Russian Teacake Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rich with butter and nuts, these little shortbread-like “cakes” seem to melt in your mouth. Roll these cookies twice in confectioners sugar; the first rolling allows the sugar to melt into the cookie, the second rolling gives the finished snowy-white topping, making a festive favorite holiday cookie. This cookie is known by many names including Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut Cookies, Butterballs, and Snowballs.
Recipe type: Dessert | Shaped Cookies
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • About 1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract, continue beating until mixture is thoroughly combined and mixture is creamy, about another 1 to 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrap down the side of the bowl as needed. Add flour mixture and chopped nuts; beat starting on low speed, and then increase to medium speed as the mixture is combined. Tip: after adding the flour mixture the dough may seem dry and crumbly, keep beating until the dough comes together, this may take 1 to 3 minutes.
  3. Shape dough into balls, about 1” in diameter. Tip: An ice cream scoop is ideal for making uniform-sized cookies.
  4. Bake: Place balls about 1 inch apart onto baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set but not brown.
  5. Remove baking sheets from oven.
  1. While cookies are still hot from the oven, roll each ball in powered sugar until completely coated.
  2. Place cookies on wire cooling racks to let cool. When completely cooled, either roll the cookies in confectioners sugar again until completely coated, or use a fine mesh sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the confectioners sugar. This second rolling finishes the cookies with a snowy-white topping.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Ungreased or Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 400° Yield: 3½ Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips

TheBakingPan Recommends: The BEST instant read thermometer I’ve used for cooking and baking; the ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is incredibly fast, ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapenaccurate, and well worth the investment. I use my Thermapen Thermometer for checking room temperature ingredients, tempering chocolate, baking bread, making pastry creams, sugar syrup, caramel, and candy, cooking meats and fish, and deep frying. Thermapen Thermometer available here.
Recipe by at