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Food & Recipes

This Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe Bakes Up to Buttery, Crumbly + Nutty Perfection

Plus, fun ways to customize your cookies for every occasion.

Every good fiesta deserves a grand finale, and to us, that means a sweet treat to end a day of celebration. So, with Cinco de Mayo approaching, we had to include an easy recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. These melt-in-your-mouth morsels have an irresistibly crumbly texture, buttery-nutty flavor and powdered sugar coating. Even with a fancy name, Mexican wedding cookies require minimal effort — though their sophisticated look will surely impress your guests. This easy recipe takes less than an hour with simple ingredients in your pantry (no eggs required!) in one bowl. Here’s what you need to make Mexican wedding cookies. 

Ingredients in Mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies have a home in more than one culture (no wonder, given how delicious they are). Also known as Russian tea cakes, snowball cookies or polvorones, these cookies have a rich history originating in medieval Arab cuisine. They then made their way to Spain before being introduced to Mexico by Spanish colonists. As their name suggests, the cookies became a staple in celebratory occasions, particularly weddings and holidays.

If you had Mexican wedding cookies before, you probably remember their delicate, crumbly texture, buttery-nutty flavor and powdered sugar coating. The basic ingredients include flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and chopped nuts, traditionally pecans or walnuts. The powdered sugar also gets mixed into the cookie batter, which helps the cookies get their “snowball” shape rather than spreading once baked. In fact, you typically roll them out by hand into small balls. Notably, Mexican wedding cookies don’t need any binding agents such as eggs. Unlike your typical chewy or crispy cookie, they have a more tender, sand-like texture that falls apart in your mouth (similar to a shortbread cookie).

How to properly toast nuts

Toasted pecans in pan

“Toasting your nuts is essential for developing a rich flavor in these traditional cookies,” says Amy Hand, chef and creator of The Skillful Cook. While it may seem like an extra effort, toasting enhances their natural oils, intensifying their nuttiness and providing a satisfying crunch. Below, some tips for proper toasting.

1. Use a dry skillet

Use a dry skillet over medium-low heat and spread the nuts in a single layer to ensure even toasting. For better browning, you can coat the nuts with a bit of oil and salt before adding.

You can also bake your nuts. Hand Iikes to “toast nuts on a baking tray in a 350°F oven for a few minutes, tossing the nuts every few minutes to prevent burning. This method is more reliable than pan roasting, which is very uneven.”

2. Stir frequently

Keep a close eye on the nuts if using a pan and stir them frequently, either by swirling the pan or with a spatula, to prevent burning.

3. Watch for visual cues

“Stir frequently until fragrant and lightly golden brown — about 5 minutes,” says Kristyn Merkley, recipe developer and creator of Lil’ Luna. Once toasted, transfer the nuts to a plate to cool completely before chopping and using.

Chopping nuts

If you don’t own a food processor, you can still chop nuts easily by yourself. If chopping by hand, use a sharp knife and a cutting board. Make sure to hold the nuts steady with your non-dominant hand. Then, use a rocking motion with the knife, applying pressure as you chop the nuts. Keep turning the pile and repeating this motion. If you have a large amount, work in batches to make it easier. Continue until the pieces look uniform. Alternatively, you can seal the nuts in a plastic bag and gently crush them with a rolling pin.

Watch this YouTube video below for an easy demonstration

Love nuts? Our recipe for This ‘Lazy’ Pecan Pie in a Mug Is Ready To Eat in Under 10 Minutes (and Tastes Absolutely Incredible).

Pro baking tips for making Mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies don’t require as much attention to detail as, say, a cheesecake, but there are a few pro baking tips that can help. From mastering their signature texture to getting that picture-worthy presentation, we got the scoop to ensure your Mexican wedding cookies come out perfect.

1. Chill your dough

With Mexican wedding cookies, you should expect a crumbly dough at first. It will be very thick, but don’t worry — keep mixing and it will eventually come together. To test your dough consistency, take some and press it into your fist. You’re good to go if it holds. If not, we recommend using a stand mixer on a high setting so you can save a little workout.

Additionally, Merkley says that “chilling the dough before baking can help keep the cookies from spreading and contribute to a softer, less crumbly dough.” She recommends “at least 1-2 hours, but the longer, the better.”

2. Use room-temperature butter

“Make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start creaming,” adds Hand. “This will result in the fluffiest butter base for your cookies. Then, make sure to cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy before adding the flour mixture.”

3. Double coat your cookies

Coating your cookies once in powdered sugar might not be enough for it to stick. If you want that pristine white presentation, coat them once when warm and again when cool. The first layer will likely melt a bit, but the second will hold better.

We also have another white dessert with just 4 ingredients: White Chocolate Truffles!

Easy Mexican wedding cookies recipe

Even if it’s not wedding season, that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a batch of these cookies any time of the year! You’ll love this delicious recipe from Love & Lemons that features toasted pecans and a few extra ingredients: a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of almond extract. They may not be traditional, but they sure amp up the flavor.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican wedding cookies pile on blue plate


  • 1 heaping cup pecans
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon


  • Active Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 (plus cooling time)
  • Yield: 40 cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium skillet over low heat, toast pecans for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer them to a food processor (or by hand) and pulse to form a coarse meal.
  3. Measure ¾ cup of powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside for rolling.
  4. In a medium bowl (or a stand mixer), cream butter, remaining ½ cup powdered sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add flour, cinnamon and pecans until combined.
  5. Use a 1-Tbs. cookie scoop to scoop the dough. Then, use your hands to roll into balls and place them on the baking sheets. If sticky, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.
  6. 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.

Storing Mexican wedding cookies

“Mexican wedding cookies store very well in the freezer and can be enjoyed for up to 3 months after you initially bake them,” says Merkley. “When freezing, forgo rolling them a second time in powdered sugar. Allow the cookies to cool, and separate the layers with wax paper. Then, when you take them out, roll them again in powdered sugar and allow them to thaw.”

Personalize your Mexican wedding cookies

When it comes to putting your own spin on Mexican wedding cookies, you can get as creative as you want. Many variations of Mexican wedding cookies exist, from holiday-themed to fruit-infused. Below, a few ideas to help you elevate these classic cookies.

1. Swap out the nuts

Try using finely chopped walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. If toasting, follow the same directions above for pecans. Or, you can take out the nuts entirely!

2. Roll in cinnamon sugar

After baking, roll the cookies gently in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar instead of powdered sugar. This simple yet flavorful swap brings a warm, spicy note to the cookie dough.

3. Add cocoa powder

Want to impress your chocolate-loving friends? Incorporate some unsweetened cocoa powder into the cookie dough and swap in chocolate chips for nuts. You just made an ultra-rich cookie.

For more indulgent cookie recipes, click through these stories below:

These Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies Are Perfect for When A Craving Hits — Ready in 15 Minutes

Carrot Cake Cookies Combine 2 Treats in 1 Delicious Bite — Easy 30-Minute Recipe

Black and White Cookies Recipe Is a Dessert Dream: Soft, Cakey + Coated in Two Flavors

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