Snowball Cookies – A Beautiful Mess

Snowball cookies are such a fun and delicious seasonal baking project. If you’ve never had them before, here’s what you need to know: They look like snowballs, they have a nutty buttery flavor, and they are melt-in-your-mouth amazing!

Snowball cookies go great with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. But look out, as they are shockingly addictive.

Looking for more holiday cookie recipes? See our entire cookie archive.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Pecans (or other nuts)
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)


Snowball cookies have three main steps for success. First, toast the nuts for maximum flavor. Then, make and bake the cookies.

Last, roll the still-warm cookies in powdered sugar for that snowball effect and melt-in-your-mouth flavor. I like to roll them once, and after I’ve rolled them all, I will roll each one more time for maximum snow effect!

Tips for Making:

  • Nuts – I like pecans, but sometimes snowball cookies are made with walnuts or other nuts. It’s up to your preference (or if allergies are an issue). Whatever nut you use, give them a good toasting before chopping them well.
  • Roll each dough ball so it’s a 2-3 bite cookie. These don’t bake for long, so you don’t necessarily want oversized cookies.
  • Roll the snowball cookies in powdered sugar while they are still warm, and then once more. The first layer will melt some (a good thing!), but for that snowy look, you’ll want a second layer.

Serving Suggestion – Coffee!

Snowball cookies go great with a hot beverage like coffee or tea.

Here’s how to take your at-home coffee game to the next level:


Why did my snowball cookies turn out flat?

Snowball cookies should not flatten. Since they do not contain a leavening agent, the main factor to check is that the dough is chilled before baking.

Can snowball cookie dough be frozen?

Yes. You can freeze the dough in balls to bake later. Once they are baked, you can roll them in powdered sugar.

Are snowball cookies the same as Italian wedding cookies?

They are very similar cookies. Italian wedding cookies are sometimes made with different nuts (like almonds) and sometimes shaped into a crescent moon shape before baking.

get the recipe
Get the Recipe

nutty buttery cookies rolled in powdered sugar

Yield 20 cookies

Prep 1 hr 10 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 1 hr 20 mins


  • In a dry pan, toast the pecans over medium heat until very fragrant.

  • Once they are cool enough to handle, chop well.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, chopped pecans, and salt. Set aside.

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until a dough forms.

  • Cover and refrigerate for one hour, up to overnight.

  • Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet.

  • Bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes. The bottoms should just begin to brown.

  • Once cool enough to handle (but still warm), roll them in the remaining powdered sugar. Once you’ve rolled all the cookies, roll each one a second time.


You can swap the pecans for another nut, like walnuts, depending what you prefer.