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Snowball Cookies That Melt In Your Mouth

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Homemade Snowball Cookies!

mexican wedding cookies


I know it’s past Christmas… But if you are anything like me, this doesn’t mean you’ve stopped eating the holiday cookies. I’ve made five more batches this past week! After all, what better way is there to ring in the new year than by stuffing one’s face with cookies?

Champagne is so overrated.

snowball cookies

Chances are, you’ve tried these popular snowball cookies–also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Butterballs, or Polvorones–at least once before in your life. Chances are, you’ve witnessed first-hand their alluring “melt in your mouth” charm.

Like many families, mine makes these cookies every year during the holidays. When I gave up eating dairy ten years ago, I veganized my grandmother’s version; and this year I changed her recipe further by testing it with whole-wheat-pastry flour. Happily, the healthier whole-grain cookies turned out just as alluringly buttery as the originals.

Edit: This post was written and all ready to publish when I discovered I’d actually posted my grandmother’s recipe once before, 4 years ago!

Popular snowball cookies recipe from @choccoveredkt… 4 ingredients, holiday favorite. Full recipe:


Snowball Cookies

(or Mexican Wedding Cookies)

  • 2 cups whole-wheat-pastry or all-purpose flour (I haven’t tried a gf version, but people have listed a few gf versions in the comment section, and they also say Bob’s gf flour works for this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (A commenter says almonds work)
  • 1 cup buttery spread, such as Earth Balance or Spectrum (both of which are non-hydrogenated. I wouldn’t recommend subbing a low-fat spread, as you need the fat for optimum texture and taste)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (If anyone tries using my sugar-free powdered sugar, report back with results!)
  • optional: more powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the buttery spread with the powdered sugar, and beat in a medium bowl or stand mixer. Stir together the flour and nuts in a separate bowl. Then mix all ingredients together to form a dough. Shape into balls, place on a cookie sheet, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Ready an extra bowl of powdered sugar, and roll the warm cookies in this bowl to coat. Cool on a wire rack. The recipe makes about 40-50 cookies, depending on how big you roll them.

View Snowball Cookies Nutrition Facts

snowball cookies

Question of the Day:
What’s your New Year’s resolution this year?

In past years, I haven’t really made New Year’s resolutions because I like making changes when the need arises (as opposed to waiting until January 1st). But 2013 is going to be a busy year, so for once figured it might be a good idea to at least write down my plans and goals for the year, just for the sake of organization… which could be my New Year’s resolution in itself: get more organized!

Link Of The Day:

new years breakfast

New Year’s Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I hope you’ll share whatever New Years resolutions you may come up with! I’m hoping 2013 will be busy for me as well :)

  2. Those cookies looks delicious (as usual)! Last year I did not really make a resolution for myself… but this year I think I will. Staying organized will be one of my resolutions!

  3. I love Mexican Wedding Cookies! These look so delicious!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ooh these look yummy, but how much vanilla do you need to add, it doesn’t appear to be on the recipe!

    1. Thanks for catching that! I actually forgot to add the vanilla when I made them this year, and I didn’t really notice a difference so I left it out of the recipe. If you want to add it, the original recipe called for 1 tsp.

  5. These cookies look wonderful and simple! I made a cookie that seems similar with matcha quite a while ago, They were called meltaways and they were so delicious. I’ll have to give your recipe a try, maybe with chocolate on top!?

  6. Laila says:

    oooo these look great!
    can I use coconut oil instead of the margarine?

  7. I love Mexican Wedding Cookies! They are my favorite Christmas treat :)

    I’d be interested to hear how a gluten-free version turns out too! And as for the nuts, pecans and walnuts can be interchanged equally when making them. Both are traditional to the recipe.

  8. Aimee says:

    I made these last week after having a major craving post-Christmas! I made them gluten free successfully too. Used 1 1/2 cups rice flour + 1/2 cup tapioca starch + 1/2 t. xanthan gum. Tasted pretty much like the original!

  9. Kitty Bea says:

    I don’t use margarine at all–what fat source would you use instead? Has anyone tried butter or coconut oil?
    This recipe looks like a great healthier variation though, and I would love to try it. I wonder if I could make it part some other kind of flour…. like 1 cup. ww, 1/2 c. white, and 1/2 c. almond or coconut flour….

