When you make coconut snowball cookies, it’s guaranteed to be a white Christmas! These powdered sugar coated cookies have the best texture thanks to chewy coconut folded right into the buttery shortbread dough. They’re a family favorite.
classic snowball cookies are rolled up with coconut for a new winter tradition
I’m going in for my second snowball cookie of the season (did you catch the Lemon Snowball Cookies?) because these easy little cookies are that good. They might not look super exciting, but trust me, they have such a lovely texture and flavor that I know you’ll be adding them to your regular repertoire. Lots and lots of chewy shredded coconut and a lovely flavor combination of vanilla and almond extracts make them unforgettable.
ingredients for coconut snowballs
- moist sweetened shredded coconut ~ make sure you are getting the moist sweetened kind here, dry, desiccated, or toasted coconut will not give a good result. Look for Baker’s ‘Angel Flake‘, in the blue bag in your baking section.
- butter ~ unsalted
- powdered sugar
- all purpose flour
- vanilla and almond extract ~ you can use coconut extract if you like.
what makes these coconut snowball cookies special
- Unlike most snowball cookies (aka Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes) these are nut-free.
- The sweetened shredded coconut adds lovely coconut flavor, of course, but also a really nice slightly chewy texture to these cookies, which I love!
- The combination of almond and vanilla extract is so unusual and plays well with the coconut for a nice complex, but subtle flavor profile.
- They stay nice and round in the oven because the coconut gives the cookies a little added structure ~ they really do look like snowballs!
troubleshooting tips and faqs for snowball cookies
The trick is to do your first coat while the cookies are still a bit warm. That gives them a base coat. After the cookies have cooled, toss them in the sugar again for a thicker, final coat. Be liberal with your powdered sugar, you can even go in for a third toss if necessary.
Definitely use moist, sweetened coconut, I like Baker’s Angel Flake, sold in the blue bags in your baking section. Dry or ‘desiccated’ coconut will not work as well.
I use a small cookie scoop to portion out my dough, but you can also use a regular tablespoon to make sure you’re getting the same amount each time. These cookies do not spread or change much in the oven, so you can place them relatively close together on the baking sheet.
I like to store them at room temperature, covered with foil. They’ll last about 3-4 days.
Yes, freeze them either before or after baking, but if freezing after baking, wait to coat them in sugar until they’ve thawed.
heads up coconut lovers!
- Triple Coconut Pound Cake
- Thai Coconut Soup (tom kha)
- Our Favorite Salmon Coconut Curry
- How to Make Coconut Rice
- Pineapple Coconut Bars
Coconut Snowball Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (Baker's Angel Flake)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, cream the butter, sugar, salt and extracts until fluffy (about 1-2 minutes)
- Add the flour, and mix briefly to combine. Then fold in the shredded coconut.
- Roll the dough into balls (about 1 Tbsp of dough each), and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. They will not spread very much so you can place them fairly close together.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes. They will still be a pale color, and soft to the touch. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Note: be careful not to over bake these.
- While the cookies are still barley warm, coat them in the powdered sugar. When they are fully cooled, give them a second coat.
- Use coconut extract in place of the almond extract if you like. Start with 1/2 teaspoon as coconut extract can be intense.
Questions and Reviews
Sue, I love “snowball cookies”. My mouth is watering just reading how to make these. I’m making these and the “Lemon Snowball Cookies” for Christmas. Thanks so much for both recipes!
As a life long lover of Russian Tea Cakes, I am so excited; this recipe is a delightful, fresh new take on such a classic! Thank you so much for sharing, I will be adding this to my list of favorites and making them for years to come.