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Russian Tea Cakes Cookie Recipe

I remember fondly the first time I had these irresistible cookies. It was on a day that forever changed my life. It was on my wedding day over 31 years ago. 

My husband’s mother said she was bringing cookies to our wedding reception. She told me serving cookies was a family tradition. Little did I know I would fall in love with her cookies too.

Russian Tea Cakes Cookie

Russian Tea Cakes Cookie

Russian Tea Cakes are also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Snowballs, Pecan Dreams, and Tea Cakes, which are easy to make, crunchy sugar-dusted nutballs that are not too sweet, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

My husband’s mother is no longer with us, but I have all her favorite recipes in her family’s cookbook. You will be seeing more of her delicious recipes soon. 

This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you purchase from one of these links, I will make a small commission.

How to Make Russian Tea Cakes Recipe

Making these buttery cookies is so quick and easy. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.

Cookie Ingredients 

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more for topping the cookies)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to  375 degrees F.

Equipment Needed 

  • Stand Mixer with a bowl
  • Sifter
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Sheet pan
  • Silpat
  • Cooling rack
  • Cutting board and knife


Sift the flour and place in a mixer bowl with sugar and butter and cream them together, then add vanilla.

Sift the flour

Sift the flour

Chop nuts and mix into the butter and sugar mixture.

Chop Pecans

Chopped  Nuts

Line the sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Prepare pan for cookies

Prepare the pan for cookies.

Using a cookie scoop, measure out dough and roll dough into a ball. 

Roll dough into a ball

Roll dough into a ball

Place dough balls on the cookie sheet about 1.5′ to 2″ apart. Place in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. The bottoms should be lighted brown. Place hot cookie sheets on a trivet.

Cookies ready for the oven

Cookies ready for the oven

Pick up hot cookies with two spoons.

Use spoons to lift hot cookies

Use spoons to lift hot cookies


 Add Sugar Topping 

Place the hot cookies in a bowl of confectioners sugar roll then in the sugar to coat. Then place hot sugared cookies on a wire cooling rack to cool.

Roll hot cookies in confectioners sugar

Roll hot cookies in confectioners sugar and return to wire cooling rack 

Allowing the cookies to sit a few moments in the sugar

Allowing the cookies to sit a few moments in the sugar

Cookies on cooling rack

Cookies on a cooling rack

I after the cookies cooled added more confectioners sugar with one of these

Buttery Tea Cake Cookies

Russian Tea Cakes Cookies

Delicious shortbread dough loaded with chopped pecans and dusted with powder sugar.
4.92 from 12 votes
Print Recipe Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Russian
Keyword: German Tea Cake, Russian Tea Cakes Cookie Recipe, Snowball Cookie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 333kcal


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Place a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  • Using a stand mixer with a large bowl cream together butter, sugar, and flour.
  • Mix in chopped nuts.
  • Using a cookie scoop to measure out cookies
  • Roll them into a ball
  • Place them on the baking sheet about 1.5" apart
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Place about a cup of confectioners sugar in a bowl with low sides
  • Place the hot pan on a trivet
  • Remove hot cookies with two spoons and drop into confectioners sugar
  • Roll the hot cookies in the sugar to coat and place them on a wire rack to cool completely


Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 567IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
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When my children were little, I used to read this book about drinking tea. It is a fun book to read while sipping hot tea and eating tea cakes. Make your tea in a samovar for a special treat. 


Tea and Cookies

Tea and Cookies

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Recipe Rating

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Sunday 19th of September 2021

Golly Bum; I had forgotten all about these. When I was young; Me and my mother used to make these every year for Christmas but we called them Snowballs and rolled them twice in the powdered sugar. Will be making these for Christmas this year. Thanks for bringing back an old family memory


Thursday 26th of August 2021

P.S. I've featured this post today at Thursday Favorite Things. Congrats! :)


Tuesday 24th of August 2021

This is one of my favorite cookies! My mom made them every Christmas and called them Butterballs. I haven't made them in quite some time, but you have reminded me how much I love them and need to make some. Pinned


Wednesday 18th of August 2021

My MIL makes these every Christmas. They are one of my favorite things she bakes. She calls them Mexican tea cakes:) She made them as a wedding favor for us too!

Susan B.

Sunday 20th of December 2020

Just finished making these cookies. They are worth making. Definitely brings back memories as these were served at my wedding (store bought). Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 to all.

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