Today is the final day of AK Cookie Week, so I hope you’re ready for something fun, easy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
These wonderful gluten and grain free snowball cookies are made with just 6 core ingredients and might just be my new favorite treat to pair with a cup of coffee. They remind me of a delicious powdered donut hole but with buttery soft middles that you won’t be able to get enough of.
Kiddos will love making (and eating) these ones, and they’re super easy to make vegan and dairy free if you’d like! Truly the perfect little cookie to have on-hand for dessert or to share at your next holiday party.
Remember to scroll below for all of the deets on the AK Cookie Week giveaway and donation, which will run until Monday, 12/20. I can’t wait to see your creations!
Introducing my FREE Ultimate Guide to Cookie Baking
Ready to learn my secrets to chewy, ooey-gooey, delicious cookies every single time? That’s right, I’m here to help you bake the best cookies of your life. If you’re someone who struggles with baking cookies then my FREE downloadable, printable Ultimate Guide to Cookie Baking is for you!
In this Ultimate Guide to Cookie Baking you’ll learn:
- Everything there is to know about different types of flours and sweeteners
- How to make cookies vegan and gluten free
- How to accurately measure ingredients
- Solutions for common cookie baking issues
And so much more! Download this printable guide here for holiday cookie baking, and remember to come back to it time and time again whenever the cookie cravings hit.
What are snowball cookies?
Snowball cookies are also known as “Russian tea cakes,” “Mexican wedding cakes,” and “Mexican wedding cookies.” They’re a buttery, shortbread-like cookie made from flour, butter and ground nuts — often hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts. Mexican wedding cookies often use pecans as well! They have a distinct look and taste because the cookies are rolled in powdered sugar before serving. Hence, the “snowball” look.
These gluten free snowball cookies are made a bit healthier by using nutrient-dense almond flour and coconut flour, and less butter than the traditional version. They’re also easily vegan! See below for tips on this.
Ingredients in these grain free snowball cookies
The best part about these healthy snowball cookies is how easy they are to make! They have 6 core ingredients, plus a few flavor add-ins to make them extra special:
- Butter: to get that melt-in-your-mouth buttery flavor you’ll need some salted butter.
- Powdered sugar: unlike many cookie recipes, these snowball cookies are only sweetened with powdered sugar. You’ll add powdered sugar to the dough and you’ll roll the cooled cookies in it!
- Vanilla: for a little extra boost of sweetness.
- Walnuts: for that traditional nutty crunch.
- Salt: adding a pinch of salt helps bring all of the flavors together.
- Flour: we’re using fine, blanched almond flour and a tiny bit of coconut flour to keep these snowball cookies gluten free and grain free.
- Optional flavors: I like to add orange zest, cardamom, and cinnamon to the dough for a super unique, cozy flavor!
Customize your cookies
These gluten free snowball cookies are easy to customize with your fav mix-ins! Here are some ideas:
- Try a different nut like chopped pecans, almonds or hazelnuts. You could even toast them before chopping them up for extra toasty flavor.
- Adding a tiny bit of almond extract will enhance the nutty flavor of the cookies.
- Mix in some mini chocolate chips for an extra special treat!
How to make vegan snowball cookies
Because these grain free snowball cookies don’t have any eggs in them, you can easily make them vegan by just using vegan butter! I like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s.
Healthy snowball cookies in 4 simple steps
- Mix the wet ingredients. Start by beating together the butter and powdered sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Then add the vanilla, plus the orange zest, cinnamon & cardamom if you’re using them.
- Add the dry. Mix in the flours and chopped walnuts until they’re well combined. Let the dough sit for about 5-10 minutes so that it comes together and thickens up before rolling.
- Shape dough & bake. Next, use a cookie scoop to grab the dough and shape it into a ball. Place the dough balls on your prepared baking sheet and bake until just barely golden brown.
- Cool, roll & serve. Let the gluten free snowball cookies cool completely, then roll them in a bowl filled with powdered sugar and serve!
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: simply store baked snowball cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temp.
- To freeze: you can either freeze the dough or freeze the baked snowball cookies for up to 3 months! Check out all of my tips & tricks for freezing cookies here. For snowball cookies, I’d recommend re-rolling them in powdered sugar after thawing the baked cookies so that they’re nice and pretty.
More delicious cookie recipes
Get all of our amazing cookie recipes here!
AK Cookie Week giveaway & donation
At the end of #AKCookieWeek we’ll select 2 winners to receive a beautiful Williams Sonoma gold nonstick bakeware set! Here’s how to enter:
- Post a photo of any AK cookie recipe (new or old!) you make in your IG feed or stories with the hashtag #AKCookieWeek, OR in our FB group, Ambitious Kitchen Community
- Please note, your IG profile must be public so that we can see your cookie creations
- The more you share your recipe photos, the greater chance you have to win!
- 1 person from IG & 1 from the FB group will be chosen on Monday, 12/20 and notified via DM on IG and in our FB group. must be 18 or older and a U.S. resident. this giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram.
For each share on social, I’ll also be donating $5 (up to $2,500) to The Love Package Project from Chicago Birth Works! All funds will go towards carefully curated mama & baby packages for Black moms and parents in Chicago. We’re thrilled to be able to support these moms, babies & families, especially during the holiday season.
I hope you love these fun grain free snowball cookies! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Grain Free Snowball Cookies
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
The cutest gluten free and grain free snowball cookies with a delicious, nutty crunch from walnuts! These soft snowball cookies have an option to add cozy flavor with cardamom, cinnamon & orange zest, and are wonderful with a cup of coffee. They’re easily made vegan and are the perfect cookie for sharing.
salted butter, softened
- Optional: zest from 1 medium orange
- Optional: Pinch of cardamom & cinnamon
packed fine blanched almond flour
finely chopped walnuts
- For rolling:
powdered sugar, for rolling the cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Next add in the vanilla extract, orange zest, cardamom, cinnamon and mix again until well combined, about 30 seconds.
Finally add in the dry ingredients: almond flour, walnuts, coconut flour and salt; mix on medium speed until well combined. Let the dough sit for 5-10 minutes while you clean up a bit. This is an important step as it allows the dough to thicken up so that you can roll it easily into dough balls.
Use a small cookie scoop to grab 1 tablespoon of dough and then use your hands to roll the dough into a ball. Place on the prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes until the edges just start to turn golden brown. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
Once cookies have cooled completely, add ½ cup powdered sugar to a medium bowl. Roll each cookie ball in the powdered sugar, then place back on a wire rack. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Makes about 24 (2 dozen) cookies.
To make vegan: simply use vegan butter in the recipe.
To freeze: you can either freeze the dough or freeze the baked snowball cookies for up to 3 months! Check out all of my tips & tricks for freezing cookies here. For snowball cookies, I’d recommend re-rolling them in powdered sugar after thawing the baked cookies so that they’re nice and pretty.
Servings: 24 cookies
Serving size: 1 cookie
Saturated fat: 3.3g