Skip to Content

Snowball Cookies

Plate of snowball cookies

Delicious crumbly buttery shortbread loaded with chopped pecans and rolled in powder sugar create the best traditional Snowball Cookie.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Snowball Cookies, also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes, were a favorite of my Grandma Helen’s, and she made them every Christmas as far back as I can remember. I loved biting into those snowy balls of deliciousness… and licking all the powder sugar off my fingers! 

A big plus was that I’m a huge fan of shortbread cookies! Maybe it’s the English blood in my veins…or maybe it’s ALL that butter! (I’d lean towards the butter…at least my bathroom scale does!)

I decided to whip up a batch for my Holiday Cookie Tray  this year with my 3-year-old Grand daughter. She was a huge fan of the dough…and the powder sugar! We had so much fun rolling “Snowballs” together. This is a great “Baking cookies with Grandma” recipe!

How To Tips and Recipe for Snowball Cookies…

Preheat oven to 350°. 

In the bowl of your mixer cream together 1 cup of soften butter and 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar (powder sugar)…or as we like to call “sweet snow”! Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Mixer with powder sugar, butter, and vanilla

Mix until well combined…(I wish I could get paid every time I use this sentence in a post…well that and the word delicious! lol)

I sure love my “Anniversary Edition” Kitchen Aid! It’s such a beautiful machine. My favorite of all time! I’m not a spokesman for Kitchen Aid…I just LOVE their mixers!

I know Kitchen Aid Mixers are pricey…but I also know they make an amazing machine and there are a lot of great deals on them right now. Click HERE to look at the great seasonal bargains and rainbow of colors. Did you know…they now have an 8 quart pro home mixer! (Drool…I say dream big…8 quart big!) 

creamed butter, sugar, and vanilla

Okay…back to Snowball Cookies!

Mix in 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour…

Adding flour to dough mixture

Also… add 1 cup finely chopped pecans.

That’s it for the cookie dough! Amazing right?!! I’m telling you…simple delicious cookies are a must at this busy time of year!

TIP: I use a mini food processor like THIS ONE from Cuisinart! It’s a huge time saver this time of year… and you’ll have it for years to come. I’ve had mine for about 20+ years! Throw a bunch of nuts in, grind them up, and store them in air tight containers for all your Holiday baking needs!

adding nuts to dough

Time to practice those snowball making skills! Roll 1 Tablespoon or so of dough into balls and place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.

TIP: Since these cookies do not “raise” because they don’t contain a leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder, you can squeeze more than a dozen onto a baking sheet. (I think I just realized I must be full of leavening agents…LOTS of them!) 

Snowball dough on cookie sheets

Bake in preheated oven until bottoms are slightly golden, about 15 minutes.

I caution that you don’t allow these cookies to get too brown…unless you want mini shot-puts for your cookie tray and have a really good dental plan… and a bizarre hazard homeowners policy!

Place 1/2 cup of powder sugar in a shallow dish.

While the cookies are still hot, roll them in confectioners’ sugar. Think of it as the Holiday version of the game “Hot Potato”! (You thought a glue gun could burn your finger tips…HA!) 

TIP: Please Don’t use your fingers! Use a fork to roll them around in the powdery “snow”! 

Snowball Cookies being rolled in powder sugar

Place on cooling rack to cool completely.

Once they have cooled, roll them in confectioners’ sugar once more

Snowball cookies after first coating of powder sugar

I know this step seems silly…but let me explain what happens the first time you roll them while they are “hot” and why you need to roll them again.

The powder sugar from the “first roll” melts and creates a sugary “glue” that will allow the powder sugar to stick and stay “snowy” with the second rolling once they have cooled.

That second roll is key and creates the perfect Snowball! One worthy of our friend “Olaf”! (You just heard the theme song to “Frozen” go zipping through your mind didn’t you?! You’re Welcome!…now Moana is chasing after “Do Ya Wanna Build A Snowman”! lol It’s a Disney Christmas!) 

snowball cookies

These Snowball Cookies were just as good as I remember them…Grandma would be proud! (She’d also want one…she was a true “nut” lover in every sense of the word!)

Whatever you call them…Snowball Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butter Ball, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowdrops, or Viennese Sugar Ball Cookies… You won’t mind getting hit with one of these right? As long as it lands in your mouth! 

Inside of Snowball Cookie

I can understand why so many countries have variations of this wonderful traditional Christmas Cookie! What’s not to love?!!!

I hope my version of the “Classic Snowball Cookie” is as good as you remember from your childhood. 

I also hope everyone has the Merriest Christmas this year! As we get older it truly becomes about the lasting gifts of family, food, and the fun memories created with those we love! 

Thanks so much for stopping by my Nest. The free printable recipe card is below with some of my favorite suggested products for this Season of gift giving. 

Happy Nesting!






Yield: About 3 dozen

Snowball Cookies

Snowball Cookies

Buttery Shortbread cookies loaded with chopped pecans and rolled in powder sugar.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla. Mix in the flour, pecans, and salt. Roll about 1 Tablespoon or so of dough into balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until bottoms are golden, about 15 minutes. Do not allow these cookies to over cook or get to brown: it's better to undercook them than overcook them.
  4. While cookies are still hot, using a fork, roll them in additional confectioners' sugar. Place on cooling rack. Once they have cooled, roll them in confectioners' sugar once more.


You can also roll them in crushed candy canes for the Holidays.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
Cranberry Orange Scones
Cranberry Orange Scones
Bowl Full of Thick Rick Hearty Soup
Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Little Quiltsong

Thursday 13th of December 2018

Thank you Norine! This has been one cookie recipe I always made at Christmas - no matter what. My mom called them 'Pecan Puffs' - another name to add to your list :)! Your recipe is slightly different - using chopped pecans instead of ground - and the double icing trick at the end - an aha moment for me! I always love your detailed way of showing and explaining recipes.