    1. Emilie says:

      use cashew butter instead :)

  10. Jen says:

    I made these (using my own probably identical recipe) with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking mix. People didn’t know the difference! I think they weren’t as crunchy, but still tasty!

  11. Marci says:

    Well crud, I just ran out of gluten-free flour, or I’d make these for New Year’s! I’ll be sure to report on them when I finally make ’em though.

  12. Angie says:

    I made these this year using the gluten free baking mix, coconut oil, and half the sugar. I also used pecans instead of walnuts. My husband liked them and had no idea that I changed the recipe. I could taste the difference, but I also have been sugar free and any sugar is way too sweet for me!

  13. Pat says:

    Want to make these but don’t want to use margarine can you sub butter??

    1. Anonymous says:

      You can, I’ve made them this way before using 1 cup butter.

  14. Stacy says:

    We make these every year with pecans! A family favorite :)

  15. These are my ALL TIME favorite Christmas Cookie I made these this year twice. The first time with hazelnuts: and the second time with pecans. Delicious both times.

  16. I will be making some resolutions this year. I think it is a great way to reset and reevaluate goals for the new year! I’m all for them :)

  17. AR says:

    should you greese the cookie pan?

    1. You can, but I didn’t for these and had no problem.

    2. Amy says:

      Use parchment paper. :)

  18. I love those cookies so much. The powdered sugar kiss right when you bite into them is my favorite part of the experience. I’m not usually much for New Years Resolutions either, more of a day by day resolution continuation, but I’ve been tampering with the idea to do something this year too. Hope you’ve been having a happy holiday time!

  19. Anna says:

    We always use pecans for this recipe. Then we form the dough into long, squared off logs, refrigerate, and cut slices to bake so the cookies are square and they hold insane amounts of powdered sugar. I ate at least 50 of them when I was home last week, they’re a favorite.

    1. Bobbie says:

      How big is the square? When sliced are they cube shaped?

  20. Elizabeth says:

    My mom makes these every year with pecans and butter… I also wonder if there is a way to cut the margarine with something healthier. Then again, I know they are cookies!

  21. Angel says:

    I’ve made mexican wedding cakes for the last two years as part of gifts I gave out to friends and family. They are SO good! This year I used half pecans and half hazelnuts, and soy free Earth Balance for the butter. YUM!

  22. Brandie V says:

    Have you heard of OneWord365? It’s all about choosing one word that can guide how you want to grow and live in the next year. Could be more meaningful (and lasting!) than a simple old New Year’s resolution.

    Oh – and I plan to try the cookies with almonds!

  23. Lauren says:

    I usually have the same view of New Year’s resolutions that you do, but two years ago I decided to go vegan on Jan. 1st, and it was one of the greatest decisions of my life! So I guess resolutions can sometimes be good! :)

    Thank you for this recipe! I love Mexican wedding cookies!

  24. Amy says:

    I made these for Christmas and I still have some left. I actually made these before this post from a regular Betty Crocker recipe but instead of the regular butter called for, I used my Earth Balance vegan sticks…….turns out it was this exact recipe! I did not miss the “real” butter” at all! Love these cookies!!!!!!!

  25. April says:

    These look incredible… I think I’ll try them with spelt flour! Thanks for another amazing recipe Katie, I really absolutely love your blog! :)

  26. These look amazing! I personally would much rather stuff my face with cookies than drink champagne. I think I will try these with spelt flour and almonds instead of walnuts. Yum!

  27. Mel Bowman says:

    We make these every year as well, so I’ll definitely be trying your version. Amusing tidbit: I call these Tattle Tale Cookies.


    Because I love stuffing my face with them, but they are almost impossible to sneak because the powdered sugar goes all over your shirt, for all the world to see what you’ve done.


  28. VM says:

    I made some yesterday and used almond – they turned out pretty good, with just the lightest of almond taste. Thanks for the recipe and happy new Year!

  29. kristine says:

    Gluten free flours totally work and hazelnuts (instead of walnuts) are a great twist to these delicious cookies!

  30. Erin says:

    I am with you, I just like to make changes in life as I need, not waiting for the 1st. But a few years back I started to make resolutions that were simple and doable. Like – learn to make more variations of salads, instead of just lettuce and tomato. That year I learned to make so many different salads, it was great and really expanded my “we’re having a salad with dinner” :)
    This year I plan to moisturize more. Hopefully, at the end of 2013, my skin will be silky smooth and soft!
    btw, I am obsessed with your website! Thanks for all of the great recipes and the time you take creating them!

