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Chocolate Snowball Cookies are a twist on Russian tea cakes! These are such good chocolate Christmas cookies for the holidays: Rich, chocolate cookies coated in powdered sugar are perfect for all the chocolate lovers in your life.

I have lots of snowball cookie recipes on this blog, in a wide variety of flavors, but this Double Chocolate Snowball cookies recipe is one of my favorites!

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snowball cookies stacked in blue bowl with one cut open to show the inside

BEST Chocolate Christmas Cookies EVER

I should call this blog Crazy for Snowball Cookies. (Along with Crazy for Peanut Butter, Crazy for Cake Rolls, and Crazy for Brownies.) I mean, I make a few new versions every year and y’all love every single one.

I love baking cookies because once you know a base recipe, there are usually endless ways to customize them. That’s why I LOVE snowball cookies – I’ve made so many versions of this cookie I’ve lost count! 

These chocolate cookie balls are one of my favorites, and they are perfect for the holidays or any time you want a batch of rich chocolate cookies.

This classic Christmas cookie recipe is perfect for the holidays (or any time of year). You can freeze them, take them to parties, gift them. Or eat them all, I won’t judge.

How to make Chocolate Snowballs Recipe Video

What are Snowball Cookies?

Snowball cookies are also known as Russian tea cakes and Mexican wedding cakes. 

Traditionally, they are made with nuts, sugar, butter, and flour, but there are many variations.

People call them snowball cookies because, well, they look like little snowballs! The cookies are coated in powdered sugar, giving them a wintry, sweet coating. For this reason, they are often made during the holiday season, although I find any excuse to make them all year round!

For this version, it’s CHOCOLATE all the way. Double chocolate: cocoa powder in the batter and chocolate chips. Also: no nuts. Everyone with nut allergies, rejoice! You will want these for all your cookie platters this year.

snowball cookies stacked in blue bowl

The Best Chocolate Russian Tea Cakes

I’ve made tons of snowball cookies over the years, and for this version, I took my mom’s Russian tea cake recipe and turned it into chocolate cookies without nuts. 

This is a really easy cookie recipe! If you love chocolate, you will love them.

Chocolate Snowball Ingredients

  • Butter: use softened unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar: this is what I use instead of granulated. It keeps them soft and compact.
  • Cocoa Powder: use unsweetened cocoa powder – any kind you like. You can use regular unsweetened, Hershey’s Special Dark (what I used), or dutch process.
  • Vanilla, Flour, Salt: traditional cookie ingredients
  • Mini chocolate chips: instead of nuts, which are traditional for snowball cookies, I made them nut-free and used mini chocolate chips. Substitute nuts if you prefer!

And if you were wondering about leavening: there is no baking soda or baking powder in this cookie on purpose. Not using either makes them hold their shape; they stay in little balls.

Ingredient Tips: For a deep chocolate flavor, use special dark cocoa powder. It also gives the cookies a deep brown color, which you won’t get if you use regular cocoa powder.

Also, be sure to use mini chocolate chips – they work better than regular ones since the cookies are bite-sized.

6 photos showing how to make snowball cookies with cocoa

How to Make Chocolate Snowball Cookies

Make the dough: In a large bowl, mix the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, and vanilla with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Mixing: Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough is crumbly until it’s not: it WILL come together. It will take up to 10 minutes of mixing with a hand mixer and will go faster if you use a stand mixer.

Scoop: To make the cookie balls, scoop one tablespoon of the dough, shape it into a ball and place it on a prepared cookie sheet. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Bake: The cookies will need to bake for 8-11 minutes at 350°F. They’re done when the bottoms are slightly browned, and the tops are no longer glossy. Cool the cookies for five to ten minutes before coating them.

Coat: Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, roll them in powdered and place them on a baking rack to cool completely. Sometimes I reroll them in the sugar once they are cooled. That way, they are evenly coated.

Dough Tip: If the dough is very soft when you make it, pop it in the fridge to firm it up. Chilling the dough will make it easier to handle when you form the dough balls.

Can You Freeze Chocolate Snowball Cookies?

Yes, you can freeze them. Make and bake the cookies as instructed, but don’t coat them in the powdered sugar.

Once the cookies are cooled, freeze them on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes.

For long term storage, I place them in a freezer-safe container with wax paper separating each layer of cookies. This will keep them from sticking to each other.

To thaw, leave them out at room temperature. At this point, you can roll the cookies in powdered sugar, and they are ready to serve.

