Italian Butterball Cookies

Italian Butterball Cookies - Tender, melt in your mouth deliciousness!

Italian butterball cookies are soft, buttery, melt in your mouth deliciousness.

There are so many different names for this very popular cookie. Italian Wedding Cookies, Butterball Cookies with Pecans, Italian Cookies, even Mexican Wedding Cookies. But we call them butterball cookies in our house.

I usually only make these during Christmas time but have been known to have a craving hit during the year.

Try our Peanut Butter Balls!

Italian Butterball Cookies

Italian Butterball Cookies - chopped pecans on a wooden cutting board

How to make Italian Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Finely chop the pecans. You don’t want big chunks in these cookies. Sorry about the ginormous photo of the cutting board. I had help with the pics on this post from my daughter.

Cream the softened butter with 3/4 cup of confectioners sugar. Add the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract. 

In a separate bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, salt, and, baking powder together. Stir in the chopped pecans.  

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.

Italian Butterball Cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake about 10 minutes, keep an eye on them. You don’t want them to brown.

Italian Butterball Cookies on a wire rack

Let cool completely.

Italian Butterball Cookies coated in powdered sugar on a wire rack

Roll in the powdered sugar to coat evenly, shake off extra.

Italian Butterball Cookies stacked on a plate


Try our Monster Cookies!

Print Recipe
4.31 from 42 votes

Italian Butterball Cookies

Italian butterball cookies are soft, buttery, melt in your mouth deliciousness.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: butterball, cookies, italian
Servings: 20
Calories: 142kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter – softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 oz pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (up to 1/2 cup to coat)


  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Chop the nuts, set aside.
  • In a large bowl cream together the softened butter and 3/4 cup confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in the chopped pecans. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. Scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake about 10 minutes or until firm. Watch closely, you don't want them to brown too much on the bottoms. Cool on the baking pan for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Place 1/4 cup confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll the cooled cookies in the confectioner's sugar to coat.


Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Reply

    Your Italian Butterball Cookies look amazing, we will just love them! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  2. Reply

    I’ve been searching for a recipe that resembles my grandmothers cookies for over 40 years, and haven’t found the right one. Can’t wait to try these.

    1. Reply

      Hi, Paula! Please come back and let us know how close this comes to your grandmother’s recipe! Warning, even if these aren’t as good they are addictive! 😉

  3. Reply

    Just made these with walnuts and added lemon zest. Now can’t stop eating them!5 stars

  4. Reply

    I have made these before and there so good, I usually like to make these around Christmas time

    1. Reply

      … if my math is correct, it’s less than 100 days to Christmas!! Never too early 🙂

  5. Reply

    These are similar to the Mexican cookie called Polvorones. Also delicious. I’m definitely going to try these!

    1. Reply

      I don’t think you’d be sorry if you did, Mike! 🙂

  6. Reply

    It is very good and me and my daughter made this italian butterball. Cookies. For my granddaughter birthday.4 stars

  7. Reply

    Omg! Can’t wait to try! They look so yummy n easy to make.
    THANK U5 stars

  8. Reply

    […] Italian Butterball Cookies from Don’t Sweat The Recipe […]

  9. Reply

    Can these be frozen?

    1. Reply

      Hi, Nancy! I’ve never tried but I don’t see why not. They never last long around our house.

  10. Reply

    First time making these and they turned out perfect! I am comparing mine to others I’ve tried. Wow. I’m a new baker of Christmas cookies and these will be a staple. Oooooh so good! Thank you for sharing the recipe🎄5 stars

    1. Reply

      We’re so happy to hear you liked the cookies, Lorraine! Merry Christmas

  11. Reply

    Hi, does the recipe call for salted or unsalted butter?

    1. Reply

      Hi, Liz! Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. It’s unsalted butter and we have updated the recipe.

  12. Reply

    So the one stick of butter is 1/2 cup?

    1. Reply

      Yes, that is correct. 🙂

  13. Reply

    These tasted exactly as I hoped they would! So easy, and doesn’t make a ton. Great for our household of two. I frequently bought these same cookies from a famous Italian bakery at the mall, and they cost $1.75 PER COOKIE! I would indulge occasionally, but now I can make them easily myself. Thanks!!!5 stars

  14. Reply

    My cookies came out flat. Any ideas what could have gone wrong?

    1. Reply

      Hi, Betty. This has never happened to me but my suggestion is to check the temperature of your oven. Low oven temperature can contribute to more cookie spread. I would also suggest making sure your baking powder is still good. To test if baking powder is still active, spoon 1/2 teaspoon in a bowl and pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over it. It should bubble up actively right away. If it does, it’s still good. I hope this helps!

    2. Reply

      I’ve bee searching forever for a recipe for Italian wedding cookies that use an egg! Eurica!! I used to have on but lost it. I have made without but to me they crunble easily and are dry and choking. Adding these to my christmass baking list. I always freeze ahead and toss with a little extra powdered sugar when thawed. As well all my baking is gluten free, will just modify this one. Thank you so much for this post. I’m on my way to check out your snickerdoodle recipe, Linda

  15. Reply

    I have a question. I just mixed this recipe And the dough is super sticky. Is that normal? I’m assuming if it is I will need to either grease my hands or flour them when I’m rolling the balls to bake.

    1. Reply

      Hi, Tina. It shouldn’t be super sticky. How did they turn out for you?

  16. Reply

    Can you use salted butter in place of unsalted? Or do I need to go back to the store? 🤷🏼‍♀️

    1. Reply

      Yes, just simply reduce the 1/4 teaspoon of salt to just a pinch if any at all.

  17. Reply

    Your cookies were delish,and your daughters photography was great!5 stars

  18. Reply

    I grew up eating these. My my grandmother religiously made these at Christmas and I’m so happy to have found a recipe that taste JUST like them! Thank you!4 stars

  19. Reply

    Do you know the Italian name for these cookies?
    They are fantastic.5 stars

    1. Reply

      Yes…ITALIAN SNOWBALLS5 stars

  20. Reply

    My recipe (from the 50s or 60s) says to roll in powdered sugar while hot – never works, they break up! I dumped a lot of sugar on the top and cooled them, turned out fine. But waiting until they cool sounds a lot better. Also, I’m glad to see that the bottoms are flat in your picture – I thought mine ended up wrong, but I see not. Thank you!5 stars

  21. Reply

    This looks delicious and want to make it for my hubby. I’ve never made cookies before. I’ve baked cakes. For creaming the butter and sugar, how long do you cream them? Is this the same as baking cakes like 5-6 minutes before adding the eggs?

    1. Reply

      Yes, usually about 3 minutes.

  22. Reply

    Hi there, quick question before I make these…do you spoon and level or scoop and level the flour? Thank you in advance.

    1. Reply

      Always spoon and level.

      1. Reply

        Perfect thank you! I will be baking it today. Will be back to let you know how it turns out.

        1. Reply

          Awesome, let us know how they turned out! Thanks!

          1. Hi there, made these…follow the recipe exactly, they are delish! Since this is my preference, I would reduce the amount of sugar next time. Thank you for the delicious cookie recipe. Love it!5 stars

  23. Reply

    Hello, Am I able to freeze these cookies?

    1. Reply

      Yes, they keep well in the freezer for 1-2 months. Freeze the baked cookie in a sealed container, but do not coat with powdered sugar. When you defrost and prepare for serving, finish coating with powdered sugar.

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