Traditionally known as Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies are a delicacy that is often enjoyed during the winter season, especially around Christmas and New Year’s. These crumbly bite-sized cookies are coated with powdered sugar, which gives these Christmas cookies an unmistakable holiday spirit.

Make these cookies for a holiday party, or simply just because! Either way, you will want to indulge just as much as you would homemade butter cookies

Snowball cookies coated in powdered sugar in a bowl.

Snowball cookies will easily become a holiday classic in your home! These cookies have a soft buttery, nutty flavor, and they melt in your mouth with every bite. Easy to make and impossible to resist, these snowball cookies will be the highlight of your festive gatherings.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy Preparation. This recipe needs little to no prep time making it perfect for all baking skill levels.
  • Quick Assembly. The recipe comes together swiftly, minimizing your time in the kitchen.
  • Buttery and Nutty. The ingredients combine to form a rich, nutty dough with a delightful taste and texture.
  • Charming Appearance. The powdered sugar coating resembles snow, adding a festive touch to your holiday table.
A snowball cookie bitten into stacked on top of other snowball cookies.

Ingredients for Snowball cookies

The ingredients to make your new favorite holiday cookies are so simple:

  • Butter – the key ingredient to giving these cookies that melt-in-your-mouth consistency.
  • Cream cheese – adds a great texture and smoothness to the cookies.
  • Walnuts – give the cookies a crunch as well as great flavor
  • Powdered sugar – the essential coating for the perfectly baked cookies

For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

Add your flair with an array of mix-ins for this snowball cookie recipe!

  • Powdered sugar: Instead of using powdered sugar, you can use coconut shavings for a tasty twist!
  • Flavor: Swap vanilla extract for almond extract for an even nuttier flavor. 
  • Nuts: Instead of using walnuts, you can use chopped pecans, pistachios, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, or any of your other favorite nuts!
  • Dairy-free: For a dairy-free alternative, replace the cream cheese and butter with your favorite dairy-free substitutes!

How to Make Snowball Cookies

Step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect cookies:

A glass bowl with the beaten wet ingredients.

1 – Cream: In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. 

A glass bowl with the combined flour and nuts.

2 – Dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine chopped walnuts with flour, and add that mixture to the bowl.

A glass bowl showing the two combined mixtures.

3 – Mix: Combine the two mixtures until they are well incorporated.

A baking sheet with the shaped balls.

4 – Shaping: Then, shape the dough into 24 equal-sized balls, and lay them out on parchment paper. 

A baking shaped with the golden cookies right out of the oven.

5 – Bake: In the oven at 375°F bake for about 10-12 minutes, until tops start to become golden

A glass bowl with the cookies being rolled in powdered sugar.

6 – Coating: Finally, once the cookies have cooled on a wire rack, roll in confectioners sugar.

Expert Tips

  • Ingredients: For the best results, use high-quality butter and nuts. 
  • Temperature matters: It is important that the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature before incorporation. 
  • Cookie shape: Make sure to shape even-sized cookies to ensure that they bake evenly. 
  • Powdered sugar: Be generous with the powdered sugar coating.
  • Prep: These cookies are great to make up to a week in advance because they store well in the fridge. 
  • Butter: You want to use unsalted butter for this recipe.
Soft and chewy snow ball cookies on a bowl with powdered sugar.

Serving Suggestions

Snowball cookies are an amazing cookie that can be served with just about anything! 

Recipe FAQs

How do I know the cookies are done baking?

While the cookies are baked, keep a close eye on them. The tops should be lightly golden and the bottoms will be slightly darker in color. 

Why are my snowball cookies dry?

Snowball cookies may come out dry if they are overcooked or the oven is too hot. 

What is making my snowball cookies fall apart?

These cookies are incredibly delicate and are quite crumbly, but they should hold their shape without falling apart. This would be a result of overmixing the batter. 

Store & Reheat

  • Storage. Store these snowball cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week, so they are great to make ahead of time!
  • Reheat. Serve cookies immediately after refrigeration. 
  • Freeze. For the best results, freeze the cookie dough, before baking. Arrange shaped cookies on parchment paper and let them freeze completely, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container and store them for up to 3 months. Bake: You can thaw the cookies or arrange frozen cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. 

More Cookie Recipes

If you loved this snowball cookie recipe, be sure to check out our other homemade cookie recipes, here are some reader favorites:

If you tried this Snowball Cookie Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below – we really appreciate it!

Snowball Cookies Recipe

Author: Valentina
5 from 6 votes
These snowball cookies are sure to become a Christmas and New Year’s classic. Delicately light butter cookies coated in powdered sugar, a classic cookie recipe everyone needs to have.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies


  • 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, measured then sifted
  • 1 ½ cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a bowl cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  • Combine flour and chopped walnuts. Add to the cream mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  • Shape the dough into 24 equal-sized balls, and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies turn golden.
  • Roll slightly cooled cookies in powdered sugar until completely coated.
  • Serve, and enjoy friends!


  • Make sure you are using room temperature butter and cream cheese for solid incorporation of the ingredients.
  • Be sure to make all your cookies equal in shape so that they all bake evenly.
  • Cookies may be stored for up to a week in the fridge, so they are great to make in advance.


174kcal Calories15g Carbs3g Protein12g Fat5g Saturated Fat4g Polyunsaturated Fat3g Monounsaturated Fat0.2g Trans Fat20mg Cholesterol40mg Sodium52mg Potassium1g Fiber6g Sugar240IU Vitamin A0.1mg Vitamin C15mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Snowball Cookies Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 40mg2%
Potassium 52mg1%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 240IU5%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)