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+ servings
sugar coated butter ball cookies on a sugared counter
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4.63 from 56 votes

Classic Butter Balls

A Christmas Classic! These Butter Balls, also known as Russian Tea Cakes, are so easy, but so delicious and perfect little snowball like bites of Christmas!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 40 balls
Author Tracy


  • 1 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar + 1/4-1/2 cup more for dusting
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl mix together butter, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla until well incorporated.  
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt.  Stir into butter mixture.  Add walnuts and mix. 
  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Place on un-greased cookie sheets.  They don't spread so they don't need to be spaced far apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool for a minute or two, then add another 1/4-1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar to a small bowl and then roll just out of the oven balls in sugar (don't worry, they wont fully coat, yet).  Let cool and then roll again to get the full sugary coating.


Butter:  If using salted butter, just omit the salt.