Gluten free Russian Tea Cakes (Snowballs)


This recipe has always been a tradition in my family. And now I make them every year, mostly because they were my Dad’s favorite!

But this recipe isn’t just popular in my home! This cookie goes by many names: Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, Italian Butter Nut, Southern Pecan Butterball, and today’s favorite – Snowballs! This recipe is pretty popular around the world and made its first debut in a 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook!

This Gluten Free Flour Now Rocks My World

gluten free flourSnowballs are not normally low-fodmap or gluten free, but that didn’t stop me. I recently discovered a gluten-free flour that left me very impressed! I might have clapped and danced a little in the grocery aisle. Maybe I’m a little late to the game, but Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend rocks my world! It is free of 8 allergens, only has 6 ingredients, and has no GMOs, preservatives, potato, corn or casein! Most gluten free flours make my SIBO symptoms flare but this flour has removed most allergens and is low-fodmap!

I was just dying to try it out and used it for the cookies. They turned out great! You can use this as a 1-1 ratio for flour in regular baking recipes. This has opened up a whole realm of baking possibilities! And it’s relatively cheap compared to other brands when you buy it in bulk!

A Note About this Recipe

I could hardly tell a difference between the original recipe and the gluten-free one which is a big win! However, I did notice that the gluten-free recipe tends to cook faster. I accidentally overcooked a batch of cookies which made them a little more dry than normal. So just keep a good eye on them so that they don’t overcook!


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups Namaste gluten-free flour (or use all purpose flour for the original recipe)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds
  • powdered sugar for rolling


Preheat your oven to 325 F. In a large bowl combine 1/2 c powdered sugar, softened butter, and vanilla. Blend well (it will look creamy and fluffy).cookie6

Chop pecans in a food processor until fine – but not so much that they turn to dust! cookie2

Add flour, nuts, and salt to the bowl. Continue stirring until it holds together (picture taken before I stirred). Batter will be soft, moldable, and might be a little sticky.


Shape batter into small bite-sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake 7-10 minutes until the cookie shell is set and the bottom has turned light golden brown. Do not over bake! Even if the cookie itself doesn’t look done, you will know it’s ready by flipping one over and looking at the bottom.


Immediately remove cookies from pan (careful! they might be hot) and when you can handle them, roll in a bowl of powdered sugar. And yes, that is a cookie smiley face 🙂


Place each powdered cookie on a cooling rack to cool. Let sit for about 5 minutes or so – you will notice that the powdered sugar has melted into the cookie and is no longer “powdery”.


After the cookie has cooled, roll a second time in the powdered sugar. Sometimes I even do this a third time so they look powdery and fluffy! Allow the cookie to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


We served these at our annual Christmas party and they were delicious! Enjoy!


10 thoughts on “Gluten free Russian Tea Cakes (Snowballs)

  1. They look great! How many cookies will this recipe make? I need to have at least 3 dozen and not sure if I should double the recipe or not.


    1. Hi Daniela! Thanks for commenting! This recipe should yield around 4 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make the snowballs. I just updated the recipe, so make sure you look it over again before making. Enjoy! 🙂


      1. I’m sure there are many good choices out there! My sister uses Smart Balance Dairy Free butter and it seems to work well as a substitute in cookies and baking!


      2. The only one available in sticks where I live is Earth Balance.m And it seems to work well in everything I’ve tried so far!

        Liked by 1 person

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