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Russian Tea Cakes : I’m Lovin’ It


We always called this melt in your mouth cookie Russian Tea Cakes, but they are also known as Wedding Cakes, Pecan Balls, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, Pecan Sandies, Swedish Tea Cakes and many more!

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One of my favorite cookies since childhood, is a cookie with many names.

They are light, delicate shortbread with pecans all rolled in to powdered sugar for extra sweetness!

We always called them Russian Tea Cakes, but they are also known as Wedding Cakes, Pecan Balls, Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs, Pecan Sandies, Swedish Tea Cakes and many more!

What ever you call them, they are a MUST on any holiday cookie table!


Russian Tea Cakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 36

Russian Tea Cakes

A melt in your mouth cookie that goes by many names.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds, add granulated sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and water, beat well.
  4. Stir in flour and pecans.
  5. Shape into 1-inch balls.
  6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 20n minutes.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. Gently roll cookies in powdered sugar.


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 More holiday cookies to enjoy!


What’s your favorite cookie?



TidyMom I'm Lovin' ItI’m Lovin’……Russian Tea Cakes

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About TidyMom

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. 1

    Great post, Cheryl, and I grew up making and eating Russian tea cakes. My grandmother was a little old Russian/Polish woman who taught me how to make these gems. They run in our blood!

  2. 2

    We make something similar to this called Pecan Puffs. There’s no water and I believe it involves a lot more butter! LOL!

  3. 3

    Thanks for hosting and have a fabulous holiday weekend!

  4. 4

    My Grandma used to make those. So yummy! Thanks so much for the party. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
    Jenn ;)

  5. 5
    lorishreveport says:

    YAY!! My hubby loves these and I wasn’t exaclty sure what they were before now…I always buy them, now I can make them! Can’t wait! Thanks!

  6. 6

    These are just the cutest!

  7. 7

    My mom made these yummy cookies every year also, but my favorite cookie is her candy cane cookie:)

  8. 8

    so happy I came by today for the link up. I am going to make these cookies this weekend with my kids. I linked up my: gingerbread, earthquake cookies and peppermint bark! enjoy and happy holidays!

  9. 9

    tea cakes sound elegant…..chocolate chip cookie is my favorite ! merry christmas ! thanks for hosting

  10. 10

    Mmm feel like picking one

  11. 11

    I had a *few* of these last night while watching a Christmas movie. Safe to say that I’m pretty much addicted to them ;) Love your photographs of them…is anyone going to finish that one with the bite taken out of it…just asking ;)

  12. 12

    These are my all time favorite cookies! My grandma always made extra in my cookie box at Christmas and now I make them every year to carry on tradition. but Russian Teacakes always get an extra batch made! ha ha

  13. 13

    I would like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I know I’m yelling but I am so excited!!! I make these and so does my MIL but she calls hers Russian Teacakes and in our family they have ALWAYS been called Pecan Sandies. Well when she gave them to us our 1st Christmas (22 years ago!) I said thank you for the Pecan Sandies and was informed they were not Pecan Sandies but Russian Teacakes and by the way they had NEVER been called Pecan Sandies! Umm… ok… I still call them Pecan Sandies (its really funny as my MIL’s name is Sandy!) So now I have been vindicated!! :-)
    twice over recently…. the other being an old recipe book. LOVe this recipe by the way! And I have to laugh because we never use pecans in our pecan sandies any longer… we use chopped hazelnuts and a little bit of chopped chocolate. LOL but we still call them Pecan Sandies! Crazy, huh!?!

  14. 14

    I just adore Russian Tea Cookies! I remember my mom and I making these when I was little, such fun :D

  15. 15

    These were one of my favorite cookies to make as a kid, brings by fond memories. Happy Holidays!

  16. 16

    Thanks so much for having a fun link party! I linked up the stenciled wall I did in our dining room. Hope you’re having a great Friday!

  17. 17

    Love those cookies! So pretty too! I make a version that has chocolate and coffee added – yummy! Thanks for hosting and have a Merry Christmas! :)

  18. 18

    That is a wonderful cookie. No wonder it is baked by so many different people and has so many different names. It should be in everyone’s recipe file no matter what the name. Today I bring Coconut Pecan Cake Balls. Thanks so much for hosting this party each week even if I don’t always get here. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  19. 19

    Always love your Friday posts and always find inspiring new recipes! Thank you!!!

  20. 20

    In Greece we call them “kourabiedes” and we use roasted almonds instead of pecan. YUMMY!!!!!!!!

  21. 21

    We have a recipe for Russian tea cakes but with 2 tsp Almond Extract and 1tsp of Vanilla. They don’t last long in our household

  22. 22
    Kris Strand says:

    LOVE your website and will be following for more great recipes/ideas. I have a question for you, I would like to make the Russian Tea Cakes ahead and freeze them for an event in a week or so. What is the best way to freeze them, making the balls and freezing them raw to bake later, or baking and rolling in powdered sugar and then freezing? Thanks so much!!

  23. 23

    This is the most useful way to spend 5 minutes….well, maybe the 0.5 of a second to inhale these li’l cuties, actually!

  24. 24

    Lovely..looks like plump shortbread cookies!

  25. 25

    can you double this recipe? Already made one batch and it was a huge hit. I tried to double the recipe and the cookies crumbled….going to try again tomorrow. Love them!


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