November 28, 2021

Mexican wedding cake cookies

Plate of finished Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies.

Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies are a classic Christmas and holiday time cookie. They are simple to make, full of walnuts, and coated in powdered sugar to look like little snowballs.

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These classic Christmas and holiday time cookies are known by several names such as Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, or even snowball cookies. I also use the same base to sometimes make these Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

This is my great-grandmother's recipe that she handed down to my mom and in our family they have always been referred to as Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies.

My family has always made these cookies with walnuts, but pecans would work well, too. The only change I make from the original recipe is giving the walnuts a light toast before adding them to the dough to make them extra flavorful. 

One of my favorite things about these cookies is that they are simple. Simple in ingredients and also simple to bake. 

You only need a few standard holiday baking ingredients - butter, flour, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and walnuts. And even though they are easy, they are also quite delicious. This is a big bonus at the holidays when things can get quite busy.

Santa plate with Mexican wedding cake cookies and walnuts.

These cookies definitely remind me of family and of being a kid at Christmas. My mom frequently made them as well when I was a kid and I always helped her with the holiday baking. 

I just love when food evokes memories and holds a special place in your memory. They are definitely a family favorite for as long as I can remember.

These photos also hold a couple nostalgia pieces - the cookie tray we used for Santa's cookies when I was a kid (and my kids use it now) and a Christmas tablecloth that belonged to my Grandmother.

Tip: You want to let these cookies cool for about ten minutes, and then coat them in the powdered sugar, so it sticks, but doesn't melt. Then allow the cookies to cool fully before storing.

Store these cookies in an airtight container for several days. They are terrific for adding to your holiday desserts and cookie platter or bringing to a holiday party or potluck.

Close-up of Mexican wedding cake cookies.
Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen cookies
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies are a classic Christmas and holiday time cookie. They are simple to make, full of walnuts, and coated in powdered sugar to look like little snowballs.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus another 3/4 cup for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts


  1. In a small heavy-bottom skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-low heat, stirring often, until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined and then fold in the walnuts with a wooden spoon.
  5. Shape the cookies into about 1 tablespoon sized balls, rolling in the palm of your hands. Place about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets and bake for about 9-11 minutes, until the bottoms turn golden. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
  6. When the cookies have cooled for about 10 minutes, gently roll them in a bowl with the remaining powdered sugar, shaking off excess. Return to the wire rack to fully cool. Store in an airtight container. Like most cookies, they will taste better after a day or two.
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I hope you give these Mexican Wedding Cake cookies a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Platter with finished Mexican wedding cake cookies.

This recipe was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in 2021 with updated text, a recipe card, and more to improve reader experience.

Check out these other Christmas and holiday cookie recipes:

Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies


Eggnog Snickerdoodles 

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Chocolate-dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 


  1. Hooray cookie season! These are my favourite.

  2. Love it went I see these cookies on a holiday cookie tray. Great recipe!

  3. These are always a cookie I look forward to!

  4. these have so many names, and they never fail to please me! love your cookie tray, by the way. :)

  5. These sound pretty amazing! I love anything nostalgic and brings back memories.

  6. These are always one of my favorite holiday cookies!

  7. Family recipes are the best and I love that you have childhood memories of making cookies with your mom. These cookies are perfect for Christmas!

  8. I treasure recipes that are passed down from family. Great Grandma knew her cookies!

  9. These are a family favorite. We make them every year.


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