  31. LONG LIVE HOLIDAY COOKIES! And these are some of the best ever. Really, it’s not the holidays without a Russian Tea Cookie. I think this will pair famously with my glass of champagne…

  32. Rachele says:

    These are my favorite holiday cookies!! And I’ve made them several times with earth balance sticks with no problem. I sub that or ococunt oil for most baking now. My mother always made them with pecans so I do, too. I never thought to use different nuts. But, now I’ll have to try these with walnuts. Thank you for posting this fun alternative recipe.

  33. Megan says:

    What a classic holiday cookie! :)

    As for New Years resolutions, my husband and I are taking on the challenge and lifestyle change of veganism in 2013. :)

  34. Love these kind of cookies!!! New Years resolution for me, is to eat healthier and exercise more!!! Have a wonderful New Years Katie!!

  35. Monica says:

    I love Mexican Wedding Cookies. I’m planning to make 2 batches 1 with walnuts and the other with pecans ( for my friend with a walnut allergy).

  36. MsJan says:

    My mother and grandmother made these for years, and now I make them GF. Our recipe uses more ground almonds and just a bit of flour, and I have converted to GF quite successfully. One difference is that my Mom always made them at least 2 weeks before Christmas and stored them packed in powdered sugar. They keep for a long time if you can stay out of them, and get better with age. My grandmother got the recipe back in the 1930’s from a baker friend in Reno, Nevada who called them “Little French Cakes.”

    1. linda says:

      How much ground almonds to gf flour did you use? thx

      1. Victoria says:

        what is your GF recipe?

  37. Amanda Cowan says:

    I make these for my dad, but with pecans (we call them pecan sandies). I love using xyla, but I haven’t tried this recipe with xyla, and now it’s on my list. And I LOVE the powdered sugar idea! I’ve never thought of that. I HAVE made powdered sugar using regular sugar with my coffee grinder but it never occured to me to use the xylitol! Thanks for the great tip!

  38. Those have been my favorite holiday cookie for as long as I can remember. I veganize them the same way. So good! Have a happy new year :-)

  39. Jennifer says:

    I was running out of Earth Balance, so I had to quarter the recipe. I used King Arthur unbleached 100% whole wheat flour and walnuts. I also used the “sugar free powdered sugar” made with xylo-sweet. They turned out a little dry, but I think it’s because I cooked them the full 25 minutes. Either that or it was the flour. Not sure, but they were pretty tasty despite the dryness! I think just a little tweaking and I’ll have them perfect! Thanks for another great recipe, Katie!

  40. These look so tasty. I just want to plop each one in my mouth!

  41. Ellen says:

    I am not big on hard and fast resolutions, but I’d like to work on being in the moment and not getting sidetracked so easily when I am working at home.

  42. Hi Katie! Can’t wait to make these, they look amazing! Im 13 years old and today I finally started my healthy food blog! I know you have to start small, but do you have any tips for me about blogging? I am obsessed with Chocolate Covered Katie and you have inspired me to create my blog! Thank you so much! -Isabel :)

  43. Shannon says:

    I love the short ingredient list. These look delish. Happy New Year Katie!

  44. trajayjay says:

    I guess my resolution though is to be slightly less orthorexic but also to convince the members of this household that just because i buy exotic foods (such as lentils or beans) that are good for health doesn’t mean i’m overly health concious.

    I’m kind of sick of them thinking that I’m orthorexic because I don’t eat chips, breakfast cereal, instant oatmeal, or refined grains, and I use stevia instead of sugar.

  45. These look just like the regular unhealthy ones, I’ve never had them but seen them plenty of times on Pinterest and other baking blogs. I’m going to have to put these on my to bake list. Happy New Year!

  46. Alex says:

    These look perfect for winter AND New Years!!! My resolution for 2013 would have to be to eat and make more good food :)

  47. These look delicious. I’m definitely getting powdered sugar tomorrow so I can try them.

    I posted about my only resolution here

    Happy New Year to you and your family Katie!

