Orange Spice Russian Tea Cakes

December 15, 2009
2 Ratings
  • Makes 2 dozen
Author Notes

Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Walnut Butter Balls, Snowball Cookies... Regardless of what you call this little powdery ball of deliciousness, they're a Holiday must have! I spiced up my recipe by adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the dough, and orange zest to the powdered sugar coating. —Loves Food Loves to Eat

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup butter-softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups all purpous flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. cream butter and vanilla until smooth
  3. mix together flour, 6 T sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  4. Stir into butter mixture until just blended (will seem flakey and powdery). Mix in walnuts.
  5. Form dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack.
  7. mix together remaining powdered sugar and orange zest. When balls are cool enough to touch (but still warm), roll in powdered sugar.
  8. Once balls have completely cooled, roll once more in powdered sugar.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Petite fee
    Petite fee
  • dymnyno
  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield
  • Loves Food Loves to Eat
    Loves Food Loves to Eat

14 Reviews

Petite F. March 13, 2014
Love the orange essence!!
dymnyno December 19, 2013
Powdered sugar often contains cornstarch which is an anti caking agent...not sure if all powdered sugars contain it though,
dymnyno December 19, 2013
dymnyno December 18, 2013
I just noticed that these are exactly the same as my recipe with the orange zest and cinnamon added, even the walnuts! I posted mine on Dec 14, 09 and this one is posted on Dec 15, 09. These are very fragile cookies and I have the most success when I shake the powdered sugar on the cookies and then gently turn them over and shake more sugar on them. If they are too dry, try baking them for less time, just until the bottoms start turning golden. Once cooled they should not be so crumbly.
Loves F. December 18, 2013
Thanks for the tips, Dymnyno! I was actually going to make them again tonight to double check the recipe after that last comment. How funny that the recipes are so similar... I've been making these since college, when I first made them for a Spanish presentation!
Loves F. December 18, 2013
Hmm... I just looked at your recipe, and there aren't exactly the same, in fact, there are some differences that may have impacted the texture/moisture level of mine: I use less nuts to flour ratio, and use powdered sugar in the dough (versus granulated). I may try yours tonight!
dymnyno December 19, 2013's a classic!
Loves F. December 19, 2013
Update: I tried my recipe again, but used your tips here (shorter cooking time - 10 minutes), let them cool a little longer, then sifted, not rolled, and they turned out perfect!
dymnyno December 19, 2013
Angelbaker December 18, 2013
Made this recipe this afternoon. Sounded good, but the cookies were very dry. Also, the fresh orange zest made the powdered sugar wet, so that mixture would not stick to the cookies - whether warm or cool. Ended up just rolling them in powdered sugar without the zest. Several cookies were so dry, they just fell apart. Will not make this again.
Loves F. December 18, 2013
Dymnyno offers some great tips above! However, this type of cookie is typically on the drier side (but, of course should not fall apart)! Sorry they didn't work out for you!
SueG January 2, 2010
Excellent, excellent flavor tweaking here. Mexican wedding cakes are near the top of my favorites list and I know that I would adore these flavors in it. When I am ready to make Mex wed cakes again, this will be the one I try.
Kelsey B. December 16, 2009
Tomay-to, Toma-to, isn't it funny how we all regard these as Christmas favorites. Maybe A+M should just combine our recipes into one called "The Food52 Russian Mexican Spiced Butter Tea Cake Snowball Cookie."
dymnyno December 15, 2009
Ha...these are a classic! My mother always called them Russian Tea cakes too. But, now they are called Mexican Wedding Cookies...I love them too!