You will love these melt-in-your-mouth keto snowball cookies. At only 1.3g net carbs per cookie, this simple recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday cookie exchange!
Made with almond flour and keto-friendly powdered sweetener, these sugar-free snowball cookies are a treat you can enjoy guilt-free!
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You may have also heard these cookies referred to as Mexican wedding cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, and Russian tea cakes. They're frequently served for holidays or special occasions and are perfect for your holiday cookie tray!
This was inspired by my Buttery Keto Shortbread Cookies on this site, and pairs well with this Creamy Keto Eggnog Recipe.
Keto snowball cookies are easy to make and only require a handful of simple ingredients. You probably already have them in your low-carb pantry.
This snowball cookie recipe will yield 24 cookies. You can adjust the number of servings by cutting this recipe in half or double the cookie dough to fit your needs.
- almond flour - this serves as the base of the recipe. Please make sure you use almond flour as you cannot substitute almond flour for coconut flour. Trust me on this one!
- softened butter - you can leave the stick of butter out on the counter for a few hours. Or, if you are in a hurry, use a cheese grater or small knife to cut up the butter into small pieces and it will be at room temperature in 30 minutes or so.
- powdered sweetener - this is the substitute for powdered sugar in this recipe. There are so many keto sweeteners you can use! I like monk fruit sweetener, but use what you have on hand.
- vanilla extract - use a good quality vanilla extract or vanilla essence for best results.
- chopped pecans - traditionally, this recipe calls for finely chopped pecans, and I encourage you to try it that way! However, you can also used other chopped nuts such as chopped walnuts if that's what you have availabile.
- spices - you'll need salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
See the recipe card below for quantities.
To make keto snowball cookies, you will want to start by mixing together your butter and powdered sweetener until smooth.
Then mix in the rest of the keto snowball ingredients.
Once your cookie dough is mixed, scoop the dough into 24 1-inch doubh balls and arrange them on a prepared cookie sheet.
Your cookies may seem small at first, but don't worry, they will rise.
Bake your cookies on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven for 16-18 minutes. When the cookies are done baking, roll them in powdered sweetener while they are still warm.
Let your keto snowball cookies cool completely and then roll them in the powdered sweetener again or sift the sweetener over the top of the snowball cookies.
Hint: The heat and steam from the cookies will turn the first coat of powdered sweetener into a delicious glaze. This glaze will help the second coating of sweetener stick to the cookies.
Want to make these keto snowball cookies, but not sure if you can switch out certain ingredients to meet your needs?
Below you find my recommendations for some common substitutions.
- Cinnamon - feel free to leave this out if you would like, or replace it with ginger or anise.
- Pecans - any chopped nuts will work in place of the chopped pecans in this cookie. See my carbs in nut explination to help you choose which nuts to use.
- Vegan - coconut oil can be used in place of the butter to make the cookies vegan. Do not melt the oil. If you oil melted or loose refrigetate the cookies for 10-15 minutes before baking. This keeps the keto snowball cookies from spreading too much while cooking on the baking sheet.
- Gluten free - thankfully all of the ingredients in this classic recipe are naturally gluten free!
- Almond essence - or almond extract. For a real festive flavour.
Give your keto snowball cookies a tasty twist with our recommendations below.
I really love the idea of turning these snowballs into adorable snowman faces!
- Almond - use ½ teaspoon almond extract instead of vanilla.
- Almond paste - you can make your own almond paste (marzipan) using 3 ingredients and takes less than 5 minutes. Roll into little balls and pop one in the center of each snowball cookie. When you bite the cookies you'll have a delicious surprise hidden for your guests.
- Chocolate - mix some sugar-free chocolate chips or unsweetened cocoa powder into the dough before baking.
- Kid-friendly - use bits of chopped nuts or chocolate to make snowman faces on your snowball cookies!
- Spices - cardamom, fennel seeds, or pumpkin pie spice.
- Nuts - chopped pecans, walnuts, or macadamias.
