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Sweet, nutty and rolled in powdered sugar, Snowball Cookies are a holiday favorite! Whether you know them as Snowball Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, these sweet bites are full of holiday nostalgia.

Snowball cookies arranged on a slate surface.

So tell me, have you started your holiday baking yet?

This year, I seriously contemplated ordering a tray from my favorite bakery, but by the time I remembered to actually order them, they were sold out of all the good stuff!

Basically what I’m trying to say is that I’ve made not one single cookie. No pecan brittle. No fudge. Nothing.

In fact, I just pulled out a couple of pounds of butter from my freezer, so I can start whipping up some of favorites like these snowball cookies!

Luckily it is frigid here this year, so I can make a couple of recipes for the next few days, package them up in tins and store them in the garage until Christmas.

A giant garage freezer is pretty much the best thing about Ohio winters.

Snowball Cookie dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer


This fall and holiday season has been a season of classics for me.

From Peanut Butter Cup Cookies and Rum Balls to Old Fashioned Apple Crisp, Classic Pecan Pie and Parker House Rolls, I’ve been craving recipes rooted in classic flavors and full of memories.

Snowball cookie dough rolled into balls and placed on parchment paper, ready to bake

So it seems fitting to share one of my brother’s favorite cookies, and one of the cookies that made their way to Santa’s plate at our house year after year.

My brother may be the pickiest eater ever – the only vegetable he eats is broccoli and it must be covered in Cheez Whiz in order for him to choke it down. He’s also not fond of fruit – unless the word Roll-Up comes after it.

Freshly baked snowball cookies being rolled in powdered sugar

However, give him a plate of these Snowball Cookies and he’ll eat every last sugar-coated crumb.

Snowball Cookies are also called Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, so you may have grown up calling them a different name.

No matter what you call them, though, they are easy to whip up and definitely make an impact on any cookie platter. What’s cuter than little snowballs in a festive miniature liners?

Snowball cookies in paper liners arranged on a white platter


Snowball Cookies are easy to make, but here are a few tips I have realized are helpful over the years:

Close up of snowball cookies rolled in powdered sugar lined up on parchment paper

  • Snowball Cookies don’t spread, so you can place them close together on the baking sheet.
  • Be careful not to overbake these cookies. The color will be barely different after they’re baked than when they were raw. If they
  • take on a golden color, they’re probably overbaked!
  • Roll them twice in powdered sugar: once when they’re still a bit warm, and again after they’ve cooled completely for that perfect white coating.
  • If you don’t like pecans, feel free to use walnuts or almonds instead.
  • Snowballs freeze well! Freeze them in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Snowball Cookies are my brother’s favorite holiday cookie and I can bet they’ll soon be a favorite of yours as well.

Close up of a snowball cookie with a bite taken out of it on a paper liner

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Snowball Cookies

By: Jamie
4.42 from 12 ratings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 30
Sweet, nutty and rolled in powdered sugar, Snowball Cookies are a holiday favorite! Whether you know them as Snowball Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies, these sweet bites are full of holiday nostalgia.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup powdered sugar sifted - for rolling cookies


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Mix in the flour, pecans and salt. Mixing until just combined.
  • Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough (mine are a bit larger, see notes below) into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. The cookies can be placed quite close together since they do not spread during the baking process.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes – taking care not to over bake. Allow cookies to cool on baking pan until you are able to comfortably hold them in your hands.
  • Sift 1/3 cup powdered sugar into a medium bowl. While cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar. Place cookies on cooling rack, once they have cooled completely, roll them in powdered sugar again.


- Not a fan of pecans? Feel free to sub in another nut such as walnuts or almonds.
- I used a medium OXO cookie scoop to form my snowballs.
- Yield will depend on the size that you roll your Snowball Cookies.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 119kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 20mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 191IU, Vitamin C: 0.04mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Cynthia says:

    I use very fine chopped Walnuts and I wrap the cookie dough around a Candied Cherry bake then roll in powdered sugar ta da ta da ta da
    Nuts are optional it doesnt change the taste Just the texture a bit (I like it best without nuts) This is my Favorite Holiday cookie

  2. Xhristin says:

     These are great cookies for Christmas holidays. This recipe has been my family for 65 years. The only difference is I put walnuts instead of P cons. And I definitely take the salt out .   I would combine all the dry ingredients first and inseparable. And then I would put the vanilla extract, butter, sugar. But not confectioner sugar. And mix that up pretty good until creamy.   Then I would mix and a electric mixer and gradually add in the dry ingredients.  Make about 2 inches in size. Then roll them around in confectioner sugar once and then roll them around the second time while they’re still hot. I have had every snowball  then roll them around in confectioner sugar once and then roll them around the second time while they’re still hot. I have had every snowball on the planet from everyplace and putting salt in it ruins the whole thing. Some people like salt I just don’t happen to like it and we’ve always kept in the family as a sweet snowball cookie without any taste of salt. 

    1. Jamie says:

      Your suggestions are wonderful. It’s great to know so many people enjoy these cookies!

  3. Mary says:

    I have made these for 40 plus years & they are the “best.”
    Also…Russian Teacakes…also Mexican Wedding Cookies.

  4. Regina says:

    Do U have a recipe for sesame seed cookies?? My Granny always made them and I cant find her recipe. :-( Please help if U can.

    1. Jamie says:

      Regina, I’m sorry, I don’t have one. I’m sure there are plenty out there if you google it.
      – Jamie

  5. Kelly says:

    Made these this afternoon without nuts and with a Hershey’s kiss hidden inside. Yum!

    1. Jamie says:


      Yum, that sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!


  6. Heather says:

    Hi, I’m making these for the first time, but all I have is the large scoop. Should the baking time be adjusted? What should they look like when they’re baked?

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Heather,
      The baking time may need an extra minute or two, but not more than that. They should be just slightly golden.
      – Jamie

  7. Ashley says:

    So I just mixed these up, and realized I have no parchment paper :( can I use my non stick sheet with out?!

    1. Jamie says:

      You should be completely fine with a non-stick pan. :)

  8. Melanie says:

    I make these every year also…Russian Teacakes. They just melt in your mouth! You can’t have Christmas without them!

  9. Vera says:

    I make these, leaving out the nuts, and adding mini- chocolate chips instead. Talk about GOOD!!!!!

  10. kp199 says:

    Russian Tea Cakes! I still make these every year with my Grandma (I’m 25)