Made with butter, powdered sugar, and nuts this Danish Wedding Cookies recipe results in cookies with a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s just as lovely at weddings as it is on Christmas cookie platters!
These Danish cookies are a simple, no-fuss recipe made with 7 ingredients and with no requirement to chill the dough. Which can be a total pain when you are in cookie-making mode.
The main ingredients are butter and powdered sugar, which give them an incredibly tender texture while pecans add some crunch.
Though they are called wedding cookies, you’ll most often see these appearing on Christmas cookie platters, providing a nice contrast to the denser, gooey cookies. And the powdered sugar coating gives a nice contrast to the usual brown uniform of most cookies.
Truth be told, I love these anytime! These little balls of butter and sugar are downright addictive and so easy to make. Almost too good!
If you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe, definitely give this Danish wedding cookie recipe a try!
The History of Danish Wedding Cookies
Danish wedding cookies are not Danish nor are they exclusively for weddings. Also called Mexican Wedding Cookies, it’s said that these cookies actually have some Middle Eastern history and then made their way through Europe and the Americas.
Despite often appearing on Christmas cookie trays (and often called “snowball cookies” then), Danish Wedding Cookies do have a cultural wedding significance. It’s said that they are a good luck charm on a wedding day and the nuts represent life’s bumps in the road while the sugar is the sweetness of a happy marriage. How sweet and fitting for a wedding!
What is the difference between a Danish Wedding Cookie and Russian Tea Cakes?
There is very little difference between a Danish Wedding Cookie and Russian Tea Cakes. The only real difference is the addition of a little bit of cinnamon in the Danish wedding cookie.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Butter – The butter should be softened to room temperature but not too soft.
- Powdered sugar – Gives these cookies the melt-in-your-mouth texture and softness.
- Vanilla extract – Try to use pure vanilla extract vs imitation vanilla.
- Cinnamon – Adds a hint of warmth to the cookies.
- Salt – Helps to balance the sweetness and is a flavour enhancer.
- Flour – You can use all-purpose flour or pastry flour.
- Chopped pecans – See below for substitutions.
Can other nuts be substituted for the pecans?
Yes, you can use pretty much any nut you want. Walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts work best.
How soft should the butter be?
Note that the butter should be soft like you’d use for shortbread cookies. That means it’s just soft enough to make an indent with your thumb. Any softer and it will make the dough sticky and may result in the cookies losing their shape during baking.
How to Make Danish Wedding Cookies
Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F.
Then cream the butter with half of the powdered sugar and the vanilla, until lighter in colour and fluffy.
Add half a cup of the powdered sugar, flour, and salt to a large sieve over the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients through the sieve into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon.
Be sure not to over-mix!
I like to try and make it a game and see how quickly I can get the dry ingredients into the butter. If you mix the batter too much the cookies will get tougher or less crumbly when baked.
Add the pecans and mix until blended evenly.
Once mixed roll a heaping teaspoon of cookie batter into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. I love my ceramic cookie sheet from Pampered Chef because it never ever sticks. If using a regular cookie sheet I recommend lining it with parchment paper first.
Let the cookies bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms start to brown. You don’t want the tops of these cookies to brown.
Remove the cookies to a cookie sheet and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
Once cooled, it is time to roll them in the remaining powdered sugar and you are all set!
Can these Danish Wedding Cookies be made gluten-free?
I haven’t tried this personally but they should work well with a good 1:1 all-purpose flour.
Does the dough need to be chilled?
No, these snowball cookies should hold their shape just fine. However, if you notice the dough is sticky, it’s likely that the butter used was too soft. You can fix this by chilling the dough in the fridge for just 10 minutes or so.
Storing Danish Snowball Cookies
These Danish wedding or snowball cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Keep them out of direct sunlight so that the sugar doesn’t melt.
If you find that the sugar has melted you can always toss them in more powdered sugar.
Can I freeze this Danish Wedding Cookie Recipe?
Yes, these cookies freeze well.
Place them in a sealed, airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. I do recommend freezing them before adding the powdered sugar and rolling them in the sugar just before serving.
More Cookie Recipes:
- Strawberry Lemonade Cookies
- Key Lime Meltaway Cookies
- Italian Butter Cookies
- Granda McFeeter’s Shortbread
- Skor Bit Meltaways
Danish Wedding Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter; softened
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar; divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cream butter, half the powdered sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer until lighter in colour and fluffy; about one minute.
- Add a large sieve over the bowl and add a half cup of the powdered sugar, flour and salt. Use a spoon to mix the dry ingredients through the sieve into the butter mixture below.
- Add the pecans and mix until blended evenly.
- Roll a heaping teaspoon of the dough into a ball and place on a non-stick cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. When cookies are completely cooled roll them in the remaining powdered sugar and enjoy!
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Danish Wedding Cookies Story.