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Snowball Cookies

These scrumptious Snowball Cookies are a must-make for the holidays. Rolled in a copious amount of powdered sugar, they’re like a buttery bite of sugar cookie heaven. Package them in pretty cellophane bags or colorful tins and share them with family and friends.


Easy Southern Snowball Cookies Recipe

These snowball cookies have a myriad of names. I’ve heard them called meltaways, pecan balls, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies among many other names. The truth is, no matter what they’re called it all spells delicious to me. They’re shortbread-like in flavor and texture and coated with copious amounts of powdered sugar.


How to Make the Best Snowball Cookies Recipe

What are Snowball Cookies? Snowball cookies are much like a shortbread in that they use no leavening or eggs and include plenty of butter. They’re rolled in copious amounts of powdered sugar hence the name “snowball”.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Snowball Cookies: Chopped pecans, all purpose flour, salt, butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and powdered sugar.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need:You’ll need a hand mixer or a stand mixer, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a cookie dough scoop or meatball scoop, food processor or a sharp knife and cutting board to prep the pecans and a cookie sheet for baking.
  • Can I buy pecans from the grocery store that are already chopped? When you buy chopped pecans the pieces can sometimes be inconsistent in size and larger than what works in these cookies.You need really small pieces of pecans, so more chopping in the food processor or a quick chop with a sharp knife will get the job done.
  • Why didn’t my snowball cookies flatten? These cookies don’t flatten and spread like a classic cookie. They result in a dome shaped cookie. Make an effort to be precise when measuring out the ingredients. Always spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level, never scoop the flour or it can become compacted and the cookies will be dry.
  • Why the second coat of powdered sugar? The first dusting of powdered sugar naturally melts a bit into the warm cookies. Double dipping will give you that nice white finish that makes these cookies so appealing.
  • These cookies are typically made with chopped pecans. You could also make them using slivered almonds, macadamia nuts or finely chopped walnuts.
  • Storage Instructions: Once cooled completely these snowball cookies can be stored in an airtight container lined with wax paper or a paper towel at room temperature or chilled for up to 1 week. If you’re planning on enjoying them later in the week perhaps, save the second coat of powdered sugar until right before you serve them.

More Southern Style Cookie Recipes to Make

There’s no wrong time of year to bake cookies and it should never be limited to only a seasonal activity. Fill your cookie jar year-round and watch the smiles on the faces of the special people in your life. They make great gifts, too!


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Helpful Kitchen Items:

Snowball Cookies

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling time30 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: snowball-cookie-recipe, snowball-cookies
Servings: 24 servings (may vary)
Calories: 177kcal


  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar divided, plus additional as needed
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, use a whisk to sift together flour and salt.
  • Use an electric mixer to cream together butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat until fully combined.
  • Lower speed of mixer and gradually add sifted dry ingredients. Beat until evenly mixed and dough-like. Add pecans, mixing through by hand.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or just until the bottoms are lightly golden.
  • Spread remaining powdered sugar on a plate or shallow dish. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar. Once all are coated, repeat. Use additional powdered sugar as needed to fully coat. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. I’m looking for a recipe I made in home Ec back in the 1960s. It had Orange juice concentrate & I think a base of crushed vanilla wafers. I don’t remember the rest. Do you have such a recipe?

    1. A recipe called orange juice balls. A no bake cookie. Made with orange juice concentrate and crushed vanilla waffers!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Do you know how I can convert this recipe into Lemon Snowballs? I was thinking of omitting the pecans of course and maybe switching two teaspoons of vanilla extract to lemon extract? I was just hoping to get your opinion on what you would suggest? I’m not the most experienced baker. Thank you.

  3. I make these same cookies from a recipe I’ve had for years. To make them taste even better, and make them moister, I add a Hershey’s Kiss to each cookie. I roll a bit of the cookie dough around each Kiss. Good without the Kiss, but DELICIOUS with the Kiss.

    1. I’ve had that variation and interestingly didn’t find them to be more moist. These cookies are shortbread-like and the buttery texture is hard to resist.

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