If you want to freeze them, keep them in a freezer-safe container. Chocolate snowballs will keep for several months in the freezer!

snowball cookies stacked in blue bowl with one cut open to show the inside


My dough is too crumbly and dry.

Just keep mixing! I promise the dough comes together. It will seem like it never will but it does. How long it takes depends on what mixer you’re using: a hand mixer will take up to 10 minutes, a stand mixer will do it in much less time.

Can I use nuts instead of mini chocolate chips?

Yes of course. Swap an equal amount of chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds for the chocolate chips. Or use mint chips, peppermint chips or mini M&Ms!

How do I know when they are done baking?

They’re done baking when they just lose their glossy sheen.

How to store snowball cookies?

Store these in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze snowball cookies?

Yes you can – I place them in an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.


snowball cookies stacked in blue bowl with one cut open to show the inside

Chocolate Snowball Cookies Recipe

3.89 from 241 votes
These Double Chocolate Snowball Cookies are my most favorite Russian Teacake recipe yet! They’re full of rich cocoa powder and chocolate chips – NUT FREE!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 4 dozen
Serving Size 2 cookies


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup (57g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder I used Special Dark, use your favorite
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour measured correctly (spoon and level, do not pack)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts
  • Additional powdered sugar for rolling (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups)


  • Preaheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips. If dough is too soft, chill it until you can work it easily with your hands.
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon balls of dough and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown and the tops are no longer glossy. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes, until you can handle them. Fill a small bowl with 1 cup powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until coated. Place on a rack to cool.  (Once cookies are cooled, you may want to re-roll them in more powdered sugar.)

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 2cookies | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 828mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
snowball cookies stacked in blue bowl with one cut open to show the inside with words on photo

There are so many things to love about these chocolate snowball treats – these classic Christmas chocolate cookies are perfect for the holidays (or any time of year). You can freeze them, take them to parties, gift them. Or eat them all, I won’t judge. Just make a batch – you won’t regret it!

Last Updated on August 10, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. I made these to go with my Christmas Cookie collection. I was skeptical based on some negative reviews but let me tell you….YUMMY!
    They will be staying on my list of annual holiday cookies. Delicious

  2. These are delicious! I even made a gluten free batch using King Arthur GF flour. First time I’ve been able to enjoy this treat since I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. Bravo!

  3. Hi, I make Russian tea cakes all the time. What I do with the butter is to soften in the microwave a bit (not melted) and the mix is easier to mix, in fact I just use a spatula or my hand, they come out fine.
    I’ve ever tried the chocolate, but I will make them for Christmas. Looks yummy.

  4. These are the worst cookies I have made! Even with a whole cup of butter and powdered sugar coating it’s like eating a spoonful of cocoa. Awful! And I’ve been baking since before you were born and followed your instructions completely. No…I did not over bake and yes, all ingredients were added. The temperature was at 350 and baked until just barely brown on bottoms. A TBSP of dough for each ball placed on parchment lined pans. Simply awful and a total waste of good butter and ingredients! People… Don’t make these…they are sure to definitely disappoint!

    1. I’m sorry you didn’t like them. The ratio of cocoa to flour is very similar to other chocolate snowballs, but you can reduce the cocoa if you prefer.

    2. We absolutely love this recipe!! I bake tons of cookies for Christmas and make several trays up to business associates! They always love these cookies and ask for the recipe! Plus my whole family loves them!

    3. I’m sorry you did not like them. These are really one of the best cookies. I grew up with them and I also sell out in my bakery every time I make them. I guess real cocoa is not your thing and it is okay… but these are great cookies! They are definitely not like the fake processed cookies buy in the stores. Maybe that is what you are used to…idk. I hope you find a variation you like. Merry Christmas!

  5. Hi Dorothy! I have make several types of your snowball cookies for the past there holiday season. Thanks for posting them, so easy to follow! Been meaning to ask you: when I make these chocolate ones (or any variation with cocoa), after they’ve baked, they’re more dry than the ones without. I’m using Dutch processed Ghirardelli cocoa. Wondering if I should up the butter to make them more moist or maybe I haven’t worked up the gluten in the flour enough? I wish they came out more like when I make any of your other delicious ones (more shortbready). Any tips?

    1. I’ve reduced the amount of flour in this recipe to compensate for the cocoa – you could reduce it a bit more if you still think they’re too dry.

  6. These cookies were very easy to make. They are very sandy in texture and chocolatey indeed however I was looking for more of a deep chocolate brownie like cookie and this was not it. Not to say I won’t make them again because I definitely will. They just aren’t as sweet as other cookies which if what you expect by looking at them.