Kirbie's Cravings

Pecan Russian Tea Cakes

Russian tea cakes are a classic holiday cookie and one of my favorite cookies to make. You don’t need a lot of ingredients or time to make a batch of melt-in-your mouth pecan cookies. Plus, they keep well for up to a week or you can make and freeze the dough to bake later.

photo of Pecan Russian Tea Cakes

While I enjoyed making Russian Tea Cakes with Christmas Sprinkles, I also wanted to make the traditional Russian tea cakes with powdered sugar.  For my sprinkle version, I used hazelnuts.  For these traditional version, I used pecans.

These cookies are so easy to make and they practically melt in your mouth and aren’t too sweet.  I don’t know why I never made these before.  These are definitely going to become regulars for my holiday cookie menu.

What are Russian Tea Cakes?

Russian tea cakes are a type of cookie that is made with pecans and rolled in powdered sugar. Although, they’re considered cookies they’re actually a type of pastry.

The cookies are thought to have Russian roots, but they are also known as Mexican, Italian, Swedish, and Danish wedding cookies and some people refer to them as snowball cookies. They are usually made with pecans but there are hazelnut, almond and walnut versions, too. Here in the US, they are a popular cookie to make during the Christmas and holiday season.

close-up photo of Pecan Russian Tea Cakes

How to Make Russian Tea Cakes

I love how Russian tea cakes taste, but I also like how easy they are to make. You don’t need a bunch of ingredients and you can make the cookie dough with just one bowl.

  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Pecans

All you do is cream the butter and then add the vanilla, sugar, and flour. Once they are combined add chopped pecans and the dough is ready to go. Bake the cookies at 350°F for about 12 minutes and then, once they’ve cooled, roll the cookies in confectioner’s sugar.

Pecan Russian Tea Cakes

How long do Russian tea cakes stay fresh?

Once the cookies are cool, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Can you freeze Russian tea cakes?

These cookies are great for holiday baking and gifting because you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. You can also freeze the baked cookies and thaw them when you’re ready to serve them.

I prefer freezing the cookie dough because it’s always nice to bake a batch of fresh cookies instead of thawing out frozen baked cookies.

  • If you want to make and freeze the dough it will keep in well for two to three months as long as it’s stored in an airtight container.
  • If you want to freeze the baked cookies, cool them completely and wrap them tightly. Freeze them for up to a month.

I hope you enjoy these Russian tea cakes as much as I do. If you’re looking for more holiday cookie recipes here are a few more of my popular cookie recipes:

Russian Tea Cakes

Servings: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian
These cookies are so easy to make and they practically melt in your mouth and aren't too sweet.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecan I put mine through my food processor
  • confectioners' sugar for rolling


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped pecans. Roll dough into balls about 3/4 of an inch Anything bigger and they tend to spread and flatten. Place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Roll the cookies in a bowl of confectioners' sugar once they are cooled.


Recipe adapted from All Recipes

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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3 comments on “Pecan Russian Tea Cakes”

  1. I have better luck using 1/2 margarine and 1/2 butter.  They stay rounder. 

  2. Thanks for sharing such tasty recipe. It is very easy to make. Looks delicious! Keep posting such nice recipes.

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