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Mexican Wedding Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies, are delightfully nutty little balls of powdered sugar covered goodness! These classic holiday cookies come out every year at Christmas and everybody loves them!

If you love holiday baking, be sure not to miss my collection of 35+ of The Best Christmas Cookies and Easy Homemade Christmas Candy Recipes!

a pile of mexican wedding cookies and pecans with one cookie bitten to reveal insides

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. As always, all opinions are mine alone.

These buttery pecan cookies getting rolled in a generous coating of powdered sugar TWICE after baking, just to be sure they are coated in plenty of powdered sugar. The first roll sort of melts into the cookie, but that second roll builds up a good layer of powdered sugar that makes these extra delicious.

I have no idea why these Mexican wedding cookies have so many names, if they are even from Russia or Mexico originally, if they really were/are served at weddings or at tea time (is there a Russian tea culture?) or what the story is behind them.

But what I DO know is that these are yummy and perfectly perfect at Christmas time. There is so much goodness going on in these cookies from the butteriness of the slightly crumby cookie to the sweetness of the powdered sugar to the ubiquitous chopped nuts.

An image of Mexican Wedding Cookie dough rolled into balls and spaced on a baking sheet.

But really the BEST thing about these Mexican wedding cookies (or Russian tea cakes or snowballs or whatever you want to call them) is their melt-in-your-mouth quality.

That quality is unique to Mexican wedding cookies because the butter-to-sugar ratio is 2:1.

In most cookie recipes, there is more sugar than butter, so switching that up creates a really unique, rich cookie experience unlike others.

They don’t flatten and spread though because of the amount of flour in the dough that helps the cookies hold their signature round snowball shape.

An image of Russian Tea Cakes rolled in powdered sugar on a baking sheet.

I like to use pecans in Mexican wedding cookies, but you can use almost any nut you like: walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and almonds all would work well and can be used interchangeably in the recipe. 

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies

  1. Beat the butter and vanilla in a mixer until light.
  2. Whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt, then add to the butter and mix until combined.
  3. Stir in the chopped pecans then roll into small 1-inch balls and bake at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
  4. As soon as the cookies are cool enough to handle, roll in powdered sugar, then cool completely before rolling a second time.
  5. Store in an airtight container.
A collage showing step-by-step how to make Mexican wedding cookies.
An image of a plate of Russian tea cakes, also known as Mexican wedding cookies, with pecans.

More Classic Christmas Cookies for Your Holiday Baking

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a plate filled with mexican wedding cookies and scattered whole pecans

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies, also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies, are delightfully nutty little balls of powdered sugar covered goodness!  These classic holiday cookies come out every year at Christmas and everybody loves them!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 42 cookies
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans chopped fine
  • Additional powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  • In a medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar and salt, then stir into the butter, mixing just until combined.  Mix in the chopped pecans. 
  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms.  Remove from oven and wait just until they are cool enough to handle but still warm, then roll in powdered sugar and transfer to a separate plate of baking sheet.  Wait until cool, the roll in powdered sugar again to generously coat. 
  • Store in an airtight container.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 136IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
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#ChristmasCookiesWeek Thursday Recipes