Snowball Cookies are rich, buttery cookies that are full of chopped pecans and twice rolled in sugar for a powdery coating. For another popular and fun holiday cookie, check out my Sugar Cookies Recipe.

Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies (among others), are a classic holiday cookie. But, they are easy enough to make when you are craving a nutty treat. And, they look like little snowballs, which works for me since we get a lot of snow here!

Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe on Red Plate

Cookie Ingredients

There are few ingredients in this recipe, so you probably have most of them on hand. Make sure you use room temperature butter and finely chopped pecans. You can use a food processor to chop the pecans; or, you can just chop them by hand. Try almonds or walnuts, if you prefer.

Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe Being Rolled in Confectioners Sugar

How to Make Snowball Cookies

To make the cookies, start by creaming the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. A handheld mixer works fine for this. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, followed by the pecans and salt. Increase the speed to medium to fully incorporate all the ingredients.

Once the dough is ready, use your hands (or a small scoop) to roll the dough into a 1-inch ball. The dough may seem dry at first, but once you start forming it into balls, it should be fine. If the dough is still too dry add a tablespoon of butter. Place each dough ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove the baked cookies from the oven and roll them (while still hot) in a bowl with the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Place them back on the lined baking sheets to cool. Once cool, roll the cookies a second time in the confectioners’ sugar. I was able to get 30 cookies out of the recipe.

Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe on Cooling Rack

How to Store Snowball Cookies

These cookies will last up to 3 days at room temperature, in a sealed container. You can get 2 weeks out of them if stored in the refrigerator. And, if you are good at planning ahead, you can get these made 6 months ahead of time if storing them in the freezer. Remember to label and date the container.

Hand Holding Snowball Cookies - Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

Looking for More Holiday Treats?

Sugar Cookie Bars

Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies

Sugar Cookie Christmas Wreath

5 from 5 votes

Snowball Cookies

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 42 mins
Snowball Cookies are rich, buttery cookies that are full of chopped pecans and twice rolled in sugar for a sweet, powdery coating.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) butter, room temperature
  • cups (187.5g) confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar and vanilla.
  • Starting on low speed, add the flour, pecans, and salt. Increase speed to medium until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Use your hands to roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place them on the lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch in between each cookie.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. (You don't want them too brown.)
  • Remove cookies from the oven and while still hot, roll each in the remaining cup of confectioners' sugar. Set coated cookies back on the lined baking sheets to cool.
  • Once cool, roll the snowball cookies in the confectioners' sugar a second time. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. My favorite Christmas cookie, one year I used ground roasted almonds just to see how it would work…..was as good as pecans !!!! Love em both now.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!

  2. This Snowball Cookie recipe I’ve seen and JUST made tonight is called different names. My Mom’s recipe is called Mexican Wedding Cookies. It is the exact same recipe with the exception that we use cake flour (2T baking powder added to a cup measure then filled with flour to finish the cup and sifted three times). The cookies are delicate to the point of crumbly if you aren’t careful handling the first of two powdered sugar dustings (Once fresh out of the oven & the second dusting after they’ve completely cooled.)

  3. Exactly the recipe I use!! Only down here (South Texas) we call them Sand Tarts, or LADY FINGERS. I make batches of them for gifting. This recipe lends itself for use in various ways. I sometimes incorporate finely chopped cranberries and walnuts.

  4. these easy delicate, and yummy holiday cookies are a must, they will be a tradition in our family. Thanks for posting & sharing

  5. When making snowball cookies I substituted pecans with mini chocolate chips as I have a grandchild with nut allergy – worked well.

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