Mexican Wedding Cookies

These Mexican wedding cookies are tender, delicate, and full of rich, buttery pecan flavor. Dusted in powdered sugar, they're a perfect holiday treat.

Mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies are one of my favorite holiday treats. They have a rich, nutty flavor and a texture so delicate that they practically melt in your mouth. This recipe makes a decent batch – about 40 cookies – but I still wouldn’t expect it to last long. The last time I made these Mexican wedding cookies, they all vanished in two days flat!

Mexican wedding cookies recipe ingredients

Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe Ingredients

Mexican wedding cookies go by many different names: snowballs, Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cakes, polvorones, and more. I did some digging on their history while I was working on this recipe, and it turns out, we don’t really know where they originated.

Because of their high nut to flour ratio, some historians believe they were first made in the Middle East or Eastern Europe. Either way, they likely came to Mexico through Spanish migrants in the 16th century. Today, cookies like these are still made in countries across the world!

At their most basic, Mexican wedding cookies consist of flour, butter, finely chopped nuts, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract. I add a few extra ingredients to my recipe for an even cozier, Christmasy taste. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Toasted pecans: Nuts are a key ingredient in any Mexican wedding cookies recipe, and pecans are always my top pick. They add rich, nutty flavor to the simple dough.
  • Butter: For moisture and additional richness.
  • All-purpose flour: It brings the dough together.
  • Powdered sugar: You’ll add some to the dough and dust the rest on top of the cookies. You can use store-bought, or make your own.
  • Vanilla and cinnamon: They add warm depth of flavor to the rich, buttery cookies.
  • Almond extract: It’s not a traditional ingredient in Mexican wedding cookies, but I love how it brings out the pecans’ nutty flavor.
  • And sea salt: To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Toasted pecans in a food processor

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cookies

Heads up: you’ll need soft, room temperature butter to make this recipe! If you store your butter in the fridge or the freezer, make sure to let it soften on your countertop for an hour or two before you get to work.

For me, remembering to allow the butter to soften is the toughest part of making this Mexican wedding cookies recipe. After that, it’s easy:

First, prep the pecans. Toast them in a dry skillet over low heat for 5 minutes, or until they’re nice and fragrant. Then, place them in a food processor…

Finely chopped pecans in a food processor

…and pulse until they form a coarse meal.

cookie dough in a stand mixer

Next, make the dough. You’ll cream together the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and the salt until light and fluffy. Then, mix in the vanilla and almond extracts and gradually add the flour and cinnamon. Finally, mix in the pecans.

Hands rolling cookie dough into balls

Then, form the cookies. Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough, and use your hands to roll it into balls. Arrange the balls on two parchment-lined baking sheets.

Tip: If the dough is too sticky to work with, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up before you roll the cookies.

Hands dusting Mexican wedding cookies with powdered sugar

Finally, bake! Bake the cookies for 13-16 minutes, or until they’re just golden. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before rolling them in powdered sugar. That’s it!

Add the cookies to a holiday cookie plate, or enjoy them with a cup of hot chocolate. Happy baking!

Mexican wedding cookies recipe

More Favorite Holiday Treats

If you love these Mexican wedding cookies, try one of these holiday treats next:

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

rate this recipe:
5 from 117 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Serves 40 cookies
These Mexican wedding cookies have an irresistible melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich, buttery pecan flavor. They're perfect for the holidays or any time you're craving a sweet treat.



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium skillet over low heat, toast the pecans for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer the nuts to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse meal.
  • Measure ¾ cup of the powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside for rolling.
  • In another medium bowl, mix together the flour and the cinnamon.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar, and the salt until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add the flour mixture and then the pecans and mix until combined.
  • Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Then, use your hands to roll it into balls and place them on the baking sheets. If the dough is too sticky to handle, chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.
  • Bake for 13 to 16 minutes, until just golden. Let cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes, then roll the warm cookies in the reserved powdered sugar.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. kaylee kienholz

    5 stars

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  2. kaylee kienholz

    5 stars

  3. Merlinda

    5 stars
    Made these yesterday and they came out perfect! I did chill dough for about 30 minutes, got busy… I beat butter for at least 5 minutes until fluffy. Toasted pecans were not warm when I grinded them up. Followed recipe as posted. They came out perfect! Did not spread at all and I did use salted butter.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Merlinda, I’m so glad you loved them!

  4. christina

    5 stars
    Never made these before, but the recipe made it simple! So good!

  5. susan

    I believe the amount of flour isn’t accurate.
    I used a cup and 3/4 as indicated in the recipe, and the cookies spread out during baking. They tasted good, but you’re unable to pick one up to eat, they crumbled.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susan, did you change any of the other ingredients – specifically the unsalted butter?

  6. Isabella Guzman

    How long will these last? I’m thinking of sending them overseas to family.

  7. Gail

    I actually have a question before I make these cookies. Is it 1 cup of pecans before grinding or 1 cup pecans after their ground?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Gail, 1 cup before grinding.

  8. Laura Smith

    5 stars
    Absolutely the best cookie ever!!! A real treat.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Laura, I’m so glad you love them!

  9. Kendall Penton

    5 stars
    So yummy! Followed the recipe for the batter, but I chilled in fridge overnight as I did some before hand prep. They didn’t hardly flatten at all and were so delicious and thick! Only made about 18 cookies for us though, will double next time.

  10. Andraea

    5 stars
    These are so tasty! I used salted butter and walnuts, but i love the texture and wholesome flavor. They’re so cute too. Def going to keep this recipe for the future.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  11. Becky

    5 stars
    These are delicious. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  12. Kristen

    5 stars
    These cookies are fantastic! So pretty on a cookie platter for Christmas and deliciously simple.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them! They’re some of our favorites.

  13. Kate

    5 stars
    The almond extract puts this recipe over the top! Thanks for sharing this

  14. Dianna Potter

    5 stars
    I made these with fresh ground nutmeg instead of cinnamon. I am a big fan of nutmeg. They were a hit for the Christmas goodies tray. The recipe doesn’t make many but the rich buttery texture is worth it.

  15. Kaitlin Reidy

    We substituted almond flour to make them gluten free (no expectations of it working out) but they actually turned out amazing! We scooped them into balls with a cookie scooper and they flattened into nice round disks (consequences of the flour change) but everyone agreed they were some of the best gluten free cookies we have made. Good option for gluten free households.

  16. Karen

    5 stars
    These cookies were a huge hit! I didn’t have almond extract so I used 2 tsp of vanilla.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

      • Lynn

        Help! I live these cookies, but this time the went completely flat! Was it because I used salted butter?

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Lynn, that’s so strange, that happens to me with vegan butters but I would think salted butter would have been fine. Did you change anything else about the recipe?

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.