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Snowball Cookies are a Christmas classic! These butter cookies are similar to shortbread, but are filled with crushed pecans and covered in powdered sugar, making them look just like snowballs! They’re known for their rich texture that just completely melts in your mouth when you eat them. Because of the powdered sugar they can be a little messy to eat, but so worth it!

A pile of snowball cookies with a bit taken out of the cookie on top.

Snowballs Cookies are a Christmas classic!

When you think of Christmas treats, Snowball Cookies are probably one of the first sweets you picture (and quite possibly Walnut cookies). However, you might have grown up calling them by a different name. Pecan Snowball Cookies are also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Butterballs, Polvorones, or Meltaway Cookies.

Snowball cookies piled on the counter with a bite taken out of one on top.

Snowball Cookie Recipe ingredients

  • Butter (salted) – If you want to make these cookies dairy free, you can substitute margarine instead.
  • Powdered Sugar – You will use half of the powdered sugar in the cookie dough, and half to coat the cookies after they bake. By using powdered sugar in the dough instead of granulated sugar, these cookies will have a different texture than regular cookies – AKA they will literally melt in your mouth!
  • Vanilla Extract – Snowball Cookies are traditionally made with vanilla, but if you’re an almond flavor lover you can use almond extract instead.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Pecans (finely chopped) – While pecans are most popular for this recipe, you can use any type of finely chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. You can also omit the nuts completely if you prefer.
  • Salt
Balls of snowball cookie dough laying out on a cookie sheet, before they're covered in powdered sugar.

How to make Snowball Cookies

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F.
  2. Using either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  3. Then add in 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix with the butter until well combined.
  4. Next, add the flour, salt, and optional pecans. Mix again until smooth and a soft dough forms.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or two small spoons, scoop out about 1 tbsp of dough and then roll into a ball.
  6. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  7. Once the oven has finished preheating, bake the dough for about 7-9 minutes or until the bottoms just begin to turn brown.
  8. After baking, allow the cookies to cool for just 5 minutes.
  9. Then, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.
  10. Let the cookies finish cooling completely and then roll in powdered sugar a second time.
  11. Now enjoy! Store your Snowballs Cookies at room temperature for up to three days.
A pile of Snowball cookies on the counter.

How do you get the powdered sugar to stick to the cookies?

This is why it’s important to roll the cookies in powdered sugar twice. The first time, roll the cookies in the powdered sugar while they’re still warm so that the sugar melts into the cookie and becomes sticky. Then when the cookies are completely cool, roll them in the powdered sugar again and it should fully coat the cookie.

How to serve this Snowball Cookies Recipe

Snowball cookies are delightful treats that can be served in various ways. Here are some suggestions on how to serve them:

  1. Festive Platter: Arrange the snowball cookies on a festive platter or tray. Their round, powdered sugar-coated appearance adds a charming touch to any dessert spread.
  2. Holiday Cookie Exchange: Snowball cookies are a popular choice for cookie exchanges. Package them in decorative boxes or bags to share with friends, family, or coworkers during the holiday season.
  3. Dessert Buffet: Include snowball cookies as part of a dessert buffet. Pair them with other cookies, bars, and treats for a variety of sweet options.
  4. Gift Giving: Snowball cookies make lovely homemade gifts. Place them in a decorative jar or tin and tie a ribbon around it for a thoughtful and delicious present.

Snowballs Dessert Storage

To ensure your snowball cookies stay fresh and enjoyable, follow these storage recommendations:

  1. Room Temperature: Store the snowball cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh for up to 1 to 2 weeks.
  2. Refrigeration: If you’re in a warm climate or want to extend their shelf life, you can refrigerate the snowball cookies in an airtight container. They will remain fresh for about 2 to 3 weeks.
  3. Freezing: Snowball cookies freeze well, making them a great make-ahead treat. Place them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.

How long do snowballs last?

Snowball cookies can last for approximately 4 days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If refrigerated, they can stay fresh for about 2 to 3 weeks. When properly stored in the freezer, snowball cookies can be enjoyed for up to 2 to 3 months.

Snowball Cookies Recipe FAQs

Why do snowball cookies go flat?

These cookies shouldn’t flatten at all. They should be perfectly round, like snowballs! If they do flatten, it could be due to a few reasons: your butter may have been too warm to begin with, your ingredients were measured incorrectly, or your kitchen is overall too warm. A good fix for all of these problems is to chill the cookie dough in your fridge before baking.

What are snowball cookies made of?

Snowball cookies are typically made with a simple and delicious combination of butter, powdered sugar, flour, and finely chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts. The dough is rolled into small balls and baked until lightly golden. After cooling, the cookies are dusted generously with powdered sugar.

What does a snowball taste like?

Snowball cookies have a delicate and crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. They are subtly sweet, buttery, and often have a hint of nuttiness from the chopped nuts. The generous coating of powdered sugar adds an additional layer of sweetness and a lovely snowy appearance.

Why do they call them Mexican wedding cookies?

Snowball cookies are also known as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes. The name “Mexican wedding cookies” is likely a misnomer, as they are not exclusive to Mexican weddings but are enjoyed in various cultures and celebrations.

A bowl of snowball cookies with a bite taken out of one of them and green writing on the photo that reads "Snowball Cookies, Only 6 Ingredients."

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5 from 4 votes

Snowball Cookie

Christmas Snowball Cookies are stuffed with pecans and covered in powdered sugar. Also called Mexican Wedding Cookies!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 Cookies


  • 1 cup (222g) salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (107g) powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (304g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (90g) finely chopped pecans, optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  • Add in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Add in the all-purpose flour and salt along with the optional pecans, if desired. Mix until a smooth and soft dough forms.
  • Scoop 1 tbsp of dough out and roll into a ball. Arrange on a parchment paper or silicone lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat with remaining dough.Bake at 350°F (180° C) for 7-9 minutes, until the bottoms just begin to turn brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes and then roll each cookie in the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
  • Let the cookies finish cooling and then roll one more time in the powdered sugar.
  • Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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About Karli Bitner

This blog is a little glimpse into my kitchen, family & life. I hope you’ll giggle the days away with me and enjoy the craziness that goes on at my house. If you are Cookie obsessed like I am, check out my Sister Site, Cookies for Days.

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