Russian Tea Cakes


These Russian tea cakes are rolled in powdered sugar for a sweet finish and a snowball-like appearance. My grandmother "Bubba" brought this Russian tea cake recipe with her when she came from Lithuania, and now my family has made it for many generations. I pass it on in the true spirit of the holiday season!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
3 dozen cookies

Russian tea cakes (a.k.a. snowball cookies) are incredibly easy to make with pantry staples. The melt-in-your-mouth dessert is a simple way to satisfy your sweet tooth during the holiday season.

Russian Tea Cake Ingredients

Believe it or not, you'll need just five ingredients to make this bakery-worthy Russian tea cake recipe:

· Butter: These easy Russian tea cakes start with a stick of unsalted butter.
· Vanilla: A teaspoon of vanilla extract enhances the flavor and adds complexity.
· Flour: All-purpose flour adds structure and holds the dough together.
· Sugar: You'll need powdered sugar for the dough and to roll the tea cakes.
· Walnuts: Finely chopped walnuts add nutty flavor and welcome crunch.

Russian Tea Cakes I sprinkled with powdered sugar
Philly Ry

How to Make Russian Tea Cakes

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make Russian tea cakes:

1. Make the dough: Cream the butter and vanilla. Mix the flour and sugar together, then stir the dry mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the walnuts.
2. Bake the dough: Roll the dough into balls and bake until the edges are golden.
3. Roll in sugar: Cool the baked cookies, then roll in powdered sugar.

How to Store Russian Tea Cakes

Store the Russian tea cakes in a shallow, airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Can You Freeze Russian Tea Cakes?

Yes! But it's best to freeze Russian tea cakes before you roll them in powdered sugar. Arrange them on a baking sheet, cover, and flash freeze for a few hours or up to overnight. Transfer the now-frozen cookies to a zip-top bag or another freezer-safe container. Thaw in the fridge, then roll in powdered sugar before serving.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I made these as a wedding gift for a friend, and my whole family is blown away at how good these cookies are," says Lilith Brown. "I'm an ultra-novice baker and these were super easy and delicious!"

"So simple, so easy, so good," raves Carrie Taylor. "It ain't Christmas till my kitchen smells like Russian tea cookies! This is the easiest and best recipe. Whipped up a quick batch after the kids went to bed for our cookie walk at school tomorrow."

"I followed the recipe exactly and the cookies turned out buttery and melt-in-your-mouth soft," according to Grace Kim. "For the walnuts, I used a food processor to chop them because I wanted my cookies to be velvety smooth with a fine crumb."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

  • cup powdered sugar, or more as needed


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    overhead view of ingredients for Russian tea cakes.

    Victoria Jempty/Allrecipes

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  3. Cream butter and vanilla together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Butter and vanilla creamed together in a medium bowl.

    Victoria Jempty/Allrecipes

  4. Whisk flour and 6 tablespoons powdered sugar together in separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and stir until just blended. Add walnuts and mix until incorporated; mixture may be crumbly.

    Flour and powdered sugar whisked together in a separate bowl.

    Victoria Jempty/Allrecipes

    Butter and walnuts incorporated with the flour and powdered sugar.

    Victoria Jempty/Allrecipes

  5. Take small scoops of dough and roll between your hands into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

    Small scoops of dough, rolled into 1-inch balls and placed on a baking sheet.

    Victoria Jempty/Allrecipes

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until edges are just turning golden, about 12 minutes.

  7. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

  8. Place remaining 1/3 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll cooled cookies in the powdered sugar once or twice.

    Cooled cookies rolled into a separate bowl of powdered sugar.

    Victoria Jempty/Allrecipes

  9. Enjoy!

    a low angle, close up view of a pile of Russian tea cakes, one on top has been broken in half revealing a crumbly nutty interior.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

102 Calories
7g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 36
Calories 102
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 37mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 24mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

You’ll Also Love