Russian Tea Cakes Cookies

December 7, 2010

These Russian Tea Cakes are melt-in-your-mouth, buttery cookies made with pecans and walnuts that are just sweet enough and sure to be a holiday favorite!

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The Glee Christmas episode is on TV and I have a clean bathroom (I’ve been avoiding it forever and finally tackled it tonight).  The butter star cookies I made and some mini candy canes have been dipped in chocolate, and I gave my Russian Tea Cakes their final roll in powdered sugar. 

What’s a Russian Tea Cake?   Well, you might also know this cookie as a Mexican Wedding Cookie or Snowball Cookies.  But whatever you call them, they’re a buttery cookie, filled with chopped nuts, and rolled in powdered sugar.  They’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious and one of my favorite Christmas cookies!

I don’t think there’s been a Christmas that my mom hasn’t made these cookies!  They’re one of my absolute favorites that she makes!  When I lived at home, it was hard to stay away from the table when it was filled with freshly finished cookies!  Especially when they were still slightly warm! 

Now that I’ve started making my own holiday cookie trays, I’ve tried my hand at some of my mom’s cookie recipes, like these Russian Tea Cakes.  Do they compare to her cookies? Never! My mom’s an amazing baker! But they’re still pretty darn good!

Russian Tea Cakes Cookies

These cookies are really easy to make!  The dough comes together quickly and you can use your choice of nuts.  I like to use a mix of pecans and walnuts, but walnuts are typically used in these cookies.  

These cookies get their melt-in-your-mouth texture from two sticks of butter!  Let the butter soften, then cream together with powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.

Next, mix in the flour, chopped walnuts and pecans, and salt.  You should see the dough start to come together.  Once it holds together, you can start forming your cookies.

Roll the dough into little balls.  Then, place them on a baking sheet (I like to line my cookie sheets with parchment paper) about an inch apart.  Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or just until they’re set. 

Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.  While they’re still slightly warm to the touch (warm, not hot), roll them in powdered sugar. 

You can roll them in sugar again once they’re completely cool.  I prefer to roll them in the sugar once so they’re lightly coated like a dusting of snow! 

Russian Tea Cakes Cookies

Yield: 28 cookies

Russian Tea Cakes Cookies


  • 1 cup, or two sticks of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and vanilla together.
  3. Stir in the flour, nuts, and salt just until the dough starts to hold together.
  4. Shape the dough into small balls and place about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or just until they're set, but not brown.
  6. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and allow them to cool slightly on wire racks.
  7. When the cookies are still slightly warm to the touch, roll them in powdered sugar.
  8. Then, allow them to cool completely on wire racks before placing them in cookie tins or serving.
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I think one of the reasons I love these cookies so much is that they’re not overly sweet. They’re more nutty and buttery than sugary sweet.  They’re a perfect blend of all three flavors that’s so delicious!  You’ll definitely be adding more than one of these cookies to your holiday dessert plate! 

Did you make this Russian Tea Cakes Cookies recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!


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1 Comment

  • Reply Lemon Coconut Snowball Cookies - Living La Vida Holoka December 21, 2020 at 6:00 AM

    […] These cookies are similar to Russian Tea Cakes in that they’re both made with a butter, powdered sugar, and flour cookie dough.  But […]

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