Snowball Cookies

Buttery soft, tender, melt-in-your-mouth Snowball Cookies are filled with walnuts and wrapped in a sweet layer of powdered sugar to charmingly resemble snowballs. Festive treat for the holiday season!

The Loveliest Snowball Cookies Recipe!

Welcome to the first recipe in our 1st Annual Beaming Holiday Treat-a-Palooza!! Snowball Cookies!!

But first, what are snowball cookies and how can we simultaneously eat and gift them?

Overhead photo of snowball cookies wrapped red snowflake napkin on a gold tray

What are Snowball Cookies?

Snowball Cookies are a melt-in-your-mouth seasonal cookie with delicious crumbly texture made with walnuts and oodles of powdered sugar!

As a darling treat that resembles an actual snowball, these snowball cookies are one of my favorites to gift because they’re fun to make and beautiful to give.

Ingredients in the recipe for snowball cookies measured into glass bowls including chopped walnuts, flour, butter, sugar, and powdered sugar

Ingredients for this Snowball Cookies Recipe

These buttery tender snowball cookies are made with walnuts and a handful of simple ingredients you might already have in your fridge and pantry.

  • Flour – make sure to spoon and level your flour after fluffing it up in its container first. You never want to pack flour—in the measuring cup or its storage container—to avoid crumbly, fall-apart cookies.
  • Walnuts – walnuts are the classic ingredient in snowballs, but you can use pecans, almonds, and more.
  • Salt – I’m using ¼ teaspoon salt for a lightly salt compliment to the sweetness. You can do a rounded ¼ teaspoon for more saltiness after you’ve tried the recipe as is first.
  • Butter – always use unsalted butter in baking, unless directed otherwise. Remember to bring butter to room temperature so it plays well with the other ingredients.
  • Sugar – we’re using just 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar for a lightly sweet, buttery dough. Add more sweetness by thickly coating your snowball cookies in powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla – be sure to use real, pure vanilla extract. You can also add in ¼ teaspoon almond extract because it tastes and smells so good.
  • Powdered sugar –powdered sugar is what makes the “snow” in these snowballs. You’ll use a generous amount to coat these snowball cookies, or less if you like your cookies less sweet.
Christmas treats on a tree-lined plate with ornaments and snowflakes

How to Make Snowball Cookies

You’ll need these step-by-step photos to help you make the best recipe for snowball cookies! Scroll down further in this post to find the exact measurements and steps in the recipe card.

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Then, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or greased foil.

Add the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and stir until well mixed: flour, walnuts, and salt.

Two photos showing How to Make Snowball Cookies – mixing together dry ingredients including flour, walnuts, and salt.

Then, add the butter to a stand mixer and beat on high until smooth.

Two photos showing How to Make Snowball Cookies – creaming the butter

Decreasing the speed of the mixer to medium, beat in sugar and vanilla, until creamy.

Two photos showing How to Make Snowball Cookies – beating in granulated sugar and vanilla

Reducing the speed to low, gradually add in the dry mixture until the dough becomes a crumbly meal.

Adding the dry flour mixture into the stand mixer filled with creamed butter to create cookie dough

Don’t worry about the meal being crumbly—we’ll be packing it into a cookie scoop for a firm cookie.

Two photos showing How to Make this Christmas treat recipe – showcasing the crumbly cookie dough texture

Grab a small cookie scoop, and scoop and drop balls of cookie dough onto the lined baking sheet, evenly spaced apart.

Two photos showing How to Make this Christmas cookie recipe – scooping and packing cookie dough balls

Be sure to press any loose bits into the scoop to ensure a solid cookie.

Using fingers to press the cookie dough balls into spheres and spacing evenly apart on the baking sheet

Bake snowball cookies for about 12 minutes, then allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 6 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, but still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar.

Rolling baked cookies in a rimmed bowl of powdered sugar

Cool completely, then roll again. This ensures that the snowball cookies are bright white and fully coated in powdered sugar.

Then enjoy the tastiest snowball cookies!

Bitten Cookie on a stack of Snowball Cookies in a serving dish

Storing & Freezing

How to Store Snowball Cookies

Allow cookies to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in a cool, dark environment for up to 1 week.

Can you Freeze Snowball Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze these cookies. Simply cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-friendly container for 1-3 months.

How long do snowball cookies stay fresh?

Snowball cookies stay fresh for 4-6 days, in low humidity.


