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Russian Tea Cakes Recipe

5 from 2 votes

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Russian tea cakes, also know as Italian wedding cookies or butterballs, are very popular around Christmas. Although they are called cakes, these are actually very crumbly cookies. They almost have a shortbread kind of a texture. I usually make three or four batches to distribute to friends and family. Everyone loves them. These are very easy to make and require very few ingredients. Yet they are absolutely delicious. 

You may substitute pecans or almonds for walnuts. This is a classic recipe that will make you popular with your friends and family. I promise you that you will need to make more than one batch. Be warned that if you make them a lot of days ahead of Christmas, you are going to run out of them and will need to make more. Dig into some buttery goodness. Do try these Russian tea cakes and feed them to your loved ones. You are going to love them and your family and friends will thank you.

I find the KitchenAid mixer really useful while baking. A stand mixer saves a lot of time and effort compared to using a hand mixer.


Russian tea cakes

Russian tea cakes

Delicious buttery holiday cookies
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian, Mexican
Servings 10
Calories 444 kcal


  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tbsp confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar for rolling cookies
  • 1/4 tsp salt optional


  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  • Cream together unsalted butter and vanilla in a stand mixer. You may also use a hand mixer instead.
  • Add sugar, salt and mix.
  • Add flour and finally add the chopped walnuts. Mix into a sticky cookie dough.
  • Roll into small 1 inch balls and space them at least an inch apart on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. 
  • Cool them completely and roll in confectioners sugar.


Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start. 
You may use pecans instead of walnuts. 
This recipe makes about 50 cookies. 


Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only. Actual numbers may be different from those provided below. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Nutrition Facts
Russian tea cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Sodium 273mg12%
Potassium 141mg4%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 6g12%
Calcium 34mg3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin A 812IU16%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Best Russian tea cakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Here’s a recipe to another favorite Christmas dessert. British Christmas pudding.

You must also try our warm and delicious mawa cake.

Happy Eating and Feeding!

By FoodLifeAndMoney in December, 2018

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