Close view of chocolate snowball cookies on a platter, one split in half to show the chocolate middle.

Chocolate snowball cookies are a delectable holiday classic that never goes out of style. These bite-sized delights are perfect for any winter gathering, with their rich chocolate flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

Top view of chocolate snowball cookies on a white plate on a wood table with chocolate chips and evergreen branches around.

What are chocolate snowball cookies?

Chocolate snowball cookies are sweet, bite-sized treats infused with rich cocoa flavor. They consist of a buttery, crumbly dough studded with mini chocolate chips shaped into small balls and baked to perfection. After baking, they are rolled in powdered sugar, resembling snowy orbs of deliciousness. They are perfect Christmas cookies!

Protip: A cookie by any other name!

While we know these chocolate cookies as snowball cookies, you may have also seen them called Mexican wedding cakes or cookies or Russian tea cakes.

What are chocolate snowballs made of?

Chocolate snowball cookies are surprisingly simple to make, and the ingredients list is short and sweet:

  1. Butter: The butter is the foundation of these cookies, providing that delightful buttery flavor and contributing to their melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  2. Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar sweetens the cookies and gives them their characteristic crumbly texture. The finished cookies get rolled in powdered sugar, making them look like snowballs! 
  3. Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder adds the chocolatey goodness to these cookies, giving them their rich and indulgent taste.
  4. Flour: All-purpose flour is the binding agent that holds the cookie dough together. It ensures the cookies have the right structure while remaining delicate and crumbly.
  5. Mini chocolate chips: Many traditional recipes call for chopped nuts for crunch. Instead, this recipe uses a whole cup of mini chocolate chips for crunch and extra chocolate flavor.
  6. Vanilla Extract: A touch of vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor profile of the cookies.
  7. Salt: A bit of salt brings out the chocolate flavor.

Protip: Mini chips are a must!

Regular-size chocolate chips will not work for this recipe because they are too big to roll into such small, round cookies. If standard chocolate chips are all you have, chop them with a sharp knife or pulse them in a food processor before adding them to the cookie dough.

Overhead of chocolate snowball cookies in three long rows on a wooden table, additional powdered sugar and chocolate chips around.

How do I make these cookies gluten-free?

We’ve made these chocolate snowball cookies with a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour, and they were just as delicious as the gluten-containing ones!

Why do my snowball cookies go flat?

This doesn’t happen often with a shortbread-based cookie like this one, but if they do go flat, there could be a few culprits:

  • The dough was overmixed. We add the flour last in this recipe to avoid this, but you also want to make sure that once the flour is added, you are mixing just until it is fully incorporated into the dough.
  • The dough got too warm. If the dough feels overly soft while you are rolling it, stick the bowl in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to firm back up. You may also want to chill the dough in between filling cookie sheets.
Overhead of chocolate snowballs on an oval silver platter with evergreen branches, chocolate chips, and more cookies around it.

Can I make these chocolate cookies ahead of time?

Yep! You have two options for making these in advance:

  1. Make the dough up to three days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.
  2. Bake the cookies and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Can snowball cookies be frozen?

They sure can! Roll the dough into cookie-sized balls and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Move the frozen dough balls to a zip-top freezer bag or a freezer-safe container until you are ready to bake. When you’re ready to bake, take the cookies straight from the freezer to a lined cookie sheet. Bake as directed, but note that you may need to add a minute or two to the baking time. 

A platter of Christmas cookies rolled in powdered sugar rests on a holiday table, one cookie split open to show the chocolate middle.

Want more delicious Christmas cookie recipes like this one?

We have over two dozen Christmas cookie recipes that we’ve gathered in one place, including favorites such as 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Blossoms, Classic Nanaimo Bars, and Lemon Snowdrop Cookies. Happy baking!

Close view of chocolate snowball cookies on a platter, one split in half to show the chocolate middle.

Chocolate Snowball Cookies Recipe

Yield: Approx. 32 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Chocolate snowball cookies are a delightful treat – rich, crumbly, and utterly chocolaty. Perfect for a cozy winter day!


  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer on medium speed to cream the butter with ½ cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and continue mixing until smooth and silky.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips while the mixer is running.
  5. Roll out tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. A small cookie scoop may be helpful.
  6. Place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are just slightly darker and the tops have lost their shininess.
  7. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Roll warm cookies in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar and allow to finish cooling, then repeat this step again for extra “snowy” finish.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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