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Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes are one of my personal favorites when it comes to Christmas Cookies. They are lightly sweet, buttery and filled with walnuts. Make these for your holiday platter and watch them disappear! Haven’t heard of Russian Tea Cakes? Some people refer to these as snowball cookies or mexican wedding cookies.

close up of the inside of a Russian Tea Cake

Ingredients for Russian Tea Cakes

Russian Tea Cakes are simple cookie that don’t require a lot of ingredients however you do need to be sure to follow the directions carefully to make sure they come out correctly. For this recipe you will need:

  • unsalted butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • salt
  • all-purpose flour
  • walnuts

Be sure to use unsalted butter when baking unless a recipe specifically calls for salted butter. This is because all butters can have a different amount of salt added to them. By using unsalted and adding your own salt you can control how much salt is in the recipe!

How to Make Russian Tea Cakes

To start, preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a hand or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next, add the vanilla and stir well. Then, add flour, salt, and walnuts. Mix until cookie dough forms. The dough should easily pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Roll dough into tablespoon-size balls. I like to use a scoop when making cookies to help keep them a uniform size and to speed up the process. Then, bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until lightly golden brown on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Let the cookies cool for a minute then roll in powdered sugar and let cool on wire rack. Once cookies are completely cool, roll in powdered sugar for a second time.

To make your cookies nice and uniform sizes, or any of your cookies for that matter, I recommend using a scoop. This size scoop with make them approximately a tablespoon-size.

Don’t skip the second rolling in powdered sugar. It will help to keep the cookies from sticking together and give them the added sweetness. You can even roll these in powdered sugar a third time when you are ready to serve them or add them to a cookie platter. The sugar will dissolve a little bit as it sits on the cookies.

Store your cookies in an airtight container. They should remain fresh for 2-3 weeks. Cookies can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store in an airtight container in the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature before serving. You may want to roll them in powdered sugar again after thawing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my Russian Tea Cakes fall apart?

Your tea cakes may need a bit more moisture. If you’re cookies are dry and crumbly, whip some butter by hand until soft and then add it into the dough. Try just a tablespoon or two at a time.

Or if your cookies seem greasy and are hard to roll into nice balls, add a little bit of flour a tablespoon at a time until your dough is smooth.

These changes can happen based on different brands of butter or humidity changes.

How do I store Russian Tea Cakes?

Store your finished Russian Tea Cakes in an airtight container.

Can Russian Tea Cakes be frozen?

Yes! Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost cookies and then you may want to re roll them in powdered sugar.

I don’t like walnuts, can these cookies be made with anything else?

You can absolutely substitute the nuts in this recipe. Try either another kind of nut or if there is a nut allergy mini chocolate chips can be used. This will change the flavor of the cookies but you will still have the soft buttery texture from the cookie dough.

black plate full of russian tea cakes

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Looking for more holiday cookie recipes? Try our Italian Cookies, Cream Cheese Logs, Chocolate Pretzel Bark, Reindeer Poop Cookies, Cranberry Noel Cookies, Chocolate Crinkles and Snickerdoodles. Other desserts you may like include Black Moon Whoopie Pies, Chewy M&M Cookie Bars, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Nutella Chickpea Brownies. If you are looking for christmas cookie recipes, be sure to check out our Christmas Cookie List!

close up of the inside of a Russian Tea Cake

Russian Tea Cakes

Yield: 50
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 41 minutes

Russian Tea Cakes are buttery, light, and sweet walnut filled cookies. These are perfect for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup c finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla. Stir well.
  4. Add flour, salt, and walnuts. Mix until cookie dough forms. You will know the dough is ready when it sticks together well and pulls away from the bowl easily.
  5. Roll cookie dough into tablespoon-size balls.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until lightly golden brown on an ungreased cookie sheet. These cookies do not spread while baking so they can be placed closer together.
  7. Let cool for a minute then roll in powdered sugar and let cool on wire rack.
  8. Once cookies are cool, roll in powdered sugar for a second time.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Walnuts may be substituted for a different type of nut if there is an allergy but it may alter the texture.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 50 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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