Snowball Cookies Recipe

Classic snowball cookies are a must make at Christmas! Ground nuts, powdered sugar, and butter create a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is airy, buttery and so irresistible. Just like these Almond Butter Cookies!

Four cookies on a white plate with powedered sugar sprinkled around it.

Other seasonal treats that are on the must make baking list this time of year include this eggnog bread and double chocolate peppermint cookies

Snowball cookies recipe is a traditional Christmas cookie that has been around for ages! Buttery and dense these seem to just melt when you take a bite out of one. 

Their sweet exterior and nutty interior is heavenly and a favorite to make this time of year. They look festive and taste even better! 

You might hear them called Mexican wedding cookies, snowdrops, or Russian tea cakes. They are similar to Italian wedding cookies, but those are often made with almonds and usually shaped into a crescent shape.

We love filling our Christmas cookie platter with these and other favorites like gingerbread cookies, thumbprint cookies, and powdered sugar cookies! Tis’ the season! 

What are Snowball Cookies?

Round snowball cookies are a bite-sized shortbread cookie that contain chopped nuts. They are rolled in powdered sugar to give them a snowy look! 

The cookie dough differs from standard cookies in that they don’t contain egg and use powdered sugar instead of granulated white sugar. 

They are light, crumbly, and seem to just disappear when you pop one into your mouth, probably why they are called meltaways, too!

Why You Will Love These Snowball Cookies

  • Melt-in-your-mouth: The buttery dense texture of these easy cookies is the best!
  • Easy to make: Made in one bowl with only a handful of ingredients and no chilling required.
  • Classic: The heavenly taste of these snowball cookies spans generations of being made to enjoy during festive occasions. 
Cookies on a white cake stand.

Ingredients and Notes

With only minimal ingredients each one is just as important as the next!

  • Butter: Softened and creamed butter gives these a shortbread-style texture.
  • Powdered sugar: This is essential for correct texture, do not use granulated sugar. Powdered sugar goes in both the cookie and is used for rolling.
  • Pure vanilla extract: Adds the best flavor.
  • All purpose flour: Gives the cookies structure. I have not tested any other flour with this recipe.
  • Finely chopped nuts: Pecans are a classic, but hazelnuts or walnuts work, too. You will want them finely chopped. 
  • Salt: To enhance the flavor. 

How to Make This Snowball Cookies Recipe

Snowball cookies are so simple to make in a few easy steps! The dough might seem crumbly and thick, but trust the process as these cookies turn out amazing. 

Cream butter and powdered sugar: With an electric mixer cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Then add in dry ingredients plus nuts. 

ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Roll into balls: Roll dough into bite sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. 

dough in a bowl on the left and dough rolled into balls on a cokie sheet with parchment paper on the right.

Bake: Bake at 350 degrees F until the bottoms are a light golden brown but tops are still pale, about 12-15 minutes.

Baked cookies on a cookie sheet.

Dust in powdered sugar: Remove cookies from the oven, cool for 1 minute then roll warm cookies in powdered sugar to coat them. Once cooled, roll the cookies again in the powdered sugar. Enjoy!

cookies rolled in powdered sugar on a cookie sheet.

Tips for Best Results

  • Trouble rolling into a ball: If you find they are falling apart when you try to roll them, your dough may need to be more moist. Add just a few more teaspoons of butter.
  • Roll in sugar right away: You want the powdered sugar to stick and then melt into your snowballs, so don’t let them cool too long before rolling them in a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Powdered sugar twice: Don’t skip rolling them again in powdered sugar again after they cool for that extra snowy look. 
  • Room temperature butter: Softened butter is best. Too soft and you risk your cookies spreading too much, too cold and the butter won’t incorporate into the dough fully. Your finger should be able to make a small indent in the butter.

How to Store Snowball Cookies

The Cookies should remain fresh for up to 1 week. They can just be stored in a paper bag at room temperature, but they will last for up to two weeks tightly covered in the refrigerator.

How to freeze Snowball Cookies

The completely cooled baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Because these cookies are delicate, store in a container so they don’t crumble.

Cookies in a red container with the lid on the side and two christmas trees in the back.


Can snowball cookie dough be frozen?

Yes. Freeze unbaked dough rolled into balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. Once frozen, place in a freezer safe container or bag. When  you are ready to bake, remove from the freezer and follow baking instructions.

Can I add anything to these cookies?

Yes! For some fun add-in’s try mini-chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or even crushed peppermint candy canes. You could even add some sprinkles to the dough for a festive surprise inside the cookie! 

Should I chill my snowball cookie dough? 

No. It is not needed for these drop cookies, but if you want to and have the time you can chill the dough for 30 minutes. If you are making these ahead, you can chill the dough for up to 3 days. Bring it to room temperature before rolling into balls.

Why did my cookies go flat? 

If your butter was melted vs. softened or you did not use enough flour, it can cause your cookies to spread too much. For this recipe you need 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour for best results. 

cookies on a white plate with powdered sugar sprinkled around.

More Christmas Cookies

cookies on a white plate with one broken cookie on top.

Snowball Cookies Recipe

Erika Marucci
Classic snowball cookies are a must make at Christmas! Ground nuts, powdered sugar, and butter create a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is airy, buttery and so irresistible. 
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 111 kcal


  • ½ cup Butter – softened
  • ¼ cup Powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup +2 teblespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup Finely chopped nuts – pecans, halzelnuts, walnuts
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • ¼ cup Powdered sugar – extra for rolling


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl beat with an electric mixer the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually mix in flour, pecans and salt until completely incorporated.
  • Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place them two inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake until the bottoms are a light golden brown but tops are still pale, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet for about 1 minute before placing them on a wire rack.
  • Place ¼ cup of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the hot cookies in sugar to coat them, then return to the wire rack to cool. Once cooled, roll the cookies again in the powdered sugar. Enjoy!


Snowball Cookies can be stored at room temperature in a paper bag and will last for about a week. They will last up to two weeks if stored in the refrigerator. 
The cooled cookies can also be frozen and will last for up to three months in the freezer. Store them in an airtight container  so they don’t crumble. 


Calories: 111kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 48mgPotassium: 26mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 178IUVitamin C: 0.05mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword Christmas cookies, cookies, snowball cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. 5 stars
    Butter ball cookies were scrumptious, just like my mom would make!! Merry Blessed Christmas!🎄🎅🏻 Thanks for sharing your treasured recipes.

    1. Hi Jeannine! Thank you so much! We’re so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! 😀

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