Snowball Cookies are one of those Christmas classics that many consider to be a must-bake during the holidays. Buttery and nutty with an airy, melt-in-your-mouth texture like a whipped shortbread, snowball cookies always remind me a little of cotton candy.

These Italian cookies are always popular throughout the winter. Serve them with coffee, tea, hot chocolate or homemade eggnog for a perfect pairing!

Snowball cookies with a bite taken out of one in a white bowl

What are Snowball Cookies?

Snowball cookies are round, bite-sized butter cookies with chopped nuts. They are rolled in powdered sugar to give them a snowy whiteness.

A couple things that set this cookie recipe apart from others include the absence of egg and the use of powdered instead of granulated sugar in the dough. The result is a light, crumbly cookie that dissolves almost the second it hits your tongue.

Steps to show how to mix dough for snowball cookies

How to Make Snowball Cookies

This is a delicious cookie that comes together with simple staple ingredients you probably already have on hand. Nothing could be easier!

  1. Cream butter and powdered sugar, then add in dry ingredients (per recipe below).
  2. Form into bite-sized balls and bake.
  3. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm.
  4. Cool completely, then roll again.

Snowball cookies are a tad messy to eat, but in the best possible way! A little dusting of powdered sugar all over everyone just adds more sweetness to the season!

Snowball cookies on a cookie sheet


Nuts: I prefer walnuts but pecans or other chopped nuts work well too.

Flavoring: For an Italian flair, consider flavoring the dough by adding a teaspoon of anise extract.

Fun Add-Ins: Try adding mini-chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or even crushed peppermint candy canes for a fun festive twist.

How Long Do Snowball Cookies Last?

Snowball cookies last for at least four days in the pantry, stored in the paper bag, and up to two weeks in the fridge, tightly covered or in a zippered bag.


They will even keep in the freezer for up to six months. These are the ideal make-ahead cookie! To freeze, store in containers because they will remain fragile when frozen. This is a cookie that you won’t want to crumble before serving!

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Snowball cookies with a bite taken out of one in a white bowl
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Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies are buttery and nutty with an airy, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
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  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup walnuts finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter unsalted, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup powdered sugar plus extra for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, walnuts and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with a mixer until creamy.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add flour mixture until combined.
  • Form dough into 1" balls and place on prepared pan.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottom edges of cookies are lightly browned.
  • Cool a few minutes until you're able to handle the cookes. Roll in powdered sugar and place on a rack to cool completely.


Any chopped nuts can be used in this recipe.
To chop nuts quickly, give them a pulse or two in the food processor. You want them very finely chopped but not powdery. A few bigger pieces is ok too.
4.96 from 340 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 151 | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Snowball cookies in a bowl with a title
Snowball cookies in a bowl with writing
Snowball cookies on a baking sheet and in a bowl with writing