Walnut Snowball Cookies

Walnut Snowball Cookies
Walnut Snowball Cookies

Walnut snowball cookies fall into the ridiculously easy to make category. They’re a rich, buttery, vanilla shortbread loaded with toasted walnuts, and rolled in icing (powdered) sugar for a melt in the mouth texture. 

These cookies are perfect for baking any time of the year but especially around the holidays. It’s always a welcome sight for your friends and family to see jars full of different biscuits and cookies to nibble on. 

Super easy to make

These little shortbread cookies are quick and super easy to make. You simply add all of the ingredients except for the icing (powdered) sugar into a bowl and using your hand squish the butter through the other ingredients until the flour and butter are incorporated.

Roll the mixture into small walnut sized balls and pop them on a baking paper lined baking tray. Place the rolled cookies into the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then bake them for 20 minutes.

Once the cookies are cooked remove them from the oven, and allow to sit for 2 minutes or so. Then roll the cookies into the icing (powdered) sugar and pop them back on the tray to completely cool down. Roll the cooled cookies a second time in the icing (powdered) sugar and they’re ready to go.

This is a great recipe for children to get involved in making as we’ve experienced they love to get their little hands into the soft butter and squish it all together.

Toasting the nuts

mixing Walnut Snowball Cookies by hand using a glass bowl
mix by hand until the butter is incorporated into the flour mixture

Toasting the walnuts completely changes the flavour from the raw nut to a toasty, crisp nut with a lovely texture and flavour.

To toast your nuts preheat your oven to 185c (365f) and spread the nuts out on a baking sheet, then pop them into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow the nuts to cool on the tray then they’re ready to chop.

It may seem like an unnecessary step and one you might be tempted to omit but we promise the difference between raw and toasted is incredible when making these walnut snowball cookies.

The cookie dough

hand rolling the Walnut Snowball Cookie mixture ready for baking
squeeze walnut sized pieces of the cookie dough together, then roll between your hands to form a ball

Your butter must be soft and at room temperature as you mix these cookies using your hands and it will take about all of one minute for it all to come together. Good tip when mixing is to use a latex glove.

The mixture will look like it is a crumbly mess but you gently press it and it comes together and then roll the walnut sized pieces in the palms of your hand till you have a nice round even sized shape.

Rolling the cookies in icing (powdered) sugar 

rolling the cooked Walnut Snowball Cookies in a white bowl filled with icing sugar
roll the cooked Snowball Cookies in icing sugar while hot and again once they have cooled

The cookies get a roll in the icing sugar twice. Once when they’re hot just from the oven and the second time when they are completely cold.

When the cookies have finished cooking remove the tray from the oven and leave them on the tray for about 2 minutes.

Then gently pick each cookie up and toss through the sugar. The first coating in the sugar will melt and absorb some of the sugar because of the heat and they’ll look a bit patchy.

The second coating when they’re cold completely covers the cookie resulting in a little snowball and that’s exactly how we want them to look.

Watch How To Make Walnut Snowball Cookies

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Scroll down for the Walnut Snowball Cookie recipe

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We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make the delicious and moreish walnut snowball cookies.

a red plate in the shape of a star filled with Walnut Snowball Cookies
Walnut Snowball Cookies
Yield: about 18

Walnut Snowball Cookies

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The walnut snowball cookies are super quick and easy to make, They're rich, buttery and loaded with walnuts then rolled in melt in the mouth icing sugar. A must for the Holidays!

Recipe from Jenny Can Cook


  • 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
  • 115g (4 ounces or 1 stick) room temperature butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts, or pecans
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup icing (powdered) sugar sifted for rolling


  1. place butter, walnuts, flour, caster sugar and vanilla in a bowl
  2. use your hand to mix it all together until the butter and flour is incorporated (it only takes a minute and a rubber glove is a good idea)
  3. line a baking tray with baking (parchment paper)
  4. roll into small walnut size pieces and place on the tray leaving a space between each cookie (they don't spread)
  5. place tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  6. preheat oven to 175c (350f) on bake, not fan
  7. bake for 20 minutes - see notes
  8. place icing sugar in a bowl
  9. remove cookies from the oven and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes
  10. toss each hot cookie in the icing (powdered) sugar and return to tray to cool down
  11. when the cookies are cold redust them in the icing (powdered) sugar
  12. serve and enjoy!


  • as all ovens differ and the size of your cookies will vary from ours, keep an eye on the timing for baking
  • cookies should just have a very light colour to them and the bottoms a light golden brown colour

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