Italian Wedding Cookies

36 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Italian Wedding Cookies are an easy 6 ingredient nutty, buttery holiday cookie with ground almonds, chopped almonds and vanilla rolled in powdered sugar.

Italian Wedding Cookies are light, airy and melt in your mouth delicious, much like a Meringue CookieBut no need to reserve these just for the holidays, they’d be perfect for Baby Showers, Bridal parties and any other excuse to eat a yummy cookie. In fact, there are over 50 different Cookie Recipes for you to choose from to fit any occasion.

Italian Wedding Cookies on cookie sheet


These little powdery cookies go by a few names, butterballs, snowballs or Italian Wedding Cookies. They’re much like Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes but instead of pecans, they’re made with chopped almonds and ground almonds.

Christmas is almost here but that doesn’t mean you can’t add one more cookie to your cookie tray for Santa. They have the perfect delicate balance of sweet from the powdered sugar and nuttiness from the ground almonds. 

You won’t believe how easy these Italian Cookies are to make. They only require a handful of ingredients and take about 15 minutes of prep time, perfect for even a beginning baker. Another great thing about these Christmas cookies is that the recipe doesn’t require you to chill the dough. You can just make, bake and enjoy!

Italian Wedding Cookies

This recipe calls for ground almonds which you can get from the store but it’s also very easy to grind your own. All you need are almonds and a food processor. Make sure to pulse the nuts in short bursts and not allow the food processor to run continuously otherwise it’ll release the nuts oils. You’ll know when you’re done when the almonds are ground but still have a bit of texture to them.

Are powdered sugar and confectioners sugar the same thing?

Yes, they are exactly the same thing. You might also see it called 10x sugar. Basically, it’s sugar that has been ground so fine that it’s now a powder and then cornstarch gets mixed in to prevent clumping.



  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees f.
  • Cream butter in a mixing bowl.
  • Gradually mix in ¾ cup powdered sugar and salt into the butter.
  • Add almonds and vanilla.
  • Mix in flour gradually.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Form the dough into small balls and place them on the cookie sheets. 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t brown.
  • After the cookies cool for about 5 minutes, roll them in the remaining powdered sugar to coat.Italian Wedding Cookies on tray



  • Nuts: Substitute the almonds with walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachios.
  • Extract: If you want a stronger almond flavor, substitute the vanilla extract with almond extract or keep both the vanilla and almond extract in the cookie dough.
  • Vegan: Swap out the butter and use Vegan butter. Super easy!



  • Use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to scoop out the cookie dough and then roll into balls with your hands. It’ll keep them all around the same size.
  • Because of the amount of butter in these cookies (yay!), you can use ungreased cookie sheets to bake them on or line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cookies can be placed close together but make sure they’re not touching.
  • Make sure that the butter is at room temperature before starting this recipe. It’ll make the creaming process much easier. I suggest letting it sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes prior to using it. 


  • Serve: Enjoy these cookies fresh from the oven or out at room temperature.
  • Store: You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Make sure to place a piece of parchment paper in between each layer to keep the cookies from sticking together.
  • Freeze: For best results, I wouldn’t recommend freezing them with the powdered sugar coating on them. Freeze the cookie dough balls and flash freeze on a baking sheet for about an hour. Then move the balls to a freezer-safe storage bag or container. No need to thaw them before baking, just add an additional minute to the bake time then roll in the powdered sugar per the recipe.

Italian Wedding Cookies in mini stack

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Italian Wedding Cookies

Italian Wedding Cookies are an easy 6 ingredient nutty, buttery holiday cookie with ground almonds, chopped almonds and vanilla rolled in powdered sugar.
Yield 36 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar , divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups almonds , divided
  • 1 tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of the almonds to a food processor and pulse until the almonds are ground into a sand-like texture.
  • To your stand mixer add the butter and cream on medium speed for 1 minute until light and fluffy.
  • Add in ¾ cup powdered sugar and salt.
  • Add ground almonds and vanilla extract.
  • On low speed add in the flour until just combined.
  • Add in the chopped almonds for just 5 seconds until mixed in.
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon sized scoops of dough onto the cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't brown.
  • After the cookies cool for about 5 minutes, roll them in the remaining powdered sugar to coat, let them sit one minute then roll a second time to get a nice powdery coating.


Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 266IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Italian Wedding Cookies collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Love your site.. Easy and quickly able to get the recipes as to having to try to get through sites that put u through 2 to 4 other sites that have nothing to do with the recipes your looking for. Will save and use this site from now on and get rid of the ones that put you in a see if you can find me mode. Thank you.

    1. Yay! So glad you found us. I hope you Subscribe so you can receive our emails as well!

    1. Did you take them out before they browned on the bottom and then cool before rolling in powdered sugar? Did you allow the butter to come to room temperature first? Did you add oil to the cooking sheet? No need as there is a lot of butter in this recipe.

    1. All Purpose! You commented a few days ago and I’m just seeing this during this busy season. How did your cookies turn out?

  2. Mine were a total failure! They literally crumbled when I picked them up to roll in the powdered sugar; what did I do wrong?

    1. Maureen, would love to help troubleshoot. Did you measure the flour by spooning it in and leveling or by dipping the cup in the flour. Sometimes when people dip the cup it it compacts the flour and can add too much. That’s not normally the worst when there are leavening agents in the recipe, but when there isn’t, like in this recipe, it can make it fragile/dry. The second issue could be (and is more likely) the nuts. If there’s too much then they will create a crumbly cookie as there isn’t enough of the cookie dough to adhere the cookie together. Happy to troubleshoot more with you if these are not the issues you faced.

  3. Thank you for the recipe. My italian grandmother made these for christmas each year and I will recreate that starting this year!

  4. Hey, Sabrina.

    Can you substitute gluten-free flour???

    Trying to make for a wedding and needing a gluten-free option ?

    Thanks, Jane

  5. Hi Sabrina.
    In the instructions it calls for cream but the ingredients
    list doesn’t list cream. Can you say how much cream, please.
    Thank you. Going to try them.

  6. I’m confused. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups almonds. You grind up 1 1/2 cups to add to dough but I don’t see what you do with the extra cup of almonds.

    1. Hi! I see its a little confusing. on step 7 you would chop the remaining almonds and add to mixture until just mixed.

  7. Tasted delicious and looked just like the picture! It would be helpful to give an estimate of how many cups ground almonds to use if you don’t grind your own. I used about a cup but it was just a guess, assuming that the 1.5 cups of whole almonds was reduced a little by grinding them.

  8. Hello! I’m making these for a wedding and need to know: by 36 servings do you mean 36 cookies???

      1. Thank you for the recipe. My italian grandmother made these for christmas each year and I will recreate that starting this year!

  9. Talk about a blast from the past, my grandma used to make these and your recipe is spot on. Absolutely perfect and such a dang tasty treat! Thank you!

  10. This is one of my favorite cookies to make during the holidays. They are so light and delicious and sure to please anyone.