Butterball Cookies


This Butterball Cookie recipe has been passed down in my family for three generations. There are no eggs in these cookies and the nuts and powdered sugar (added after baking) are optional. I have been making these Butterball Cookies with my Christmas Cookies for decades now.

These cookies are about as easy as it gets. I like to freeze them and take out what I need just before serving. I also like this recipe because it doesn’t make a huge amount of cookies.




In a medium bowl, cream the

butter with a large spoon.


Add the rest of the ingredients to

the butter except the powdered

sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon.


Once it starts to form a ball, use

your hands to bring it all together.

The warmth of your hands will

make the perfect dough for rolling.


Roll dough into 1” balls and place

them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated 275 degree

(yes that’s the right temperature)

oven for 40 minutes. Cool cookies

on the pan on a cooling rack.


Once cool, if you would like, roll

in powder sugar or just enjoy as is.

Butterball Cookies




  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar, (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Cream butter in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the powdered sugar) and mix with a large spoon.
  4. Once the dough starts to form a ball, use your hands to continue mixing. The heat from your hands helps it all stick together.
  5. Roll into 1” balls and place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet. You can place cookies as close together as you can but don’t let them touch. You should be able to get them all on one cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes then place the pan (with the cookies still on it) on a cooling rack.
  7. Once completely cool, if you wish, roll in powdered sugar.

These freeze well. Freeze them without the powdered sugar. When you take them out of the freezer, while still frozen, roll in the powdered sugar if you wish.


Categories: Cookies


  1. My kind of cookie! And we buy similar ones – don’t cringe dear Diane – but from archers way brand – and it’d be nice to make some – would coconut flour work?

  2. I have been making these cookies for many years. They are also referred to Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding cakes, etc. In fact my goal this week to make up a couple of batches and freeze the dough. I do this with all my Christmas cookies. Then I have a major cookie-baking day. Anyway, thanks for the follow and God bless.

  3. These were a tradition in our home as I was growing up — and in my husband’s family… It is also something that kids can help with… In my husband’s family they sometimes put a touch of food coloring in the dough for Christmas… They are delicious!

  4. A new recipe for Christmas cookies!! I like making several new cookies each Christmas, along of course with our traditional favorites. Bon Appetit Virginia

  5. “This Butterball Cookie recipe has been passed down in my family for three generations.” I love that you share your family secrets with us, make it look easy, simplify the process. You’re the best Diane, C

    • They are called different names but these go way back. I got the recipe from my family as my mom always made them at Christmas. I believe she got the recipe from her mom. They are the best and melt in your mouth!

Leave a Reply