Snowball cookies are nutty, buttery and oh-so-delicious. They require only five ingredients and also last much longer than your typical cookie!

Snowball Cookies in a box with powder around.

What Are Snowball Cookies?

Snowball cookies are round sweet cookies made with a dough comprised of butter, pecans, and flour. The dough is then rolled into the shape of snowballs, baked, and covered in powdered sugar. The end result is a cookie with a nutty, sweet flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Can you think of a more perfect Christmas cookie?

You may have heard these cookies called “Russian tea cakes”, “Mexican wedding cookies”, or even just “Christmas snowball cookies.” All these names are accurate, but a generic name we like to use is “snowball cookie.” Although the exact origins are nearly impossible to find, it appears that the cookie hails from Europe. There is a very similar cookie that hails from Austria called an “almond crescent” that has a similar taste and texture to these cookies.

Chocolate lover? Here’s a chocolatey variation of this cookie where Nutella is stuffed into the center of the cookie. YUM!

Snowball Cookies Video

How To Make Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies take only five ingredients, 15 minutes of prep time, and 13 minutes of bake time to make. Make it even more hands-off by using a stand mixer or electric mixer — remember to mix on low speed! To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F.

  • Mix the butter and sugar: In a large mixing bowl, mix the room temperature butter and sugar.
  • Add the dry ingredients: Add in the chopped pecans and flour, then whisk to combine.
  • Form the cookie dough balls: Use an ice cream scoop to form small round cookie dough balls. Alternatively, use a tablespoon measuring spoon.
  • Bake the cookies: Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 13 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
  • Roll in the powdered sugar: Allow the cookies to completely cool on a wire rack, then roll them all through powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!

We all like feeling completely successful — so follow these tips to make cookie-baking the easiest, most successful thing you’ll do today!

  • Use a food processor: The easiest way to finely chop the nuts is by using either a food processor or a blender. Chop it just enough that it is fine but not quite where it becomes pasty.
  • Refrigerate the dough: If making multiple batches, refrigerate the dough in between batches. Cookies may becomes flat if the dough is too warm.
  • Measure carefully: Measure the ingredients (especially the all purpose flour) carefully. Too much flour may result in a dry and crumbly cookie.
Cookie dough on a baking sheet

Substitutions & Additions

Occasionally, a little change is a good thing — even with cookies that are already delicious. Here are a few ingredients additions and substitutions to make these cookies your own.

  • Vanilla extract: For a subtle vanilla flavor, add no more than a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Or, for a fruity, sweet flavor, add a drop or two of almond extract.
  • Salt: Some snowball recipes call for a pinch of salt, so feel free to add a pinch of salt if you prefer.
  • Mini chocolate chips: If you’re a chocolate lover, add in mini chocolate chips for a surprise treat in every cookie.
  • Other nuts: The most authentic snowball cookie is made with pecans — however, if you prefer, substitute the pecans with almonds, pistachios, cashews, or walnuts. Make sure to finely grind whichever nut you use so the batter comes out smooth.

Making Ahead

If you like to prep ahead, make your dough a couple days in advance. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container until you are ready to bake, then allow the dough to reach room temperature before shaping it into snowballs.

A box of Snowball Cookies.

Storing Snowball Cookies

Great news! These cookies store crazy well! Store them on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer depending on how long you desire to have them on hand.

  • One week: To store the cookies for up to one week, place them in an airtight container and store at room temperature or on the counter.
  • Two weeks: To increase the storage to two weeks, place the cookies into an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Two months: To store for up to a two months, place the cookies in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer.

Hot tip: If choosing to freeze the cookies, thaw them at room temperature. Once thawed, roll the cookies in powdered sugar again. If you want a “fresh out-of-the-oven” taste, reheat the cookies in the oven at 275° for 10-15 minutes before rolling in more sugar.


Why did the powdered sugar dissolve?

Powdered sugar may dissolve if the cookie was too hot when it was rolled in the sugar. Ensure the cookies are completely cool before rolling them in the sugar.

Why did my snowball cookies flatten/spread out?

Snowball cookies may flatten in the oven if the dough was too warm going into the oven or the baking sheet was already hot.

How to make round snowball cookies?

An easy way to make perfectly round snowball cookies is to use a cookie scoop to measure out the size and simultaneously form the shape of the cookie.

More Christmas Favorites

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.