See this Ultimate Low-Carb Sweeteners Guide on my website for help choosing the best sweetener for you!
You don't need a lot of equipment to make this snowball cookie recipe.
To mix the cookie dough you can use a silicone spatula or an electric hand mixer. I do not recommend using a whisk since the dough will get trapped in the whisk.
I like to use a metal baking sheet (or cookie sheet) for my cookies and bake them on the middle rack of the oven for even heat distribution.
Depending on how your oven heats you may choose to line your cookie sheet with a silicone mat or baking parchment paper to keep the bottom of the cookies from cooking too quickly.
Baked cookies can be stored on the counter in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Refrigerated cookies will stay good for up to 1 week.
Because the dough is egg-free, these keto snowball cookies can also be frozen baked, or unbaked for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Frozen keto snowball cookies should be thawed on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour before eating or baking uncooked dough.
Expert tip (how to use the powdered sweetener)
You can coat your cookies with powdered sweetener in a few ways. Choose the method that works best for you. Sometimes I will individually dip each of the snowball cookies in sweetener.
Other times I will put the sweetener in a container with a lid, place several cookies in the container, close the lid and gently turn the container to coat the cookie.
I have also sifted the powdered sweetener directly over the hot cookies and skipped the dipping altogether. Do whatever is easiest for you.
Enjoy - this will quickly become one of your favorite keto recipes! Making keto cookie recipes like this one is always my favourite part of my Christmas baking routine.
The keto version of this classic cookie is just as good, if not better, as the original!
Keto snowball cookies FAQ
Yes, you can easily make these yummy keto snowball cookie dough ahead of time. You can choose to bake them as directed, then refrigerate them for 1 week.
Or, you can make the dough as directed, then freeze them (baked or unbaked) for up to 3 months. Just make sure they come to room temperature for an hour or so before you eat or bake!
There are so many wonderful sweetener options these days! In fact, I wrote an entire post about sweeteners. Read the ultimate guide to low-carb sweeteners here!
If you have regular granulated sweetener (or granulated sugar replacement) place it in a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse to create your own powdered sweetener.
Snowball cookies are designed to be a bit crumbly (like a snowball) but they should hold their round shape until cooked. When mixing your dough, it should be thick, slightly crumbly, and able to hold its shape when rolled or scooped into a snowball. If your dough is crumbling, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the dough holds its snowball shape.
Add 1 tablespoon of almond flour at a time until your cookie dough is the right consistency.
More keto Christmas recipes
There is no deprivation at a keto Christmas, just look at all the delicious Christmas recipes you can indulge in this festive season.
- Almond flour Christmas cake
- Chocolate keto lasagna
- Keto pork sage sausage stuffing
- Keto shortbread cookies
- Mini-cheesecakes (raspberry swirl)
- Top 30 low-carb and keto Christmas recipes
- Best ways to use Christmas leftovers
- Sugar-free frozen Christmas dessert
Please rate this recipe.
Keto Snowball Christmas Cookies Recipe
- 2 cups (200 g) almond meal/flour
- ½ cup (120 g) butter softened
- ⅓ cup powdered sweetener or more, to your taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup (85 g) pecans
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup powdered sweetener more as needed
- Preheat your oven to 165°C/325°F. While the oven is preheating mix your softened butter and powdered sweetener together in a bowl until it is creamy and smooth.
- Next, mix in the rest of your ingredients for your dough. Your dough should be thick, slightly crumbly, and able to hold its shape when rolled or scooped into a ball. Form your dough into 24 1-inch balls and arrange them on a baking tray.
- Bake your cookies on the middle rack in your oven for 15-18 minutes or until your cookies no longer look wet and are firm to the touch.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and roll in powdered sweetener while still hot. Let the cookies cool and then roll in powdered sweetener once more or sift sweetener over the top of the cookies. Enjoy!
YOUR HOLIDAY PANTRY & GIFT GUIDES
Approximate nutrition information is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. For the most accurate nutritional data, use the actual ingredients and brands you used in your preferred nutrition calculator.
