Gluten-Free Russian Tea Cookies are deliciously simple, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth little balls of baked goodness. This gluten-free cookie recipe is easy to make and with a few simple ingredients, they’re a classic for any Christmas cookie plate.
You might also know these cookies as Mexican Wedding Cookies (or “cakes”), Italian Wedding, or even Snowball cookies. (And in case you were wondering, yes, Russian tea cookies are the same thing as Mexican wedding cakes.)
I grew up baking these nutty buttery cookies with my mother for Christmas (I have such good memories of baking with her – it’s really because of her that I love baking and cooking and have so many yummy recipes on this blog). And we always called them Delectabites. I just asked my mom about that today because I don’t recall anyone ever calling them by that name before and she said she got the recipe with the name Delectabites, from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. Go figure. Have you ever heard of so many different names for the same cookie?
And yes, they all – Russian Tea Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Snowballs, and Delectabites – are pretty much the same thing. Just like any recipe, people will make variations but the concept is the same. Sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and nuts (usually walnuts or pecans) dipped in powdered sugar.
The result is a deliciously sugary, buttery nutty cookie ball.
For the sake of simplicity, I will call them Russian Tea Cookies in this post.
Of course, because it’s me, this cookie recipe is gluten-free and I think it tastes exactly like the non-gluten-free version. And my family absolutely loves them; my husband declared these Christmas cookies to be one of his favorites and requested them again just the other night. (No problem honey, they take 10 minutes to whip up!)
Gluten-free Russian Tea Cookies are really quite simple to make. They’re so easy, my children love helping me make them too. They love rolling them into little balls and then gently dipping them in powdered sugar.
Sometimes, we use coconut sugar instead of powdered for a slightly healthier version and they taste just as good. (You’ll see a note for that in the printable recipe down below.)
Our Christmas cookie baking is not complete without at least one batch of our tasty Gluten-free Russian Tea Cookies!
Related: Here are 45 more gluten-free Christmas cookie recipes to tempt you!
How to Make Gluten-Free Russian Tea Cookies
butter, powdered sugar (or for a healthier version – coconut sugar), vanilla extract, gluten-free flour, salt, walnuts, and a little extra powdered or coconut sugar.
(Scroll down to see the full recipe with a printable version.)
One nice thing about making these gluten-free Russian tea cookies is that because there is no baking soda or powder, they don’t really expand and mostly stay the same size. This means you can place them much closer together on a cookie sheet than you can with most cookies. And that also means fewer dishes and cleanup later.
When the cookies are baked, gently use a form to roll them in a small bowl with powdered or coconut sugar. These are a little more delicate than non-gluten-free russian tea cookies so be gentle.
Set on a wire rack to cool. After 5 minutes, gently roll each cookie one more time in the sugar. Or not. I sometimes skip this step because they’re delicious without the second coating.
Cool completely and enjoy your Gluten-Free Russian Tea Cookies!
Store in a covered container for up to 5 days (if your family doesn’t eat these yummy gluten-free Christmas cookies first!)
One batch makes approximately 2 dozen Russian tea cookies.
More Classic Christmas Cookie Recipes:
- Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting
- Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies (Blossoms)
- Old-Fashioned Snickerdoodles (Gluten-Free)
- Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
- Magic Cookie Bars (with gluten-free option)
- Raspberry Oatmeal Bars (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Gluten-Free Snowball Cookies
Gluten-Free Russian Tea Cookies are deliciously simple, nutty, melt-in-your-mouth little balls of baked goodness.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 8 min
- Total Time: 23 min
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, coconut sugar, or powdered Monk fruit
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free flour (I use King Arthur measure-for-measure GF flour)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- additional confectioners’ sugar or coconut sugar for rolling the cookies
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the butter in your mixer until it’s almost fluffy. Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Next add the flour, salt and lastly the walnuts, mixing after each addition.
Shape dough into 1” balls and place about an inch apart onto a clean baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set but not brown. The bottoms of the cookies should just be turning brown.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute. Gently remove them with a fork or spoon and roll carefully (so you don’t burn yourself and also so they don’t fall apart) into a small bowl with powdered or coconut sugar in it.
Set on a wire rack to cool. After 5 minutes, gently roll each cookie one more time in the sugar.
Keywords: gluten-free cookies, Christmas cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, russian tea cookies, butter
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