Chocolate Snowball Cookies
These buttery chocolate snowball cookies melt in your mouth and are always a crowd-pleasing Christmas treat.
About this Recipe
These chocolate snowball cookies are a twist on classic snowballs, otherwise know as Mexican wedding cakes, Italian snowballs or Russian tea cakes.
They have a rich chocolate flavour and are coated in powdered sugar for a festive finish! Much like shortbread cookies, snowball cookies are made with butter, flour and confectioners sugar and are known for their buttery melt-in-your-mouth texture.
This version uses cocoa powder and chocolate chips for a double chocolate variation on the traditional recipe.
Add these yummy treats to your holiday baking list and watch them quickly disappear from the goodie tray. Consider making a double batch!
I also have a pecan snowballs cookies if you’re looking for the classic version.
- Vegan (dairy-free, no eggs).
- Can be made gluten-free.
- Festive look for Christmas.
- Freeze well.
- Can be prepared in advance.
- Just a few ingredients.
- Easy to make.
- Work well for gifting!
- Butter: This recipe calls for plant-based butter such as Earth Balance, Miyoko’s, Country Crock or Melt Organic. I like the butter sticks for baking. If you’re not vegan or dairy-free, regular butter is also suitable.
- Powdered Sugar: Also known as icing sugar or confectioners sugar. Do not use granulated sugar.
- Flour: The recipe calls for unbleached all-purpose flour but gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour also works.
- Cocoa Powder: I like dark cocoa powder here but any cocoa powder or raw cacao powder works.
- Vanilla: Technically optional but it does enhance the flavour of the cookies. Use a good quality pure vanilla extract if you have it, if not, artificial vanilla is ok.
- Chocolate Chips: Mini chocolate chips are best for this recipe. They just fit better into the little cookies, though you can use regular chocolate chips if that’s what you have. These are also optional but I’d recommend using them. You could also substitute chopped nuts or do half nuts, half mini chocolate chips.
Step 1: Combine butter and sugar.
Beat the softened plant-based butter in mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Step 2: Add vanilla and cocoa powder.
Add the vanilla and cocoa powder to the bowl and continue beating until fully mixed in.
Step 3: Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add the flour, salt and cornstarch and beat again to combine. Mix until you have a uniform dough. Add the mini chocolate chips and beat briefly to mix them in.
Once the dough is prepared, cover with a dish towel or wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Quick Tip: The cookie dough can be prepared as much as a day in advance, wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
Step 4: Create the cookies.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, create roughly 1 tbsp balls, placing them evenly spaced out on the prepared pan.
Step 5: Bake the cookies.
Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes then let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes.
They’ll still be a bit soft until they cool but the bottoms should be slightly browned when they’re ready to come out of the oven.
Step 6: Coat the cookies in icing sugar.
Once the cookies have cooled for 10 minutes, roll each in a bowl of icing sugar until coated on all sides. Transfer the coated cookies to a baking rack to finish cooling.
Quick Tip: Place the cooling rack over a baking pan to catch any excess powdered sugar.
After the cookies have fully cooled, you’ll notice some of the sugar will have melted into the still-warm cookies.
Roll them again in powdered sugar for a more solid coating. I rolled mine 2-3 times as needed until they well-coated.
Now they’re ready to enjoy! Serve right away or see the storage instructions for how to keep them.
Tips for Success
- Chill the dough. For the best texture, shape and density, be sure to chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes. This helps the butter (fat) solidify so the cookies hold their shape. You can make the dough as much as 24 hours in advance if that works better for timing!
- Roll the cookies in sugar 2-3 times. After the initial coating, let the cookies cool longer and then roll again, and again if you like, to get a solid and pretty finish.
- Use a digital scale. I highly recommend using a digital kitchen scale for measuring your ingredients when baking. This will ensure accuracy and success with the recipe and makes it super easy too – just follow the listed weights, adding each ingredient directly to the bowl using the tare function.
- Use room temperature butter. Use soft room temperature butter so it’s easy to cream and mixes easily with the other ingredients.
