Russian Tea Cakes are buttery cookies that are delicate and easy to make. They have a tender crumb filled with crunchy toasted walnuts, providing an amazing texture. These Russian tea cookies are coated twice in icing sugar and are best paired with chilled milk or your favorite hot drink.
You will learn how easily and quickly you can prepare such delicate gems in your kitchen using only six ingredients, and you won’t believe it’s all you need to make irresistible Russian tea cakes.
If you never had these cookies, also called Snowball Cookies, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. They are made during the Holidays, and they taste much like shortbread. In fact, you can find the Pecan Shortbread recipe on my blog. Why not try it?
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- The flavor - It's buttery, perfectly sweetened, and has a nutty flavor coming from the toasted walnuts.
- Its texture - These Russian tea cookies melt in your mouth, leaving behind cravings for more.
- Stores well - Because it has butter and is coated with powdered sugar, it can be stored on your kitchen counter for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
- Make it your own - The recipe is forgiving and adopts different ingredients. More on this under the Variation section below.
All-purpose flour - I always use all-purpose flour in my baking, but you can do half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour.
Butter - Go for a good quality butter because in this recipe, the flavor of the butter will be noticed. I have used unsalted butter.
Walnuts - If you prefer other nuts, use them or a mixture. Other than pistachios, always toast the nuts to get a better flavor. You can also skip the nuts.
Sugar - We use confectioner's sugar to keep the texture tender and smooth. There is sugar in the dough, and we will use some to coat the cookies.
Vanilla - I think vanilla extract goes so well with any dessert that has nuts, but you can use orange or lemon zest.
Salt - Just a small pinch, but it enhances all the flavors.
Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, beat the butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy.
Add the flour and mix; the mixture will look like wet sand, but that’s alright. Fold the nuts using a spatula.
Form equal-sized balls and place them on the baking tray. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes.
Leave the cookies in the baking tray for 5 minutes.
Roll the warm cookies one at a time in the icing sugar. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely, then roll again in the icing sugar for a second coating.
- When measuring the flour, fluff the flour while it’s in the container and then spoon it into the measuring cup. Use the back of a butter knife to level the flour.
- If you are using salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.
- Toast the nuts and chop them before adding them to the cookie dough. Toasted nuts give a better taste and texture to the cookies.
- The butter should be soft, but don’t use half-melted or room-temperature butter.
- If you don’t have parchment paper or a silicone mat, you can grease the baking pan and then dust it well with flour.
- These cookies do not spread while baking unless the butter in the dough melts. If you are working in a hot kitchen, then after forming the balls, place the cookies in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking them.
- The melt in the mouth texture comes from the icing sugar in the dough. If you don’t have icing sugar, use my recipe for making powdered sugar.
Other nuts: Use other nuts than walnuts but make sure to toast and then chop them.
Chocolate chips: You can fill the cookies with chocolate chips.
Butterscotch chips: Have you tried mixing nuts with butterscotch chips? It's heavenly. Mix the nuts with the dough and then fill the dough with a few butterscotch chips.
Leave it plain: Yes, you can omit the nuts and make plain Russian tea cakes.
In an airtight container, you can store the cookies on the kitchen counter for up to four days.
You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Place them in a freezer-freindly bag, and to thaw the Russian tea cake keep them out on the kitchen counter for a few minutes while covered or wrapped in plastic wrap.
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⭐PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW
If you have tried this recipe and liked it, please give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment below with your experience!
Russian Tea Cakes
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter soft
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoon powder sugar will add this to the dough
- 1 cup powder sugar to coat the cookies
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoon chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat, in case you don’t have both to line the tray with, then grease and dust the baking tray with flour.
- In a bowl, beat the butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth and creamy.
- Add the flour and mix. The mixture will look like wet sand, but that’s alright.
- Fold in the using a spatula.
- Form equal-sized balls (around one heaping tablespoon) and place them on the baking tray.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes in the middle shelf.
- Leave the cookies in the baking tray for 5 minutes. If you move the cookies while hot, they will crumble.
- Coat the cookies with the icing sugar.
- Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely, then coat them again with the icing sugar. The first coating will turn a little wet, and that’s fine.
- Sift the icing sugar if it is clumpy, this will help when measuring the icing sugar.
- To soften the butter while keeping it cool, cut the butter in cubes and cover for 5 minutes.
- If you wish to freeze the cookies, do so before coating them with icing sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 30 minutes before baking.
- Use other nuts or omit the nuts and make plain cookies.