was it too soft?

      Hopefully we can get to the bottom of it 🤞

      1. I followed the link and made up a batch of the flour used in the recipe. I used a scoop to place them on the cookie sheet. They were very stiff compared to my other shortbread recipe

        1. Hmm, that’s so strange then, if the dough was stiffer than it should have been then I definitely wouldn’t expect it to spread so much in the oven. If you used the same flour blend I do and followed the rest of the recipe exactly with all of the correct measurements and ingredients, then your dough and cooked biscuits should have turned out how mine do. If the dough wasn’t the correct consistency then all I can think of is that your kitchen scale may need calibrating, but if you haven’t had issues with other recipes then it’s probably not that.

          The only other thing I can think of that could have caused the spreading is if your oven wasn’t fully preheated or the oven temperature is off – most domestic ovens run slightly cooler or hotter than the control says. If the oven isn’t hot enough then it can cause the biscuits to spread more before they set into shape. However from what you’ve described it seems like more than that.

          I’m so sorry I can’t be of more help, it’s a real conundrum and I can’t really think what else to suggest other than giving it another go and seeing if it was just a bad day 💜

          1. Ohh, yes, in New Zealand we call it cornflour but elsewhere it is known as cornstarch. Is this maybe what the problem was? If so and you used actual corn flour, I apologise – on my other website I always specify between the two as it has a more international audience, but my readers on this site are mostly NZ/Aus and cornflour is what we call it here. I’ll add an extra note to the recipe now anyway.

          2. Thank you so much for clarifying this. I have tried it again with cornstarch and they worked perfectly! Thank you again for all your help

          3. Oh my gosh I’m so happy we got to the bottom of it! And apologies again for not clarifying. I’m so glad they worked out this time, hope you enjoy them! 💜