The Best Recipe for Russian Tea Cakes

Candi's Kitchen

If you are searching for the best recipe for Russian Tea Cakes, I have just what you need! My friends and family will attest to the fact that I’m a pretty good cook, but it’s not my forte. I would love to have the time to take some cooking and baking classes, buy some REAL cookware and bake ware…you know…do it up right. That’s on my list for the future.

I do have a number of recipes in my back pocket, though, that my family loves. I usually make them around the holidays or other special times. And I’m going to share them with you, for your enjoyment. 🙂

the best recipe for russian tea cakes

Anyhoo, back to the Russian Tea Cakes. It’s probably a holiday cookie for most of us, but I like to make them whenever I get a hankerin’ for a melt-in-your-mouth butter cookie with a bit of a nutty crunch and a heavenly coating of confectioners sugar. Add a cup of steaming, black coffee to the mix and I’m in heaven.

This particular recipe is one that I’ve had for years and years. It came from an old church cook book that I had when we lived in Detroit. Here is the actual piece of faded, lined paper I wrote it on a long time ago, red pen, ingredient stains and all:

russian tea cake recipe handwritten

Not to worry, though, the complete recipe can be found below. It’s so simple, only 6 ingredients that most of us have on hand all the time.

There’s not a long prep time for these tasty little morsels, just make sure the butter is at room temperature. It is always a good thing to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes, too, so try not to skip that step.

I’m always partial to using pecans as the nutty ingredient, but use whatever type of nut you enjoy.

They don’t have a long bake time, no more than 12 minutes. And they’re really, really good when eaten warm. Just ask me. I have done it often.

Where Did the Name Russian Tea Cakes Originate?

First, you might better know these little round gems as ‘butter balls’, Snowball cookies, or Mexican Wedding Cakes. Although the name might be different, the end result is the same…just plain yummy.

Historically, the cookie started appearing in Russia in the 18th century, where they were used during tea-sharing ceremonies. It is also believed that Eastern Europe is the origin of this cookie, as many shortbread and cookie recipes were a part of European cuisine, made many times by European nuns.

The little cookie traveled from Europe to Mexico between the 18th and 20th century (I can see it now, on a boat, paddling away :), and made it’s way to the general public. By the time the 20th century rolled around, Russian Tea Cakes became a Christmas holiday treat, and they are still associated with that holiday today.

All that said, do we really care where the best recipe for russian tea cakes originated? NO. All I care about is that they taste really, really good and I love them.

So, go check the pantry, pull out these simple ingredients, and bake yourself the best, tastiest little cookie around!

Print Recipe
The Best Recipe for Russian Tea Cakes BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 10-12 min
Passive Time 30 min
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Mix together:
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanila
Sift together and stir in:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix in:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 10-12 min
Passive Time 30 min
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Mix together:
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanila
Sift together and stir in:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix in:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Chill dough. Roll into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheetes.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees until set, but not brown. While still warm, roll in confectioners sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

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best recipe for russian tea cakes
Print Recipe
The Best Recipe for Russian Tea Cakes BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 10-12 min
Passive Time 30 min
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Mix together:
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanila
Sift together and stir in:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix in:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 10-12 min
Passive Time 30 min
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Mix together:
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanila
Sift together and stir in:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix in:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Chill dough. Roll into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheetes.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees until set, but not brown. While still warm, roll in confectioners sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

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