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Mexican Wedding Cakes Recipe

Mexican Wedding Cakes Recipe

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Mexican Wedding cookies (back)

These shortbread-like nut balls are mysteriously referred to both as Russian Tea Cookies and Mexican Wedding Cakes — for Phoebe’s Top Chef Cook-Off, I stuck with the theme of the latter. They stay crisp this way, too — whereas sugar on the outside can become soggy.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts*


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix the softened butter well, with a spoon, spatula, or (if your kitchen’s big enough) an electric mixer; add the sugars and mix more, until smooth and creamy. Add the bourbon (you can also just use ½ teaspoon of vanilla, but I was feeling extra festive). Put in the flour and the nuts, stirring just until the flour is absorbed by the butter-sugar mixture.

Roll tiny balls (large marble-sized) and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 6-9 minutes, until the cookies have spread slightly and look dry on top. Cool on the sheets, a rack, a plate or a clean countertop. When fully cooled, serve, or keep in an airtight container.

Mexican Wedding Cakes Recipe (or Russian Tea Cakes) Cookies

One of my long time friends from college calls these delicious Mexican Wedding Cake cookies “butter balls”. And for good reason: they are made with lots of butter and rolled in powder sugar that just melts in your mouth. My family has been making these for three generations and we have perfected the recipe. These cookies bake up as round balls that crumble to the touch. And they're an iconic Christmas cookie everyone will be sure to love.

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Today I am on the Handmade Holidays blog hop, our 7th annual hop. Last year we added recipes to the line up of the over 100 handmade gift and decor ideas from some of our favorite bloggers. When I talked to my friends and family about the holidays, they always ask me about my cookies. Every year, I bake Christmas cookies, breads, and yummies, pack them into decorative tins or boxes, and hand deliver them to the homes of friends and family right before Christmas.

When I started eating a paleo diet four years ago, I stopped this annual tradition of baking and cookie delivery. This year, I am bringing it back! Since this cookie is the most requested recipe, along with my version of Fantasy Fudge and Traditional Spritz, I decided to share it with you this year.

Mexican Wedding Cakes Recipe & Video

Mexican Wedding Cakes are a melt-in-your mouth shortbread cookie that goes by many names a Russian Tea Cake, an Italian Butter Nut, a Southern Pecan Butterball, a Snowdrop, a Viennese Sugar Ball and a Snowball. They are very popular, not only during the Christmas season, but also at weddings, christenings, and other festive occasions. Looking at these cookies you could mistake them for Melting Moments, as the only difference between the two is that Mexican Wedding Cakes contain ground nuts (either ground pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts).

The secret to great tasting Mexican Wedding Cakes is to use a high quality butter and pure vanilla extract. You can use salted or unsalted butter. If using salted butter, leave out the salt in the recipe. You can also use the higher fat European style (cultured) butters. For the vanilla extract, make sure to use one that is labeled "pure". For the nuts, while I have used pecans, you can use walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. I like to toast the nuts first as this really brings out their full flavor. The nuts need to be finely chopped. You can do this by hand or in your food processor. Just make sure not to over process the nuts as you do not want a nut paste. Adding a little of the flour from the recipe when processing the nuts helps to prevent this from happening.

Mexican Wedding Cakes: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and have the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Toast Nuts: Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool. Once the nuts have cooled completely place them, along with 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of the flour from the recipe, into your food processor, fitted with a metal blade, and process until they are finely ground (but not a paste). You can also finely chop the nuts on a cutting board with a sharp knife.

Next, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract, on medium speed, until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining flour and salt and beat until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for about one hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Form the chilled dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls (about 1 tablespoon/18 grams) and place them 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes , or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown. Rotate your baking sheet front to back about halfway through baking. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the confectioners sugar in a bowl. Take the still warm cookies and roll them in the sugar, one at a time. Place on a wire rack to cool. Or you can simply place the confectioners sugar in a strainer and sift the sugar over the tops of the cookies. Let cool completely before storing. Can be stored in an airtight container for several weeks. They can also be frozen. Can roll or sift the cookies in more confectioners sugar before serving.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour an 11x13 inch cake pan.

