Tender and buttery Russian Tea Cakes are loaded with walnuts and rolled in powdered sugar. Easy and delicious holiday treat.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes stacked on white plate

Easy Russian Tea Cakes Recipe:

Russian Tea Cakes are a staple holiday treat. They are so addicting and loaded with flavor. These adorable snowball cookies recipe are easy to make with simple ingredients.

These bite size cookies are buttery, tender with a crunchy texture. Easily rolled in powdered sugar to make these treat a crowd pleaser. Baking during the holiday is one of my favorite things to do and these cookies are always on the list.

These melt in your mouth cookies are perfect to share for a cookie exchange or for your holiday dinner. If you are looking for a simple recipe that is quick to make, Russian Tea Cakes are the ones to make.

What is the Difference between Mexican Wedding Cakes and Russian Tea Cakes?

There really is no difference in the two cookies. Some may even call them snowball cookies. It is all about what you grew up calling them. These holiday cookies are treat to serve on your holiday trays.

Whether you call them, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, or Snowball Cookies these tender pecan cookies that are rolled in powdered sugar are addicting.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes stacked on a white plate

What are Russian Tea Cakes?

Mexican Wedding Cakes, Snowball Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes are all used interchangeably.

They are bite size shortbread style cookies that are buttery and rich. Each one has lots of confectioners sugar on top to complete the recipe.

Once rolled in powdered sugar, it really takes the cookie up a level. The sugar definitely makes it messy but oh so tasty.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes

Ingredients: 

  • All Purpose Flour 
  • Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature 
  • Chopped Nuts – Either walnuts or pecans work great 
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Salt 
  • Powdered Sugar, divided 

How to Make Russian Tea Cakes: 

  • Prepare Oven – Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • Mix Butter and Powdered Sugar – In a large bowl, beat the butter and ½ cup of the powdered sugar until smooth with a hand held mixer or a stand up mixer.  Then add in the vanilla extract.  Mix until combined. 
  • Slowly add in Flour – Turn the speed down to a low setting and slowly add in the flour and the salt until just combined (be careful not to overmix).  For extra sweetness, you can add in ⅓ cup of granulated sugar.
  • Add in Nuts – Then stir in the chopped nuts by hand.  
The process of making the dough
  • Roll into Balls – Then roll the cookie dough into balls approximately 1 tablespoon in size.  
  • Bake – Place the balls on the baking sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes until the cookies are lightly brown on the edges.  
The process of rolling the dough into balls then rolled into powdered sugar
  • Roll into Powdered Sugar – Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool enough for you to be able to handle them.  Place the remaining powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the cookies in the powdered sugar until well coated.  
  • Cool Completely – Then place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.  
  • Add more powdered sugar and enjoy – After the cookies have cooled, roll them 1 more time in the powdered sugar.  Then they are ready to enjoy!  

How to Tell when Tea Cakes are Done?

Since these cookies do not spread while cookie, it can be difficult to determine when they are done. These cookies cook quickly, so I recommend to cook until they are golden brown.

Once the cookies are done, they will be firm to the touch. From preparing the ingredients and baking these cookies are ready in about 20 minutes.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes

How to Store:

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  These cookies freeze great. If you are preparing your holiday baking, you can make these ahead of time to save time.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes

How to Freeze Russian Tea Cakes:

To plan ahead in your holiday baking, we like to prepare cookies to freeze. This is the perfect cookie to add to your list.

If stored properly in a freezer air tight container these cookies will last about 2 to 3 months. I also recommend freezing the cookies without powdered sugar. Freeze the plain cookies, thaw and coat in powdered sugar before serving.

This will result in the best appearance and taste as the sugar would dissolve as it thaws if already coated.

It is also a good idea to place a layer of wax paper between the cookies to prevent them from sticking.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes stacked on a white plate

Can I Omit the Nuts?

Yes, you can omit the nuts from this recipe. A variation for this recipe is to replace the nuts with chocolate chips. It will change the taste and texture but it is a great alternative to this easy dessert recipe.

Close up image of Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes Tips:

  • Chopped Nuts – The nuts should be finely chopped in this recipe. You do not want large chunks of pecans or walnuts. We use a food processor to do this quickly and easily.
  • Powdered Sugar – Make sure to dip the cookies in the first powdered sugar coating while still slightly warm. This helps the sugar to stick and form the initial coating base.
  • Flour – For best results, don’t scoop the flour with your measuring spoon. Instead, use a spoon to add the flour to the measuring cup. Then level the flour with a knife.
  • Cookie Scoop – I like to use a cookie scoop to get precise measurements. This ensures each cookie is the same size and they can all bake evenly. It also makes it very quick to make the balls.

Print Recipe here for Russian Tea Cakes:

Russian Tea Cakes

5 from 2 votes
Tender and buttery Russian Tea Cakes are loaded with walnuts and rolled in powdered sugar. Easy and delicious holiday treat.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 159
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Chopped Nuts – Either walnuts or pecans work great
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar divided

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and ½ cup of the powdered sugar until smooth with a hand held mixer or a stand up mixer. Then add in the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • Turn the speed down to a low setting and slowly add in the flour and the salt until just combined (be careful not to overman).
  • Then stir in the chopped nuts by hand.
  • Then roll the cookie dough into balls approximately 1 tablespoon in size.
  • Place the balls on the baking sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes until the cookies are slightly brown on the edges.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool enough for you to be able to handle them. Place the remaining powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the cookies in the powdered sugar until well coated.
  • Then place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • After the cookies have cooled, roll them 1 more time in the powdered sugar. Then they are ready to enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  You can also freeze them for up to 2-3 months. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 159kcal, Carbohydrates 16g, Protein 2g, Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2g, Monounsaturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 26mg, Potassium 30mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 7g, Vitamin A 237IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 8mg, Iron 1mg

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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