Walnut snowball cookies are one of the easiest holiday cookies you can make!  With just a few ingredients, these cookies come together so easily and taste amazing. No holiday cookie platter is complete without these snowballs!

Plate of walnut snowball cookies on top of red towel.

We make these walnut snowball cookies every year and they are always loved!

The chopped walnuts make for a wonderful texture and flavor and the fact that they look like snowballs make them perfect for the holidays.

Snowball cookies are a great addition to your holiday cookie spread along with pignoli, reginelle, pizelle, snickerdoodles, and many more!

Ingredients shown: powdered and granulated sugar, flour, butter, vanilla extract, and chopped walnuts.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat your oven to 300f and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Chop 3 cups (300g) of walnuts and in a mixing bowl, combine them with 2 cups (240g) of all purpose flour, 6 tablespoons (75g) of granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. (Photo #1)
Walnut snowball cookies recipe process shot collage group number one showing chopped nuts in a bowl and the bowl with added butter and flour.
  1. Add 8 ounces (226g) of cubed butter that’s been softened to room temperature and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. (Photo #2)
  2. Use your hands to combine the ingredients until a coarse meal is formed. (Photo #3)
Recipe process shot collage group number two showing hands mixing dough and hands rolling dough balls.
  1. Use your hands to form tablespoon-sized balls and place them on the baking sheets about 1-inch apart. (Photo #4)
  2. Bake the walnut dough balls for 35 minutes and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. (Photo #5)
Recipe process shot collage group number three showing baked balls and walnut balls dipped in sugar.
  1. Add 2 cups (227g) of confectioner’s sugar to a bowl.  Once the balls have completely cooled, begin to roll them in the sugar until coated on all sides.  Dust with more powdered sugar prior to serving, if desired.  (Photo #6) Enjoy!
Overhead shot of baking tray filled with walnut snowball cookies.

Top tips

  • Room temperature butter.  This snowball cookie recipe calls for room-temperature butter.  I’ll usually remove the butter from the fridge about an hour before starting.  This is important since the butter needs to be pliable enough to form the dough balls.
  • Nuts. This recipe uses walnuts, but you can definitely use other nuts such as pecans, or even a blend of walnuts and pecans.
  • Cooling down.  Allow the cookies to cool completely before rolling in the sugar otherwise the sugar may melt.  If you find your sugar has melted at all, you can always re-roll the balls again or dust with more powdered sugar prior to serving.
Bite taken out of a walnut snowball cookie left of grey plate.

More great holiday cookies

The holidays are a great time for cookies because they can be made ahead of time and can be transported easily.  Here are a few more of our favorites!

  • Linzer cookies – almond-flavored tart cookies filled with raspberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Almond biscotti – biscotti cookies loaded with almonds and dipped in dark chocolate.
  • Lemon ricotta cookies – light and airy lemon-flavored cookies topped with a simple glaze and nonpareils.

If you’ve enjoyed this Walnut Snowball Cookies Recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Walnut Snowball Cookies

4.95 from 18 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
Walnut snowball cookies are easy-to-make cookies with chopped walnuts, butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla, that are rolled in powdered sugar. The perfect wintry addition to any holiday cookie spread!


  • 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
  • 3 cups (300g) walnuts finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons (75g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (226g) unsalted butter cubed and softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (227g) confectioner's sugar May not need it all


  • Preheat the oven to 300f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine the flour, walnuts, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the softened butter and vanilla extract to the flour mixture and combine with your hands to form a coarse meal.
  • Using your hands, form small dough balls (about a tablespoon's worth) and place them on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake the dough balls for 35 minutes and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, roll the balls in the powdered sugar. Dust with more powdered sugar before serving, if desired.


  • Pecans can be used in place of walnuts.
  • Walnut snowball cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • This recipe was written for a conventional oven.  For convection ovens, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and begin checking for doneness at the 75% mark.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.2g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 8.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 6.5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Joanne says:

    5 stars
    I wanted to know how long the cookies will last fresh in an air tight tin. I am traveling and wanted to make these before leaving to bring to them. I prefer not to freeze cookies or dough. I have not made these yet and hoping for a response. Enjoy your cooking and all your recipes.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Joanne, so happy you’re enjoying the recipes! For future reference, this information is usually in the notes section of the recipe card. For this one, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  2. Linda Owens says:

    5 stars
    Both my parents are European; my dad was born and raised in Austria and my mom in Germany. These cookies are a very traditional Austrian cookie called Vanille Kipferl or vanilla walnut crescents that my Oma always made during the holidays. Yes, we make them in crescent form but I’ve also made balls because they’re definitely a little less time consuming. I hope everyone out there gives these cookies a try because they’re absolutely amazing!!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Linda, thanks for the comment and the review of the cookies!

  3. Jackie says:

    5 stars
    Your bakes are always awesome. ALL your makes are👏 So make yourselves a Merry little Christmas and thank you for all your inspiration❤️

    1. Jim says:

      Thanks, Jackie! So happy you enjoyed these!

  4. Brian Conyngham says:

    5 stars
    These cookies are always delicious. I’ve made them using walnuts and also with pecans. I’ll be making them tonight for our Christmas eve celebration, along with your awesome roasted red peppers with breadcrumb. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe, Jim! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Brian, thanks for the comment and hope you enjoy the cookies and the peppers! Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. Rosemary Parsons says:

    My Aunt passed along a similar recipe for Russian Teas to me more than 30 years ago. I’m excited to try your recipe now. Thank you for sharing; I have enjoyed every one of your recipes I’ve tried. You’re very talented and the recipes are wonderful. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to you and your family.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Rosemary, thanks for the comment and so happy you’re enjoying the recipes! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well!

      1. L says:

        Oh wow, first time making these babies, came out great!
        Thank you for another cookie recipe I could add to the Christmas platter!
        This will definitely be in my book of recipes!
        Came out perfect!
        Just waiting for them to cool a bit, I will double dip them in the icing sugar!

        1. Jim says:

          Hi there, I’m so happy you liked the recipe and thanks for the comment!

  6. Jeannie says:

    5 stars
    Love all your recipes

    1. Jim says:

      Thanks, Jeannie!

  7. Cheryl says:

    5 stars
    Hi Jim can I make the dough and freeze for a week?

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Cheryl, I have not attempted to make the dough and freeze so I cannot say for sure, but I’m pretty sure it would be ok to do so.

  8. Janis says:

    5 stars
    My family has been making this recipe for at least 70 years. Your recipe is almost exactly the same. The only difference is that we roll the cookie balls in the sugar while they are still hot and again when they have cooled. They have always been my favorite of all the Christmas cookies.

    1. Janis says:

      5 stars
      Oh by the way, we also call them Russian Tea Cakes. 😊

    2. Jim says:

      Hi Janis, I like the idea of double rolling the cookies in sugar as your family did. Thanks for the comment!

  9. Lori says:

    Is 300 degrees correct? Always see cookie recipes at 350.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Lori, yes, it’s 300 degrees for these particular cookies that are cooked slowly at a lower temperature.

      1. Grace Downer says:

        Salted or unsalted butter?

        1. Jim says:

          Hi Grace, it’s unsalted butter.

  10. Desiree says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe

    1. Jim says:

      Thank you, Desiree!