melting moments biscuit recipe


Melting moments were a popular Diwali biscuit, growing up in South Africa. Like their name implies, they literally melt in the mouth. Amma made them with dots of jam, but they also appear in various forms, sometimes rolled into balls then flattened with a fork, like custard biscuits or topped with red glazed cherries. Sometimes piped or dipped in chocolate, the creations are as endless as the imagination.  Like Nan Khatai and custard biscuits they are crumby biscuits. One distinguishing factor between melting moments and South African butter biscuits is that melting moments are all butter, like Danish butter cookies they have a 1:1 flour and butter ratio. The main exception however being the use of cornstarch (maizena, or cornflour in Commonwealth countries). This recipe also uses self-rising flour, which accounts for the slightly raised appearance of these cookies.


Can You Make Melting Moments With Margarine?

Melting moments can be made with margarine instead of butter. Butter is made from  milk fat and margarine is made from refined vegetable oil and water. This may have an effect on baking, margarine biscuits are generally less crumby than their butter counterparts.


Why Do Melting Moments Melt In The Mouth?

The use of cornstarch in this recipe gives melting moment biscuits their melt in the mouth texture. Cornstarch is made from the endosperm of corn kernels, and is commonly used as a thickener in sauce, but serves just as well in baking too. The cornstarch binds to harsh proteins in flour resulting in a softer yet crispy cookie when baked.

How to Make Melting Moments Biscuits

Like most butter biscuits these biscuits have a high butter: flour ratio. In this case 1:1. One part flour, one part butter and ½ part cornstarch. I prefer using icing sugar to maintain the silky smoothness of the cornstarch.


Combine the butter and using sugar first then sift in the cornflour little at a time.


This forms a smooth thick paste. Sift in flour little at a time then form into a soft dough.


 These biscuits are best baked at moderate heat and retain their pale appearance after baking.


How to Shape And Decorate Melting Moments


Melting moments can be shape in a number of ways, her are a few simple ideas:

1. Use cookie cutters
2. Shape into balls then flatten with a fork. Alternatively poke holes with a fork for a fresh look to Diwali parcels.


3. Pipe with a piping bag
4. Cut with a knife to form squares, rectangles or triangles,
5. Use a cup to cut out rounds.

To decorate melting moments press thumb into flattened biscuit then fill with jam of choice.



Decorate with beads or glazed cherries,
Or dip in chocolate

Melting moments can also be shaped like royal creams and joined with icing or jam to make sandwich versions.

Melting Moments Recipe South Africa

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Melting Moments Biscuit Recipe


Melting Moments Biscuit Recipe
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 15 MTotal time: 20 M
melting moments are a South African equivalent to Danish butter cookies. These all butter cookies melt in the mouth.


  • 1 cup self rising flour (or 1 cup cake flour +1 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (maizena)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar (I prefer less sweet biscuit, add more if desired)
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Butter should be soft. Combine butter and icing sugar until smooth.
  3. Slowly sift in cornstarch, little ad a time until a thick paste forms.
  4. Sift in flour. Add salt.
  5. Mix to form a soft dough.
  6. Shape into desired forms and decorate as desired,
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool before removing from baking tray.
  9. Enjoy with a cup of tea.
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Tag @foodlikeamma on instagram and hashtag it #foodlikeammausedtomakeit;#south africanbiscuits;meltingmoments
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