- Do not over bake. Over baked snowballs will be dry and crumbly. Err on the side of under done if you’re unsure. They will firm up as they cool.
Yes! To freeze these cookies, let them cool completely then either freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or freeze them in layers with a piece of parchment or wax paper in between them to prevent sticking.
Thaw the cookies at room temperature. The cookies will keep for up to 4 months in the freezer.
Yes. To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour such as Bob’s Red Mill.
It does have to be a gluten-free flour blend. You can use your own mix if you’re familiar with the necessary ingredients.
Yes. You can easily double this recipe by using the 2x butter in the recipe card below.
It’s possible the ingredients were measured incorrectly. It’s important to have the right ratio of butter, to flour, to powdered sugar, which is why I suggest using a digital scale for accuracy and success!
Additionally, make sure you chill the dough. As the butter solidifies in the fridge, it will help them hold their shape through baking.
- Chocolate Mint Snowballs: Add 1-2 tsp pure peppermint extract.
- Chocolate Orange Snowball Cookies: Add 1 tbsp orange zest.
- Chocolate Nut Snowballs: Omit the chocolate chips and use your choice of chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts or almonds. These would be good with orange too.
- Chocolate Coated Snowballs: Once cooled, dip the snowballs in melted chocolate instead of coating in powdered sugar. Place the coated snowballs in the fridge until the chocolate sets.
- Chocolate Espresso Snowball Cookies: Add 2 tsp instant espresso powder to the dough.
- Let the cookies completely cool before storing.
- Room Temperature: Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Fridge: Store in an airtight container for 1 week or more.
- Freezing: Freeze on a baking tray then transfer to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, or, layer in a freezer-safe container with a piece of parchment or wax paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together. You can enjoy them straight from the freezer after just a few minutes at room temperature.
Did you try this recipe?
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Chocolate Snowball Cookies Recipe
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Enjoy these festive double chocolate snowball cookies for the holiday season! They’re easy to make, have the most delicious buttery texture and make a great addition to Christmas baking.
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp vegan butter, softened (140 g)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar (40 g) + ⅓ cup for rolling (40 g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (12.5 g)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (135 g)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips (80 g)
- Beat Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter using a hand mixer or stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. Add ⅓ cup of powdered sugar. Beat for 2-3 minutes until evenly combined, light and fluffy.
- Add Vanilla and Cocoa: Add the vanilla and cocoa powder and beat until fully combined.
- Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the flour, cornstarch and salt to the bowl. Start mixing on low-speed and increase the speed to high until you have a uniform dough. Add the mini chocolate chips and beat briefly to mix them in or stir in with a wooden spoon.
- Chill Dough: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours). If you’re chilling the dough for over an hour, up to 24 hours, wrap in plastic wrap
- Prepare for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350˚F (177˚C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Create Snowballs: After chilling, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and scoop the dough into 1 tbsp mounds using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, placing them evenly spaced out on the baking sheet.
- Bake Cookies: Bake for 13-15 minutes, until bottoms are just lightly browned.
- Cool then Coat in Icing Sugar: Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, roll the cookies in the additional powdered sugar. Place on a drying rack to finish cooling. After they’re cooled or nearly cool, roll them again in powdered sugar for a more solid coating, repeating one more time if needed. You may need a bit more than 1/3 cup powdered sugar for rolling. Enjoy your cookie or store for later.
Once cooled, place cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days. For long-term storage, baked cookies can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
It’s recommended to use a digital kitchen scale to weight the ingredients according to the listed amounts for accuracy and recipe success.
- Serving Size: 1 snowball
- Calories: 112
- Sugar: 8 g
- Sodium: 99 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 2 g
Keywords: chocolate snowball cookies, chocolate snowballs
Wow, I made these with the orange zest variation and they were amazing. Served them at our family gathering tonight and got lots of complements. I’ll be making these every Christmas from now on-but next year I think I’ll also do them with the espresso variation! Can’t wait. Thanks for a great recipe.
Thanks, Laura! So glad you loved them. Thanks for the review! Merry Christmas.