Melt in your mouth, beautifully round, buttery, studded with pecan bits, and dusted with powdered sugar, these vegan pecan snowball cookies are made with plant butter for a rich and tasty cookie you can enjoy for special holidays or any time of the year.
Snowball cookies are little bite-sized balls of buttery joy! Rolled in powdered sugar (little snowballs!), they are sweet, buttery, and fall apart in your mouth. Snowball cookies are naturally egg-free so it was an easy switch to make them into vegan cookies by using plant butter and organic powdered sugar.
A snowball cookie by any other name
We always called them “snowball” cookies. I think that living in the desert where it rarely snows, it just seemed a more whimsical name. Snowball cookies are also known as:
- Mexican wedding cookies
- Russian tea cookies
- Italian wedding cookies, or
- pecan Sandies
Do you call them something else in your family? I’d love to hear about it!
Vegan snowball cookies make an excellent holiday cookie! But they can be enjoyed at any time of year and for any occasion. If you are vegan or simply avoiding dairy, these melt-in-your-mouth buttery balls of joy are for you!
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Ingredients needed to make vegan snowball cookies
The exact ingredients along with measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below. Read more to learn about the ingredient and substitutions.
- vegan butter sticks – Use the vegan butter with the best flavor and the highest amount of fat. The flavor will definitely come through on this snowball cookie recipe. If your vegan butter has a nasty taste, it won’t be improved by baking it in a cookie.
- confectioners sugar – This is the same thing as powdered sugar. If you are vegan, you can use organic confectioners sugar
- all-purpose flour – I have not tried this recipe with any of the gluten-free flours. Do let me know if you do and what the results are.
- pecans – You will be chopping the pecans very small or “fine”. Even if you buy chopped pecans, you will still need to chop them finer. I use this handy chopper. It doesn’t need to be plugged in and gets the job done.
- vanilla extract
- sea salt
Use the best-tasting highest fat vegan butter that you can find. Just like cooking with wine, if you cook with cheap crap-tasting wine, your recipe will turn out cheap, crap-tasting. Higher-fat stick butter works better than tub butter for this recipe.
How to make vegan snowball cookies
Step 1: Prep
Soften the vegan butter to room temperature and chop the pecans. I like to chop my nuts with this handy little chopper. It’s super easy to use. Add the pecans, pull the string a few times and you’ve got chopped nuts! Again, they need to be pretty finely chopped for this recipe – no pecans halves or super large chunks.
Step 2: Cream the butter and confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
Once the butter has softened to room temperature, mix it at high speed with a hand or stand mixer along with the confectioners sugar till it’s light, creamy, and fluffy. For melt-in-your-mouth cookies, make sure the vegan butter and sugar are thoroughly mixed with no little chunks of butter remaining before adding in the other ingredients.
Step 3: Add in the vanilla, flour, and salt
Next, add the vanilla, flour, and salt. Continue beating till well combined BUT not a minute past that point! You don’t want to overbeat the cookie dough or you won’t have the tender, crumble-in-your-mouth, crave-able, snowball cookies you want!
STEP 4: Fold in the pecans
Now, aren’t you happy that you already chopped those pecans and set them aside? It’s nice to be able to just pull them out and fold them in.
Can you buy chopped pecans to use? Yes, you can…with a few caveats.
I’ve purchased chopped pecans that are pretty large and chunky. They do sell them as “finely chopped” and they are sometimes available. Finely chopped pecans are more expensive than pecan halves. Watch the expiration date as pecans tend to lose their freshness quickly. I have a theory (unproven) that nuts start to lose their freshness when chopped. This is why I prefer to just chop my own.
Step 5: Roll the balls and Bake
Using your hands or small ice cream or cookie scoop, shape the dough into small balls and place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet you’ve prepared.
They will not spread during baking so you can fit all of the cookies on a large cookie sheet. If you are using a smaller cookie sheet then you will need to cook in two batches.
Bake in a 350° oven for about 11 minutes. They will be lightly browned when finished.
Step 6: Roll in powdered sugar
While the cookies are easy to handle, but still a little warm, carefully roll in the powdered sugar and set them on a cooling rack to completely cool.
After they have cooled then one-by-one roll the vegan snowball cookies in powdered sugar a second time.
Serving and storing
These powdered sugar cookies can be saved for four days if tightly covered. You can also freeze them. I have frozen mine for a couple of months, taken them out to thaw on the counter, and enjoyed. Perhaps they can be frozen for a longer amount of time. We are not a patient family with our cookies!
For some other delicious vegan cookies and treats from Veggie Fun Kitchen for the holidays and beyond, try
- Cranberry Bliss Bars
- The Fudgiest Fudge Brownies
- Frosted Cake Brownies
- Devil’s Food Cake
- The Best Vegan Eggnog
- Creamy Chocolate Peppermint Martini
The printable recipe card for Vegan Pecan Snowball Cookies
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Vegan Pecan Snowball Cookies
- baking sheet with parchment paper
- 1 cup vegan butter stick butter is best, 2 sticks
- ½ cup powderded sugar plus one cup for dusting – see below
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans chopped fine
- 1 cup powdered sugar for dusting cooled cookies.
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Soften the vegan butter to room temperature and finely chop the pecans. Set each aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and ½ cup powdered sugar with a mixer until smooth.
- Add in flour, vanilla, and salt. Continue beating until well combined.
- Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Using your hands or a small ice cream or cookie scoop, shape the dough into small balls and place on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350° for 11 minutes until just lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and while still warm, gently roll in powdered sugar. Place on a cooling rack to thoroughly cool. Once the cookies have completely cooled, roll one more time in powdered sugar for a final dusting.