Stir together the white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Pour in the water, sour cream, vegetable oil, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg whites, and beat with an electric mix on low until all the ingredients are mixed and moistened but some lumps still remain, 4 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake in the preheated oven until the top is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

In a food processor, pulse pecans, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal add butter and pulse until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic refrigerate until firm, 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 level tablespoon. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on two large baking sheets. Bake, switching sheets from top to bottom halfway through, until cookies are just golden around edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes on sheets transfer to a rack to cool completely. Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Roll cookies in sugar twice to coat thoroughly, tapping off excess.

How to Make Mexican Wedding Cakes aka Russian Tea Cakes

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  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped or ground almonds or pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar


  1. Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup powdered sugar, the butter and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, beat in flour, almonds and salt until dough forms.
  2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 1 inch apart.
  3. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Place 3/4 cup powdered sugar in small bowl. Roll cookies in powdered sugar. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar again. Cookies can be placed in an airtight container and freeze up to 3 weeks. Before serving, thaw the cookies and reroll them in powdered sugar.

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Paleo Mexican Wedding Cakes – Buttery Pecan Cookies

Start to Finish: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup halved pecans (123 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups (165 grams) paleo flour (see recipe below)
  • 5 tablespoons (65 grams) room temperature Grass-Fed Ghee
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) Vanilla Collagen Protein
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) Lakanto powdered sweetener
  • Optional: zest from 1 lime, lemon or orange
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered coconut milk (additive-free) or powdered erythritol

Paleo flour ingredients:

  • 1 cup (110 grams) almond flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) tapioca flour


  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Line a perforated baking tray with parchment or a silicone liner.
  2. Prepare paleo flour first. Mix all flour ingredients with a whisk until combined well. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of this flour, and store the rest in a sealed container.
  3. Prepare cookies. In food processor, add pecans, measured paleo flour, collagen, vanilla, salt and sweetener. Process until pecans are finely ground.
  4. Add ghee and process lightly until integrated and moist.
  5. Remove mixture from the food processor and shape dough into round cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Baking time will depend on your oven and size of the cookies.
  6. Allow cookies to cool completely, then roll in powdered erythritol or powdered coconut milk.

Makes: Serves 13

Nutritional Information (2 cookies):

  • Calories: 200
  • Calories from fat: 160
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 65mg
  • Carbs: 12g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sugar Alcohols: 3.7g
  • Net Carbs: 6.3g
  • Protein: 3g

Note on ingredients: Except for coconut, all nuts are considered “suspect” on the Bulletproof Diet because of their high levels of omega-6 fats that can oxidize and contribute to inflammation. Nuts are also susceptible to mold and contain lectins, nutrient-sapping compounds that can be tough on your gut. Use nuts in moderation, or remove them from your diet and reintroduce in small amounts to test your sensitivity.

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and vanilla beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then pecans. Divide dough in half form each half into ball. Wrap separately in plastic chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and cinnamon in pie dish to blend. Set cinnamon sugar aside.

Step 3

Working with half of chilled dough, roll dough by 2 teaspoonfuls between palms into balls. Arrange balls on heavy large baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough. (Cookies can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature reserve remaining cinnamon sugar.)

If you’re going to freeze them, wait to add the powdered sugar until after your cookies are defrosted. Place them on a baking sheet and reheat them at 300 degrees F for a few minutes, then roll them in powdered sugar, adding more as needed.

If you want to freeze the dough, place the balls on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in a freezer for about an hour. Then move the balls to a plastic bag, and wrap the plastic bag in tinfoil to make it airtight. You can bake them while the balls are still frozen, then roll in the powdered sugar as normal.

Watch the video: Διακόσμηση με ζαχαρόπαστα - Decorating with sugar paste - (June 2022).


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