Mexican Wedding Cookies

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Mexican Wedding Cookies are tiny melt-in-your-mouth cookies that are known by many different names around the world. My grandmother called them Sugar Butter Balls.

Mexican Wedding Cookies - get the recipe at

The first time I shared this recipe online, I was overwhelmed by the response, it felt like everyone had a different name for these cookies!

Russian Tea Cakes, Polvorones, Snowball Cookies, Egyptian Feast Cookies, Nut Butter Balls, Norwegian Snowballs, Kourambie, Walnut Delights, Pecan Petites, Holiday Nuggets, Swedish Heirloom Cookies, the list goes on and on. If I’ve missed your favorite name for them, please leave a comment here to let me know!

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Wedding Cookies

Every time I bite into a wedding cookie, I’m transported to a time when I watched my grandmother roll them between her hands. She was the source of so many delicious foods in my childhood.

She would set the finished cookies on a platter and everything looked so elegant to my young eyes. More than any other holiday treat, these Mexican cookies taste like Christmas to me.

I’d try sneaking them from the tray before it was time but I’m fairly certain that the powdered sugar always left a ring of evidence around my mouth. No matter, Grandmother always made plenty of these cookies to go around.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

The first time I tried making these cookies on my own, I was 18 years old and living in my first apartment. I had my grandmother’s Mexican wedding cookies recipe, but I figured I knew best.

Instead of rolling the warm cookies gently through the powdered sugar, I placed them in a Ziploc bag and poured sugar over them. When I shook the bag to coat them with sugar, at least half the cookies broke apart.

The cookies were still delicious, but they were a mess to eat. In the years since I’ve learned that Grandmother knew best. If you follow her directions for rolling the cookies in the sugar, yours will turn out every bit as perfect as hers always did.

The easiest method I’ve found for coating the cookies in powdered sugar is to put about a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the warm cookies, a few at a time, through the sugar.

Yes, rolling each ball in powdered sugar might take a little more time but the results are so very worth it. These classic cookies are crisp when you bite into them and then they melt in your mouth.

That first bite delivers sweetness from the powdered sugar on both the inside and outside. This light buttery cookie always brings a smile to my face as I think about my grandmother and all those childhood holidays.

Mexican Wedding Cookies - get the recipe at

Wedding Cookies Recipe

If you’ve never made these cookies before, I’m happy to report that as long as you follow my grandmother’s directions, they’re fairly easy to make in your own kitchen.

After creaming together soft butter with powdered sugar and vanilla, gradually add flour to make a dough. Then stir in the chopped pecans or walnuts. The nuts add the perfect amount of crunch and a light nutty flavor to each cookie.

Portion the dough into 1-inch scoops and roll each scoop into a ball with your hands. Get them as smooth and round as possible before baking them in the oven until just set. (Be sure not to let them brown!)

I cool my cookies for just a couple of minutes to make them easy to handle. Then, roll each cookie in powdered sugar and let them cool completely before rolling them twice more in the leftover powdered sugar.

These cookies are delicious all on their own and look so pretty on a holiday cookie tray. I also love to arrange these in tins with tissue paper to give as gifts throughout the holiday season. 

While I always associate them with Christmas, Grandmother’s Sugar Butter Balls, Snowballs, or Mexican Wedding Cookies make for a delightful treat all year long.

Enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee, at a party, or cozied up at home, and make your own fond memories with the ones you love.

Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Sugar Butter Balls, Polvorones, Snowball Cookies, Egyptian Feast Cookies, Nut Butter Balls, Norwegian Snowballs, Kourambie, Walnut Delights, Pecan Petites, Holiday Nuggets, Swedish Heirloom Cookies, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are known by many different names around the world. Get the recipe at

Looking for more great holiday treats? You’ve come to the right place.

Sugared Shortbread Cookies are a classic cookie that everyone loves. Around Christmas time we also love to make Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Shortbread to nibble by the Christmas tree or give as gifts.

You can never go wrong with classic iced sugar cookies this time of year. Set out on a plate for Santa, or saved for yourself, nothing says “Christmas” quite like sugar cookies. And for what it’s worth, my friend Katrina has the best recipe ever for cut out cookies. I’ve been making these for years now.

