Snowball Cookies

4.67 from 3 votes

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No Christmas cookie tray is complete without some decadent Snowball Cookies. Rich, moist, and buttery, they melt in your mouth and are super easy to make.

Snowball cookies on a plate next to bowl of sprinkles and cut snowball cookie.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in this Snowball Cookie Recipe
  2. Additions or Substitutions for Snowball Cookies
  3. Mixing the Dough
  4. How to Get the Perfect Snowball Shaped Cookie
  5. Storing Leftovers
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Tasty Holiday Treats to Try
  8. How to Make Snowball Cookies
  9. Snowball Cookies Recipe

These Snowball Cookies are always a holiday favorite around here! They’re sort of like shortbread cookies that literally melt in your mouth, with a creamy yet crumbly texture. We love piling them on our cookie trays that we take around to friends and neighbors at Christmastime, and we always keep some on hand to pair with hot chocolate, piping apple cider or any other favorite warm beverage. They’re simple to make and beautiful holiday cookies that nobody can resist!

These cookies, also known as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes, can be whipped up in no time and with very few ingredients. Here’s all you need:

  • Butter – one cup, or two cubes of unsalted butter. Make sure it’s at room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar – You’ll need about a cup and a half of light, sifted confectioners’ sugar, divided.
  • Vanilla – one teaspoon vanilla extract
  • All purpose flour – two and a quarter cups, sifted
  • Salt – one quarter teaspoon
  • Pecans – These are optional, but add a delicious texture and flavor to the cookie. I like to use ¾ cup finely chopped pecans.
Ingredients to make Snowball Cookies including powdered sugar, flour, butter, vanilla, pecans and salt.

Additions or Substitutions for Snowball Cookies

  • Swap the pecans for chopped walnuts, almonds or pistachios, cashews, any kind of nut you like. Not a fan of nuts? Leave them out altogether.
  • Add mini-chocolate chips
  • For a deeper flavor, use half vanilla extract and half almond extract.
  • Drizzle melted chocolate or any other melt-in colors you like over the top of the cookies.

Mixing the Dough

  • Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer to combine butter, half the powdered sugar and the vanilla together.
  • Use a separate bowl to stir the flour and salt together, then slowly add to the butter mixture, stirring at medium speed.
  • Mix the nuts in last.
  • Make sure to chill the dough in the freezer for at least one hour. This will make the dough easier to scoop into perfect ball shapes.
  • Use a standard size cookie scoop to make these cookies. This will help keep them the same size as you roll them into your hands into a perfect ball for baking.
  • You can make them smaller by using a one-inch cookie scoop to make perfect 1-inch balls.
  • No need to push these cookies down at all; their shape will not spread, and will remain a perfect ball shape even after baking.
  • Use a silicone mat or a cookie sheet layered with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
  • Cool on a wire rack before transferring to your serving plate.
Cookie scoop on parchment lined cookie sheet with balls of Snowball cookie dough.

Storing Leftovers

Keep any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for three to five days. They’ll stay nice and fresh for guests or kids who need a little after school snack. If it looks like the powdered sugar has melted into the cookies, you can gently re-roll them before serving again.

These snowball cookies are a perfect recipe to make ahead of time and freeze until you need them. Make sure they’re completely cooled before placing in freezer bags or a freezer container to prevent them from sticking. Thaw by setting them out on the counter in their container. You can make these cookies up to two months ahead and store until needed.

Cooling rack with Snowball cookies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do snowball cookies go flat?

If you find your snowball cookies are coming out flat, check your oven temperature. If it’s too low, the cookies could be spreading out more. You want to make sure your butter is room temperature but not too melted because that can also lead to flat cookies.

What are snowball cookies made of?

All you need for these Snowballs is butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, finely chopped nuts, flour and salt. That’s it!

Are snowball cookies soft?

Yes, because of the butter, powdered sugar and flour, these cookies have a soft, yet slightly crumbly texture that literally melt in your mouth.

READ NEXT: 25+ Christmas Dessert Ideas

More Tasty Holiday Treats to Try

The holidays are the greatest time to grab an apron, some flour and butter and start baking. Christmas cookies are so much fun to make with your children and to share with your friends, family and neighbors. Try some of our very favorite treasured recipes this holiday season!

How to Make Snowball Cookies

Plate of Snowball Cookies.

Snowball Cookies

4.67 from 3 votes
No Christmas cookie tray is complete without some decadent Snowball Cookies. Rich, moist, and buttery, they melt in your mouth and are super easy to make.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course cookies
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 24



  • Mix butter, ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla thoroughly.
    Mixing bowl with creamed sugar and butter.
  • In a separate bowl, stir flour and salt together.
    Bowl with mixed dry ingredients.
  • Blend into butter mixture.
    Mixing bowl with snowball cookie batter without pecans.
  • If you are adding nuts, mix them in. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400.
    Mixing bowl with Snowball Cookie batter.
  • Roll dough in 1" balls. Place on parchment lined ungreased baking sheet.
    Cookie scoop on parchment lined cookie sheet with balls of Snowball cookie dough.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until set, but not brown.
    Baked Snowball Cookies on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • While warm, roll in bowl with 1 cup powdered sugar. Allow cookies to completely cool.
    Dipping warm Snowball Cookies into a bowl of powdered sugar next to cooling rack of dipped Snowball cookies.
  • Roll again in powdered sugar.
    Hand second dipping Snowball Cookies in bowl of powdered sugar.
  • Serve and enjoy!
    Hand grabbing a Snowball cookie from a plate.


  • These cookies do not spread during baking. They keep their shape. No need to push them down prior to baking. 
  • You must do the first roll while the cookies are warm. They will be slightly sticky after the first roll in powdered sugar. 
  • The cookies must be completely cooled to roll them for a second time in powdered sugar. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 29mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 238IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg

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Heidi Rasmussen

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  1. 4 stars
    I gave them a 4 star because I haven’t made them yet. I’m just glad to get a recipe for these cookies.