Hi Libby, I really love this recipe and have been making the cookies quite often!! Perfect little treat for tea/ coffee (or anytime!!). And the cookies remind me so much of a Lebanese cookie recipe that my granny used to make...! Delicious, thank you.
Thank you, Lu. How wonderful that these snowball cookies are a taste of home and remind you of your granny. Food has such a wonderful way to connect us all.
Thank you for another beautiful recipe! Made them for the third time 😉 since Christmas! Adding water is definitely a good tip for adjusting the texture! Thank you
I love that this recipe has become so popular outside of Christmas. They are such a tasty and easy sugar-free cookie.
Regular butter or unsalted butter?
I tend to use salted butter but you can actually use either. If you use unsalted butter, taste the cookie dough before baking and add a pinch of salt if needed.
Not sure what happened but the cookies fell apart. Also flattened out somewhat. Very disappointed
Great question, I've actually added it to the recipe FAQ above, thank you for asking. "Snowball cookies are designed to be a bit crumbly (like a snowball) but they should hold their round shape until cooked. When mixing your dough, it should be thick, slightly crumbly, and able to hold its shape when rolled or scooped into a snowball. If your dough is crumbling, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the dough holds its snowball shape."
These came out super oily and flat! Maybe too much butter? I literally had to squeeze them out and reform them into balls and the bake again. Yummy but definitely a texture problem.
It sounds like the almond flour didn't absorb the butter properly, there are a few reasons why this can occur and what you can do if it happens again. If your almond flour has absorbed moisture from the air (so always store almond flour in an airtight container) then you will need to add an extra tablespoon of flour at a time until it forms proper cookie dough. If you have measured the almond flour slightly different from the recipe, so maybe you measured with a cup that is slightly underfilled rather than a cup that has been leveled off (or better still, measuring by weight is the most accurate method to ensure baking success). I hope you try the keto snowball cookie recipe again, it really is delicious.
Good morning Libby,
How safe is using sweetners in children (3year old grand daughter just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes) we are struggling with this recent diagnosis many thanks in advance.
kind regards Rose
Hi Rose, firstly, well done for discovering low-carb nutrition and sugar-free baking so soon after T1D diagnosis. I personally have used sweeteners erythritol, monk fruit, allulose, and stevia for my entire family, my youngest was 5 when we first started (he's now 14). Which sweetener you use for you and your family is a personal choice. You may want to read my Ultimate Guide To Low-carb Sweeteners. I discuss which sweeteners to use and which to avoid. I have a great resource for you, a fantastic group called TypeOneGrit who use Dr Berstien's approach to maintaining normal blood sugars in T1D using low-carb and keto nutrition.
Can I dip the cookies into desiccated coconut rather that powdered sweetener?
Yes, that would be lovely, but I'm not sure how easily the coconut would stick to the baked cookies. So maybe roll each snowball cookie in desiccated coconut before baking. I'm sure that would work.
Melanie J Graffius
I am 65 and this is one of my All Time Favorite Cookies. But when I make them, I use Almond Extract instead of Vanilla!
My mother always called them Russian Tea Cookies but I've also heard them called Mexican Wedding Cookies - "by any other name" they're just as Wonderful!
Thanks for providing the almond flour recipe!!
Almond essence would be amazing in these keto snowball cookies. They are so delicious and festive, no matter what we all cal them. Merry Christmas xxx
I have had Wedding Cookies that had a lemon flavor or lemon powdered sugar. Do you know how I can get my cookies this flavor?
Ooh Sharon I love this idea. What I would do is to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to the cookie mixture to flavour the snowball cookies (or wedding cookies). Then I would add another tablespoon or two of lemon zest to the powdered sweetener before dusting each cookie in tit. That would be amazing.
I LOVE snowball cookies, these look even better than the originals. All that cinnamon and sweetener - I've printed out the reciep and will ake these thsi weekend. Thank you Libby. Jennifer, CA.
Hey there Jennifer, I'm so glad you love this new recipe and have printed it out already for some sugar-free weekend baking. Happy holidays.