  • Use finely chopped walnuts – larger chunks will cause the cookies to fall apart. When I say “finely chopped,” I don’t mean the chopped walnuts you find in a bag—you’ll have to chop that even smaller.
  • Coat the snowball cookies twice: the first coating needs to happen while the cookies are warm—this will get a layer of sugar to adhere. But, bald patches can appear once the cookies are cool. If this happens, go ahead and roll the cookies again for a true snowball look.
  • Bring your butter to room temperature – this helps the butter be more malleable and “get along” with the other ingredients in the mixer.
  • Don’t over-measure the flour. This usually happens when folks skip spooning and levelling to measure and forget to fluff up their containers of flour. Both measures ensure that you don’t use too much flour, and thus, get crumbly cookies.
  • Use a cookie scoop – this will help you pack the cookie dough into a tight ball shape, which will make it hold together while baking.
  • Store the cookies in a very dry place to make them last longer. I’ve lived in high, high humidity places and they always led to cookies and all other types of food spoiling quickly. Make sure your cookies are stored in a dry environment (or the fridge) to get them to last longer.

Why are my snowball cookies falling apart? The cookies are too dry. Make sure not to overmeasure the flour by spooning and levelling when measuring and fluffing your container of flour.

Why did my snowball cookies flatten? Too much liquid. This usually happens when there is too much butter or oil in the cookies. Make sure you follow the recipe exactly, and your butter isn’t too soft before mixing.

Super close up of bitten Snowball Cookie to show buttery texture and walnuts

Tools You Need

1st Annual

Beaming Holiday Treat-a-Palooza! ❄️ 🎁 🍪

Welcome to the 1st Annual Beaming Holiday Treat-a-Palooza! I’ll be sharing new festive treats throughout the season… check here for the updates!

Inspiring you to bake ALL the Christmas Cookies!

For more sweet recipe ideas, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. If you’ve tried this recipe, take a pic and tag us on Instagram using #beamingbaker. We can’t wait to see it!

Sending you all my love and maybe even a dove, xo Demeter ❤️

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close up of a half bitten snowball cookie to show the tender texture

Snowball Cookies

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5 from 7 reviews


Buttery, tender soft snowball cookies filled with walnuts, wrapped in a lightly sweet layer of powdered sugar. Festive treat for the holiday season!



Tools Needed

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • ¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chopped and softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

“Snow” Coating

  • ½ cup to 1 cup powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together flour, walnuts, and salt in a medium bowl, until well mixed.
  3. Add butter to a stand mixer. Beat on high until smooth.
  4. Reduce speed to medium, adding granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Set mixer on low and slowly add in the dry mixture until well combined. Once combined, the dough will be a crumbly meal—not to worry, this is expected.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, drop firmly packed balls of dough onto the cookie sheet spaced evenly apart. Use your fingers to press together any loose bits and smooth out any rough edges, forming rounded spheres with flat bottoms.
  7. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until golden just on the bottom. Mine took 12 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies to cool directly on the baking sheet for about 6 minutes, until firm enough to move to a cooling rack.
  9. Cool for about 2-3 more minutes, then it’s time to roll! While cookies are cool enough to touch, but still warm, roll in a shallow, rimmed bowl filled with powdered sugar.
  10. Optional, but recommended: Once cooled, give the cookies a second coat by rolling again in powdered sugar. Enjoy!


Storing Instructions: Allow cookies to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in a cool, dark environment for up to 6 days. Tip: the more humid the environment, the shorter the amount of time the cookies will last.

Freezing Instructions: Cool cookies completely, then store in a freezer-friendly container for 1-3 months in the freezer.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican, Italian

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  1. These are such delicious, easy Christmas cookies – I’m definitely adding them to my annual Christmas cookie basket I make for family and friends every year!

  2. Everyone loves these festive, buttery snowball cookies and they are on my holiday cookie baking list. Delicious, simple recipe. Thank you!

    1. Hi Joann! Yep, vegan butter sticks should be fine here. As for the walnuts, I have a photo of them chopped up in the post under the “How to Make Snowball Cookies” section you can reference. There should be no large chunks/whole pieces, but not super fine like meal either. Hope you enjoy and happy baking!

  3. Dear Demeter, I would like to make these yummy Snowball cookies but I can’t use gluten flour. I would appreciate it if you could recommend a gluten-free substitute.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Jeanette! I haven’t tried it here myself, but you should be able to use a 1:1 GF AP blend. Just know that every brand works a bit differently, so the results could vary depending on what you use. Hope this helps!