Italian Wedding Cookies


These wedding cookies are sometimes called Mexican wedding cookies, Russian tea cakes, or butterballs and can be shaped into crescents. They also taste very good with pecans instead of almonds. This recipe was given to me by a friend who grew up in central Europe; it's the best version I've ever had.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
80 cookies

Italian wedding cookies are balls of buttery goodness rolled in powdered sugar. What's not to love?

Italian wedding cookies on blue plate

Italian Wedding Cookies Ingredients

You'll need just six easy-to-find ingredients to make this classic Italian wedding cookie recipe:

· Butter: This Italian wedding cookie dough starts with three sticks of unsalted butter.
· Confectioners' sugar: Confectioners' sugar blends perfectly into these melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
· Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, but they won't make your cookies taste salty.
· Almonds: Finely ground almonds are the key ingredient in traditional Italian wedding cookies.
· Vanilla: A hefty dose of vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the cookies.
· Flour: All-purpose flour creates structure and helps hold the cookie dough together.

How to Make Italian Wedding Cookies

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make these Italian wedding cookies:

1. Beat the butter, sugar, and salt.
2. Mix in the almonds and vanilla, then gradually add the flour.
3. Shape the dough into balls and bake until lightly browned.
4. Roll the warm cookies in confectioners' sugar.

Nicole's Best Italian Wedding Cookies Tips

"There's not a Christmas that goes by that we don't enjoy a tin full of Italian wedding cookies," says culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. NicoleMcMom). Here are a few of Nicole's favorite tips and tricks for baking the perfect Italian wedding cookies every time:

· The cookie dough won't spread out much, so don't worry — you'll be able to fit quite a few on one baking sheet, according to Nicole.
· Let the cookies cool until they're just cool enough to handle. They still need to be quite warm to hang onto all that powdered sugar!
· "Bring in the family," Nicole advises. "Because this one batch makes a whole lot of cookies."

How to Store Italian Wedding Cookies

You can store Italian wedding cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you stack the cookies, place a piece of parchment paper between each layer to prevent sticking.

italian wedding cookies on a plate with a cup of coffee and a cookie tin in the background
Allrecipes Video

Can You Freeze Italian Wedding Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze Italian wedding cookies — but it's best to freeze the dough before baking and rolling in powdered sugar.

Arrange the dough balls on a baking sheet, cover, and freeze for a few hours or up to overnight. When the dough is frozen, transfer to zip-top bags or another freezer-safe container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake according to the instructions.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I make these frequently, and they always go fast," says pam. "My variation is that instead of using almonds, I use finely ground pecans. Delicious!"

"Very light, delicious cookies," according to per464. "One tip: Use a strainer to sprinkle with confectioners sugar after baking. Less breakage!"

"My family loved these cookies," raves ErichNJ. "The flavor is simple and subtle. I halved the recipe and omitted the salt in favor of using salted butter."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cups finely ground almonds

  • 4 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • cup confectioners' sugar for rolling


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  2. Place butter, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, and salt in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in almonds and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually until well-combined.

  3. Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie; place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until just browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Let sit until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes. Roll cookies in remaining confectioners' sugar.

    three round powdered sugar-dusted cookies on a plate
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

70 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 80
Calories 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 19mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 26mg 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.

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