If you’ve spent any amount of time here for a while you may have gathered that I can’t get enough of 5-Minute Fudge Recipes when it’s time for holiday baking. Add White Chocolate Caramel Fudge and Peppermint Marshmallow Fudge to your list to try this season.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies are a super simple no-bake cookie recipe that everyone finds irresistible. I love to make a big batch to keep in the freezer and have ready any time company comes over or I need a last-minute treat to take to a party.

And if you’re looking for a sugar-free version of Mexican Wedding Cookies, my friend Brenda has a recipe for sugar-free and paleo snowball cookies.

Kitchen Tip: I use this baking sheet to make this recipe.

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

4.82 from 37 votes
Buttery nut-filled cookies, coated with a layer of powdered sugar, these classic cookies are everyone’s favorite holiday treat!
Servings: 36 cookies


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Slowly add the flour and salt and mix just until combined. Stir in the nuts.
  • Scoop into 1-inch balls and round them smooth between your hands. Bake 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set but not browned.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the tray for a minute or two and then roll each warm cookie in powdered sugar and set them a cooling rack.
  • Once the cookies have fully cooled, roll them once or twice more in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!


The easiest method I’ve found for coating the cookies in powdered sugar is to put about a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl and roll the warm cookies, a few at a time, through the sugar.


Calories: 95kcal · Carbohydrates: 8g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 7g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 14mg · Sodium: 78mg · Potassium: 18mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 158IU · Calcium: 4mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 11/21/13 – notes and photos updated 12/6/23}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anne annicharico says

    This was a great recipe except there was no liquid and impossible to firm into balls. I added about a half cup of milk and they turned out great.

  2. Frustrated Latinx says

    What is with these pasty bloggers appropriating Mexican recipes? Please stay in your lane, barf it in the kitchen.5 stars

    • Proud Latina says

      Regarding the “appropriating Mexican recipes”

      Well played Mary!!! 👏🏽👏🏽 🎶

      As a full blood Latina. I believe sharing in each other’s culture is beautiful!!

    • Cookie Lover. says

      Latinx says it all. You don’t speak for the majority of Latinas. Your comment is disgusting and your racism doesn’t belong here.

    • Steve says

      I work with alot of Mexican women. I bake cookies alot also. I get request all the time to bring in cookies for everyone. Every mexican woman have all asked me to make these cookies by that name. Maybe you should not be such a racist.

  3. Angela says

    Making them now for my first time. My mother used to make them every year. The cookies look good but the browned on the bottom. Not sure why, maybe the rack was too low. Great recipe. Oh yeah I didn’t have anything but cashews so I used them. Turned out great.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m so glad that the cookies bring back happy memories for you, Angela. I’d try raising the rack or shaving a minute or so off the baking time next time.

  4. Debby says

    I make these every year and for some reason this year I could not get them to stay together. Added two more tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of water. Still having trouble. Making a first batch but could not roll around in my hand. I’ve never had this problem. But I love them anyway5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Sometimes adding more liquids to a recipe won’t help the batter to gel, Debby. Whatever the issue might have been, I’m glad you’ve still been enjoying the recipe. Happy baking!

  5. Realist says

    I want to make these cookies, but you have so frickin many ads on here I can’t even get to the recipes. Think I’ll find another recipe page without all the ads.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Awe, that’s a sweet dose of “reality” there. It’s just too bad that those pesky ads make the website possible. Just for the record, there’s a handy-dandy “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of this every recipe page. Clicking that will take you past all the additional information and whatever ads might be too much for you, straight to the printable recipe card. And for future reference, using the site on a desktop vs a mobile device means that there will be ZERO ads in the content for you.

  6. Virgi says

    dough was crumbly and dry, I tried it twice and still dry WHY? they did not stay into balls which was fine but everyone did like them.

    • Mary Younkin says

      It sounds like there might have been just a touch too much flour in the mix. For future reference, that can be fixed! If the dough is too crumbly or dry to roll, sprinkle it VERY lightly with cold water and gently work it in with your hands. Repeat this until the dough holds its shape. Just a tablespoon or so of water is plenty. You can also wet your hands and try working it together with your damp hands.

  7. Rhonda says

    Great recipe for these! My mama called them Mexican Wedding Cookies except at Christmas, she called them Christmas Crescents, she made them into half moons! Love it! Thank you!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      If you’re having trouble forming the cookie dough into balls, you can moisten your hands or sprinkle just a teeny bit of water over the dough. That is usually all you’ll need to pull the dough together.