Best Russian Tea Cakes

Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes or Italian Al­mond Balls, these are a favorite treat around the world for holidays and special occasions. Topped with confectioners’ sugar, these cakes end up looking like little snowballs which makes them great for the holidays
  • Yield: 30 cookies
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hour chilling time
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour Confectioners’ sugar
  • Ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, combine the pecans, granulated sugar, and salt. Pulse until the pecans are very finely ground. With the
machine running, add the butter and process until the butter is well combined. Add the vanilla, then add the flour and pulse until well blended.
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and chill, covered, for 1 hour or up to 1 day.
4. Using a cookie scoop, shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Dust your palms very lightly with flour and roll each into a smooth ball and place on the prepared baking sheet about 1½ inches apart.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, until the cookies just begin to brown.
6. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack until firm but still warm.
7. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon. Cool completely.
8. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, they may need to be coated with more of the confectioners’ sugar–cinnamon mixture before serving.

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