  48. Oh gosh…resolution…well, the worst habit of mine is my sweets craving…I admit I go through at least a dropper bottle of stevia per month…and in a weak moment I may use a Splenda even though it’s horrible for us! So, I’m trying to focus more on savory than sweet to try to break the habit. Any advice on sweet cravings, Katie? :) Happy New Year! I really enjoy your blog.

    1. I guess my only advice would be to try and “eat mindfully,” really concentrating on the deliciousness of what you’re eating, and savoring your favorite foods slowly. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. 😕

  49. Oh good! I was starting to think I was the only one who enjoyed peppermint bark and Christmas cookies after Christmas :)

  50. Bek @ Crave says:

    I have a few which I blogged about but I think in particular my goal will to lead a happier life.

  51. Lady Jennie says:

    Katie – random question. Have you ever made healthy frosting? The kind you can put in a pastry bag and swirl generously over cupcakes?

    These Mex WC look divine.

  52. Yum!! Your photos are always incredible. I found you a few years ago when I was (yes, past tense, was) vegan. I still love coming here for delicious inspiration! That’s why I have listed you as one of my “Very Inspiring Blogger” awards.
    Happy New Year!
    Here is a link to my blog…

    1. Thank you so much for including me, Christina!

  53. These cookies look so good! I want to try them with coconut oil and see how they turn out.

  54. Kitty Bea says:

    I ended up making these with butter (sorry, not Vegan, I know!), half whole wheat, and then after baking them rolled them in a mixture of mostly finely chopped pecans with a little powdered sugar. I measured a very scant amount on the 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and yet they were still sweet and dessert-y.

  55. Micah says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but I had great results using Bob’s all purpose gluten free flour. I did end up with a wetter dough so I added flour I until it rolled into a firm, unsticky ball. I also used raw, ground almonds. They turned out just like I remember, and all my omni friends couldn’t get enough!

  56. Wow! I like this version Katie. I will have to try it and agreed- it does not matter one bit that the holidays have wrapped. 😉

  57. Kelly says:

    These are a favorite in my family but with a slightly different recipe and small unhealthy but delicious addition – a Hershey’s Kiss in the middle. So good!

  58. miranda says:

    Did not work out for me. They just fell apart while in the oven.
    Don’t know why, I used the same amounts as stated in the recipe, except i used almonds instead of walnuts. ._.

  59. they look delicious and easy to make thanks

  60. Rachel Ramey says:

    I’m not vegan, so we make ours with butter, but we also use almonds (nothing against walnuts; almonds are just what we usually have in the house already). :)

  61. J&C says:

    This was a fantastic recipe and so easy to make with my daughter :) She wanted to change it up a bit so we did 1/2 as the standard recipe, 1/4 with added cocoa powder, and 1/4 with cocoa powder and orange flavouring – so delicious!
    Thanks :)
    PS Made your nutella recipe the other night too and it turned out great!

    1. Thank you so much for making them!

  62. Katharine says:

    mmm this look soo good. will try tonight. can you do a post or section of your lowest calorie recipes? I know you haven’t done nutrition facts for everything but for those that you have it would be nice to see all those recipes in one spot if possible :) thanks for all the fab recipes!!!

  63. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I’m weird but these remind me of ice-cream balls in texture and taste, when they’re eaten chilled. 😀
    I used coconut oil for the buttery spread and they came out of the oven a little sticky at touch; just let them cool. They turned out perfect! Thank you!

  64. Grace says:

    My sister just made these and they are delicious! The whole family loved them. Thank you Katie! :)

    1. Thank you so much for trying them (or thank your sister)! :)

  65. Jackie Switzer says:

    I just made these last night and Katie is right they do melt in your mouth! I used Almonds and pecans because that’s all i had in the house and they still turned out great!!

  66. Grace says:

    I used peanut butter in place of the butter spread and pecans instead of almonds and the result was a nuttery buttery mess! I had to use unreal amounts of oil to get the dough to stick together and it reaked of peanut butter and the dough was still crumbly, I got done forming half the dough into balls and put those on a pan and into the oven and tossed out the other half. Moral of the story: DONT USE PEANUT BUTTER

  67. Adriana says:

    Hey there, I was wondering if I could make these with canola oil?

    1. Sorry I’ve never tried it so I really don’t know. If you try it, definitely report back!

  68. Ashleigh says:

    would it be completly horrible to leave out the nuts? We’ve got allergies.

