Vegan Snowball Cookies

Vegan snowball cookies are buttery shortbread cookies infused with nuts and rolled in powdered sugar. Made with only six ingredients, they’re melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

A plateful of vegan snowball cookies sit on a white counter.

I’ve indeed made vegan shortbread cookies before. They are a favorite simple and delicious cookie.

This vegan snowball cookie takes that shortbread texture and fills it with chopped pecans. Rolling the finished cookie in powdered sugar is icing on the cake…or sugar on a cookie!

Key Ingredients

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • Pecans — The pecan is the best nut for these cookies because of its flavor and texture.
  • Flour — I use all-purpose flour, but you can substitute gluten-free baking flour.
  • Butter — Be sure to use vegan butter for baking (not tub margarine). It should be at room temperature before mixing.
  • Sugar — We’ll be using a bit of powdered sugar for the dough and more for rolling the cookies in.
  • Vanilla —  Use real vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Salt —  Adding a bit of salt enhances the flavor of these cookies.
A hand holds a vegan wedding cookie in front of a plate with the rest of the cookies.

Making the Best Snowball Cookies

These vegan snowball cookies are so good, but there are a few tips for making them great:

  • Use vegan butter ready for baking.
  • Make sure your vegan butter is softened.
  • Leave some texture to the pecans so they show through in cookie bites.
  • Roll the cookies in powdered sugar while they’re still warm so the powdered sugar sticks to the cookies.
A plate of vegan cookies, one with a bite taken out, sits on a white counter.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • EASY — These 6-ingredient cookies are made with everyday ingredients.
  • VERSATILE — Add your favorite ingredients, such as chocolate chips to make these cookies just the way you like them.
  • PARTY FAVORITE — Got a big party? Make these cookies weeks before and freeze them. Then set them in the fridge the night before so they thaw out in time for your party!

Snowball Cookies by Another Name

These cookies have a lot of names. Here are some of the more popular ones I know about:

  • Vegan Thumbprint Cookies — That’s right, push your thumb into the center of each cookie dough ball before baking, and then add your favorite jam, such as raspberry chia jam. It makes colorful thumbprint cookies!
  • Meltaway Cookies — Because of the “melt-in-your-mouth” texture of these cookies, they’re often referred to as meltaways. Even better, these are vegan meltaway cookies meaning you can enjoy them without eggs or dairy.
  • Shortbread Cookies — The significant distinction between this recipe and vegan shortbread cookies is the addition of nuts.
  • Mexican Wedding Cookies — I’ve also seen them referred to as Mexican Wedding Cakes, but either way, it’s a similar recipe. And so serving these as vegan Mexican Wedding Cookies will be an absolute delight if you’re throwing a Plant-Based Cinco De Mayo Party!
  • Others — They’re also called powdered balls, snow cookies, vegan butter pecan cookies, vegan wedding cookies (either Mexican or Italian), and more. I guess they’re just versatile cookies loved by all!
  • Make them into Chocolate Surprise Cookies by wrapping the dough around chocolate vegan kisses.

Storage Tips

Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They can be frozen in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2 months.

Looking down on vegan wedding cookies on a plate. There are pecans and a wire rack with more cookies nearby.

No-Chocolate Vegan Cookies

If you love this vegan snowball cookie recipe, here are more chocolate-free vegan cookie favorites to try:

A closeup of vegan meltaway cookies on a plate.

Vegan Snowballs Cookies

You'll love these easy vegan snowball cookies, also known as meltaways, to serve at holiday parties, birthday parties, or to give away as gifts. The recipe is easy to make and can be frozen leading up to a big event.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 129kcal


Shortbread Cookie

  • ¾ cup pecans
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, separated
  • 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar plus more for topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Preparing Pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the pecans cool, and then put them, along with 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of the flour from the recipe, into your food processor. Process until they are finely ground, but not powdery. Set aside until completely cooled.
    A hand holds a spoon, sprinkling flour into a food processor with toasted pecans.

For the Cookies:

  • Increase the oven heat to 400°F/200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Use a mixer to beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
    A hand holds a bowl, pouring flour into a mixing bowl with whipped butter.
  • Add the flour and processed nut mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined.
    Processed nuts are being poured from a food processor bowl into a mixing bowl with cookie dough ingredients.
  • Form into slightly smaller than 1-inch balls. You can chill the dough balls or bake them directly by placing them 2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a minute or two until they're not too hot to handle.
    A hand holds a pan lined with parchment paper with cookie dough balls.
  • Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
    A hand rolls cookies in a bowl with powdered sugar. There are cookies on a wire rack.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container. They can keep up to 5 days at room temperature, 10 days in the fridge, or 2 months in the freezer.

Recommended Equipment

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Use vegan butter that’s prepared for baking (not tub margarine which has too much water content to be suitable for baking).

Flavor Variations

  • Lemon Snowball Cookies — Add a teaspoon of lemon zest to the batter.
  • Vanilla Snowball Cookies — Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the batter.
  • Almond Snowball Cookies — Add ½ teaspoon of almond extract to the batter.
Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

6 Responses to Vegan Snowball Cookies

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLeona Reply

    5 stars
    These cookies are delicious!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you liked them!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBeth Reply

    5 stars
    I just made these and this recipe is perfect. Thank You

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you liked these cookies, Beth!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCris Reply

    5 stars
    They didn’t last…too yummy.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Too yummy is the best! So glad you liked them, Cris!

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