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Russian Tea Cakes

  • Author: Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + 4 hours chill
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: about 2 dozen cookies 1x


Our family recipe for Russian tea cakes– tender, round cookies rolled in powdered sugar– makes an appearance every Christmas season. These cookies are easy to make and so tasty!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)


  1. Cream together the butter and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until light and fluffy with a mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and add the salt and flour, gradually. When the flour is mostly incorporated, add the vanilla and nuts. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue to mix for another minute until the dough comes together.
  3. Transfer the dough to a small bowl and press together slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pinch off tablespoon-sized pieces of the dough and roll into a tight ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Bake for 10-11 minutes until the cookies are cooked through and beginning to get golden brown on the bottom.
  5. Carefully transfer the hot cookies to a cooling rack and let cool for about five minutes. (Not much longer, because you want to roll the cookies in the sugar when warm).
  6. Measure out a half cup of powdered sugar into a small bowl. Roll the warm cookies in the sugar until well coated, then transfer them a serving plate or container to finish cooling. (You can roll them a second time in the sugar once cooled for a thicker coating).