    1. I wouldn’t recommend it, as they make up a large portion of the dry ingredients.

    2. Katelynn W says:

      I left the nuts out and they were fine, but I added 1tsb of imitation rum extract

      1. Katelynn W says:

        Not tsb, it was 1tsp …sorry

    3. Susan R says:

      With my daughter’s nut allergies, I usually use sunflower seeds instead of nuts in recipes that need them. Maybe that would work for you?

  69. Sara says:

    I have also made these with mini chocolate chips since my family is not really into nuts. When I do use nuts, it’s generally pecans. Can’t wait to start baking!

  70. Sarah O'Boyle says:

    Has anyone tried this recipe with the butter substitute, “melt”, it’s a vegan substitute. Similar root earth balance but I haven’t yet used it in baking..

  71. Natalia says:

    I just made this and the dough is too creamy! I can’t shape balls, so I took a spoon a put small amounts on the cookie sheet. They turned out delicious but in a “traditional” cookie shape!
    Is summer here in my country perhaps that’s the reason? What should I do to get the round shape?
    Thanks. I love your blog :)

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      You may want to check out the troubleshoot section at the top of Katie’s blog for some possible solutions. Here’s the link:

  72. Miri says:

    I’ve made these twice and theyre soooo yummy. Here’s a tip: don’t over bake them! especially if using ww flour! I made this mistake the second time I made them and thy came out really dry

  73. Amy says:

    I make these GF and nut free. We use hemp hearts, we also make our own powdered sugar. In my opinion they are a tad bit healthier, therefore I eat them all…Okay, maybe that is not such good advice, but a girl can dream right.

  74. Rebecca says:

    I am seriously in heaven right now! I just made these and they are BETTER than the cookies my grandma makes!!! My family needs to get home soon, or I may actually eat all of them myself. lol

    I don’t like to make substitutions, but I didn’t have pastry flour so I used half spelt/half all-purpose and they are PERFECT! Thanks!

  75. Michelle Anderson says:

    Hi Chocolate Covered Katie,
    I just added your blog to my Bloglovin Feed! Love your recipe variations! I think I may bust out the Nutella Blondies tonight!
    The Sister Project

  76. Alice Cutler says:

    Can we use coconut oil instead of spectrum? Does tapioca flour work as a flour? Thank you

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Katie can only vouch for substitutions she has tried, but you can definitely experiment. Be sure to report back if you do!

  77. Bri says:

    does coconut flour and oil work well in this recipe?

  78. Julia says:

    Hey, I don’t have a butter type spread so I can use peanut butter instead?

  79. emily says:

    Are these any good? I want to make them but I want to know if its a good recpice.

  80. JulieBeth Lamb says:

    I don’t see a major difference between these and the ones I have always made except for the margarine which could never taste as good as butter and isn’t necessarily better for you. All nuts can be used interchangeably in recipes. I like almonds best for Mexican Wedding Cakes, also called Russian Tea Cakes in the old Betty Crocker cookbooks.

  81. Barbara says:

    Hi Katie, I have a question….the Snowball Cookies …do you think substituting the vegan butter spread with coconut oil would work? Although 1 Cup of oil seems like a lot. Whadda ya think?
    Can’t wait to get your cookbook!
    xo barbara

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      You can always experiment! Edible experiments are fun, and be sure to report back with results if you do experiment!

  82. Rosario says:

    These were amazing. I used pecans and toasted them beforehand. The powdered sugar didn’t stick as well as the one in the photos. I rolled them in the sugar while they were still warm.

  83. Diana Adams says:

    I made these with 1 cup of almond butter (toasted almonds) instead of the buttery spread. It was crumbly, so I added about 1/2 cup or so of soy milk until it stuck together like pie crust.
    Also added a tsp. of vanilla and a dab of almond extract. And I powdered up some raw sugar in my VitaMix for the powdered sugar. Wow! They came out really good!!!! Thank you Katie! You have a great website!

  84. GRACE KARAUSKY says:

    Would like to know if anyone have made these Russian Tea Cakes and added cocoa to the dough mixture? Would like to know how much more sugar would be needed if I added 1/3 cup of cocoa to the existing recipe. I will also dip them in Melted chocolate instead of powdered sugar.
    Thanking you i advance.